Cheap New Brunswick, NJ Eats??
I'm going to be in New Brunswick for a show at the State Theatre, and I am in need of a few lunch/dinner spots that are tasty and easy on the wallet. My boyfriend and I will be staying overnight so any recommendations for breakfast will be welcomed as well. Thanks
In New Brunswick, the upscale Frog & the Peach has a "bistro" section on their dinner menu with dishes that are priced more moderately. And if you're going to be in N.B. during the week, they usually offers a 3-course lunch prix-fixe for $21.95. The New American cuisine served there is creative and delicious, service is excellent, and the surroundings are very attractive.
If you're willing to go to Highland Park, right next door to N.B., Shanghai Park, on Raritan Av., has excellent steamed buns (aka soup dumplings). If you're staying overnight on the weekend, you might also think about going there for dim sum. Tel.: 732-247-8813.
Enjoy the show and Bon Appetit!
In North Brunswick, on Georges Road, is Arthur's Steadk House and, across the street, Headquarters Lebanese Restaurant for good, cheap mezze.
Across from the train statio in New Brunswick, in Ferren Mall, is Marita's Cantina, one of our three favorite Mexicans in NJ.
There's a decent Chinese Noodle place on Easton Ave near Hamilton St. called Noodle Gourmet. Thomas Sweet's in nearby... excellent ice cream. A couple of miles up Easton Avenue in Somerset is Chao Phaya, a really excellent Thai place. There are extremely authentic Mexican restaurants around Townsend St.... Look for crowds, and you won't go wrong.
Makeda, George St. - Ethiopian
Mekong, George St. - Vietnamese
Old Man Rafferty's, Albany St. - American/Pub Grub
In Highland Park, just across the river from New Brunswick:
Pad Thai, Thai
Pithari Taverna, Greek. (This place is awesome)
I agree with almost everything so far, except for the characterization of Thomas Sweet's ice cream as being good. I have always found it to be more hype than substance, and then, last year, they served me Butter Pecan ice cream which contained RANCID pecans. The rancidity was so obvious that I really question whether they are concerned with the quality of their product.
The Chinese noodle place on Easton Ave. is called Noodle Gourmet, and it is good, although it is decidedly down-scale in atmosphere. Think "poor college student" and you get the idea. Still, the food is decent.
A few doors away on Easton Ave, Evelyn's is a good little family-owned Lebanese restaurant. If you like Shwarma (sp?), Tabouleh, Baba Ghanoush, kebabs and the like, I can recommend it highly. Diagonally across from Evelyn's, on the corner, is Efes (sometimes incorrectly referred to as Efe's), which is a very casual Turkish-style place. Very small, very casual, with paper plates, but an excellent value.
For a more upscale Turkish experience, I can strongly recommend The Seven Hills of Istanbul, located on Rt. 27 in the adjacent town of Highland Park. The food there is excellent, and I consider it to be a decent value, albeit more expensive than the places previously mentioned.
re: Ted in Central NJ
I definitely agree about 7 Hills. Also in Highland Park, there's the Greek restaurant, Pithari Taverna. The food's good but, in my view, not as good as 7 Hills. I also think 7 Hills has a more comfortable dining environment. The space is large, so tables are nicely-spaced, unlike Pithari, which is in a smaller space and where seating is cramped.
If you're in the mood for a good burger at lunch, I suggest Tumulty's Pub on George Street. I've never eaten anything else there but the burgers are good.
I agree that Chao Phaya is a good place for Thai food. It's about 10 minutes from downtown New Brunswick but make sure you get good directions if you go. Chao Phaya is hidden in a little strip mall on Easton Avenue.
I also recommend Sophie's Bistro, which is also about 10 minutes from town. Great French bistro food , though I'm not sure I would describe it as "cheap". Expect to pay about $20 for an entree. Check out their website at www.sophiesbistro.net.
For an upscale meal, I second the recommendation for Makeda on George St. Very convenient to State Theater.
For something a little more out of the ordinary, try El Oaxaqueno #2 on Seaman Ave. It is a complete hole in the wall, but has some of the best Mexican food I have had anywhere in the U.S. Service is very friendly even though their English isn't great. This would be a great option for brunch the next day.