Two New Jersey-rooted restaurants have entered the South Jersey scene. Marltonians have a new restaurant in the Turning Point, which opened recently in Marlton Square (300 Route 73 South, Marlton, 856-988-1528). It's an offshoot of a breakfast/brunch/luncher with a base in Long Branch. Owners Pam and Kirk Ruoff are behind a pleasant, plant-dotted dining room. Like all Turning Points, this one closes at 3 p.m. because the Ruoffs believe in a work-life balance.
The stretch of South Street from Broad Street west into Grays Ferry has been growing as a food destination, what with such recent arrivals as the Cambridge, Magpie Artisan Pie Boutique, Sawatdee, and the Quick Fixx, and with the second location of Honey's Sit 'n Eat opening shortly at 21st and South Streets.
Ryo Igarashi does not want to repeat 2012. The chef had closed Maru Global, the Japanese street-food restaurant in Center City that he ran with his wife, Nicole. He had moved the operation to a friend's restaurant in Society Hill when he bent down one day to pick up a pen and smacked his head on the corner of a prep table.
For years, Elkins Park neighbors sadly viewed the building that was Ashbourne Market, a store and local hub across from the train station that closed in 2002. Snubbed by developers, it had for a time become an odd, little-used farmer's market.
Marianne Gere and Kim Strengari, from West Conshohocken's Stella Blu and Gypsy Saloon, have crossed the Schuylkill to open Southern Cross Kitchen, a restaurant-bar on the former site of 8 East at 8 E. First Ave. in Conshohocken (484-344-5668).
Fond, the ambitious BYOB, has moved into a new space nearby, just off Passyunk Avenue, on the corner of 11th and Tasker Streets (1537 S. 11th St., 215-551-5000). Owners chef Lee Styer, Jessie Prawlucki, and Tory Keomanivong pick up a liquor license, a seven-seat bar (two beers on tap, three by the bottle; seven bottles of red, seven bottles of white; five of each by the glass, plus mixed drinks), and a 10-or-so-seat chef's table. They have not said what will become of their previous location.
Willow Grove's enviable complement of Southwest/Mex chains now includes the region's first Taqueria del Sol - an Atlanta-based franchise that combines the wide-open, fast-food atmosphere of Chipotle and Qdoba with alcoholic beverages such as those offered at nearby Mad Mex. Taqueria del Sol recently replaced a Baja Fresh at 4001 Welsh Rd. (215-657-4500).