Hoagie Haven: Almost Legendary
Some people like hoagies (also known as subs or even grinders in some parts of the country), and some don't. For those who do, Hoagie Haven is THE place to go in Princeton. It really is legendary. Just look at all the talk on internet sites about it. It's a place so beloved by some that it has a special place in their hearts and memories.
Now there is nothing special about the physical space of Hoagie Haven--a nice little walk up counter, and room for the long, long line that forms during lunch time. We stood in that line until a young man suggested we try George's if we wanted cheesesteaks! I always think the length of the line of people wanting to order says something important about the food there! If that is the case, the food here must be quite good!
Hoagie Haven is basically a take out type of eaterie. Hoagies, cheesesteaks, pizza bacon cheeesteaks and similar take out items plus a few specials. Look for menu items posted to the right of the counter. Prices fit students' budgets--cheesesteaks run about $6.50 for a large. Classic hoagies such as American, turkey, ham & cheese or Italian run about the same or slightly less. Sides such as fries, cheese fries, chilly cheese fries are also available.
George's Roasters & Ribs: Fabulous Cheesesteaks
FaWe were actually in line at another well-known local eaterie discussing what to eat, when a Princeton student overheard us. He suggested we go to "George's", only a couple doors down the street, for great cheesesteaks and said it was less crowded. The young man certainly did us a favor! The cheesesteaks at George's were fabulous!
Service at George's is fast and efficient. There is a small counter near the front windows if you wish to eat inside, but it's a small space as this is really a take-out/away place. We sat on a nearby bench on Nassau Street and enjoyed being outside, people watching, and our cheesesteaks!!
George's also offered the classic hoagies, roasted chicken, fried chicken, chicken tenders, salads, other hot sandwiches, ribs, burgers, wings, cheese fries, some Italian dishes, special pudding desserts, etc., etc. But NO PIZZA!
Two people could easily eat here for about $10 - $15 unless you placed a larger order for the fried or roasted chicken or ribs.
Favorite Dish: A lot of people on the Mid-Atlantic Coast think of Philadelphia when it comes to cheesesteaks and in particular, "Pat's Steaks" and "Gino's" are famous for them. In my opinion, I liked George's much more. Cheesesteaks are an extremely popular meal in this part of the country. A 14" (whole) cheesesteak with grilled thinly- sliced beef, melted cheese and grilled onions (peppers optional) came on the perfect roll and was only $6.30 (2007 prices). It was so good, I would drive to Princeton again just for the cheesesteak. It was big enough to share for two. Along with soft drinks and a bag of chips, it made a great picnic.
FOR JERSEYITES: I haven't enjoyed a cheese steak this much since Louis' truck was at
RU Camden Law.
Main Street Euro-American Bistro & Bar: Terrace Dining in a Mall
This is one of my sister and BIL's favorite restaurants. We ate out on the terrace
Favorite Dish: I had the Soup of the Day (top middle of the collage $4.95), and Spinach and Ricotta Farfalle (top right of collage - $13.95) with walnuts and sun dried tomatoes. My BIL had the Kansas City Strip Steak ($22.95) with baby bliss potatoes and asparagus (bottom left of collage), and my sister had a salad.
My grandson had Mississippi Mud Cake for dessert (photo 2), and I had the Lemon Steamed Pudding with fresh mixed berry compote (lower middle of collage). My sister and BIL also shared one of the Lemon Puddings.
- Food and Dining
- Study Abroad
Tiger Noodle: Lunch inside or out, Take-out or Delivery
My sister described this (for some reason) as a non-spicy Chinese restaurant. I don't know why. I had the General Tso's chicken and it was just as spicy as ever. We met our first cousin once removed for lunch.
Delivery charge: $2.00
Last delivery: 9:15 PM
Estimated current delivery wait time: 40 minutes
Please remember to tip your driver.
Hours Open For Delivery
Sunday 3:30 PM - 10:00 PM 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
NOTE: They only take cash - no credit cards
Favorite Dish: We elected to sit inside, as it was a little cool.
I had the General Tso's chicken lunch which included white rice and soup (I picked egg drop). My grandson and my sister also had egg rolls, and my sister ordered a pancake wrap for each of us.
- Study Abroad
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Hoagie Haven: A BIG sandwich
My sister insisted that we should have lunch here because it was a Princeton institution, but in the end, she stopped by here and brought us hoagies on the last day. I asked for a whole one, only to find out that each half was as big as a whole one from other places (like Subway). She gave us several options, but she did not mention the new "heart-stop special" — a bacon cheese steak with eggs for $6.55
Favorite Dish: I had a roast beef sub, and my sister brought Carson a cheesesteak. I ate the other half of my sandwich the next day for lunch
- Study Abroad
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
The Yankee Doodle Tap Room: A Well-Loved Tap Room with Some Surprises
We didn't eat at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room while visiting, but the name of the place really piqued my interest so I had to do a little research to find out what cooks here. I was a little surprised. Rather than being based on a Colonial America theme "Yankee Doodle" surprisingly sports a friendly, well-loved pub atmosphere with a few elegant touches such as crisp folded white napkins and a fireplace. On the other hand, it also sports tables where past patrons have carved their names or initials on the tables (including Einstein!?!!). The restaurant is named for the Norman Rockwell 13-ft. mural painted in 1937 depicting "Yankee Doodle" as only Rockwell can.
The Yankee Doodle draws a crowd from many walks of life which is kind of unexpected ---but a crowd will always follow good food wherever it may be and the food here is said to be very good, especially desserts. For example, the lunch menu is quite extensive and features an eclectic choice of soups, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, wraps, and hot entrees plus, of course desserts. They also offer 12 beers on tap, wine, specialty drinks, and cocktails.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is open daily from 7am til 11:00pm. Seems like an exceptionally inviting place to come back to for a hearty meal after a Princeton football game on a cold day, or for those late evening cocktails.
Favorite Dish: My choices from the lunch menu would be the French Onion soup with bagel chips and melted Swiss cheese ($5); and the Red Grape Chicken Salad with field greens, strawberries, coconut, pecans and wild berry vinaigrette ($11). If I was very hungry, I think the beer-battered Fish and Chips ($13) looks good followed by one of their extremely decadent desserts such as the "Doodle Monkey" -- "freshly baked Nassau Inn cookies, bruleed Bananas with Vanilla Bean ice cream and caramel sauce and at least 3 other toppings!! ($9)
For those who want to be adventurous, there's the "Wild Game Chili" - a mix of duck, wild boar and venison served with Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread ($6); "Grilled Vegetable Napoleon" -- layers of grilled vegetables with fresh mozzarella & wild mushroom ravioli and tomato coulis ($14); grilled buffalo burger with grilled onions & blue chips plus spicy sweet potato fries ($13). Last but not least, "Branntweinapffelannkuchen" - brandied apple fritters dusted with powdered sugar and a scoop of cinnamon gelato ($8). All prices are 2007.
Most everyone will find something here that they will like, in addition to the warm atmosphere. Expect prices to reflect the restaurant's excellent quality and presentation, and location.
Ivy Garden: Asian Cuisine ~ Eat in or Take Out
We saw the Ivy Garden Restaurant as we walked along Nassau Street in search of the famous, "Hoagie Haven." I particularly noticed it because of the number of people going in and if that is an indication of how popular it is, then the Ivy Garden must be a very popular place to eat, especially for students since the Ivy Garden is known for huge portions!!
Located in a what must have been a Colonial home now painted pale yellow with green shutters, the Ivy Garden is an Eat-in, Take-out Asian restaurant. The restaurant has a little brick patio out front with weatherproof tables & chairs, and an outdoor heater for those Princeton chilly evenings.
The menu is soup to nuts Chinese food but don't expect gourmet (and why would you anyway?). Prices may be slightly higher than many local Chinese restaurants but this restaurant gets great reviews from students. Ivy Garden's menu has some dishes which I've never seen before and which look very appealing: Tangerine Peel Chicken, Spicy Crispy Beef, Two Flavored Shrimp, and Family Style Tofu!!
Princeton University has a unique dining/eating arrangement that I haven't quite figured out yet. However, apparently the Ivy Garden (as well as other local restaurants) also delivers evening meals to Princeton U. students through "Tiger Foods" which can be charged to Students Accounts which can then be billed directly to the parents!! Of course cash, and credit cards are accepted for all patrons.
Call restaurant for availability of delivery to other locations.
Favorite Dish: We chose another place to eat lunch while in Princeton, but when we return to Princeton I would love to try the Ivy Garden's "Curry Shrimp." (About $12)
Small World Coffee~ Witherspoon Street: Nothing Fancy but Good Coffee!
The first place we stopped after reaching Princeton was this neat little coffee shop called Small World Coffee on a busy little side street. The coffee shop was obviously favored by locals, tourists, and students as well---I liked it immediately! Coffees and teas of all types were available at the little bar and even with a crowd, service was quick and efficient. When I ordered cafe au lait, I received a container of hot milk and one of hot coffee which made more than two full cups of the delicious liquid. My husband got a regular blend. We took our little tray to a table for two towards the back of the place, and found it almost full on this Sunday morning.
If you like a mix of people, this is the place. Students were apparently trying to stretch their food budget by making one cup of coffee last for at least an hour while they read or wrote. Other people were grabbing a late breakfast or early lunch (which the shop also offers). Tourists such as myself were there to enjoy the whole atmosphere of the place and have some excellent coffee.
Prices were NON- STARBUCKS'ISH. Yeah!!!!! My plentiful cafe au lait and my husband's Regular together were under $4.00. Food choices were also reasonably priced under $10 although moderate in size. Order food choices from a separate counter to the left side of the coffee bar.
I'd rate this as a great little hangout and a place to meet and talk with locals or students.
Favorite Dish: I thought the coffee was very good, not strong like some brands tend to be. The atmosphere was pleasant and no one rushed you to leave---you can read, write, study or spend time with friends as long as you want.
Joe's Crab Shack: Talk About Good Crabs!
I was back in the Princeton area again in late-October for more work on the Blackout report, so my local contact suggested that three of us head out to Joe's for a good seafood meal one evening. Joes' is part of a small chain of restaurants, and its decour is done in a 'weather-beaten' style with lots of seashore/ocean/fishing type gear adorning the inside of the restaurant. We fronted up without reservations but had no problem finding a booth for the 3 of us - even though the establishment seemed to be hopping!
Favorite Dish: Our host had decided on Alaskan Snow Crabs for his meal so I decided that it was also good enough for me. I ordered the one pound version (instead of two) along with the accompanying new parsley potatoes and a corn on the cob. The crabs came with all their legs attached and they had been cooked with some sort of very tasty spice coating the outside of the shells. Being smaller than lobster, they were a bit of a nuisance to get the meat out of, but the taste was great and it was fun sucking on the legs! We ordered a bottle of Merlot to share with the meal! Overall, it was a great eating experience!
- Business Travel
Small World Coffee: It's a Small World After All...
Do yourself a favor and have some coffee here! In fact, buy a bag of beans while you're at it. In an essentially 24 hour visit, I managed to stop here twice. The second time, a deliciously, mouthwatering, large blueberry muffin awaited me - they still do everyday if you arrive early enough! And during my year-long residence, I managed to visit here nearly everyday. :)
This is the only coffeehouse I've seen where there's a line at 6am (or however early they open), at night, and everywhere inbetween. I visited at about 6:30 or 7am on a Saturday morning, and there was indeed a line!
Anyway, this is truly a great place -- I only wish they had wireless access! ;) Also, I've seen John Nash (of Beautiful Mind fame) here on several ocassions, as it seems to be a favorite place for him too.
Favorite Dish: The blueberry muffin and all of their coffee. Actually, all of their food is delicious, but pricey. The coffee is reasonably price and maybe even cheaper than some national chains.
Teresa's Cafe: Classic Italian Food
Teresa's is a casual restaurant which offes good italian food. The menu includes classic italian entrees and antipasti, pizzettes, pastas, and desserts. If you are looking for your basic spaghetti and meatballs or fettucine alfredo, Teresas is not really for you. However, they will cater to your needs and whip those basic dishes up for you. As we learned on a recent girls night out, when one off the finicky eaters couldn't pick anything of the menu.
As most restaurants in Princeton, you will need to locate parking at the Hulfish Street or Chambers Street parking garages or on-street metered parking. The recent validates the parking ticket.
Favorite Dish: Before the meal, Teresa's serves an assortment of fresh breads. The bread is baked at the nearby Witherspoon Bread Company. It was really, really good.
I had an excllent chicken entree. I don't recall the exact name. However, it was similar to a chicken marsala. It came with mashed potatoes and spinach. Both of which were excellently cooked.
We ended the meal with Teresa's famous Chocolate Pizza. I was not too impressed. The crust was very doughy.
- Food and Dining
Halo Pub: Good ice cream
The Halo Pub is a good little ice cream joint in Palmer Square (on Hulfish Street). I had a good cup of Strawberry Amaretto that was delicious and the place has plenty of charm. It's connected to a patisserie that bills itself as America's only ice cream patisserie. Their concoctions looked beautiful!
La Mezzaluna: Pompous and a waste of Money
Look up the word pompous in the dictionary and you will find a picture of this establishment. Their imagined greatness exists only in their own minds when they place greasy chicken topped with highly acidic sauce that does not remotely resemble restaurant quality in front of you. Take someone you hate here and stick them with the overpriced check. Stainless Steel tabletops leaves you feeling cold as their waitstaff rather than cozy. They must have paid Zagat's for their rating
- Business Travel
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Big Fish Bistro: Big Fish Bistro
Another place that has excellent seafood! This is another of my favorite places too, even if it is a little pricey. Really delicious food, plus the inside is made to look like you're under water (check out the "bubbles" hanging from the ceiling).
This is the nicest grocery store I've ever been to, which is why I made this a regular stop. In addition to having the best overall selection of food, they also have several places to order lunch (or dinner) and eat upstairs.
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