Food Critic’s Club Review: Route 35 Edition

Frank Wilton, Editor-in-Chief

Claudie’s Chicken Ruffles some Feathers

Claudie’s Chicken on Route 35 in Middletown garnered the most controversial vote in the history of the Food Critic’s Club, riling up the organization and sparking an intense debate.

Though Claudie’s overall score of a 5.5 may not seem like anything more than average, the underlying debate that went through through the club was intense.

Claudie’s received votes, on a scale of 0-10, ranging from a 1.5-10, with taste, ambiance, and price all wrapped into the decision.

Claudie’s specializes in their fried chicken, wings, and fried sides. Upon walking into Claudie’s, the smell of grease and oil is overwhelming, as is the apparent lack of care with regards to decor.

“They had menu items posted on paper plates,” said Co-President Mike Prefer disdainfully. He was unimpressed by Claudie’s oily aroma, greasy floors, and lack of business.

Others, however, believe Claudie’s is a delicious chicken haven.

“10/10 for me. The best chicken in Middletown, hands down,” said Food Critic’s Club veteran Keith LaFeir. He, along with a few others, gave Claudie’s meals rave reviews and made sure to frequent the restaurant.

Anyone going to Claudie’s should know in advance what they’re getting: a filling, greasy plate of fried chicken without all the bells and whistles. If a quick meal is what you’re looking for, then Claudie’s is the spot.


Zoni’s Pizza Draws Mixed Reviews

Venturing further down Route 35, the Food Critic’s Club wandered into Zoni’s Coal Fired Pizza and assessed the restaurant on a variety of levels, giving it a 6.1 out of 10.

Most everyone in the club was pleased with the ambiance of the pizza place, with nice decor and a burning coal oven roaring. This helped the restaurant make up for what some, myself especially, found to be quite horrendous service.

In terms of the food itself, opinions were mixed. Personally, I found the pizza to be quite awful. The crust was soft and ashy, and the sauce and cheese tasted unfresh and bland, certainly not what I expected from a place that prides itself on its pizza. This sentiment was shared by others, including club president Nick Kish.

Kish, however, offered up the point that most other kinds of food were fairly well done. Justin McKenna praised the buffalo wings, Anita Zirngibl spoke highly of the salad, and the paninis, fried mozzarella, and pasta were all given very positive reviews.

Though the pizza was viewed as weak, especially relative to the quality of pies you can get on the Jersey Shore, the club did not dislike Zoni’s. Though you may want to go somewhere else to grab a quick slice, Zoni’s can be counted on for a good date night or a night out with friends for some quality Italian cuisine.