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Any decent restaurants in East or West Windsor?

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  • Isabella May 23, 2006 01:48 PM
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Hi. I just moved here from Northern NJ, and I cannot seem to find any good places to eat! I enjoy reading this board, so if anyone has any input, PLEASE POST!

All cuisines, and any price range. Please help!

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  1. Hi. There's a fairly new Indian place in East Windsor called Masti's Grill (I think that's the name) that I've heard good things about. Haven't been there myself. There are decent Italian/pizza places all around Mercer County, with a large concentration of them in the Chambersburg section of Trenton.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Matt

      Thanks Matt. Have you ever tried CARLUCCI'S ? It is in West Windsor in the same plaza as Mc Caffrey's Supermarket. My frinsd wanted to meet there for dinner and I have only driven by the place. Thank you.

      1. re: Isabella

        I've eaten at Carlucci's several times, it is solid Italian fare. Reasonable pricing.
        You've got several diners up and down Rt.130, most people seem to prefer Americana Diner. Across from that diner in the plaza with CVS there is Thai Orchid, which is not bad (yes, you can get better, but it is a good option in the neighborhood). I've also eaten at Sushi King in the shopping center at the corner of Rt. 130 and Rt. 571 (Superfresh) and it is OK. Going south on Rt.130, just past the McDonald's there is a strip center with City Lights Grill. They have a varied menu (dinners, salads, sandwiches, etc.) and pretty good. Try the chicken schnitzel or one of the pastas.
        There aren't really any "exceptional" places, but several are quite solid.

        1. re: BeeZee

          I agree that WItherspoon Grill is worth the commute. They have a very home-y american fare that is well prepared and made with quality ingredients. Sometimes, their dishes air on the creamier side unnecessarily, but it is still a very enjoyable meal..and good service.

          1. re: Katy

            There's a place in nearby Hamilton called Layla's. Good Middle Eastern food. The owner lady is Egyptian. She smokes a lot but is very nice.

            The Indian restaurants in that area tend of be of a high standard for Indian in the US. For Jersey, they are middle of the road.

            If you head up to Edison, 30 minutes away, you will find a pocket of Vietnamese restaurants and of course Oak Tree road, one of two or three Little Indias in NJ.

            1. re: Alex5432

              Is this Layla's still in Hamilton? I live here and have never seen it? The Aladdin's Palace closed and reopened, but I'm not thrilled with it now (used to be my favorite restaurant).

              Please, please respond and tell me where I can find Middle Eastern food in Hamilton! I have a baba ghanouj addiction that is very hard to satisfy in this area!

              1. re: Heatherb

                Heatherb, I can't help you with a recommendation since I don't live in that area, but if you have a serious baba ghanouj addiction, it is one of the *easiest* things to prepare yourself. If you'd like a recipe, I'll post it on the Home Cooking board.

                1. re: RGR

                  Please do! I have wanted to try making my own, but haven't had the time until recently to even think about it.
                  Thanks!

                  1. re: Heatherb

                    I've posted the recipe on the Home Cooking board. Here's the link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/374829

        2. re: Isabella

          I have been twice to Carlucci rill and many times to its sister restaurant Capuano down the road. As I recall I had a sefood cannelloni at Carlucci that was good. Capunao seems to have a brandy cream sauce and ared sauce and then the specials are always some "thing" with either of these sauces. Tasty. And i reccomend for a convenient tasty meal!

          1. re: ADI

            Been to Carlucci twice. First time I had seafood cannelloni because it was recommended and I didn't like it. Was very "fishy" tasting. Couldn't finish it. Went there recently and dish was alright. Something with wide noodles, blush sauce. Clams casino weren't memorible either. Go to Diamonds down the road... or I heard a restaurant across the street by Duncan Donuts is good.

          2. re: Isabella

            No, I've never made it to Carlucci's. It's been around quite a while, so I assume it has a following. They frequently have coupons in direct mail flyers that I get. I have eaten at the American Diner on Rte 130; good diner fare, good omelets, breakfast etc. Someone posted about Diamonds new place on Rte 130, elsewhere on the board. I haven't been there yet, but their old places, the "orinal" in Chambersburg, and the place in Seaside, on the Shore, were both really outstanding Italian restaurants. You might want to read the post, further down the board. If you go there (Diamonds) I'd be interested in your impressions. The original Diamonds was arguably the best of the'Burg for years.

            1. re: Matt

              Try Hanna and Masons in Cranbury, as a food, its the best around. Also for consistantly good food (and amazing bread) try Villa Barone, on 130 in Robbinsville. You probably know all these already, but I thought I would share.....

            2. re: Isabella

              Travel a little further to Princeton for better food. I recommend Blue Point Grill for great fish or Witherspoon Grill for meat/chicken/fish. In Marketfair Shopping Center there is Big Fish and right down the road from Quakerbridge Mall is an excellent Asian restauant called Elements Asia.
              City Streets(not City Lights) has cut back drink and food portions and is charging for any changes or extras---beware of this new policy!
              Also go into Cranbury and try Cranbury Pizza. You can sit outside and have a pleasant meal.

            3. re: Matt

              Masti is terrible.

            4. Try Genovese's on Main Street in Hightstown. I've been there a few times and the food is very good.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Elle

                Been there only once not long after it opened. We were disappointed and considered it very pricey.

                1. re: Elle

                  Mediocre food at best.. consistently overcooked pasta, bad bread......... not sure they know what they are doing.... they have an opportunity here to have fiercely loyal customers dying for a good restaurant in the area, but they keep missing the mark...

                  1. re: krisjimz

                    We noted they were closed at 7:30PM last Thursday night. Are they gone?

                    1. re: cranrob

                      Yeah, it looks like they're gone. I hope this doesn't send a message that the area can't support restaurants. We just really need more good ones and less mediocrity.

                      Orquedas, a lovely Mexican bakery further down main street just closed as well. I hope the place that replaces it will be as good.

                      I'm still mourning the loss of Goodfellas Pizza.

                      1. re: Paul N

                        Plenty of mediocre restaurants manage to survive when there is enough of an undiscerning population to support them. Just look along the Route 9 corridor and in Freehold Boro. Hightstown restaurants may not generate enough traffic for that to happen. People try a place, find it's sorely lacking, and the customer base dries up.

                        You're quite right when you say that if an excellent restaurant were to open in Hightstown, not only would people in the immediate area patronize it with some regularity, but word would get around, and people in surrounding areas and even further away would come calling. I live about 25 minutes from Hightstown but would certainly be willing to drive there for a worthwhile restaurant.

                2. I've been in Hightstown for three years now, and the best kept secret in the area is Basil's Legend's Grill on Route 33. It's in a (stay with me) Days Inn, but the lamb chops are the best I've ever had. And the menu is solid throughout.

                  http://basilslegends.com/

                  1. A bit of a hike, but Magic Moon Cafe on Main Street in Pennington is well worth it. It's sort of artsy Mexican food. A little bit pricey for Mexican food and they don't take plastic, so plan accordingly. I've underestimated the costs and had to sheepishly duck out to an ATM on a few occasions :-)

                    Hoagie Haven on Nassau St. in Princeton stacks up great hoagies and cheesesteaks when you are in a junk food mood.

                    1. Anybody know if Little Szechuan Chinese is any good? While passing through the area, I've driven past it once or twice and wondered if it had any authentically-prepared spicy Szechuan dishes. It's at 2025 Old Trenton Rd., technically located in Princeton Jct. according to Superpages.com, but not far south of the western terminus of East Windsor's Rt. 133 freeway. In the same strip mall, there's a little Indian-Pakistani market and a bagel joint.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Ike

                        When I used to work in that area I loved going there for lunch. IMO, they serve some of the best Chinese food I've ever had. Excellent and very spicy Kung Pao Chicken is my usual order.

                        1. re: Ike

                          I haven't been there in a few years, but it used to be pretty lame chinese-american retirement community slop.

                          1. re: cranrob

                            Lame is very accurate. I ended up here a few weeks ago for lunch. Quite a large amount of gristle in the Kung Pao chicken. I also recently tried Chinese in East Windsor in the strip mall (with the (now defunct?) Atlanta Bread Co) on the west side of Rt. 130 north of 571: not very inspired Chinese-American.

                        2. Not bad for the area. Un-yuppified Chinese-American standards. You won't find soup dumplings or appletinis but the chicken will not be dry nor the noodles greasy.

                          1. Yes, down the road South on 130 is Diamonds. Food is great. It's a BYOB. Word of warning, though. Place is tiny and packed. Can be loud inside.

                            1. You must Try Enzo's in South Lawrence, it's just south off of route 1 Business maybe 15 min. They are a BYOB and the food is always outstanding. Most of their customers seem to come from Princeton and West Windsor. www.enzoscucina.com

                              1. Main Steet Cafe on Route 130 in East Windsor (next door to the McDonalds). Good appetizers and well priced. Kind of a neighborhood restaurant, such as it is!
                                Also I heard there is a diner on 33 called Moms that serves good Greek. Never been there, however.
                                Love Cranbury pizza; authentic NY style pizza.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: mschow

                                  does cranbury pizza deliver?

                                  1. re: njeggy1

                                    Cranbury pizza does not deliver.