Saturday, April 16, 2011

Murphy's Corner Store in Iselin --
You're gonna LOVE IT!

So over the last week or so, I've heard from three separate people about Murphy's Corner Store - (the corners being Correja Avenue and Trento.) It's an OLD TIME Iselin deli that time forgot... which, of course, in this case is actually a VERY GOOD thing! Well, Murphy's has new owners, and they seem to want to do everything just right, and believe me -- you are going to be SO HAPPY!!!
The new owners are Andrea Ayers and Ken Baraniak. Before Murphy's, they owned "Dorians on the Beach" in Ocean Grove, and got some great reviews. After eating here I could definitely see why.  For one thing, they were so friendly.  When we walked in and sat down, Ken offered us a sample right off the bat -- he had some really delicious old fashioned deli pickles, made in the old way, and he wanted us to try them.  (And yes, they were great!)

They are both very excited about their food, and they only want top quality ingredients, and it really makes a huge difference.  They are so serious about getting only the best, that they have bread and pastries brought in from a Brooklyn bakery, fresh every morning, at 3 AM!  (This is a round-the-clock job for the owners!)  So when you see the crumb cake and muffins on the counter... yup!  It's real old fashioned bakery foods, not something from some Warehouse Depot days ago!

We had subs, and they were really good.  As we ate, Andrea was telling us about some of the other dishes Ken prepares.  Yesterday, she said, he had some really great Mussels Fra Diavolo and Broccoli and Cavatelli, but I'm really looking forward to the trying his manicotti. Depending on the day, he might have shrimp salad,lump crab cakes, or potato pancakes, or any number of other things. They suggested that I just call up and see what's on the menu for the day, and then I can pick it up all ready for dinner. Sounds like my new Friday Night dinner plan!  Andrea also mentioned that Ken first learned to cook as a kid in his grandmother's pizzeria in Port Reading - it was a place called Bunzy's, maybe you've heard of it? 

Anyway, I can tell you I'm definitely going to make a point of becoming a customer at Murphy's.  For two reasons.  Reason one:  The food was great.  Reason two:  I miss my old-fashioned corner deli.  The only way these kinds of places can stay in business is if people shop at them... so, c'mon, people, try them!

Murphy's Deli - on the corner of Correja and Trento in Iselin - is open Monday through Friday from 5:30 AM to 7:00 PM, and Saturday 6:30 AM to 4:00 PM, and Sunday 6:30 AM to 3:00 PM.
You can call ahead at 732-283-3370.


  1. old style pickles are made with lye. scary.

  2. :D You're so funny! Because I tasted these pickles -- and they were great, no lye. LOL :D

    (I did check some recipes -- none of the recipes I've looked up said anything about lye, either. But if you want, you can check this recipe -- it looks like a good one, to me.\

    You do have a point, too... not everything that is old-fashioned is going to be great. But take my word for it, the food at this deli really was delicious, and it's like stepping back in time a few years to when there was a deli down the street from me... I miss my deli!

  3. I know, it's good. I eat there.

  4. I read your blog and seized the opportunity to "return" to Iselin for a day's visit to all the old "haunts" after so many years (having moved away after college in 1974). I took my husband to Murphy's Deli for lunch today (on the way back from looking at the lot which once was P.S. # 15 on Pershing Avenue). We loved the unprententious surroundings, great food and the warmth of the owners at Murphy's Deli. Thanks for suggesting it (we also told them it was you and your blog that pointed us to their establishment). Thanks, Cheryl and Rich

  5. I'm so glad you went and enjoyed it :)
    They are great people, with reallly good food!

    1. I just wanted to tell you again I really like not only the individual headings but your daily blog as well... what a clever blog... topics... lot's of fun and is often a daily read... keep up the great work...
      Cheryl (graduated from JFK; 1970; school really looks different today)

    2. Thank you! Sometimes it seems like no one reads it, although the counter does keep changing. I appreciate the comment!

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  7. Must give it a try, grew up on Bunzy's pizza, by rr tracks in Port Reading, well known bar & food. If his father was Joe, then I know his Mom and her family, friends with my parents.

  8. MAYBE we heard of Bunzy's??
    Bunzy's Pizza was the world's best! The gold standard against which all pizzas are measured.
    So Ken is Mike and Ann's grandson? Small world. Your grandfather Mike was like an uncle to me. I grew up as a kid eating his pizza in from the late 50's or very early 1960's until he retired. I really miss Mike and Ann. My family still talks about the pizza and the mussels there.
    If there is pizza in Heaven...the angels will be using Bunzy's recipe.
    Best of luck to Andrea and Ken!

  9. Andrea Ayers is no longer working there.

  10. miss andreas big brown eyes

  11. I knew Andrea & Ken when I ate at Dorians on the Beach in Ocean Grove just steps from old Carousel house in Asbury! The food there was plentiful & old home style! Ken made great pizza, too! Love to get down there and see them again!

  12. I tried there danish with peach jam was really good! I am 3 minutes away from that place.

  13. Sad that they are surrounded by little India. I would try it, but not being mean , the smell of curry makes me nauseous. I cannot even drive through that part of town with my windows open.