Sa-Su 9AM - 9PM; M-Tu 9 AM - 6 PM; W-Th 9 AM - 9 PM; F 9 AM - 8 PM
(609) 392-0675 Website Google Maps
Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
Located on a nice section of E. Front between the Mill Hill Playhouse and City Hall, Thomasena’s offers neo-soul food and sandwiches for lunch every day of the week, and for dinner W-Su. If you can wait until 9 AM, you can also pick up a hot breakfast. Some food is served “cafeteria style” from a steam table, and some is prepared to order in the kitchen.
There is always a selection of hot entrees, concentrating on soul/West-Indian cuisine: Jerk Chicken, Curried Goat or Chicken, Oxtails, etc., plus usually two or more specials.
You can order this as a “lightweight”: a moderate portion of the main course, plus two moderate sized “sides” (e.g. Mac & Cheese, yams, cabbage, greens, rice, beans, etc.), for $6-$8 including a drink (bottle of water or a fountain soda). This is plenty of food for anyone except a teenage boy, or famished adult. The same food is available in an “Entree” portion for $10-$13, without the drink. Unless you’re utterly famished, the lightweight is the way to go. You can also order 3 “sides” as a lightweight, which is useful especially for vegetarians. Make sure you tell the cashier you’re ordering these as the “lightweight” special (or you may get served and charged for the 3 sides a la carte, which is several dollars more). You can also order burgers, cheese steaks, and sandwiches, plus several varieties of fish, which are made to order.
I particularly like their jerk chicken, and the Mac & Cheese is, well, heavenly. The food isn’t fine dining, but everything I’ve eaten here in 3 or 4 visits has been competently prepared.
Vegetarians do need to be careful. Some of the likely dishes in fact are made with meat: the greens have ham in them, and the cabbage (which appears innocent) is made with chicken stock. However, the mac & cheese is fabulous, and meatless (if you eat dairy), as are the yams, rice, beans, french fries, and sweet potato fries. The kitchen has a home made honey-mustard sauce for vegans, which they can put on broccoli (steamed to order), mixed vegetables, or a special sandwich not on the menu called the “Vegan Special”. This consists of mixed veggies, grilled onions, grilled red & green peppers, with the honey mustard sauce. You just have to ask for it. Overall, despite the hidden meat, we rate the restaurant both vegan and veggie friendly.
If you have any questions, ask to talk to Venice, the owner. My last trip to Thomasena’s the cashier steered me to cabbage as a “vegetarian” entree, not realizing it contained chicken stock. Since I’m an omnivoire, it was no big deal, but if I were a gold-star vegetarian, it would have been upsetting. Venice is the authority.