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A rare find in NJ: Try this classic restaurant you’ve driven past so many times

For nearly 20 years, Jodi and I have passed by a restaurant on Route 206 in Somerville. The place is located on the north side of 206, which is divided and every time we pass it, we're headed to an event, or back when I was in real estate, I was headed to Morris County.

Either way, there was no time to stop in for a meal. But almost every time we passed it, we'd mention that we need to try it.

The long-awaited meal at Sarah Jane's restaurant ended on Saturday night. After leaving our last event for the night on Saturday — a great one in Butler supporting our good friend Sean Mabey and his running mate Cyndi Frank for Kinnelon Council — we were hungry.

Too late to head home and cook and we didn't want to hit a chain. Jodi simply said, "It's time."

We called ahead to make sure that the kitchen was open — I hate walking into a place right as the team is trying to wrap up their night. We arrived at 9 and there were still a few folks at the bar and a few tables with diners. Jodi ordered the chicken parm and I ordered the burger. Blue and Swiss cheese, of course. The food was clearly made to order and not out of the freezer.

Delicious food, great service and an inviting atmosphere. Owners Jim and Meredith and their son James made sure that the food comes out of the kitchen quickly and efficiently. When you go, try the rice pudding for dessert. You will not be disappointed.

The wait and bar staff were friendly and knowledgeable. Mariana, Cindy, Camy and Heather all doing an outstanding job.

The restaurant is now a third-generation family establishment and is a staple of the restaurant community in Central Jersey. We've got some catching up to do for sure.

I suspect that Sarah Jane's will provide us with the same later-night go-to opportunity when we're returning from North Jersey events as Bakers American on Route 33 does for our return from events at the Shore.

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