Websites like Yelp! have empowered the everyday eater to become their local neighborhood's New York Times food critic, praising and damning behind the anonymity of a computer screen.
Some peeved restaurateurs have argued Yelp! is little more than a "forum for the uninformed," a digitally-savvy clan of unsophisticated palates with little-to-no culinary education.
True or not, the reviews listed on the website unquestionably impact popular perception. Will you dine at a place one newspaper critic gave a dazzling review to if the same restaurant was scorned by the unwashed masses? Maybe. Maybe not.
So how does the average joe review the many restaurants in Verona and Cedar Grove?
Based on Yelp!'s number of reviews, we countdown from #5 down to #1 the most reviewed restaurants in both towns.
5. The Famous Ray's Pizza, 3 stars, 29 reviews
"Not your typical NY style pizza - perhaps better! It's expensive, consider it gourmet pizza - each slice is so loaded with cheese and the crust is thick enough that it eats like two slices," said Steve A. of Parsippany. "Family favorite place. The staff knows my name even though I'm not even in there once a month. No matter how busy they take time out to smile and be friendly. Inside is a little small, so be prepared to take out."
4. Tortilla Sunrise, 4 Stars, 18 Reviews
"LOVE this place. So fresh!! Food is always awesome. Luckily I work right across the street!! Just found out they have chorizo too, now I'm in trouble!!," said Tracy V. of Verona.
3. Verona Inn, 3 stars, 21 reviews
've been living in this area for 15 years. Compared to other pubs in the area, I really feel like it brings the whole package. I've been going for a few months now. So, I've become somewhat of a regular. The food seems like it gets better every time I go in there," said Roger C. of Caldwell.
2. Trattoria Bella Gente, 4.5 Stars, 11 Reviews
We have been there a number of times and we are never disappointed. Must try the rock shrimp, chicken valdanstano (sp?), and the chocolate canoli. Food is delicious, service is great, it's on the top of our list of favorite restaurants!," said Laura M. of Verona.
1. Frank Anthony's, 4 Stars, 28 Reviews
"Got delivery from Frank Anthony's tonight and I have to say that the wild mushroom pizza is the best pizza I've ever had. Hands down. I especially love the thin crust," said Melissa R. of Verona. "Eggplant rollatini was also delish. Tossed salad was decent, too. Delivery was fast and prices reasonable."
5. Giuseppe's Pizza & Restaurant, 4 Stars, 16 Reviews
"This place is great! Traditional Jersey slice," said Joe G. of Cedar Grove. "If you're like me and like a crispy crust, ask for it a bit on the well done side to get that crunch."
"They have a nice dine-in restaurant in the back which is BYOB. They do have a soda fountain behind the counter, and a large selection of bottled beverages including Boylens soda and Honest Tea," he said.
4. Pilgrim Diner Restaurant, 3 Stars, 37 Reviews
"Four Stars based on the fact that this is a diner, and I don't expect the same that I would get from a restaurant," said Rich P. of Cedar Grove. "Although the sign says Pilgrim Diner & Restaurant, it is really a diner, but one of the best I've been to."
3. Kyoto Sushi III, 4.5 Stars, 13 Reviews
"The best sushi I have ever had!! Always fresh!," said Nick C. of Cedar Grove. "They run coupons in valpak which is nice because the best sushi does come at a price. We order platters from them for our family Christmas party and everyone loves it. Try the sushi pizza!! My favorite roll is a new one called the massive roll. It has jalepenos in it and is amazing!!"
2. Lu Nello, 4.5 Stars, 28 Reviews
"Excellent from start to finish. Expensive, but you can taste, smell, see etc the quality and care put into the place," said Tom P. of Cedar Grove. "Wife holds a similar opinion. She had a pumpkin appetizer (yes, pumpkin) that was outrageous. 6 stars. we both had veal dishes that we excellent."
1. Chengdu 1, 4 Stars, 44 Reviews
"There are some true gems hidden in the extensive menu," said Kathy S. of Verona. "My advice is to stick to the authentic Szechuan dishes - the spicier, the better. This place knows how to do spicy."
What do you think of the Yelp! top 5 list?