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Greek/Middle Eastern Places in Trenton Vicinity?

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Citizen Rich Jul 12, 2009 12:21 PM

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. ambrose RE: Citizen Rich Jul 12, 2009 01:06 PM

    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. BeeZee RE: Citizen Rich Jul 12, 2009 03:52 PM

      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
        g
        glutton RE: BeeZee Sep 21, 2009 04:07 AM

        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. shabbystorm RE: Citizen Rich Jul 13, 2009 06:31 AM

        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. ambrose RE: Citizen Rich Jul 13, 2009 01:08 PM

          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
            c
            Citizen Rich RE: ambrose Jul 13, 2009 06:54 PM

            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. MercerChow RE: Citizen Rich Jul 13, 2009 02:23 PM

            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
              ambrose RE: MercerChow Jul 13, 2009 02:59 PM

              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
                shabbystorm RE: ambrose Jul 13, 2009 05:50 PM

                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
                  MercerChow RE: shabbystorm Jul 13, 2009 05:56 PM

                  Well, poo. I really liked 7 Hills.

                  Anyway, this is the new tenant:

                  http://www.zeinarestaurant.com

                  1. re: MercerChow
                    ambrose RE: MercerChow Jul 13, 2009 06:36 PM

                    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
                c
                Citizen Rich RE: MercerChow Jul 13, 2009 07:11 PM

                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.

              3. mschow RE: Citizen Rich Jul 13, 2009 09:37 PM

                This is another Turkish restaurant in Delran, in the same area where the other Turkish restaurant was mentioned. Sorry, I have not been, just have driven by.
                http://www.starmanti.com/Star-Manti-M...
                In addition, there is a Turkish restaurant in Voorhees that has gotten good reviews here on Chowhound. Again, I have not been there, but I'm sure you can do a search for it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mschow
                  j
                  johnpm RE: mschow Jul 14, 2009 08:22 AM

                  Sila closed and was replaced by "Mediterranean Restaurant" mentioned by MercerChow above. They still serve good Turkish food. Also, in the same strip mall as Star-Manti, is a very small Turkish place called "Truva" ( at least it was still there several months ago). If the Voorhees place you're referring to was "Authentic Turkish Cuisine", they have since moved to Philadelphia.

                  1. re: johnpm
                    mschow RE: johnpm Jul 14, 2009 09:20 AM

                    The Voorhees place is in the Eagle Shopping Plaza on Haddonfield-Berlin Rd...I think it's called Ariana. It received good feedback here on CH. However, be EXTREMELY CAREFUL if you click on their website. I reported them to the chowhound moderators before because after clicking on their website, I lost complete control of my laptop. I had to unplug and pull the battery to get it to turn off. Then I had to scan it for at least 15 minutes as both my computer security systems alerted me to a virus I picked up from that site. CH responded that they was no problem with the site, and they had checked it out. I forgot about it until I clicked on it again last night with the same result: complete loss of control of my laptop and could not shut the computer down again!! Just be careful if you do click on the restaurant site.

                2. s
                  sadiefox RE: Citizen Rich Jul 16, 2009 10:00 AM

                  Trenton Kebab House! Please support this little place. Nothing special inside (used to be a Quizno's) but the food is good. I really liked the iksender kebab and tabbouleh salad.

                  http://trentonkebabhouse.com/

                  1. l
                    luvgoodfood RE: Citizen Rich Sep 16, 2009 03:38 PM

                    I am a big fan of middle eastern food and found Kamil's in Paterson on Main to be a great place to satisfy my cravings (had one in the oven). Made my husband drive an hour just for the Kibah and garlic sauce. .. poor guy. We just had a night out and tried Zeina in Highland Park. Thank goodness it was up to par (I am picky!). Having 3 little ones, I need a great dinner in a beautiful place to make me happy. My name says it all..lol. Had a great chicken dinner and had an amazing garlic sauce (poor husband once again lol. We sat outside and relaxed without staff pushing us out. I really enjoyed the food and people there were very good. Nice crowd that evening too. Hope this helps.

                    1. b
                      brownie RE: Citizen Rich Sep 21, 2009 07:56 AM

                      There used to be a really good Egyptian place on Rt.33, sort of in Hamilton (I think). Anyway, the original owner/cook sold it and I've been back only once since then--this was probably 3 years ago--and it just wasn't as good. The best thing the old spot had was homemade pita which were insanely delicious when hot. Hummous was pretty good, too, as was the foul. They also had a pizza to-go thing going on. Does anyone remember this place and has anyone been lately?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: brownie
                        BeeZee RE: brownie Sep 21, 2009 12:28 PM

                        Alladin's Palace...closed a couple of years ago.

                      2. ambrose RE: Citizen Rich Mar 19, 2012 06:28 AM

                        Old thread but I wanted to note that there is now a Greek place called Mikonos in Ewing. I myself have not been but the one review I found was fairly positive.

                        http://centraljersey.com/articles/201...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ambrose
                          c
                          chefdaddyo RE: ambrose Mar 19, 2012 08:16 PM

                          We ate at Mikonos two weekends ago. I thought it might be an upscale gyro joint, but the menu listed a bunch of classic Greek items. I believe this used to be a Stewart's root beer hut? Anyway, very accomodating host and wait staff. I ordered the Pastitzio ('cause I haven't seen or tasted it in years) and sweetie opts for the Gyro (beef and lamb combo) platter. Mine was excellent, along w/ potatoes roasted w/ lemon. Barely finished it! Gyro was super plentiful, and good quality. Note the beef/lamb combo only. Perhaps lamb has inched up in cost more than beef, hence the 'combo'. Great dessert baklava. Worth looking at, but we'd do the weekend lunch for $6.95.

                          1. re: ambrose
                            m
                            madgreek99 RE: ambrose Feb 27, 2013 09:21 AM

                            Had lunch over the weekend at Mikonos in Ewing. This is a very casual place, a little "diner-esque" I would say, and though the decor was a little disappointing, the food and service was great. Both the chicken gyro and pork souvlaki sandwiches were delicious. A little heavy handed on the lettuce perhaps, but the meat and tzatziki sauce were tasty and well made. The avgolemeno soup was authentic, hearty, and delicious. The spanakopita was probably the best I've had outside of homemade in recent memory. The greek potatoes were perfectly seasoned and perfectly cooked.
                            The prices here are very reasonable, the server was attentive and friendly, and the food was very good. Will definitely return soon.

                          2. r
                            RUSK97 RE: Citizen Rich Feb 27, 2013 10:57 PM

                            You can try Taverna Ouzo in Monroe. www.tavernaouzo.com

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