Pleasant Mughlai restaurant with good buffets 7-days per week. Delivers to Mill Hill and much of Hiltonia (4 mile radius), with $25 minimum.
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Pleasant Mughlai restaurant with good buffets 7-days per week. Delivers to Mill Hill and much of Hiltonia (4 mile radius), with $25 minimum.
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.
128 West State Street Café is an elegant, little, post-modern eatery that serves freshly-made espresso drinks, and a limited menu of impeccably prepared breakfast and lunch foods. It’s open for breakfast and lunch, from 7 AM to 4 PM, targeting the downtown and statehouse crowd.
In the 1980’s, sculptor J. Seward Johnson created a plan for a contemporary sculpture museum in Hamilton, NJ. He purchased the land that had housed the NJ State Fairgrounds, and by the 1990’s “The Grounds for Sculpture” was a thriving public indoor/outdoor art museum. In 2000, Johnson opened “Rats Restaurant,” his Monet-inspired, indoor/outdoor fine dining … Continue reading Artful Dining
Several weeks ago, I stepped into Championship Sports Bar and Grill (“No Sports, No Grill“) for a drink. I noticed behind the cash register were two large containers of an intoxicating-looking green liquor. “Is it absinth?” I queried Griffin, my bartender. “No,” he replied, “It is pickle juice. Trenton artisanal pickle juice.” Of course, this was an … Continue reading In a Pickle… or a Jam
Sometimes, you need to escape to something over-priced, pretentious, and utterly scrumptious. And on those days, you’d better get in the car and go to Brick Farm Market.
Brick Farm Market is located in the Malek Chevrolet Building (a 1930’s brick auto-repair shop) in the center of Hopewell. It is about a 30 minute drive from Trenton. A beautifully renovated establishment, they are part farm market (from their sister farm, Double Brook Farm), part bakery, part coffee shop, part butcher, part cheese shop, and part deli. It’s a little bit like walking into the cafe shop of a Whole Foods, only the food is superior, the ambiance is nicer, and the prices are (believe it or not) slightly higher. Is it worth it? Occasionally.
There is ice cream worth making a drive for. There is ice cream worth eating in the winter. And then there is ice cream worth shoving your firstborn child out of the way so that you can get the final spoonful. Princeton’s The Bent Spoon is all of the above.
There’s a few terms you must understand in order to properly appreciate NJ Weedman’s Joint, the utterly bizarre (but truly delicious) new restaurant that has opened directly across the street from Trenton’s City Hall. Consider these to be essential vocabulary for the straight-edged: NJWeedman: The name (and Twitter handle) of “celebrity stoner” and marijuana rights activist … Continue reading Weed and Feed
Trenton (and its surrounding environs) has a lot of terrific places to get food, from the in-town grocery stores (Food Bazaar and Supreme) to the official Trenton Farmers Market (technically not in Trenton) and the many many many specialty vendors. But it remains a town with so-called “food deserts” (places that lack access to fresh … Continue reading Greening the Parking Lot
I was taking an Uber ride home from the Trenton Train Station with a very sweet driver who said he was originally from Pakistan. I asked if he had tried Shan’s Restaurant in Trenton, and he said it was a favorite. But had I tried Afghan Kabob and Grill, he asked? And with that, I knew I had a tasty trip ahead.
It is hard to find a good source for Asian ingredients around the city of Trenton. For years, I’d been driving up to the Asian Food Market in Plainsboro, which is a traffic-filled ride along Route 1. It’s a market with an impressive selection, but poor service and a not-so-clean environment. So when I stumbled upon H Mart in Levittown, PA, I was delighted. It’s closer, cleaner, and features a surprisingly decent Korean food court style restaurant inside of it. A true find.
Situated on the far edge of Nassau Street in downtown Princeton, you’ll find a new store–Arlee’s Raw Blends. It’s a vegan cold-pressed organic raw juice company that also offers other health-conscious snacks (dehydrated raw mango and pineapple, raw kale salads, etc). It’s a pricy treat, but the quality is superb and the business was founded … Continue reading Organic Juices That Deliver
Crown Fried Chicken is the dive that you expect it to be–or maybe even more so. There are two greasy tables in the corner, but most of the traffic here is take-out. The interior is dominated by a massive menu that wraps around the entire counter–and doesn’t mention falafel at all. (Eventually we did see a small sign in a far corner of the room that mentioned the falafel, but only after we’d eaten.) If you know to ask for it, they’ll happily dish up some falafel for you–and it’s pretty darn good.
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.
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.
For years, Princeton’s high-end restaurants were stuffy affairs with old-fashioned menus; they were hardly worth the trip and certainly not worth the price. That all changed with the opening of Agricola, Princeton’s venture into the farm-to-table movement. A partnership with Great Road Farm (a 112 acre farm in Skillman, NJ), Agricola offers an ever-changing, inventive gourmet menu using fresh, seasonal ingredients. With formal service in a relaxed atmosphere, this is the perfect place for a dinner before the theater in Princeton, or a nice date. Or, if you’d like something more casual, their bar area is a spectacular addition to the Princeton options.
If you’re looking for a friendly diner to have a leisurely breakfast in downtown Trenton, look no further than Sunrise Luncheonette. This modest cafe has humble decor and decent food, but its chief selling point is the relaxed atmosphere. Step inside, and you’ll instantly feel like you’re a regular returning to a favorite joint, welcomed by the owner and greeted by your (new) friends.
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.
In the heart of Lawrenceville (about 15 minutes from downtown Trenton), you’ll find WildFlour, an utterly charming bakery/cafe. Set in a beautiful old house, the bakery features a small service area for ordering pastries, cookies, breads, cakes, scones, etc, as well as a simply gorgeous cafe dining area, tastefully decorated and with beautiful natural light. They have everything that you could possibly want from a bakery (from gorgeous cakes to brazilian cheese puffs), and the cafe boasts a menu of crepes, salads, and sandwiches that’ll make you feel like you’re in Paris. What’s the catch? Everything, absolutely everything, is 100% gluten-free (and vegetarian).
But here’s the trick… depending on what you order, you might not notice that it’s gluten-free. I would put their danishes, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and knishes (oh, the knishes!) against any other bakery’s–they are simply among the best I’ve ever had. The danishes are flaky and decadent, I particularly recommend the nutella danish which is so lush it ought to be illegal. The cookies have just the right blend of browned crumble and buttery softness. The cinnamon rolls are unforgettable, delightfully dense, not too sweet, and with a nutty caramelization on top. And the knishes… you will swoon over these knishes! Light and airy, they are the perfect bite with an exquisite flavor that’ll transport you to a bygone era. They come in two flavors (potato and spinach with caramelized onion) and are only served on weekends or by special order.
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.
On the first Wednesday of every month, Trenton Social transforms itself into a surprisingly good sushi bar. How do they do it? A visit from chef Charlie Yeh, of Pennington’s Sumo Sushi, who brings a mobile sushi bar and a creative menu of special rolls. As sushi goes, Charlie’s rolls are pretty grand. The rice is … Continue reading Social Sushi
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.
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.
The menu is a mix of old-line “red-sauce” Italian dishes, with a fair number of more ambitious items (and specials) mixed in. The quality is good. Prices are higher than the typical Trenton-area Italian eatery, though not exorbitant (e.g. $19 for chicken; $27 for a veal chop).
La Villa is a nondescript pizza restaurant in Morrisville, just over the bridge from Trenton. In addition to conventional pizza and a host of Italian cooking, La Villa features a “Chambersburg Style Tomato Pie”. And darned if it isn’t.
A decent Pan-Asian restaurant across from the Dairy Queen in Morrisville? Believe it or not… And the food’s the thing. With an extensive menu serving up Chinese, Japanese, and Thai dishes, no one should go hungry or want for choice. There’s plenty of seafood and vegetarian dishes (which you’d expect), one of the best sushi bars in the area, and even several dishes that will satisfy the unrepentant carnivores in your party.
Shan has an extensive menu, including conventional Tandoori preparations, curries, and breads. Personally, I don’t think Shan’s Tandoori preparations are quite as good as their curries…Shan doesn’t seem to have an authentic Tandoori oven (a deep, cylindrical clay oven that provides an intense, uniform heat). However, the curries, appetizers, and other home-prepared foods are quite good.
Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of great breakfast in Trenton. Sure there are some diners and other assorted options, but finding a place that goes beyond the breakfast basics (eggs, pancakes, omelettes, bacon) is rare. That’s what makes Cafe 72 unique. Despite it’s casual luncheonette atmosphere and bargain prices, it is aiming to higher culinary heights (if not always achieving them). What are we talking about? Think Belgian waffles filled with sun-dried figs and topped with blueberry chutney and cannoli cream, “cajun” shrimp and grits with onions and an egg, or portobello mushroom towers with sliced tomato, poached eggs, provolone, and basil hollandaise (pictured here). The menu is supplemented by a variety of specials; on a recent visit we sampled the fresh ricotta donuts with blueberry chutney (and boy were they fresh).