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Greek/Middle Eastern Places in Trenton Vicinity?

I'm wondering if anyone knows of a place where I can get some half-decent Greek food anywhere around Trenton. As far as I can tell, the only Greeks running restaurants down here are running diners, and that's not what I'm looking for, and neither is a sandwich place like Zorba's in Princeton for that matter. I'd happily accept a Middle-eastern substitute (I never got a chance to try Moustache before it closed), but it looks like I need to drive to the New Brunswick area for that. Trenton Kebab House is nice for lunches and a cheap-eats dinner, but I'm looking for a little more of a wait service and tablecloths sort of place. Someone told me that Basil's Legends in Hightstown was Greek, but after visiting the place I decided that just having souvlaki and greek salad on the menu doesn't qualify. I know...I'm picky. Thanks for any help!

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  1. It involves a road trip but there is a pretty good Middle Eastern (Lebanese) restaurant called Cedars in Somerville. Nothing fancy but very good food.

    http://www.cedarsfinecuisine.com/

    1. I had dinner at Pithari Taverna in Highland Park recently, lots of fun, BYO...but crowded, you need to make a reservation.
      www.thepithari.com

      1 Reply
      1. re: BeeZee

        I've gone for lunch on Saturdays and Sundays and had my choice of tables. It's a great place, especially when the weather is nice and they open up those huge sliding windows to let in the fresh air.

        They've got some of the best saganaki I've ever had -- huge piece of cheese, crispy exterior. And the octopus appetizer is also very good.

      2. Simply a Suggestion
        Have not been to this restaurant, not super close to Trenton

        Sahara
        1325 Us Highway 206
        Skillman, NJ 08558
        (609) 921-8336

        Their website is not working but they are open. A few mentions on chowhound.
        Some additional reviews
        http://www.yelp.com/biz/sahara-restau...

        1. I just remembered that there is a restaurant called Erini, in Ewing, which, when it first opened claimed to offer a number of Greek items. I understand, however, that the menu didn't go over really well with the locals so the owners "tweaked" the menu. A glance at Erini's web site confirms that they now offer only a couple of Greek items. Your only choice may in fact be Pithari Tavern in Highland Park. You might try posting on the PA board to see if there's anything in NE Philly.

          http://erinirestaurant.com/menus.html

          Shabby, I had completely forgotten about Sahara. I haven't eaten there for a couple of years and as I recall the food was pretty average. Nevertheless, it's a convenient place to get a bite to eat after a movie at the Montgomery Theater.

          Caralien, who often posts on Chowhound, gives Sahara a pretty good recommendation on Yelp. Since she has eaten there recently, I would go with her opinions rather than what I remember from two years ago.

          I believe there's also a place in New Brunswick called Sahara. I wonder if they're related.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ambrose

            We went to Erini last Spring, and while I enjoyed my meal, and it did have a little bit of the Greek in the menu, I'm looking for the real deal. The kind of places I see when I go to visit my sister-in-law in Astoria. I might give Sahara a try. I was hoping to find someplace closer than New Brunswick (it's really not that far when you get right down to it), but it looks like I've little choice.

          2. Unfortunately this is one category of cuisine not well-represented around here. Shame, too.

            Can't disagree with anything the other posters have said. I have been disappointed at both Erini and Basil's. The closest real Greek food is at Pithari in Highland Park, but the service can be spotty. Sahara is mediocre but gets the job done and is not too far away.

            If Turkish is on the radar there is also Seven Hills of Istanbul in Highland Park, which is good. Evelyn's in New Brunswick has been recommended but I have not tried it.

            There is a Turkish community over in Bristol, PA, and I once had an exceptional meal at a place there that subsequently closed. Wouldn't be surprised if there were others.

            Addendum: Noticed this place, looks like about 30 minutes south of Trenton, just past Burlington:

            http://mediterraneanrestaurantnj.com

            5 Replies
            1. re: MercerChow

              MercerChow, it was mentioned on another thread that Seven Hills of Istanbul has closed (for an explanation, see their web site). I understand, however, that a new restaurant has already opened in the Seven Hills space and that it MAY be Middle Eastern. Anyone have specific information?

              1. re: ambrose

                Based on the post from Tri State called directory assistance to see if there was a new listing in Highland Park, but they still had 7 hills and that number was disconnected nothing more.

                **Cut and Paste from Tri State post below***

                'think the name started with the letter zee, but I wasn't close enough to see the rest of it. And there was a sign in the window written in Arabic'

                1. re: shabbystorm

                  Well, poo. I really liked 7 Hills.

                  Anyway, this is the new tenant:

                  http://www.zeinarestaurant.com

                  1. re: MercerChow

                    Now I know who to call if I want to find something or someone! Thanks.

                    That sure looks like a cedar of Lebanon on the web site.

              2. re: MercerChow

                MercerChow, I just did a quick google on your suggestion about Bristol and it looks like there are a couple of places in the vicinity. There's a place called Sila just to the south of Burlington and another called Marmara in Englishtown. Neither are exactly right next door, but I'd rather drive to either location and avoid the Turnpike or Route 1 ordeal to get to New Brunswick. The place on your link looks like it might be interesting. The menu looks good, but there's a lot of Pita action going on there. It looks like a good place for lunch if I'm nearby, but not a place I might want to drive to for dinner with Mrs. Citizen Rich. Then again, I once took her on an hour-and-a-half drive once just to get hot dogs at Rutt's Hut, so who's to say what is and isn't worth the drive.