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Between the Lines

This article was published in U.S. 1

Newspaper on April 28, 1999. All rights reserved.

When you venture from your favorite eatery, you want

to know more about the restaurant you are trying for the first time.

So the U.S. 1 Dining and Entertainment Guide has always been popular.

We issued the last paper edition in the fall of 1994, and when we

moved from a biweekly to a weekly publishing schedule we began to

put our restaurant information on the World Wide Web instead of on

paper.

You can find it there at http://www.princetoninfo.com, U.S.

1 Newspaper’s home page. Looking for the list of restaurants that

serve your favorite ethnic food? Search on Indian, Thai, Chinese,

or Mediterranean. Looking for the name of that place in Lambertville?

Search by city. Print out your selections and you will have your own

personalized paper version of the dining guide.

The web-based guide offers a singular opportunity: To add your own

comments and read the off-the-cuff comments of others, both pro and

(sometimes vehemently) con. A sampling of some in the past several

months:

Hot Wok Cafe: "I work down the street and eat their

food about twice a week and wish I could eat lunch there every day.

I’m pretty sure that no other Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce or preparation

of spinach will ever measure up to Hot Wok’s. I have been spoiled

for life, but am thankful for the experience." And, "The seafood

soup, crispy founder, and sichuan-style (gan-bie) string beans are

three other choice dishes people have not mentioned in the reviews."

Thai Village: "We like the food quite a bit, especially

Chicken lard Na and Shrimp lard Na. Spring rolls with plum sauce are

very good, and the chicken or beef satay are tasty." And, "Horrible

Thai food and horrible service to boot. Go to Siam in Lambertville."

The Ferry House: "Food and service were OK." And,

"Nice atmosphere, good service, and very nice size portions."

Ichiban: "The sushi can’t be beat! The service isn’t

too good but the food is well worth the trip." And, "Worst

meal I have ever experienced — poor service, indifferent ingredients,

careless presentation."

Mediterra: "The paella is reason enough to wait for

a table. Mediterra has the best food ever." But then, "$6

a glass for somewhat ordinary wine. Unreal."

Twist Rojo: "I’m in love with this place. I am not

a vegetarian but I never get enough vegetables from meat restaurants.

Twist Rojo does a superb job with vegetables, and they serve some

chicken & fish too. The taste is as wonderful as the appearance. Don’t

miss the squash/bean soup."

Alchemist & Barrister: "First time was excellent,

second time was poor/mediocre. Somewhat expensive."

Forrestal at Princeton: "For food quality and variety

and for attentive service, the finest Sunday buffet brunch in the

immediate vicinity. This is a place for good food rather than scenic

or quaint surroundings."

Palace of Asia: "There’s usually a large contingent

of Asian diners, which seems to confirm that this competes with the

finer Indian places in New York. The service, though friendly, can

be spacey and slow (the bottleneck may be in the kitchen, since everything

tastes so fresh) and the menu seldom changes or has specials, but

for taste, quality, and value Palace of Asia is deservedly popular."

Passage to India: "The food was delicious, reasonably

priced, and exotic. The only downside is the service. I guess it depends

on the time of day. The Mysore dosa was particularly good."

Sometimes the take-out spots evoke as many comments as the fancy

eateries:

Santa Fe Express: "Yum! They make just about everything

from scratch daily and you can taste the difference."

One reviewer suggests Princeton needs more restaurants: "We

stopped by Lahiere’s in mid-afternoon to look at the menu and, possibly

make reservations. The maitre d’ told us with relish that there would

be no seating until 9:30 or 10 p.m. Really. So when does one make

reservations at this place?" The reviewer had a similar experience

at Alchemist & Barrister.

Another reviewer believes more competition is needed. She had been

warned to come early so as to avoid the crowd: "I phoned a week

in advance and was told they did not take reservations but we might

get in if we came early. So we planned our life around their convenience

and came early — to an empty restaurant. Televisions blaring.

What has happened to so-called service industries? Isn’t more competition

the answer?"

Well, you can expect to see plenty more of that. Our dining section

begins on page 18 of this issue and features three restaurants that

seem to have cropped up overnight in New Brunswick and three new seafood

places coming to Princeton. Keep us posted.

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T.J.’s Trattoria: "The Pennington location as the best rigatoni

vodka around. And the staff is really friendly and courteous. Excellent

portions for the money."

Rusty Scupper: "Not bad. Stay upstairs and stick to the bar menu.

Service is a bit slow."


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