New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

It happens to the best of us. The culprit can be a flat tire or perhaps a demanding boss with attention deficit disorder. Or maybe it’s dealing with screaming, unsatisfied children or irritated, displeased clients. So many situations can lead to a bad day, and a bad day in New Jersey can be torturous. Unfortunately, a bad day for one has a contagious way of becoming a bad day for two when Patient Zero is in a relationship.

As responsible partners, we’re happily obligated to help our other halves out of the funk. Sure, we can offer words of encouragement and solutions to the problems at hand, but if we want to convert a bad day into a great one we know it calls for a swift and more tangible response. We know that if the way to someone’s heart is his or her stomach, then the stomach is the epicenter of curing everything — bad days included. Using comfort food as your reinforcement is a good choice to make, and luckily New Jersey has that tasty option in spades. Treating your date to a meal of comfort foods works wonders to soothe away the drama of the day. 

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Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night guaranteed to turn that frown upside down!

Making Bad Days Melt Away

Back in the day, Mom would cure all ills with her grilled cheese and tomato soup. Grilled Cheese at the Melt Factory in Morristown took that concept and brought it to next level greatness.

Of course the tried and true classic is on the menu, but you might think twice when you see all the other options. With choices including Cheesy Mac and Rib (macaroni and cheese and pulled pork) and eggplant parm (eggplant, marinara and mozzarella), you’ll be amazed how many of your favorite dishes can be served grilled cheese-style.  If you’re feeling inspired you can even create your own! 

For more information about the Melt Factory, visit www.meltfactory.com.

The Air Makes you Smile

If you need to remember what a great day smells like, the smell of something straight off the grill might just remind you. From the moment you walk in Addy’s Barbeque in Teaneck, you’ll know you’re somewhere special. Not only will you find amazing food, but also you’ll discover that everything is carefully prepared in Halal tradition.  

You’ll soon be asking, “What bad day?” when your plate of grilled beef short ribs arrive. Served with their special house barbecue sauce, you’ll be just as crazy about the flavor as you are the various side dishes available. Consider trying their Mishkaki —  juicy grilled kebabs basted with a tangy sweet-and-spicy marinade. Whether it’s beef, chicken or both, this char-grilled perfection will turn your day around for the better. 

For more information on Addy’s Barbecue, visit www.addysbarbequeteaneck.com.

Living Large and Feeling Easy

Some bad days are caused because we have a lot on our plates, but sometimes a full plate can make a day great. Harold’s Deli in Edison is certain to make you forget your troubles when you see all the good that’s in front of you. 

Harold’s is famous for classic deli food that is super-sized and super-delicious. Enormous hot pastrami sandwiches await, as do potato knishes, matzo ball soup and potato latkes. Keep in mind that your order may very well be enough to feed two or three people, so unless you’re super-hungry be ready to share. Just save room for dessert because a big slice of cheesecake will guarantee the disappearance of your bad day. 

For more information on Harold’s Deli, visit www.haroldsfamousdeli.com.

Where the Buffalo Play

Nothing makes us happier than a game day victory, and you can get that feeling every day by visiting Little Buffalo in Cranford. Serving up the specialties of Western New York, your palate will rejoice over their hot wings. With sauces ranging from medium to BBQ, you can’t go wrong with this choice as a starter, though it’s substantial enough to be a full pick-me-up meal. 

Other choices include their Beef on Weck sandwich, which is one of the best roast beef sandwiches you’ll ever enjoy.  And if you like onion rings, theirs are the best. 

For more information about the Little Buffalo, visit www.littlebuff.com

Contentment is Just a Plate … and a Date Away

There are many reasons we have date nights. Singles use them to vet potential partners and couples use them for a one-on-one opportunity to reconnect. Date nights are typically viewed as romantic fun, but they can serve another purpose — one that oftentimes gets forgotten. Date night can be used to solve problems and to soothe damage. 

Going out as a couple not only gives you a chance to be fun and flirty, but a change of venue without distractions gives couples a fresh place to gain an even fresher perspective. Comfort food combined with constructive dialogue can bring about a positive outcome to even the worst day. Give it a try and you’ll be surprised how an emptied plate will make you feel ready to conquer anything.

More New Jersey Date Night Ideas: Tropical Getaways, No Passports Necessary

Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of “The 49th Challenge,” Rogers has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about him, visit CraigRogers.nyc.

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date?  Tell Craig all about it at crogersnyc@gmail.com.

On April 28, Rogers will be at the JCC of Central NJ’s Let’s Mingle event signing copies of his book,  “The 49th Challenge.” For information, click here.

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