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Salt Creek in Princeton?

Has anybody had a good meal here? I have had two incredibly mediocre meals there, but my sister is insistent on going there for dinner tonight. I found it to be expensive for what it is. Great atmosphere for a drink, but that's about it. Any other opinions?

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  1. I've eaten at the Salt Creek Grille in Rumson. It had a fabulous view and the decor was inviting, but aside from a very lovely Server, I'd have to say it was overpriced, and the food reminded me of a more upscale version of a chain restaurant.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Tay

      I've been to the Rumson one too and felt the same way. Nothing special for the cost.

      1. re: Eric in NJ

        Uh huh...A nice place for a drink/conversation, but the food and prices were sort of like a pumped up Charlie Brown's

        1. re: Tay

          That is a great description of Salt Creek "pumped up Charlie Brown's"!!
          Next time someone asks me if I have been there, hope you don't mind if I steal your quote!

    2. Two business lunches there. Same opinion. Small portions of so-so food for too much money.

      2 Replies
      1. re: fpatrick

        Nice atmosphere for a drink, though

        1. re: fpatrick

          Hmm. I usually one to point out a foo fooey small portion but I think the lunch portions at salt creek (in Princeton) are actually quite big (granted most of it is good-at-first-fries that you get sick of pretty quick). But the salads even are really big.

          I don't do the seafood there, but I've had many a filling pulled pork sandwiches and chicken BLT's I couldn't finish.

        2. I eat there for lunch at least once a week, and do for drinks at least once as well.

          The garlic fries are pretty good, but don't eat too many! haha.

          The food is "eh" and the atmosphere is perfect for an afterwork drink with co-workers, and the drink specials are pretty good. Don't get me wrong, the food isn't bad by any means, but it's nothing special.

          I've been there a few times on the weekend (I think sunday actually) for live music, and took a bar table...and split a dinner that was OK (Maybe shortribs?)

          Melissa, with braces is a very good waitress in the bar area in the afternoon/evenings.

          1. Oh goodness! Have the one in Rumson booked for tonight. Was anxious to try it. Thought it was a favorite of the Chowhounders. Now I'm reading just the opposite. I'm seriously thinking of canceling. We're going with another couple on my recommendation. What to do, what to do...

            3 Replies
            1. re: Pink Pepper

              Pink Pepper, how was your meal Saturday night? I had dinner last night and it was fabulous. Even with 1/2 priced bottles of wine (mondays) we ran up our check to 160 (200 with tip). Apps and drinks get me everytime.

              1. re: hotfoodhot

                We never did go, Hotfoodhot. We chickened out and went to Whispers, instead. Guess the part about being like a chain restaurant wasn't what we had in mind for a Saturday night with friends. Maybe we'll go during the week when we feel like casual dining.

                1. re: Pink Pepper

                  How was Whispers? Is that waterfront? My wife and I almost went for an anniversary dinner a few years back. Have never been.

            2. Two dinner meals I've had there have been good, but not great. The big turn-off for me is the valet-parking setup in Princeton. They funnel you into the valet line, with no obvious way to park yourself. After a confusing conversation with the valet on whether I could actually park myself, or valet was required, he gave me a load of attitude when I just told him I'd park it myself. "Some people have to make a living" was his comment. This is not a 5 star LA restaraunt, it's a friggin chain. Some nerve to show an attitude like that from a valet parker.

              1. Complain to the manager about the valet.

                I once had a valet guy tell me I couldn't park in a certain spot (for lunch) and actually stood in the spot. I parked there anyway as I was driving my pregnant co-worker. I complained and I haven't seen him since. (I go there once a week)

                The food is better than most places around the area there for a lunch or after work drink. To go and have a few drinks, the atmosphere is great. and the appetizers are pretty damn good too (the kobe sliders) Wine is reasonably priced and they are always updating the menu...and the staff and service is always great.

                I don't see this restaurant as no more a "chain" than emerils restaurants or bobby vans, they only have a few locations...

                again, not "great" for a dinner with the family (but still good) but really the best place around that area for a few after work drinks and some munch food.

                1. Salt Creek Grill could be such a great place. Too bad it suffers from lack of inspiration in the kitchen & intolerable noise levels for dining in the main dining room.

                  The building is beautiful with its intimate outdoor fireplaces & upon entering, evokes the warmth of a western lodge with it's airy interior spaces, natural finishes & glowing fireplaces. However, all the hard interior surfaces combined with a crowded bar & a live jazz band in the evenings, equal an assault on one's ears. It's impossible to hear the conversation from a drinking or dining companion seated more than one seat away.

                  The menu offers nothing beyond what's found at most fine casual dining spots. Mediocre salads, burgers, two types of ribs, two steaks, pork chops and the standard fish fare. They're are all here. It's too bad the owners and chef couldn't offer grilled game (elk, buffalo, boar, venison, etc.) to match the great lodge atmosphere. I know, each would probably be a loss leader - but would set the place apart from so many others.

                  Our party of four shared orders of the calamari and tuna stack for apps then ordered the short ribs, bbq'd ribs and two burgers for our entrees along with a side of the adult mac n cheese. Nothing was really outstanding with steaks and fish ordered on previous visits, quickly forgotten.

                  The mostly young service is indifferent with long gaps in delivering drink orders and the typical "who gets the ribs" query when dropping off the entrees.

                  Good place for after work drinks with the office crew or after dinner drinks with your sweety. Our recommendation is go next door to Ruth's Chris for dinner.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Foody4life

                    So it's been 2 years since our last visit to SCG, Princeton. Have to say, we had a very good dinner here last Friday.

                    J and I were interested in seeing the band that evening (Paul Plumeri) so we went for an early dinner. Apps of calamari and lump crab were very good with a generous portion of each. The spicy mustard sauce served with the calamari was a much better alternative to the typical marinara. We spilt a grilled caesar then for entrees, J ordered the tuna and I ordered the NY strip. The steak was mesquite grilled and very flavorful from the smokiness of the grill. We both took home half the entrees and enjoyed them the next day.

                    Was it outstanding, no. Was it abysmal, no. Just a very nice dinner that we'd go back for.

                    Also, happy to report SCG has installed sound deadening panels high up on the walls in the bar area and the dining room. They've also lowered the volume of the background music and may have asked the bands to keep it down during their first set or two. With the music starting at 7, the place was still very "energetic", but not deafening.