Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Office

Not the TV show. The restaurant in Ridgewood. Almost every Saturday night is a non-Jenny food cheat night. Of course, this past one it had to snow like nobody's business. But I was undeterred. Being home alone all day with E every Saturday (because B is working) means by late afternoon, I need out for a good meal. I don't know why Saturday seems different, like I NEED to go out, but I do. Poor B has to come home from Day #6 of work only to be dragged out again for dinner. As most people know, we used to spend every Saturday night at Bensi in Paramus Park. Well, that's over since Bensi is gone so we've been trying out a few different places.

This weekend we wanted something really local because of the weather. We weren't even sure what would be open because our street was still really hard to drive on. We live on a semi-main road in town so we were surprised it wasn't cleared. I suggested The Office out of the blue. We hadn't been there since maybe 2005 when we were dating. I don't know why we were there. All I know is the last time, there wasn't one healthy option on the menu so we never went back. I'm no health nut but I prefer dessert to anything else. In order to feel ok about ordering a decadent dessert, I need to eat a healthy-ish dinner.

One of the years in between the last time we'd been there and last year, The Office won a category in Bergen Health & Life's Best of Bergen. It was a year we also won. I spoke to the owner or manager and he told me they had revamped the menu to add some healthier choices. We just never happened to go back. This week we did. We didn't have to wait which is always a bonus. It's very kid friendly in the sense that they do have crayons, they have a kids menu, they have tv's and it's not quiet in there. They did add some salads- I ordered the Harvest Salad. It was supposed to be one of those mixed greens, sugared walnuts, craisins, green apples, soft crumbly cheese and balsamic dressing things. And it was... But, it was just a little bit off. They added tomatoes and onions on it! Those don't go in that kind of salad! I'd NEVER think there would be onions and that ruins any salad for me. I always ask for no onions but it just didn't occur to me that they'd be on there. I will say, aside from the onions and tomatoes- which I happen to love, the dressing was awesome. I like that the salad wasn't drenched in it and it came on the side.

I ordered grilled salmon for my entree. The salmon was supposed to be in a garlic butter sauce but I skipped the sauce. It was also supposed to come with spinach but I opted out for that too in lieu of a vegetable medley. I also got their jasmine rice. It was sort of like wok rice. The smell kind of made me nauseous because it smelled like the oil they use at The Healthy Way to massage me. But the taste was fine. To be honest- the way I ordered it, my dinner just looked like a "diet plate". Boring but functional. The portion was fine. But, I was eating it as a means to the warm chocolate chip cookie baked/served in a skillet with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. Now THAT was worth saving calories by not eating my Jenny lunch and having a diet dinner plate. They were just kind of stingy on the ice cream. That cookie was definitely big enough for two scoops.

But, everything was just this side of off. I got E a kids meal. A burger and fries. He actually ate the burger which always thrills me. But the kids dessert is one scoop of ice cream. They served it in a ceramic bowl that is too big, a spoon for Andre The Giant, and with nothing on it. Now, E isn't a big sweets eater. Part because I never gave it to him and part because he's suspicious of new food. Junk food doesn't "look" any more appetizing to him than anything else. If he's never eaten it, no matter what it is, it's foreign and he's most likely not into it. But, he's been eating a few bites of ice cream here and there. Would it kill a restaurant that bothers to have a kid's menu to have some sprinkles? If it's only going to be one scoop, put it in a paper cup! Or just a smaller bowl! And the spoon. Seriously. I couldn't have used that. How about the waiter exercising some judgement there. We asked for a smaller one and they brought him one. So clearly these ginormous spoons are not the only ones available.

B had a rib-eye steak. He wasn't thrilled. But, admittedly, he doesn't know much about steak. For instance, he doesn't know what cut is what, which is more or less fatty, etc. So, his piece of steak was really fatty. Picken (B's college roommate that works with us and happens to be a steak connoisseur) said that rib-eye is a just a fatty cut. But HE LOVED that jasmine rice. He also wasn't that into his chocolate cake dessert. He said it was too sweet. Obviously we have differing palates.

Lastly, my salad was huge and it came out with my dinner. They might mention that the salad is something probably better shared. I gave some to B because there is no way I could eat that whole thing. It was all just a lot of food at the table at the same time.

As a whole though, it was a decent dinner. Now I'm prepared if we go back. I know what's on the menu and I'm still thinking about that cookie dessert. I've always loved blondies over brownies and that's sort of what it was like. It's a good place to go with a kid and if you want to eat early. It's located across from that municipal lot where you get a ticket to put in your window to show you paid. It just wasn't a favorite place in the sense that we'll be going back every week. It has a nice bar and atmosphere for hanging out too if you're single or married with no kids too.


  1. I like the Office - haven't been to one in a while, but there's one super close to Bound Brook and one close to work in Summit. In fact, I ate dinner there with friends on New Year's Eve before we went to the bar where I met Jesse (and the rest is history).

    Also, JUST made blondie bites last night out of cake mix... so good, but so not diet-friendly! I'll make you some next time I visit and we can splurge. :-)

  2. I know there are a few of them but I didn't know they were all over Jersey. Like I said, I hadn't been back because it was really bad-for-you food. But, now that they have a grilled salmon, I'm good with that. I also was being a little nitpicky but I feel like when you get a chance to go out these days, you want to be informed of exactly what you're going to get. So I try to be pretty thorough.

    OMG- of course we can splurge. I'll be splurging tonight on E's ice cream cake and probably as we celebrate birthday through the weekend!! Nothing I like more than great baked goods. The skillet cookie was SO good. And pretty big. I still lost 2 lbs at Jenny tuesday morning so it didn't ruin my week either.