Fat Jacks delivers excellent BBQ, particularly if you like it charred, as we do. The food uses premium ingredients and is cooked to order, so call ahead.
[Full Review] Ratings:
Fat Jacks delivers excellent BBQ, particularly if you like it charred, as we do. The food uses premium ingredients and is cooked to order, so call ahead.
La Cabaña is a Costa Rican restaurant offering food that, at its best, is utterly sublime, rivaling in both quality and presentation much, much more expensive restaurants. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and one of the best places in town for Sunday brunch.
Over the past several years, Myilai Masala has remained not only my favorite vegetarian restaurant in the area, but also one my favorite Indian restaurants. That’s saying a lot because 1) there’s a lot of decent competition and 2) I’m not vegetarian. The food is that good: this is one of the few restaurant that consistently surprises my palate. I just love the place especially the lunch buffets, Dosa night on Wednesdays. Now in a more attractive, new location. Closed Tuesdays.
Right around the corner from the ballpark: great pizza by the slice or by the pie. Superb Latin fusion cooking. A great place for a quick meal before a Thunder game.
One of our favorite Indian restaurants shut its doors a couple of months ago. But fear not, it’s reappeared at 5 Points. Is it still as good? The original chef has returned to his paying job, but his cousin cooks most of the same menu adequately (if not quite as expertly). Still one of the better Indian restaurants in Mercer County, and quite reasonably priced.
Located on Main St (206) in Lawrenceville, mid-way between Princeton and Trenton, Fedora delivers reliably good breakfasts, lunches, and dinners (its “hat trick”) at prices that will seem like a bargain once you experience its quality.
El Negro de Oro (“Black Gold”) is the only Trenton restaurant we know that specializes in Ecuadorian cuisine, including such traditional dishes as: Hornado (roast pork) — at El Negro it’s served with hominy corn, Maiz Tostado (toasted corn nuts), potato cake, and salad (see header image). Seco de Chiuo — a rich, slow-braised goat … Continue reading Ecuadorian Dream
If you’re looking for a casual meal of the highest quality, and are willing to pay a fair price for it, Comfortfood is the place to go. The menu is eclectic and surprising with food for all including vegans and carnivores.
There must be a dozen decent Guatemalan restaurants in town, yet somehow RL manages to be among the best. Maybe it’s the friendly, family atmosphere. Or maybe its the food: presentation is just OK, but the portions are huge, prices are low, and the flavor is outstanding.
Aurelio’s serves the best Latino cuisine in Princeton. There are something like half a dozen restaurants in Trenton that are as good or better, and at least 2 in Hamilton. Still, operating an inexpensive restaurant with good food in Princeton is no small feat, and if you like Aurelio’s, you owe it to yourself to start exploring Trenton restaurants as well.
Michael’s is a decent diner that supports a very good salad bar. If you enjoy salad bars, you can get a great salad and a good, filling, fresh-cooked meal for not a lot of money. It’s open 7 days, early and late. NJ diners, collectively, should be a national institution. Where else can you get … Continue reading East meets Mid-West
Jim Hamilton, a Broadway set designer turned restaurateur, started Hamilton’s Grill (“HG”) more than 25 years ago. As you’d expect from a set designer, place and settings are impeccable. The restaurant is tucked away on a quiet alley. HG’s menu has been farm to table long before that term entered popular consciousness. The menu changes seasonally, and there are always a few specials. The food is simple, but exceptionally high quality and perfectly presented, featuring grilled seafood and meats. Unusually for a restaurant of this quality, it’s BYOB.
Saluté is a pleasant, relatively small (60 seat) Italian restaurant in a nondescript strip mall in Morrisville. The aesthetic and menu are very much like a Chambersburg eatery from the 60s, though newly renovated. Faux stone panels and crystal light fixtures evoke a “rat pack” bachelor pad, as does the 1960’s-era cool jazz emanating from … Continue reading Ratpack Returns
A charming dive just south of the border with Trenton, Mexico Lindo is another worthy addition to the growing list of Mexican restaurants in town, serving up authentic, home-made specialties at prices that out-of-towners find astonishing.
DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pie (“DTP”) in Robbinsville is operated by the third generation of the same family as DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pie on Hudson Street, which closed in 2012 (when the second generation retired). Make no mistake, the pies in Robbinsville are really good. At the core of DeLorenzo’s excellence is its crust, as good as any we’ve sampled. It’s relatively thin, yet the undercarriage is crisp and stays crisp throughout the entire meal.
It is good to have somewhere to take a date. You probably want something not too stuffy and formal, but not too relaxed either. The food should be very good, even a little fancy, yet offer a variety of options for any palate. And probably, since you are aiming to impress, you might consider some … Continue reading Date Night Delicacies
Cafe Antonio is really two restaurants. Step left when you walk inside, and you’ll be taken to a charming (if a little chintzy) old-style red-sauce Italian restaurant with formal service. Step right, and you’ll enter a plain and unembellished pizza parlor, where you order at the counter. Depending on which side you choose, you’ll either be … Continue reading A Restaurant Divided
Updated April 2017 Chencha y Chole (“C y C”) opened in June of 2015 in a distinctive, triangular shaped storefront at the intersection of Cass and S. Broad. Over the past year we’ve eaten there many times. It’s consistently good: and it’s become one of our favorite Latino restaurants in town. (Thanks to our friends … Continue reading Mountain out of a Mole de Pollo
Living in Trenton and there’s very few Greek restaurant around. Except Mikonos, which was recommended to me by a friend. I’ve now eaten most of the offerings on the menu, and while I have a few reservations, I’m happy to recommend it. It offers tasty, authentic cuisine Greek cooking that ranges from OK to sublime, depending on what you order.
Indian Hut is a slightly odd, new restaurant in a small retail strip just south of the Quakerbridge Mall in Lawrence. It offers a cake bakery (not Indian desserts, but western style cakes with butter-cream frosting) combined with a casual Indian Cafe serving an extensive Indian menu that includes chaat. The food is well prepared, and prices are reasonable.
To many, tomato pie is Trenton’s signature dish (sorry, Pork Roll fans). A thin, crisp crust, light cheese and crushed tomato. Deceptively difficult to make well. Transcendent when successful. Since some of the famous tomato pie establishments left town, we’ve been looking for a worthy successor in town. We’re excited to be able to report we’ve found one: Jerry’s on the 700 block of S. Broad. The owner, Luis, apprenticed at Papa’s and Two Brothers before taking over Jerry’s. Make sure you order your tomato pie directly from him.
The greater Trenton restaurant scene has been enriched by Asian immigrants, and Shanghai Bun is a great example: its head chef, Chung Hwang, was born in Taiwan to a Shanghainese father and ran a restaurant with him outside of DC for 15 years before moving to this area. Significantly, walk into Shanghai Bun at any … Continue reading Squeeze Bun
Trenton is the home of tomato pie. So why would Hidden Trenton bother covering an out-of-town pizza place that doesn’t serve tomato pie? Because Osteria Procaccini offers something you can’t get anywhere in town–artisanal Neapolitan-Style pizzas using locally sourced organic ingredients, gourmet salads, and service that can’t be beat. It isn’t a Trenton tomato pie, but it’s absolutely worth a a visit.
Your host, waitress, manager, cook, bus-boy, and dishwasher at Casa Lupita is Alicia, a charming Mexican woman who speaks fluent English. The menu is a little inconsistent, but the best of her food is superb, home cooked Mexican. Casa Lupita also serves some of the best, home-made salsas in town.
I’ve driven past Castillo’s for years. It looks like a classic neighborhood pizza joint, a survivor of the Italian Chambersburg. And at one level it is: the take-out menu is a six-panel tri-fold. Open it, and you think you’re reading every pizza parlor menu on the planet: pizza, stromboli, wings, salads, burgers, pasta. Open the … Continue reading Out of Focus
El Potrillo (Spanish for a foal, or newborn horse) is a pleasant Mexican restaurant in the heart of Chambersburg. The food at El Potrillo is authentic, home-made Mexican. It’s not gourmet or even particularly subtle, but most of it is pretty tasty, and the portions are huge. Prices are competitive with other Trenton Latino joints, and cheap compared to anywhere else in the greater Mercer County area.
Good Thai food is worth a drive. And you’ll be happy to drive to Ploy Siam, a breath-taking Thai restaurant in Robbinsville, NJ (quite close to the new Papa’s Tomato Pies location), about 15 minutes from downtown Trenton. Inside this unprepossessing strip mall restaurant you’ll find an oasis of relaxation and elegance. The restaurant’s decor is simply stunning; nicely trimmed walls with elegant art surround a central skylight which shines down on a small fountain leading to an orchid-lined stream. If you sit in the center of the restaurant (and I’d encourage you to do so), it’s like stepping into an elegant botanical garden with a Thai theme. Only instead of admiring the horticultural delights, you’ll be savoring the authentic flavors of Thailand.
If Roots has a guiding philosophy in their cuisine, it seems to be delicious, elegant, comfort. They serve food you want to eat, cooked to perfection and served exquisitely. Their ramen warms the soul, the vegetarian version served with a spectacularly poached egg, soft and pliable white with an oozing yolk, filling the bowl with tongue-coating richness. The dim sum and greens are astonishing little bowls of flavor and delight–with care and precision even in the plating of the smallest items. We’ve sampled many of the noodles (including the street noodles, the drunken noodle, and the pad thai) and they are superb. The sushi is served with perfectly seasoned rice and elegant care. The soups are rich and belly-warming, with waves of flavor that wash over your tongue. Even the house-made kimchi is astonishing. The only disappointments so far have been in the dim sum section of the menu–we loved the Shanghai buns, but the bean curd and vegetable dumplings were only middling, as were the soup dumplings (good, but we expect more layers in the flavor of a soup dumpling).
For most of the second half of the twentieth century, and for a few years post-millennium, there were two DeLorenzo’s in Trenton. One established a national reputation… that was the one on Hudson Street, which closed in 2012. The other DeLorenzo’s was on Hamilton Avenue, founded by two brothers of the Hudson Street founder. This DeLorenzo’s is THAT DeLorenzo’s. While not quite the transcendent confection that used to be found on Hudson Street, it’s still a more than adequate tomato pie, with a crispy crust with a little bit of char, and high quality ingredients.
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. I particularly like their jerk chicken, and the Mac & Cheese is, well, heavenly.
Little more than a stone’s throw from the Princeton Junction train station, asianbistro was one of the original Asian fusion restaurants in this area, and still one of the best. My sushi-eating friends claim that the bistro serves up some of the best sushi in Mercer County, and the Korean and Japanese cooking, in particular, are quite good.
Trentini’s Restaurant has been quietly serving decent Italian fare at its storefront in the Roebling Market ever since its founding in 2002. Trentini’s looks like a standard pizza joint (and the pizza’s OK). But walk past the pizza parlor into the back room, and you find yourself in a quiet, immaculately clean, and intimate dining room with waitress service. With most of the old-line Chambersburg restaurants gone, it’s one of the few options for good Italian within the city limits. And it’s a real bargain.
Dedicated Hidden Trenton readers have known for years about our enthusiasm for Papa’s Tomato Pies, a Chambersburg icon that recently joined the Italian flight to the suburbs (you can now find them in Robbinsville, NJ). But…much like the branches of the famed DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pie family, Dom (great-grandson of the original Papas founder) has finally founded his own independent branch of Papa’s Tomato Pies. And he’s picked a most unusual location–inside the cafe and food court of a Risoldi’s supermarket.
Fusion House is the newest restaurant in a growing trend we’ve seen of places that cater to a wide range of asian cuisines. Fusion House specializes in Chinese, Thai, and Japanese (Sushi), and while the value may not be spectacular, the food is quite good, and it’s incredibly close to Trenton. Given the wide range of options available and the paucity of sushi in our town, we think it’s worth including in Hidden Trenton.
Tapas. We love ’em. It’s just a fun way to eat… sharing plates and sampling lots of different, usually highly flavored foods. But they’re hard to find in this area. Crispaninos delivers tapas at a quality which ranges from good to superb. Given that this is an inexpensive little restaurant in a Ewing strip mall (in a converted dance studio), it’s shockingly good. The best of it rivals tapas you’ll find in high-end joints. And the decor is actually lovely. Highly recommended for carnivores (not so good for vegetarians).
La Parrilla (grill, in Spanish), is one of the City’s newest Guatemalan restaurants, the city’s most vibrant (and increasingly most competitive) segment. Located in what used to be a tomato pie restaurant, La Parrilla emphasizes grilled meats and seafood.
It’s only a thirty minute drive from Trenton to this tiny vegetarian restaurant in Bucks County, PA. The decor is unimpressive, but the place is packed (on a recent Saturday we were unable to get a reservation until 8:45pm). Why? This joint has some of the best vegetarian food in the greater Philadelphia and Trenton areas. This is hearty, rib-sticking vegetarian cuisine, and it’s absolutely worth the trip.
The pupusas are outstanding. They come in 3 varieties: Cheese, cheese and black beans, or cheese and pork. The first two are vegetarian, the last obviously not. In particular, the black bean filling is superb, and the pupusas arrive with nary a glimmer of excess oil on their perfectly grilled exteriors.
Set in an unassuming shopping complex just a few blocks away from historic downtown New Hope, this casual restaurant is a vegetarian’s heaven, and an omnivore’s delight. With a 100% vegan menu (that means nothing that had a mother, and no dairy or eggs either!), Sprig &Vine offers a wide-ranging menu of gourmet delights, and for prices far superior to what you would find for comparable food in NYC or Philly.
Don’t let the name fool you, La Chapinita offers a full Guatemalan menu. Order off the menu to get wonderful, fresh-cooked food at incredibly reasonable prices. Located where Papas Tomato Pies used to call home.