KOREAN BELLY BUSTER: Look for Lunch Combo Special L7 at BCD Tofu House in Fort Lee for a belly busting meal of broiled Croaker or Mackerel (above), small Soft Tofu Soup, complimentary side dishes and rice ($17.50).
ORGANIC TOFU: BCD Tofu is our go-to place for the comforting soup made with organic soft tofu and seafood, beef, pork or vegetables. You can chose the level of spiciness: Plain, mild, medium, spicy or danger.
NEWARK, N.J. -- We agreed on going to see the cherry blossom trees in Branch Brook Park last Saturday, but not on where we would eat afterward.
That's how I ended up doing takeout at Burger Walla, a fast-casual, Asian Indian-inspired place on Halsey Street, a few blocks from the Rutgers campus.
Then, me and my wife drove to Fort Lee for a belly busting late lunch at BCD Tofu House, where the organic tofu soup, wonderful kimchi and other complimentary side dishes are served in a noisy dining room filled with contented customers.
There were a few glitches:
No whole egg for cooking in the bubbling tofu broth was available, because of a salmonella scare; two of the seven free side dishes we were served contained raw squid, which my wife doesn't eat; and the Dyson hand dryer in the men's room wasn't working.
And when you look at the Seafood Soon Tofu Soup shown on the website -- with jumbo, head-on shrimp and large clams -- it bears absolutely no resemblance to what you are served in the Korean restaurant.
I went for a lunch combo; my wife ordered Pork Soondubu or Soft Tofu Soup, a complete meal with rice and side dishes ($12.99)
I had enough leftovers from my takeout and restaurant meals for two light dinners at home.
BCD Tofu House, 1640 Schlosser St. in Fort Lee, is open 7 days a week; 201-944-2340. Free parking in strip mall lot.
Burger Walla, 47 Halsey St. in Newark; 1-862-259-2552. Closed Sundays. Metered street parking.
In Indian culture, a walla is a salesperson or specialist, and the couple who run the place add, "We are your Burger Walla."
BRANCH BROOK PARK: The cherry blossom trees in Newark were in full bloom last Saturday afternoon, and hundreds of sightseers were snapping photos or picnicking under their branches.
SACRED HEART: Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart also was open for visits.