Hours: M-Sa, 7 AM to 8PM Breakfast served until 10:30
(609) 498-0642 Website Google Maps
Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
Ila Mae’s is a neo-soul restaurant that opened in the winter of 2013 in a charming storefront on the 300 block of Market Street near the intersection with South Broad: it’s on the edge of Mill Hill, a few doors down from the Mill Hill Saloon, and catty-corner to the old Mercer County Courthouse. The restaurant’s hours of operation are still floating, but currently it seems to be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day but Sunday.
The menu is eclectic and slightly quirky. Sandwiches are generally featured: most come on a whole wheat torpedo roll or a wrap. “Hamburgers” (turkey or beef) come as crumbled ground meat on a bun (like sloppy joes without the slop); despite the missing patty, they’re quite tasty. Bacon is either beef or turkey (no pork). There are many vegetarian options, and many meat sandwiches that feature vegetable fillings as well. There is an fairly extensive selection of fish (flounder, tilapia, salmon, whiting) served in sandwiches or dinner entrees.
As in most “soul” restaurants you can order sides: Mac & Cheese, rice and gravy, greens, etc., etc…. To date I’ve tried the cole slaw and Mac & Cheese (which is particularly scrumptious). Desserts are home made and very good.
Overall, the food is two cuts above the typical Trenton “coffee shop”. The sandwiches aren’t huge, but prices range from $4-$7.50 (most under $6) and sides are $3 so you can get a nice meal for under $10.
The restaurant is immaculately clean and pleasantly renovated. There’s a front and a rear dining room: I particularly recommend eating in the rear dining room which has some comfortable booths. A server will take your order, so you can walk past the take out line if you’re eating in (with the added advantage that the kitchen staff will see you walk by and send out the waiter).
As with many new restaurants, the kitchen on the slow side, but in my 4 visits, never disastrously so. I wouldn’t go there if you’re in a huge hurry, however.