Centra PA hound headed for Piscataway in mid May, where to go?
Will be in Piscataway in mid-may for a science fiction "steampunk" con. My husband and I will be based out of the Radisson there. Rather than eat hotel food all the time, we'd like to find any interesting places to eat,hole in the wall to ridiculously upscale. We love just about anything. We will also be driving around the area up to Somerset and maybe Woodbridge to do some reminiscing when I used to always be in the area visiting my Hungarian relatives back in the 70's and 80's. I gather that the City Bakery is long since closed. Used to take home dozens of the "hard rolls" from there. Is there anywhere similar to get rolls at?
I thought the NYT review was funny b/c the reviewer had a number of issues w/the place but then put it as a Don't Miss--but I have to say that my co-worker and I haven't stopped talking about our sandwiches! And I bought a loaf of their stunning bread (supposedly a ciabatta, but trust me, it's not--but it's still fantastic bread). I just toasted a piece out of the freezer. HEAVENLY crust.
I think the appeal is that it's not what you expect in a diner in NJ...unusual menu items (for a diner), high quality ingredients, and (in our case) staff that was somewhat knowledgeable and when he didn't know the answer, got it for us.
They still need to teach the front counter folks which bread is which AND label it correctly. My co-worker bought a boule and it was the same bread I ended up with.
Jump on Rt. 1 North and head over to the Skylark Diner and Lounge, where Craig Shelton, formerly of The Ryland Inn, took over the menu as 'guest' chef almost a year ago! Had lunch there this week and am just wishing he'll make this his new project and hit another diner further north! I had a banh mi that was wonderful--as was the baguette it was served on...turns out the bread comes from one of the owner's other diners. The NY Times recently reviewed it and gave it a "Don't Miss" and I totally concur!
Wish that I could concur with the Times review and those posters who have enjoyed the experience at the Skylark, but I found it to be disappointing, and said so a few months back on a post here. In fact, I was suprised that the short ribs were singled out for an accolade, since that is what I ordered and found them to be dry and flavorless.
Velkyn, if you want a hole in the wall Thai place in Piscataway, head to the Four Seasons, which is in a seedy strip mall on Stelton Road--some of the best Thai anywhere. Half of it is an Asian grocery store, the restaurant, which is totally no-frills, is the other half. It is BYO, but there is a liquor store in the strip mall. Spice level is high, they will tone it down to taste.
Futher up Stelton Road on the opposite side is the Fontainbleu Diner. I have never had dinner there, but their chocolate layer cake is a killer. Sometimes they have a big bowl of cookies (free) by the register, which are delicious.
Agree with suggestion about Four Seasons - although it is in a stripmall I wouldn't call it seedy. The restaurant is definitely bare bones though. Fountainbleu would make a good breakfast stop. And if you are in the mood for pizza, Pizza and Pasta on William Street has a wood fire oven. I love their Pesto Pizza.
I'm curious about the convention -- sound like it might be worth checking out. :)
However, it might help to know a bit more about what you are looking for.
We have a world class quirky Japanese place if you open minded and willing to drive to Somerville (Shumi) .
We have all kinds of modern French-inspired new-American food, and Italian, in New Brunswick (others are covering/will cover the bases-- Personally Due Mari (Italian), Daryl (recently less than their usual?) are among a few I would recommend).
We have great indian food in driving distance. Extremely affordable: Dosa Grill, Udipi, in North Brunswick. More distant, but easy: All of Oak Tree Road in Edison/Islen/Woodbridge/Whatever.
If you quite literally want to stick to Piscataway Spain Inn has good Paella, and Chand Palace has great Indian Vegetarian food. (If you happen to be not South Asian don't be put off by Chand Palace -- they are busy, etc., but people will help you with selections whether fellow diners or staff if you ask or just stand around looking confused. :P)
1980 State Route 27 Ste 3, North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Udipi Cafe Restaurant
3029 State Highway 27 N, Somerset, NJ 08873
1296 Centennial Ave, Piscataway, NJ 08854
1707 W 7th St, Piscataway, NJ 08854
78-80 Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
thanks for all the suggestions. The con's website is here: http://steampunkworldsfair.com/ Looks like it will be quite a shindig!
My husband and I love just about anything and are lookign for somethign that we can't get in "lovely" central PA. Quirky Japanese sounds fun, we have pretty basic "sushi" places here.