Pete's Steakhouse Tavern, Hamilton, NJ
I've not eaten at the Tavern itself, although every time I drive by I think about it, but I get their roast pork sandwiches each year at the Italian Festival at Mercer County Park. They're really terrific. They use a nice, thick sesame roll that makes a big difference. The cheese steaks are good too, although I prefer Gaetano's on 33.
Pete's has its own way of doing cheesesteaks, so I guess a lot depends on whether you like that or not - you know what I'm talking about if you've been to the Ewing one. I love their cheesesteaks, personally. Their fries are generally good (though they've been overdone, imo, at the Ewing one. Never tried the pizza at either. However, they do have some breaded and fried mushrooms that can be somewhat addictive if you like deep-fried fungi with canned nacho cheese sauce.
How's there pizza? I haven't tried it. I have had their fish and chips and their battered deep fried fish is one of the best though the fish comes in as frozen filets, they do batter it themselves. I know the owner, Rich Tonti, and prefer not to business there because he has low integrity, I don't trust him, and extremely poor customer service that he doesn't back up. Years ago I went to his place on Hamilton Ave, gave my order to the kid at the counter, he seemed confused, I gave it to him 3 times and he said ok, I sat down on the chairs in front of him and 45 minutes later I asked where my order was and he said you didn't give it to me???? I said I came in and gave it to you and he said I didn't understand it. It was simple, fish and chips, one order. What do you think I was doing sitting here? He said he didn't know. I said give that order to me, he said that is going to other people, there are a number of people who came in after you but got their order in before you so it will be 30 minutes before you get yours. So I waited another 30 minutes, then I asked where my order is, he said you didn't tell me you wanted it, you just sat down, so I didn't put it in, again give me that order, I can't, there are other people ahead of you, it will be 30 minutes more, do you want me to put an order in? I said no, I'm leaving, I can't depend upon getting my order 30 minutes from now. I called Rich Tonti three times about this and he said he would call me back each time and find out what went on and he never did. So he lost my business and some others who also didn't want to wait 2 hours to get take out food. Stupid businessman for this reason and other reasons.
I don't know about the new place in hamilton but the Ewing location, has THE best Pizza and original trenton Tomato pie as well as THE BEST cheese steaks! I don't know what the jlawrence guy has against Rich, I know him too and he is not a bad person at all. I have heard that the tavern in hamilton is smoky, corwded and has employees that do not care. The Ewing location now owned by Keith Casey alone has made significant strides in food quality and service. I love going there and enjoy the family like atmosphere and personal service that you get from Keith, Kim and the ever hillarious Betty the smoking waitress! Seriously, if you want to enjoy great food for a cheap price go see Keith and the Gang in Ewing!
I stopped in there a couple of times for lunch and enjoyed it. Their rolls are very fresh and soft, so if you like a crusty roll, this place is probably not for you. I think I read that they make their rolls on the premises. For any old-timers out there, their cheesesteak with fried onions reminds me of the ones you got at Pep’s Steakhouse on Liberty St. in Trenton.
From My BLOG: After reading a thread on Chowhound about the cheese steaks at Pete's, I felt compelled to give it a whirl after an early evening of plans changing.
Walked in and grabbed the last seat at the elongated circle shaped bar, surrounded by 6 flat panel TVs. From my stool, a separate dining room was behind the wall in front of me, as well as table to both the left and right side of the bar.
Service was prompt from the bartender, and I ordered some of PA's finest lager, a Yuengling. Asked for a menu, and immediately ordered a cheese steak with pepperoni and fried onions.
In the meantime, I ran into local celebrity Gary Amico of Delorenzo's Tomato Pies on Hudson Street in Trenton. Always great to run into Gary, and chat with him a bit. He's always friendly, and just a great guy, with some amazing hands when it comes to making the best tomato pie in New Jersey!
Couldn't have been much more than 7 minutes, and out came my cheese steak on a gorgeous piece of bread, with a side of fries, and a cup of cheese. The bread itself had a nice crust to it, but was nice and soft. Maybe they make these on site? I don't know, but they were tasty. The pepperoni was pepperoni, and added a nice element, without overpowering the steak and the cheese.
As for the steak itself, this is not your traditional cheese steak. This was more of a thin steak patty, than your typical thinly sliced, chopped up cheese steak. It was almost more of a thin, but compressed ground steak of sorts, and kind of hard to explain. It also had some different spice elements to it, that definitely did not remind me of your typical cheese steak. Again, this is definitely different, and I don't know that the verdict is out on this steak. I would definitely try it again, and maybe I need to so I can get a better opinion of it.
The fries left something to be desired. They were lukewarm at best, and the cheese also left much to be desired. There could have used a few more minutes in the fryer, and could have come right out and into the basket. I ate about 1/2 of them before I had enough.
All in all, I have a neutral feeling about Pete's thus far, but would be willing to go back and give it another whirl. Let the Pete's saga continue in the future. Cheers! -F. Scott.
Pete's Steakhouse Tavern
523 White Horse Ave
Trenton, NJ 08610
Phone: (609) 585-8008