April 8, 2024
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Fair Lawn Roadhouse: The Basics and So Much More

Moshe Berow has been working in the food business a long time. From Riverdale to several stops in New Jersey and from catering to supermarkets, he has a bunch of experience. But when he moved to Fair Lawn a little over four years ago he noticed that the community was without a mainstream fleishig restaurant.

“There just wasn’t a place where you could go get a burger or a grilled chicken salad,” Berow recalled. “Add to the equation the growth of the community in the last few years and Fair Lawn really needed something new.”

Berow had always wanted to be his own boss, but starting a business is not the easiest thing to do. Not only that, Fair Lawn was in need of more than just a restaurant and Berow wanted to do something that would really make an impact as an upgrade for the community as a whole.

Enter Fair Lawn Roadhouse (19-05 Fair Lawn Ave.). Even though trying to cover everything the community needs is a big ask, Roadhouse wants to stand up to that challenge. That means not just being a restaurant but also doing prepared foods (especially for Shabbat takeout) and catering too. Berow is using everything he has learned over the years to create a restaurant with characteristics of both a smokehouse and a grill, prepared foods of all types, and catering for palettes that might be heimish, modern and anywhere in between.

Starting with the restaurant menu (available for delivery and takeout), Berow wanted to cover the basics and work from there. That means having burgers, deli, schnitzel sandwiches, salads, and more. And while the basics have been well received, it’s many of the featured items that have become the biggest sellers.

Fair Lawn Roadhouse Owner Moshe Berow.

“Our signature ‘Roadhouse’ items have become really popular,” Berow said with a smile. “Those are the selections that we put the most time and effort into and it certainly seems to be paying off.”

The Roadhouse Chili is probably in the biggest spotlight. Having launched in the winter, many patrons wanted to check out the chili after seeing the menu. Why? Because Berow was so confident in his chili that it’s not listed as an appetizer or a soup, but is instead the featured entrée. It comes with house-made tortilla chips, cornbread muffins (classic or jalapeño), and coleslaw. Without giving away too much of the secret, Berow said that the house-made brisket is providing the real extra punch. You can also order the chili on top of fries or a hot dog.

Next up is the Roadhouse Ripper. Berow grew up in nearby Passaic, just a couple miles from Clifton where the famous Jersey Ripper Dog originated. A local staple that is now sold in many non-kosher eateries, the almost 100-year-old ripper is so named for the way that the casing of the hot dog rips when it is deep fried. The Roadhouse version is an extra long hot dog topped with sautéed peppers and onions, house-made beef bacon bits and jalapeño mayo.

Fruit Platter

“A big part of the identity of Roadhouse is the location,” said Berow passionately. “I’m from only a few minutes away. I moved to Fair Lawn to raise my kids here and the community is proud of the growth in the last few years. There’s a reason that some local landmarks are featured in the Roadhouse logo.

“I wanted to bring something from the area that many in the Jewish community might not be aware of and expose them to it. The Roadhouse Ripper has been a huge hit and it’s something that you can only get here in Fair Lawn.”

Berow carries that same pride about making the meats in house. The pastrami, corned beef, roast beef, brisket, and beef bacon are all made from scratch at Roadhouse. You can buy them by the pound or find them in many of the top menu items including deli sandwiches, where the prices have started to draw customers from nearby communities. You can get a sandwich with your choice of six ounces (hot or cold) of house-made corned beef, roast beef, or pastrami for $19.95 and it comes with lettuce, tomato, onion and two sauces with pickles and coleslaw on the side. That’s a great deal these days.

Mezze platter

If that all sounds too heavy, Roadhouse also has a bunch of salad options including, obviously, the Roadhouse Salad (diced pastrami and sliced grilled chicken on a bed of mesclun with grape tomatoes, crispy onions, garlic house croutons and creamy caesar dressing).

When it comes to prepared foods, Fair Lawn is lacking no longer. The Roadhouse has a full range of offerings on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with a smaller yet still substantial set of dishes available from Monday to Wednesday. The deli case is packed with anything you can think of from more than a dozen types of chicken to a plethora of side dishes to popular house-made delicacies like the house-smoked brisket burnt ends.

Roadhouse nachos

Roadhouse also has hot cholent and kugel on tap every Thursday and Friday for those who really cannot wait for the sun to set on Friday. But much like Roadhouse itself, the offerings are more than just the basics. Yapchik, kishka and multiple cholents can be smelled wafting through the air as you approach.

The catering side of Roadhouse has started gaining traction as well. Some things are just larger versions of the restaurant items (like ordering a full pan of the Roadhouse Nachos), while others are as surprising as the fruit platters. If you want it, Roadhouse will try to make it happen.

Fleishig prepared foods.

“We want to be able to cater anything from lunch for your office staff with a platter of deli wraps to kiddush for your shul with pans of kugel and cholent,” Berow said about his business. “Whether it’s salads and sandwiches for a sheva brachot or just a platter of chicken strips or fingers for a Shabbat lunch at your house, Roadhouse is available.”

With a grand opening to look forward to after Pesach, Roadhouse is up and running in time for the pre-Pesach rush where many people want to avoid cooking at home. Early signs are that Roadhouse will be a super popular choice in Fair Lawn and even a destination for those in the surounding areas like Passaic and Teaneck.

Pareve prepared foods.

Whether it’s getting delivery on a busy night, prepared food for Shabbat so you can take a week off of cooking, or catering for any kind of event, Roadhouse will be available to serve up delicious food at great prices.

Make a pit stop and check it out for yourself.

Fair Lawn Roadhouse is open Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Reach them at (201) 256-3190 or fairlawnroadhouse.com. They are under the strict supervision of the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County (RCBC).

Roadhouse Chili

 

Roadhouse Ripper

 

Roadhouse Salad

 

Shintzel Sandwich
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