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Apr 27, 2005 11:10 AM

princeton, nj restaurants

  • l

does anyone have a suggestion for a neat restaurant in princeton, nj? i'm going out with the "girls" (about 7-10 of us) in june and we're looking for a fun place for dinner. nothing too expensive. thanks.

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  1. I have both a question and an answer for this one - there's a pancake house right downtown that seems just about right for an inexpensive, fun meal but I can't seem to remember what it's called.

    Is it "P.J.'s?" Can somebody help me?

    My own opinion is that this is your best choice in town, but if you're all coming in seprate cars, you'll do far better in the many Indian and Chinese places north of town along Route 27, but that's a whole other post.


    7 Replies
    1. re: Brian Yarvin

      Yes, it's PJs. Haven't been there in 20 years, but I remember I liked it.


      1. re: Val Ann C

        Glad to hear I got the name right!

        This isn't great cheap eating (we've got plenty of that in central NJ anyway) but it's fun and right in town.

        There's also a place that's down in a basement and is like going back to 1966 with iceberg lettuce salads and salsbury steak platters. It's almost like it's more of a museum than a restaurant but Princeton is like Westfield, surrounded by great, inexpensive food that seems to stop dead just outside the city line.

        1. re: Brian Yarvin

          That's the Annex but the food is really quite lousy. most of the veggies were frozen and the pasta is pretty mushy. it's a fun place for cheap drinks, however!
          Teresa's Cafe, while not the most original food, is at least reliably decent. Unfortunately, there are few good restos in Pton. Blue Point Grill has the best food, but it's just simply prepared, very fresh fish. Mediterra's has a good wine bar and you can get some good tapas. could be fun.

          1. re: claire

            Mediterra HAD been on my short list of places to try in Princeton, until recently. I had parked my car in the municipal parking garage that is behind Mediterra, and I noticed that the back door for the restaurant opens into the garage. As I drove past, I couldn't help but notice that, outside that back door, there was a restaurant cart, piled with neatly folded napkins and "clean" cutlery. And, of course, that cart with the napkins and cutlery was sitting inside the parking garage, adjacent to where exhaust-spewing cars drive and pedestrians walk, and where there could be some "overflights" from pigeons and other birds that like to nest inside such structures.

            Due to their apparent lack of regard for sanitary practices, I have crossed Mediterra off of my list.

      2. re: Brian Yarvin

        Ate in PJ's Pancake House a few months ago and thought the food was terrrible. Blue Point is so superior but you can only call ahead Mon-Thurs to get preferential seating. There is a long wait on weekends. Another fun choice would be Big Fish in the Marketfair mall on Rte 1 near Princeton--also a call ahead policy but if you have to wait this mall is a fun place to stroll.

        1. re: Brian Yarvin

          PJ's is the worst restaurant in town. And forget breakfast. It is way over priced, service is awful and the place is dirty. Best breakfast fare is at Pierre's in Dayton and USA Diner on Route 130. A schlepp but I wouldn't read PJ's menu. Been burned more than once and so bets are off as to anyone going there for any reason/

          1. re: lolly

            Brian, I just came upon your post. I couldn't agree more, PJ's is the "absolute" worst. All the things you say and yet and still there is a line outside. Don't get it. Pierre's is great, has the best breakfast and the USA Diner is now the Clairemount. Terrific breakfast and smoke free, for those who appreciate that. Lolly

        2. The Blue Point Grill on Nassau St. has great seafood and is byo, so it won't be too expensive. Make sure you get a reservation.

          1. if the day chosen is a thurs, thurs is the hyderabati night buffet at ganges (gunga) restaurant in princeton junction. the buffet has a large selection of dishes, many of which don't normally appear in nj indian restaurants' buffets and all are cooked with a deft hand.

            since buffet prices are inclusive, none of the group will have to worry about "diner's dilemma", thereby freeing the group to have the maxiumn fun (if by "fun" it is meant that the group is looking for an excuse to get smashed, it might consider going afterward to a place that specializes in getting its customers smashed).



            1. Consider the Yankee Doodle Tap Room on Palmer Square. Traditional tavern food but of an exceptional quality. On Witherspoon Street there is also the Alchemist and Barrister which is generally considered near the top but might be too expensive if you are on a budget

              1. Never disappoints - Teresa's Cafe Italiano - Princeton NJ
                The restaurant is small but wonderful.

                A Good Expensive Steak - Ruth Chris - Princeton NJ
                Huge Cozy dim lit Dining Room
                Everything is Ala Cart here Chop Salad - Crabtini - Julianne Potatoes good picks

                Salt Creek Grill - Princeton NJ
                Great Kobe Burger and Garlic Fries
                Very LOUD dining room

                The Princeton NJ area definitely has room for creative culinary entrepreneurs!