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[Middlesex Co NJ] Where should I eat lunch today?

Well, I didn't expect to be here. I've never walked up to an airport counter at LAX and bought a ticket anywhere before, but here I am, because I had to be here as quickly as possible... and then the function got moved, and I have a day to kill here.

So now I need to know where to go for lunch in or around my hometown (Woodbridge, NJ). If I never set foot in the Reo Diner again it'll still be too soon (what the hell happened??), I go to Mie Thai every time I'm here.

So what's a reasonably-priced (say under $20 out the door) lunch option for me? I'm willing to go a reasonable distance -- certainly no further than Highland Park, South Plainfield or Clark, since I'm working (have laptop and cell phone, will work!)

Any cuisine -- and I do mean any.

Thanks, Hounds... I haven't been back in a couple of years and every time I come back it looks more different.

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  1. You might want to drive over to the Oak Tree Rd section of Iselin. It's a big Indian business district. If you want great food in pleasant surroundings, try Mohgul or Ming. Moghul Express for quick dhosas or chaat or sweets.
    These three are all owned by the same people and are near each other.
    http://moghul.com/

    You might try searching this board for more discussion on Indian food in Central Jersey.

    If you really want a New Jersey specialty, you should visit hot dog places. Galloping Hill Inn in Union Township, Charlies in Kenilworth, Ricci D's Italian dogs in Keyport. Search this board for discussion.

    Enjoy your visit, and please report back.

    1. If it's not too late... Since you mention Highland Park, Shanghai Park, 239 Raritan Av., has delicious steamed buns (aka soup dumplings).

      1. hmmm lunchtime in woodbridge. try pizza time on rt 35 -- they have good pizza and a great salad that comes w/ bread, meats and lots of other stuff. for a ridiciulous amount of food go to harold's @ raritan center. for the best takeout (u can sit too) chinese you must go to China Cafe, behind best buy off rt 1 & gill lane.

        1. My husband and I are sitting in San Diego reading the boards: He is from New Brunswick and we now live in North Brunswick. My husband has heard word of mouth that there is a good, new little Greek restaurant in Highland Park on Raritan Avenue (he thinnks), since you mentioned Highland Park. Also, if you like French bistro fare, you can get an excellent lunch for under $20 (with or without wine) at Sophie's Bistro. You can get anything from a burger and frites to a fish dish. Sophie's is located at 700 Hamilton Street (next to the firehouse) in Somerset. They are listed in Zagats. Ask for Peter (the owner) or Debbie, the manager. It has an informal atmosphere and you will feel comfortable eating alone there

          4 Replies
          1. re: cinderz

            The Greek restaurant you are referring to is Pithari Taverna. Yes, the food is very good. I don't kniw if they're open for lunch, which is what the o.p. was looking for.

            http://www.pitharitaverna.com

            Hope you're enjoying San Diego. It's been 20+ years since we visited there. I have no memory of where we ate, and I don't know anything about the current dining scene there. However, it's a good bet it's a whole lot warmer than it is right now in NJ.

            1. re: RGR

              Where is Pithari Taverna? Was driving down Raritan earlier this week and didn't see it.

              1. re: JoanN

                It is easy to miss. Across from a gas station and located on a corner. Right next door is their own "Greek" store. You can but some nice wines there and enjoy with your meal. Small parking lot in the back, so many people have to park on the street. Make sure you go. The place is fabulous!

                1. re: Angelina

                  While the food is very good, I wouldn't call it fabulous. In my view, using that kind of terminology re: a place like Pithari is hyperbole. I prefer to reserve the use of those kinds of descriptive words (fabulous, sensational, superb, etc.) for restaurants like Nicholas and Lorena's.

          2. It is technically on Woodbridge Avenue--just past the "doughboy" statue where Woodbridge and Raritan split. And they are open for lunch.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Gabbeh

              Great. Thank you. I was thinking the New Brunswick side of the statue. Will definitely check it out next time I head to Highland Park to visit Mom. Like 7 Hills, but was beginning to get real tired of it.

              1. re: JoanN

                7 Hills has gone down hill. We were there a few weeks ago, when Pithara was too busy and there was a wait to be seated. We figured we would go down the street to 7 Hills. What a mistake!! The rice tatsed like the white rice from a Chinese restaurant - flat and boring. The cacik was so watery, I felt like I was dipping bread in milk.

                The lamb was o.k., but it was missing that delicious flavor. Sorry, but I will not be returning back. We also did not like that our food was so rushed.