Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men and plays an important role throughout the male lifespan. Most of a male's testosterone is produced through the testicles. Also called the male sex hormone, testosterone starts playing its part during puberty.
When a male goes through puberty, testosterone helps males develop:
As boys turn to men and men grow older, testosterone levels deplete naturally. Sometimes, events like injuries and chronic health conditions like diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when a man loses too much T, it results in hypogonadism. When this happens, the testosterone must be replaced, or the male will suffer from symptoms like muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.
TRT is exactly what it sounds like: a treatment option for men that replaces testosterone so that your body regulates hormones properly and restores balance to your life. Also called androgen replacement therapy, TRT alleviates the symptoms that men experience with low T.
Originally lab-synthesized in 1935, testosterone has grown in popularity since it was produced. Today, TRT and other testosterone treatments are among the most popular prescriptions in the U.S.
Without getting too deep into the science, TRT works by giving your body the essential testosterone it needs to function correctly. As the primary androgen for both males and females, testosterone impacts many of the body's natural processes â especially those needed for overall health. For example, men with low T are more prone to serious problems like cardiovascular disease and even type-2 diabetes.
When your body quits making enough testosterone, it causes your health to suffer until a solution is presented. That's where TRT and anti-aging medicine for men can help. TRT helps balance your hormones and replenish your depleted testosterone. With time, your body will begin to heal, and many symptoms like low libido and irritability begin to diminish.
For men, aging is the biggest contributor to lower testosterone levels, though there are other causes like obesity, drug abuse, testicular injuries, and certain prescribed medications. Sometimes, long-term health conditions like AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease can lower testosterone levels.
When a man's testosterone levels drop significantly, it alters his body's ratio of estrogen and testosterone. Lower testosterone levels cause more abdominal fat, which in turn results in increased aromatase, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.
If you're concerned that you might have low T, you're not alone. Millions of men in the U.S. feel the same way. The best way to find out if your testosterone is low is to get your levels tested.
For sustainable testosterone replacement therapy benefits, you must consult with hormone doctors and experts like those you can find at Global Life Rejuvenation. That way, you can find the root cause of your hormone problems, and our team can craft a personalized HRT plan tailored to your needs.
One of the most common reasons that men choose TRT is because they have lost that "spark" with their partner. It's not easy for a man to hear that they're not performing like they used to. Intimacy is a powerful part of any relationship. When a once-healthy sex life dwindles, it can cause serious relationship issues.
The good news is that low libido doesn't have to be a permanent problem. TRT and anti-aging medicines help revert hormone levels back into their normal range. When this happens, many men have a more enjoyable life full of intimacy and sex drive.
Weak erections â it's an uncomfortable subject for many men in the U.S. to talk about. It's even worse to experience first-hand. You're in the midst of an intimate moment, and you can't do your part. Despite being perfectly normal, many men put blame and shame upon themselves when they can't achieve an erection. And while the inability to perform sexually can be caused by poor diet, obesity, and chronic health conditions, low testosterone is often a contributing factor.
Fortunately, weak erections are a treatable condition. The best way to regain your confidence and ability in bed is to speak with your doctor. Once any underlying conditions are discovered, options like TRT may be the best course of treatment.
Do you find it harder and harder to work out and lift weights in the gym? Are you having problems lifting heavy items that you once had no problem lifting?
Recent studies show that when men are inactive, they lose .5% of muscle strength every year, from ages 25 to 60. After 60, muscle loss doubles every decade. While some muscle loss is common as men age, a significant portion can be tied to low testosterone levels. When a man's T levels drop, so does his muscle mass.
Testosterone is a much-needed component used in gaining and retaining muscle mass. That's why many doctors prescribe TRT Whippany, FL, for men having problems with strength. One recent study found that men who increased their testosterone levels using TRT gained as much as 2.5 pounds of muscle mass.
Whether your gym performance is lacking, or you can't lift heavy items like you used to, don't blame it all on age. You could be suffering from hypogonadism.
If you're like millions of other men in their late 20s and 30s, dealing with hair loss is a reality you don't want to face. Closely related to testosterone decline and hormone imbalances, hair loss is distressing for many men. This common symptom is often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Excess amounts of DHT cause hair follicles to halt their production, causing follicles to die.
Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing permanently. Thankfully, TRT and anti-aging treatments for men in Whippany, FL, is now available to address hair loss for good.
While it's true that you can't change your genes, you can change the effects of low testosterone on your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and other hormone therapies can stop hair loss and even reverse the process.
Also called "man boobs," gynecomastia is essentially the enlargement of male breast tissue. This increase in fatty tissue is often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. For men, estrogen levels are elevated during andropause. Also called male menopause, andropause usually happens because of a lack of testosterone.
If you're a man between the ages of 40 and 55, and you're embarrassed by having large breasts, don't lose hope. TRT is a safe, effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of gynecomastia without invasive surgery. With a custom HRT and fitness program, you can bring your testosterone and estrogen levels back to normal before you know it.
Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Today, many doctors know better. Advances in technology and our understanding of testosterone show that low T and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand.
If you're struggling to enjoy activities like playing with your kids or hiking in a park due to lack of energy, it could be a sign of low T. Of course, getting tired is perfectly normal for any man. But if you're suffering from continual fatigue, a lack of enjoyment, or a decrease in energy, it might be time to speak with a doctor.
Whether you're having a tough time getting through your day or can't finish activities you used to love, TRT could help.
A study from 2011 showed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep can experience lowered testosterone levels â as much as 15%, according to experts. Additional research into the topic found almost 15% of workers only get five hours of sleep (or less) per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss negatively impacts T levels and wellbeing.
The bottom line is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone levels as a result. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but toss and turn all night long, you might have low T.
TRT and anti-aging medicines can restore your T levels back to normal, which can help you sleep better with proper diet and exercise.
You're feeling down about everything, and there's no solid explanation for why you're in such a crummy mood. Your daily life is great and full of success, but you can't help but feel unexcited and unmotivated. If you're experiencing symptoms like these, you may be depressed â and it may stem from low testosterone.
A research study from Munich found that men with depression also commonly had low testosterone levels. This same study also found that depressed men had cortisol levels that were 67% higher than other men. Because higher cortisol levels lead to lower levels of testosterone, the chances of severe depression increase.
Depression is a very real disorder and should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. One treatment option gaining in popularity is TRT for depression. Studies show that when TRT is used to restore hormone levels, men enjoy a lighter, more improved mood. That's great news for men who are depressed and have not had success with other treatments like anti-depression medicines, which alter the brain's chemistry.
Ask anyone over the age of 50 how their memory is, and they'll tell you it wasn't what it used to be. Memory loss and lack of concentration occur naturally as we age â these aren't always signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.
However, what many men consider a symptom of age may be caused by low testosterone. A 2006 study found that males with low T levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. These results suggest that low testosterone may play a part in reducing cognitive ability. If you're having trouble staying on task or remembering what your schedule is for the day, it might not be due to your age. It might be because your testosterone levels are too low. If you're having trouble concentrating or remembering daily tasks, it could be time to talk to your doctor.
Why? The aforementioned study found that participating men experienced improved cognitive skills when using TRT.
Even though today's society is more inclusive of large people, few adults enjoy gaining weight as they age. Despite their best efforts, many men just can't shed the extra pounds around their midsections, increasing their risk of heart disease and cancer.
Often, male weight gain is caused by hormone imbalances that slow the metabolism and cause weight to pile on. This phase of life is called andropause and happens when there is a lack of testosterone in the body. Couple that with high cortisol levels, and you've got a recipe for flabby guts and double chins.
Fortunately, TRT treatments and physician-led weight loss programs can correct hormone imbalances and lead to healthy weight loss for men.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Benefits of Sermorelin include:
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it is suitable for both men and women. It provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies, boosting patients' overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life. When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits.
Some of those benefits include:
Whether you are considering our TRT services, HRT for women, or our growth hormone peptide services, we are here to help. The first step to turning back the hand of time starts by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation.
Our friendly, knowledgeable TRT and HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!866-793-9933
Wednesday, Jan. 4Bordentown 90, STEMCivics 46 - Box ScoreAbsegami 68, Buena 35 - Box ScoreMount Olive 53, West Windsor-Plainsboro North 38 - Box ScorePaul VI 56, Hamilton West 41 - ...
Bordentown 90, STEMCivics 46 - Box Score
Absegami 68, Buena 35 - Box Score
Mount Olive 53, West Windsor-Plainsboro North 38 - Box Score
Paul VI 56, Hamilton West 41 - Box Score
South River 80, Middlesex 48 - Box Score
East Brunswick Magnet 64, Perth Amboy Magnet 43 - Box Score
South Amboy 77, Central Jersey College Charter 30 - Box Score
Metuchen 49, Wardlaw-Hartridge 29 - Box Score
Timothy Christian 73, Spotswood 68 - Box Score
Lenape Valley 77, Hopatcong 13 - Box Score
Vernon 69, Morris Tech 28 - Box Score
Morris Knolls 57, Roxbury 50 - Box Score
Delbarton 50, Mendham 46 - Box Score
West Morris 61, Randolph 55 - Box Score
Mount Olive 53, West Windsor-Plainsboro North 38 - Box Score
North Warren 42, Kittatinny 39 - Box Score
Pequannock 60, Whippany Park 42 - Box Score
Sparta 43, Morristown 42 - Box Score
High Point 56, Sussex Tech 49 - Box Score
Jefferson 61, Wallkill Valley 39 - Box Score
Kinnelon 75, Parsippany 71 - Box Score
Hackettstown 61, Newton 33 - Box Score
Morristown-Beard 65, Dover 55 - Box Score
Morris Catholic 60, Hanover Park 42 - Box Score
Chatham 72, Montville 52 - Box Score
Madison 49, Parsippany Hills 41 - Box Score
Eastern Christian 75, Pompton Lakes 27 - Box Score
Secaucus 58, North Arlington 27 - Box Score
Weehawken 72, Lyndhurst 57 - Box Score
Park Ridge 48, Wood-Ridge 43 - Box Score
Emerson Boro 60, Waldwick 59 - Box Score
St. Mary (Ruth.) 87, Becton 62 - Box Score
Saddle River Day 58, Cresskill 33 - Box Score
Elmwood Park 49, Manchester Regional 39 - Box Score
Paterson Charter 68, Lodi 47 - Box Score
Midland Park 61, Bergen Charter 37 - Box Score
Bogota 65, New Milford 62 - Box Score
Hasbrouck Heights 63, Wallington 30 - Box Score
Columbus (FL) 75, Camden 66 - Box Score
Paul VI 56, Hamilton West 41 - Box Score
Raritan 49, Central Regional 48 - Box Score
Shipley (PA) 56, Pennington 49 - Box Score
South Amboy 77, Central Jersey College Charter 30 - Box Score
Columbus (FL) 75, Camden 66 - Box Score
Photo Credit: Hanover Park HSPhoto Credit: Hanover Park HSPhoto Credit: Hanover Park HSPhoto Caption 1: Juliana Campesi introduces the New York Jets Walter Payton Man of the Year, Jonotthan Harrison Photo Credit: Hanover Park HS...
Photo Credit: Hanover Park HS
Photo Credit: Hanover Park HS
Photo Credit: Hanover Park HS
Photo Caption 1: Juliana Campesi introduces the New York Jets Walter Payton Man of the Year, Jonotthan Harrison Photo Credit: Hanover Park HS
By Whippany Park High School
HANOVER, NJ - As part of the celebration of the NFL’s 100th season, Huddle for 100 looks to inspire 1 million people to volunteer 100 minutes of their time to make meaningful contributions to their communities — with the goal being 100 million minutes volunteered by Super Bowl LIV.
Ten Whippany Park students stepped up to meet the challenge by committing to the United Way Varsity Letter program. On Tuesday, December 17, those ten students were recognized by the New York Jets. Senior Juliana Campesi who accrued the most volunteer hours with 218 hours since September 1, announced Jonotthan Harrison as the New York Jets Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, considered one of the NFL’s most prestigious honors, acknowledges a player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. During the event, the New York Jets honored the students for their volunteer efforts by randomly selecting junior Emma Zachary; surprising her with a trip for two to Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Florida.
The Varsity Letter and Huddle for 100 challenge took place earlier this year at Hanover Park High School where the New York Jets awarded a Hanover Park student with a trip for two to the Super Bowl.
Pictured in the third photo attached are Members of Hanover Park Regional High School District, New York Jets and United Way of Northern New Jersey. Pictured from left to right: Maria Carrell, Superintendent of Schools, Christopher Kelly, Whippany Park High School Principal, Juliana Campesi, Samantha Davidson, Michael Kiel, Emma Zachary, Daniela Riverso, United Way of Northern New Jersey, Jonotthan Harrison, New York Jets, Julia Kierney, Noah Kaplan, Erik L., Dominic Roselli, Cadence Sabatino, Brent Kaiser, Assistant Principal/Athletic Director, Whippany Park High School, Theresa Leamy, Sr. V.P. Resource Development , United Way of Northern New Jersey
For FLORIDA TODAYThere is something really charming about the idea of a musical about gold miners. Picture the roughest, toughest, grisliest folks around singing and dancing on stage. Quite a delightful image, no?Surfside Players' production of "Paint Your Wagon" with music by Frederick Loewe and book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner has no shortage of charm. Set in 1853 during the gold rush, the play begins when an old miner, Ben Rumson, stakes his claim in the California Wilderness after h...
For FLORIDA TODAY
There is something really charming about the idea of a musical about gold miners. Picture the roughest, toughest, grisliest folks around singing and dancing on stage. Quite a delightful image, no?
Surfside Players' production of "Paint Your Wagon" with music by Frederick Loewe and book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner has no shortage of charm. Set in 1853 during the gold rush, the play begins when an old miner, Ben Rumson, stakes his claim in the California Wilderness after his daughter, Jennifer, discovers a gold nugget while digging in a makeshift grave for a departed companion.
Scott Sutherland as Ben Rumpson is powerful and fun to watch, but it's Misty Posey as Jennifer Rumpson who really steals the show. You can see that she is fully committed to her character from the moment she walks on stage before she even speaks a line.
As word spreads of Rumpson's good fortune, hopeful prospectors from across the country make their way to the mining camp, which he dubs Rumpson's Creek, to seek their fortune.
Here is where the play starts to lose its charm for me, and it has nothing to do with Surfside's production and everything to do with the subject matter of the play itself.
As the men pour into camp they begin to bemoan the fact that there are 400 of them and only one female (Jennifer) and urge Rumpson to send her away because they "don't want anything to happen to her." They shun her, refuse to speak to her, and forbid her from going to the general store because, the show seems to imply, her mere presence makes the men feel they may be unable to control themselves and their desires.
Posey told FLORIDA TODAY earlier this month that she was drawn to the show because of Jennifer's situation — "She's just a little complicated to be in an uncomplicated situation with uncomplicated people," she said.
Later the second and third women roll into town, Sarah and Elizabeth Woodling, both married to a Mormon, Jacob Woodling. The men insist that since Jacob has two wives and the rest of them have none at all, that it's only right and fair that he should sell one of his wives.
Rumpson buys her for $800 in an auction following a very uncomfortable scene in which men come in to inspect her by groping her breasts and checking out her teeth.
It should be noted that Dorothy Wright turns in a lovely performance as Elizabeth Woodling, the unfortunate wife who is sold (and later resold to another man).
Wright's cheerful and complete character and strong singing voice are probably what saves this plot point from being the sort of thing that makes you want to cover your eyes with the playbill. She also pulls double duty and serves as music director for this production.
The costumes are perfect. The music is catchy ("Wand'rin Star" has been in my head for three days). The performances are energetic and interesting. If you see this show, you might really like how Surfside has upped their game with sets and lighting.
I do wish Surfside used this show as an opportunity to speak to our times. Alas, it's a famous musical, and it is meant to be fun.
Follow Liz on Twitter: @lizzlark
What: "Paint Your Wagon"
When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, April 17-May 3
Where: Surfside Playhouse, 301 Ramp Road, Cocoa Beach
Cost: Tickets are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and military and $17 for students.
'Paint Your Wagon' facts
The book: It was written by lyricist Alan Lerner and not based on any particular story from fiction or history.
The writers: Lerner wrote the words and partner Fritz Loewe, the music, in their fifth collaboration since 1942. Their previous effort was "Brigadoon," and it preceded "My Fair Lady" in 1956.
The show: It ran from November 1951 through July 1952. The dances were arranged by Trude Rittman and Agnes DeMille.
The movie: Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg, none known for singing prowess, starred in the movie, for which music was added by Andre Previn. Paddy Chayefsky's story was significantly differently than Lerner's book.
Silly trivia: Two of the character names in the show are shout-outs to towns in New Jersey; Rumson and Whippany
The Surfside Players cast: Scott Sutherland as Ben Rumson; Misty Posey, Jennifer Rumson; David Diaz, Julio Valveras and Pete Billings; Rod Hagen, Steve Bullnack; Joel Shugars, Jake Whippany; Dorothy Wright, Elizabeth Woodling; Karita Reifsnyder, Sarah Woodling; Chris Tsocanos, Jacob Woodling; Nick Budge, Sandy Twist; Bill Fry, Edgar Crocker; Doug Sontag, Mike Mooney; Travis O'Bier, Reuben Sloane and Joe; Rich Reifsnyder, Salem Trumbull; Tom Kramer, Sam; Michael Thompson, Raymond Janney; Fandango Girls: Liz Keimer, Cherry Jourdel Miranda Kane, Yvonne Sorel; Christina L'Heureux, Suzanne Duval; Sandy Ganio; Virginia Kurtz; Alison Shugars; Jamie Storvik
— Lyn Dowling, for FLORIDA TODAY
Duck Donuts, known for its Warm, Delicious and Made-to-Order! ® donuts, keeps its 2022 growth momentum strong with the signing of 13 franchise agreements for 19 shops during the second quarter.The newest Duck Donuts Franchise Partners have signed on in Whippany, New Jersey; North Tampa, Florida; Lynn, Massachusetts; Knightdale, North Carolina; Geneva, Illinois; Newtown, Pennsylvania; Wyomissing, Pennsylvania; Mission, Texas; and multi-unit agreements in Raleigh, North Carolina (two); Johnson Ci...
Duck Donuts, known for its Warm, Delicious and Made-to-Order! ® donuts, keeps its 2022 growth momentum strong with the signing of 13 franchise agreements for 19 shops during the second quarter.
The newest Duck Donuts Franchise Partners have signed on in Whippany, New Jersey; North Tampa, Florida; Lynn, Massachusetts; Knightdale, North Carolina; Geneva, Illinois; Newtown, Pennsylvania; Wyomissing, Pennsylvania; Mission, Texas; and multi-unit agreements in Raleigh, North Carolina (two); Johnson City and Bristol, Tennessee (two); Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona (three); Wellington and North Palm Beach, Florida (two); Jacksonville, Florida (two).
“We’re very excited to welcome our newest franchise partners to the Duck Donuts family and look forward to strengthening our footprint across the United States,” said Eric Lavinder, Duck Donuts chief development officer. “We are confident that through their enthusiasm, passion for the brand and experience, this group of franchise partners has the ability
to launch and manage a very successful business, as they work to introduce the warm, delicious and made-to-order Duck Donuts experience in their markets.”
Building on the momentum of the new franchise agreements signed this past quarter, Duck Donuts also opened four shops and eight are slated to open through September. Since April, Duck Donuts opened in Libertyville, its first Illinois location; Twin Falls, Idaho; Carolina, Puerto Rico; and Burlington, Ontario.
The company currently operates two international and 111 U.S. franchise locations across 22 states and Puerto Rico. For more information on franchising, visit https://www.duckdonuts.com/about-us/franchising-info/.
ABOUT DUCK DONUTS
Duck Donuts opened its first locations in 2007 in the beach resort towns of Duck and Kitty Hawk, North Carolina with the intention to create an oasis for vacationers to enjoy warm, delicious, made-to-order donuts. Headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, the company began franchising in 2013, and prides itself on sprinkling happiness to its guests through its unique in-store experience, exceptional guest service and a duckzillion donut combinations. As one of the fastest-growing donut franchise companies, Duck Donuts has more than 100 locally owned and operated shops across 22 states, Puerto Rico and two international locations in Burlington, Ontario and Riyadh, KSA. For more information, visit www.duckdonuts.com.
CorrespondentStep inside Don Jose Mexican Restaurant in East Hanover, and the strip center storefront at 200 Route 10 West quickly gives way to an inviting interior.Picturesque wall murals abound. Tabletops and chair-backs flaunt colorful drawings of the flora and fauna of Mexico. Large-brimmed sombreros hang wherever they can fit.During evening hours Friday through Sunday, diners are serenaded to the likes of "Cielito Lindo," "Guantanamera" and "La Cucaracha" by a singing gui...
Step inside Don Jose Mexican Restaurant in East Hanover, and the strip center storefront at 200 Route 10 West quickly gives way to an inviting interior.
Picturesque wall murals abound. Tabletops and chair-backs flaunt colorful drawings of the flora and fauna of Mexico. Large-brimmed sombreros hang wherever they can fit.
During evening hours Friday through Sunday, diners are serenaded to the likes of "Cielito Lindo," "Guantanamera" and "La Cucaracha" by a singing guitarist.
Atmosphere aside, a loyal contingent of patrons swears by the quality of Don Jose's food, which, they maintain, has been the eatery's hallmark since opening in 1998.
Pinning the mere label of "regular customers" on Marybeth and Paul Lombardino – with whom we met up on a recent lunchtime visit – would almost be an understatement.
The Lombardinos, of Whippany, owners of Politi Auto Parts in East Hanover, recall dining at Don Jose the first week it opened.
"We're fans of Mexican food," Paul said. "We watched the restaurant's sign go up."
Since that time, the couple has made it a ritual to come for lunch at least once a week, and then return at night for weekly dinners, now bringing their three children, aged 6-13.
"Our older daughter is learning Spanish. She practices with everyone who comes to the table," said Paul, who ordered the Shrimp Enchiladas combination lunch ($10.95), one of Don Jose's biggest sellers.
The dish features shrimp sautéed in garlic butter, cut in sections and stuffed into a pair of enchiladas. The enchiladas are topped with melted cheese and an array of veggies, highlighted by mushrooms, sweet peppers, tomatoes and onions, alongside rice and refried beans.
Marybeth was in more of a taco mood, so she selected the Soft Shell Tacos plate ($8.95).
Included were two tacos — a choice of either seasoned ground beef or shredded chicken varieties, so she picked one of each — topped with shredded cheese, with rice and beans.
"It's good, wholesome food," she said. "Fresh, not processed."
The moderate prices add to the appeal, with lunch menu entrees ranging from $7.95 to $13.95, and dinners from $10.95 to $17.95.
Manager and co-owner Sam Arceo, part of the original ownership family that hails from Jalisco, Mexico, says the restaurant's success is dependent upon an insistence that only first-rate ingredients be used.
When it comes to guacamole, a starting point for more than half of Don Jose's customers, that means being very particular about the avocados.
"It has to be a good avocado – Hass from Mexico," Arceo says.
Then there's the expert preparation, "The way you mash it and mix it with tomatoes and onions and cilantro," he explains. "We don't need a lot of salt because it already has the flavor."
The result is a pleasant tasting, smoothly textured guacamole that beckons for dipping.
Don Jose avoids the pomp and circumstance of having cooking staff mash avocados at tableside, resulting in a price break for customers ($5.95 per bowl).
Counter-balancing the coolness of the guacamole is the jalapeño-induced kick of the homemade salsa, brought with a basket of chips to each table at no charge. (Up to three complimentary refills of salsa are offered).
"It's addictive," says Arceo's nephew, José Oliveros, who assists with cooking, hosting and table-waiting duties. "I like the little spicy kick."
Fresh ingredients are key, and the seasonal nature of the jalapeños calibrates the salsa's level of hotness.
"Some seasons are hotter than others," Oliveros said. "Right now is the spicy season, from middle of winter to late spring."
Working our way towards the back of the restaurant, we ran into the Vita family, from Union, including Lilian and husband Manuel, along with their daughter, Charmaine.
A three year-plus regular, Lilian considers Don Jose's cuisine unique.
"The flavor is different. It's not like the other Mexican restaurants," she said, choosing the Salmon Garlic Arceo ($11.75) for this particular lunch.
Honoring Don Jose's owners, the namesake dish offers salmon broiled with white wine, peeled garlic and lime, with rice and black beans.
"I work at College of Saint Elizabeth (in Morristown). That's why I always come here," she said.
The other members of her family were trying the restaurant for the first time.
Manuel opted for Steak Pueblo ($12.50), a New York strip steak sautéed with garlic, and topped with beans, cheese and green tomatillo sauce. Rice and black beans add the finishing touch.
"It's nice and tender," said the retired chemical operator. "A big portion, and the sauce is good."
Charmaine, a financial advisor who describes herself as a "big food fanatic," couldn't resist tapping into the combination plate portion of the lunch menu for a "Number 4" ($10.95) — a chicken burrito topped with green sauce, cheese enchilada with red sauce and beef taco, paired with the requisite rice and beans.
"Absolutely delicious," Charmaine critiqued. "It's the best of both worlds. You're getting different meats and different sauces that enhance the flavor. It just melts in your mouth."
She shared a bowl of fried ice cream ($3.50) for dessert with her father.
Nachos, salads, ceviche (cold marinated seafood) and vegetarian dishes – such as burritos or fajitas with sautéed mixed vegetables – are also on the menu.
Beyond the flavorful food, family is at the core of Don Jose's saga, which embodies the quintessential American dream.
Two more locations have opened, one in Sebring, Fla. in 2000, the other in Netcong (at 124 Rte. 46 East) in 2011, giving the restaurant its second Morris County operation.
Thanks to the Arceo family's size, and passion for keeping their business vibrant by maintaining hands-on involvement, there's no outsourcing of management required.
One of 10 Arceo children — seven boys and three girls — Sam, 43, of West Orange, remembers having to wait his turn, as the fifth child and "middle brother," before becoming manager.
"My older brothers were here before me," he said.
Oldest brother Rosendo now runs Don Jose in Florida with brothers Luis and Mario, while brother Antonio manages in Netcong with brothers José in the kitchen and Moises at the bar.
"We're very fortunate to have each other, and grow up as a business," said Maria Arceo, 35, youngest of the Arceo children, who waits tables, serves as hostess and handles catering at the East Hanover restaurant.
Meanwhile, José Oliveros, 19, representing the next generation, is eager to hone his skills and take on more responsibilities.
"I would come here wanting to help the family since I was 12 years old," says Oliveros, now studying for his culinary arts certification at the International Culinary Center in Manhattan on days he isn't working at Don Jose.
His mother, Elisa, oldest of the Arceo siblings, and father, also named Sam, will be holding down the dinner shift.
Oliveros says he is inspired by "seeing my family work together, and put food out that people love."
For 17-year customer Paul Lombardino, keeping up with the Arceos and their children is another reason to keep coming back.
"They make you feel like you're family, because they're all family," he said.
Got an eatery to recommend? Email [email protected]
Don Jose Mexican Restaurant
Location: 200 Route 10 West, East Hanover
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m, Monday to Friday; noon to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Sister locations: 124 U.S. Rte. 46 East, Netcong, 973-527-7330; and Sebring, FL
Alcoholic beverages: BYOB (no alcohol served) at East Hanover location; bar service available in Netcong