Lincoln Elementary School Students Review Local Restaurants, Making Language Arts a Tasty Subject

First grader Gerard Strumolo stands with Wild Buffalo Wings General Manager Charles Hunter, during a lunch sponsored by the restaurant Credits: Christine Corliss
A review of local eatery Fat Fish Taco by Lincoln School first grade student Shea Ivers is on display at the Caldwell restaurant Credits: Christine Corliss
A review of local eateries, including Central Burger in Caldwell, by Lincoln School first grade students are on display at various area restaurants Credits: Christine Corliss

CALDWELL, NJ — First-grade students from Lincoln Elementary School in Caldwell recently put their taste buds and writing skills to the test when they created and shared restaurant reviews for local culinary establishments.

Many of the local restaurants have framed and displayed the students’ reviews, but one establishment, Buffalo Wild Wings of Fairfield, thanked its reviewer with a free lunch for the entire first-grade class. The review, written by Gerard Strumolo, a student in Cara Bakos’ class, made an impact.

“I spoke with my manager about treating Gerard to a free lunch, but he said to bring lunch to everyone,” said Buffalo Wild Wings General Manager Charles Hunter. “We were impressed and proud that Gerard chose to review our restaurant.”

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Other students chose to review eateries such as Central Burger, the Essex County Country Club, Fat Fish Taco and Dough.

“I liked it—I love their food,” said Liberty student Madison Gunson of her meal at Central Burger, which currently has her review hanging on its wall. “My burger had pickles, mayo, lettuce, tomato and cheese. I also had a blueberry raspberry shake and French fries.”

Student Eliza Lima chose to review the Essex County Country Club because her grandmother brings the family to the restaurant for special events.

“They have a lot of good choices for kids,” said Lima. “I like the chicken fingers, mini hot dogs, and sometimes the pasta.”

Many of the restaurants hung their reviews up for customers to see. 

“We were so happy to meet Shea and we love the review,” said the manager at Fresh Fish Taco as he pointed to the restaurant review written by student Shea Ivers. “I took a photo with him and we hung the review where everyone can see it. We love that he chose us.”

Ivers was equally enthusiastic about his meal at Fat Fish Taco.

“The fried chicken and French fries have a lot of seasoning,” said Ivers. “People should really go there because it is yummy. I would eat there every day.”

When asked what he would order on his next visit, Ivers said, “The chicken, every time.”

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