Surprisingly ambitious food in Ewing, delivered at a fair price. Great desserts. Bargain for lunch. Reservations recommended
[Full Review] Ratings:
Surprisingly ambitious food in Ewing, delivered at a fair price. Great desserts. Bargain for lunch. Reservations recommended
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.
Cafe Un, Deux, Trois is one of our “go to” places in New York City for a meal before a Broadway show. Cargot — an updated, Princeton-take on a similar dining concept — may assume a similar role for when we take in a show at McCarter (which is literally across the street). Cargot opened … Continue reading French-ish
Ever heard of an Arepa? Or a Cachapa? Neither had I. But Trenton’s only Venezuelan restaurant serves up these national specialties, along with a superb Latino-fusion menu.
Tikal offers an American fusion menu: center of gravity is Guatemalan, but look for other Latino cuisines as well as Italian American standards. Full bar. Gorgeous new renovation. Friendly service.
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.
Incredible NOLA style bakery and bistro in the emerging Wire Rope District just south of downtown. Well worth checking out!
The Dinky is a tiny, sophisticated, but still casual spot for cocktails and a light meal. The menu is limited, but expertly prepared. Cocktails are superb. A bit pricey, but not crazily so.
Pleasant Mughlai restaurant with good buffets 7-days per week. Delivers to Mill Hill and much of Hiltonia (4 mile radius), with $25 minimum.
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.
South Rio Restaurant is built in a restored Art Deco night club (the former Maxine’s). It’s a spectacular space, worth experiencing at least once. Even better, the current management is offering good food at reasonable prices: so you may find yourself returning often.
Paradise specializes in Hyderbadi cuisine, though the menu encompasses dishes from across the sub-continent including Mughlai and southern specialties. All meat served is Halal. If you’re in the right mood, it’s biryanis are subtle and expertly prepared.
Non Solo describes itself as serving “southern italian cuisine”: the menu provides most of the red-sauce “Italian” classics boomers will remember from their childhood: plus about a dozen veal or chicken dishes ranging from the omnipresent Francese to more exotic preparations like Saltimbocca or Romano. There’s also a fair selection of sea food, salads, and a nice selection of specials (15 on the day we visited).
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.
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.
Yes, it is (kind of) the Latino KFC. A “fast-food” chain that started in Guatemala, Pollo Campero operates one in Trenton. While originally focused on fried chicken, Campero now offers “Citrus Peruvian Grilled” Chicken as an alternative. And what an alternative! It comes PERFECTLY cooked: succulent and flavorful: without a doubt some of the best chicken we’ve ever had anywhere. Normally we don’t like to review chain stores; but when they can deliver something this good, we make an exception.
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
Diner food, diner prices, better quality. Just across the bridge in Morrisville: open 7 days for breakfast and lunch (7-3).
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
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
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.
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
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.
City Deli is a somewhat misleading name for a small restaurant near the statehouse that is serving up an ambitious, home-cooked, vegetarian-friendly menu. If you’re a carnivore, don’t let the veggie-friendly tag get in the way: you’ll find plenty to eat, too. Indeed the menu is astonishingly broad, ranging from the best salad bar in … Continue reading Deli-cate Offerings
When a friend told us that we had to go to Ewing and order the “Falafel Pie” at Little Moe’s Pizza and Grill, we were skeptical. Perhaps we were imagining it wrong–thinking this would be a regular pizza (red sauce and cheese) dotted with falafel as though it were sausage. Or perhaps the falafel would be sliced … Continue reading Franken-Pie
If you like to drink your coffee in a hip, buzzing cafe, then you may need to head over to Princeton. There, you’ll find one of our favorite coffee shops, Small World Coffee. Small World is a Princeton fixture (in fact, there are actually two of them, one on Nassau and one on Witherspoon, though … Continue reading It’s a Small World
The rechristened Broad Street Diner is a superb place to get breakfast. Frankly, I haven’t tried their dinner foods, but if it’s as good as their breakfasts, it will be great.
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
Imagine if there were an Italian restaurant, perhaps in Trenton’s old Chambersburg neighborhood, and it were frozen in time for 30 years. There’d still be the same linoleum on the floor, the same wood paneling and fading wallpaper, the same staff, the same food, the same pictures on the wall, and the same people patronizing … Continue reading Nostal-Chick (and Nello’s)
Once upon a time, Trenton housed a very well-regarded Bagel Shop on South Broad Street, run by the entrepreneurial TC Nelson (now the proprietor of Trenton Social). Since the closing of that shop in 2003, downtown Trenton has been bagel-less. Sure, you can get bagels at one of any number of Dunkin’ Donuts franchises–but those … Continue reading The Bagels Are Back
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
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.
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.
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