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Exploring the Princeton area: Da's Thai, Brother's Moon and Americana Diner

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My husband and I recently moved to the Princeton area (officially 1.5 months of getting acclimated to suburban life) and have enjoyed exploring the area. Here's where we ate recently:

Da's Thai -
I guess this is in Hightstown? We were intrigued by the idea that a coffee house by day turns into a Thai restaurant by night. We went on a Saturday night and arrived there around 7:30 - surprised that there were only a few tables occupied. We ordered two appetizers - fresh spring rolls and green papaya salad. The spring rolls were fine, I mean they were fresh but nothing super exciting. The salad had great flavor but we would have liked it to be spicier. Next time we'll ask them to punch that up a bit, they don't have to be too timid with the chilies.

For entrees, I had the panang curry with tofu and my husband had the beef massaman. Both very good but again we would have liked them to be spicier. We were too full for dessert so we didn't try any gelato. Anyone know if they do mango and sticky rice when mango is in season?

All in all we'd definitely go back - food is good, just needs to have more heat.

Brother's Moon -
Tried this place for Sunday brunch. I had the ham and gruyere omelet which was really good with nice sauteed potatoes and steamed haricot verts. My husband had the egg and proscuitto sandwich with pesto and roasted tomatoes on brioche. That was quite good. He ordered a side of bacon too and it was terrific - perfectly crispy.

We enjoyed trying it and would go back. The atmosphere feels more formal that I think a place like that should. Our only minor gripes were some moments where we thought the service was a little on the amateur side. The restaurant was nearly empty when we arrived but we were first brought to a 2-top in the corner which we thought was a little odd, especially since a couple other 4-tops were occupied by 2 people. My husband ordered coffee and when it arrived the server had spilled some of the coffee into the saucer so the cup was sitting in a pool of coffee. She just kind of laughed and said sorry and that was it. We thought she should have offered to cleaned it up a bit or went back to get a new cup instead of us soaking our napkins to clean it up.

Americana Diner-
My husband has been eager to try some NJ diners and we went for lunch yesterday. Really like the place - not the standard diner in so many ways.

I like that the diner doesn't have that standard plastic coated menu and instead the menu is on heavy cardstock. We had burger lunch - I had a regular cheeseburger, my husband had the veggie burger (hard to pass up a homemade veggie burger) and my stepson had the kids' cheeseburger. We were all very happy and the fries were really good. On the way out I noticed the bottled beer selection and they offer some nice options - again not the standard Bud, Bud Light, Coors - the bottle that caught my eye the most was Schneider Weiss. I love that beer, and it's not that common to see at a restaurant, let alone a diner.

On our way out we bought a few chocolates from the front counter. Both myself and my stepson each had balsamic caramel and my husband had the port wine fig. The chocolate is very high quality. We agreed the balsamic caramel had sea salt on top was the better of the two. We also got a fourth chocoate - lychee wasabi. Very nice flavor but lacked heat!

...Still so many places to try so we're just scratching the surface. But we've been very happy so far with the food options around our new neighborhood.

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green papaya
Riveredge, NJ, Riveredge, NJ

Americana Diner & Restaurant
US Highway 130, Hightstown, NJ 08520

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  1. Your post reminds me that I really need to get back to The Brothers Moon for Sunday brunch. I still have fond memories of the chocolate (chip?) pancakes that I had the last time I was there. Yum! I don't see them on the on-line menu now so perhaps they were a special.

    We did not have any service issues of the kind you describe though it was fairly obvious that servers spent more time with customers who were regulars. As I say, however, this did not affect the service at our table.

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    Brothers Moon
    7 W Broad St, Hopewell, NJ 08525