Alexander, Carnegie

Route 1 South

Forrestal Center

Lawrenceville

Route 206

Between the Lines

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring were prepared for the

May 2, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Out to Lunch: Corporate-Style

How do you spell relief from the brown bag and company vending

machines?

You might find some welcome variety as close as your own office park

or within a short drive. The following cafes (they don’t like to be

called cafeterias anymore) are open to the public and many also serve

breakfast. We list them in geographical order.

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Alexander, Carnegie

Park Cafe, 600 Alexander Park. 609-750-0067.

The only dining facility serving the offices in Alexander

Park, the Hillier-designed cluster of buildings off Alexander Road

in West Windsor, the Park Cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating.

The dining room overlooks a pond, and owner Joe Gillies is working

on getting approval for live lunchtime music. He’s hoping to start

soon, and have music on some summer Fridays. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2:30

p.m.

101 Carnegie Deli, 101 Carnegie Center.

This cafeteria is the place to go for a visual jolt. Its

chairs

and tables are candy apple red, and its futuristic-looking lighting

fixtures are black with neon-red rings. Seating is flexible, with

tables coming together to seat eight or more. Upholstered gray

banquettes

run around the perimeter of the dining room. Attractive as the dining

room is, it is no match for the outdoor island of flowers and trees

that sits in the cobble stone circle in front of the building. White

tables with green umbrellas placed among the trees offer an idyllic

setting for a workday lunch.

The food here is by Sodexho Marriott (the institutional food

service that operates many of the corporate cafes in these listings).

Selections include sandwiches, three kinds of soup, grilled items,

hot entrees, and frozen yogurt with toppings for just 25 cents an

ounce. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

105 Carnegie, 105 Carnegie Center. 609-558-1208.

This vest pocket cafeteria, just inside the front entrance

of the RCN building, has only six tables, but ample windows make it

light and cheerful. Eggs and breakfast meat, as well as pastry, fruit,

and coffee, are on the breakfast menu. Luncheon sandwiches come in

three sizes — regular, club, and hero. Salad, soup, and macaroni

and cheese are served for lunch, too. Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Greenway Cafe, 210 Carnegie Center, First Floor.

Joe Mirra, general manager. 609-452-2900; fax, 609-452-8795.

The dining room and spacious outdoor deck now offer a look

at swans nesting on a little green hill overlooking the pond just

in front of this cafeteria. One of the prettiest dining spots anywhere

in the area, the Greenway Cafe is reached by flower-lined walks of

crushed red rock, or, of course, by elevator. In the summertime, enjoy

weekly concerts in the amphitheater.

Run by Sodexho Marriott, the cafeteria offers an extensive

salad bar, hot entrees, sandwiches, and daily specials. On a recent

weekday featured items included veal and peppers over saffron rice,

broccoli and bacon salad, chicken Milanzano, and curry chicken pasta.

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

La Vincita, 214 Carnegie Center.

Much smaller than Greenway Cafe, which sits just across a

stone bridge, La Vincita has a pizza oven and a Starbucks coffee

stand.

It serves soup, a limited selection of sandwiches, and a hot entree,

perhaps vodka rigatoni or stuffed peppers. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 10

a.m., and 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cafeteria, 7 Roszel Road. Chris Potocki, general

manager. 609-627-3661.

This new cafeteria in the Merrill Lynch building stays open

longer than most, providing a variety of specialty coffees and snacks

throughout the afternoon. There are televisions in the dining room,

which is more spacious than those at many corporate dining sites.

Chef stations featuring made-to-order entrees are a specialty. Hours:

7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Ritazza Coffee Kiosk, 9 Roszel Road, lobby.

In the lobby of the Merrill Lynch building, this kiosk offers

baked goods and fruit for breakfast, and features gourmet wraps, soup,

and salad for lunch. Hours: 7 to 9:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30

p.m.

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Route 1 South

The Eatery at Overlook, 100 Overlook Center, Joe

Gillies, owner. 919-0944.

This restaurant — in the office just south of Alexander

Road — serves breakfast and lunch, including hot specials,

seasonal

soups, and all the sandwich favorites. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Cafeteria, 100 Nassau Park. Calvin Johnson, general

manager.

Renovated just one year ago, this cafeteria is in the green

office building adjacent to the Kohl’s and Wegmans shopping center

and is operated by Sodexho Marriott.

Jim Richards, chef/manager, says this cafeteria is smaller

than many his company operates, but its serving area is large. In

addition to the standard sandwich, grill, and hot entree stations,

there is a pizza oven, a salad island, a section just for marinated

food, and an "As You Like It" island that Richards varies

day by day, offering up a chili bar one day, and a soup bar, or salad

bar on another. Seating is in an adjacent atrium: 7:15 to 9:15 a.m.

and 11:30 to 1:30 p.m.

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Forrestal Center

Arbor Cafe, 600 College Road East. Debra Lanzner,

manager. 609-987-0737.

Expanding its offerings, this cafeteria now features sushi

on selected days, is planning to roll out its outdoor grills any day

now, and, says general manager Debra Lanzner, is "doing a lot

of display cooking." A favorite in that latter category is

"The

Main Bowl." It is a melange of ingredients, including fresh

vegetables

and noodles. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Cafe 500, 500 College Road East. Joe Gillies,

owner.

609-987-9444; fax, 419-9698.

This cafeteria serves up revolving specials, including chicken

enchiladas, London broil, and pasta with spinach and sausage. Hours:

7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Cafe 650, 650 College Road East. 609-989-0371.

Making do with a small space, as many corporate cafeterias

do, this eatery turned the lack of an indoor grill into a positive.

"Now that the weather is nice, we’re starting to grill

outdoors,"

says Debra Lanzner, general manager. The cafe has a patio and outdoor

tables. On warm, clear days look for grilled specialities that could

include tuna steak, salmon steak, veggie burgers, or roasted

vegetables,

and hot dogs too. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Gallery Cafe, 107 College Road East. Luigi

DiMeglio, manager. 609-520-8220.

Larger than most corporate cafeterias, this generous space

features wrap around windows, and an extensive selection of hot and

cold specialties that changes daily. Many dishes, including sweet

roasted pepper hummus with greens and mixed grain toast, and crepe

of fresh asparagus with mushroom and tomato cream, are made with

vegetarians

in mind.

Other specialties include West Tisbury clam chowder, corn

meal crusted pork medallions, and a selection of pannini sandwiches.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Gallery Cafe, 100 College Road West. Pedro Sapon,

chef; Luigi DiMeglio, owner.

This new cafeteria carries through on the distinctive

contemporary

style of its host building, 100 College Road West, the

recently-completed

office building just south of the Harmony School that makes a

statement

with its pointed ends. Located just to the left of the building’s

round, three-story high lobby, the Gallery Cafe, though small, is

given a spacious feel by what used to be called picture windows.

Multi-paned

mirrors add to the illusion of space in this 44-seat dining room.

Pedro Sapon, chef/manager, says outdoor tables will soon be

set out on the patio between the cafeteria and Route 1.

Breakfast here includes a "create your own omelette"

option, and a $2.35 breakfast of two eggs, breakfast meat, and a bagel

or pastry. For lunch, a pizza oven turns out deep pan, Sicilian, and

standard pizza with a choice of toppings. Dessert bars in no fewer

than five flavors are imported from New York City, and are

exceptional.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Lawrenceville

Food Werx Cafe, 2000 Lenox Drive. 609-219-0577.

This is the newest, and most attractive, cafeteria on Lenox

Drive. Painted in tones of peach, purple, and aquamarine, this

corporate

dining facility offers seating on an outdoor deck, or in a spacious

dining room with upholstered banquettes, and booths, including one

that seats at least eight.

Food for all three Lenox Drive eateries is prepared here by

Restaurant Hospitality Services of Mt. Laurel, which took over food

service about three months ago. Open for breakfast and lunch, its

specialties include entree salads, hot dishes, soup, and baked goods.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Food Werx Cafe, 997 Lenox Drive. 609-219-0573.

This cafeteria offers a choice of eight specialty sandwiches,

including oven roast turkey and brie with plum tomato and red onion,

and flat iron seared eye roast with horseradish and greens. Also on

the menu are wrap sandwiches, two soup choices each day, a variety

of salads, and Philly pretzels. Hours: 7:30 to 3 p.m.

Food Werx Cafe, 1009 Lenox Drive. 609-219-0577.

Seating here is in a sunny atrium decorated with dark floral

screens. Large white umbrellas are available for those who prefer

shade. Hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Dino’s Cafe, 3131 Princeton Pike Office Park,

Building

6, Suite 103, Lawrenceville 08648. Dino and Ross Bottoni.

609-896-3466;

fax, 609-896-0995.

In business for over 20 years, Dino’s Cafe has an unusually

large menu. There are 24 grill options, including Italian hot dogs

and turkey burgers. For those looking for something a little lighter,

there are salads, soups, and veggie wraps. Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

QP Eatery, Quakerbridge Plaza, Building 6. Ron

and Ileen Angarone, owners. 609-587-7274.

The public is welcome at this cafeteria, says Ileen Angarone.

While the Angarones see many regulars, this is one spot that does

a lot of casual drop-in business, too. Specials range from popular

standbys like grilled chicken Caesar salad and apple pie to more

ambitious

fare, including flounder putanesca and artichoke and tomato pasta.

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Route 206

Carver’s Cafe, 421 Wall Street. Jim Palmiter,

owner.

609-683-1660.

Open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Carvers features a number

of specialty turkey sandwiches, including the Turkey Monster, which

is layered with stuffing and cranberry sauce. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to

3:30 p.m.

Top Of Page
Between the Lines

For five years in the early 1990s the U.S. 1 Dining

Guide earned accolades. It was comprehensive (everything from takeout

joints to plush four star restaurants) and it was indexed, so you

could quickly find the spots with outdoor tables or historic settings,

for instance. The guide summarized the menus and told about the

ambience,

sometimes irreverently. We did not "review" the food, because

we believed then (and still do now) that a fair food review requires

multiple visits from a professional critic.

When U.S. 1 Newspaper changed from a biweekly production schedule

to a weekly one, we began to wonder just how much printed matter we

could deposit in your offices each week. And so we ceased publishing

the print version of the Dining Guide in 1995. Instead we offer

biannual

dining updates in our regular publication — this year’s spring

edition appears in this issue, beginning on page 16.

But a new and different U.S. 1 Dining Guide has taken the place of

the paper version. It can be found on our website,

www.princetoninfo.com.

It has the same basic information and a virtual index: search on the

words "outdoor" or "historic" and you will come up

with the restaurants that have outdoor tables or historic buildings.

And since 1998 the guide has been interactive — helpful,

informative,

and sometimes irreverent comments are now supplied by our readers.

Each restaurant listing offers the opportunity for you, the reader,

to become an instant dining critic. You have responded with alacrity.

Recent pro and con comments have been posted about the Blue Point

Grill, Orchid Pavilion, Kanoko, Thai Village, Capuano’s, Romeo’s,

Crown of India, Mediterra, Lotus Garden, and Rat’s.

We encourage critics to identify themselves somehow, perhaps by where

they live and work. One reader praised an Italian restaurant, adding,

"trust me, my last name ends in a vowel."

Customer service (or the lack of it) reaps many comments. A

24-year-old

woman on her first visit to Princeton was incensed by the way a rude

bartender rejected her driver’s license, tossing it down, and saying

"I won’t accept that." As she points out, the question "Do

you have anything else?" would have been more appropriate.

Price versus value is another popular topic. "Overpriced"

is a frequent epithet, often followed by the defense of the prices

from someone else. Except for the earliest ones, the comments are

dated, so you can observe the trends and make allowances for what

might have changed.

Because the guide covers the gamut, everything from the most fancy

to the least fancy spots, we have elicited tips on unlikely places:

takeout (at Sakura Express and Zorba’s Grill), lunch places (Sally

Lunn’s), and chain restaurants (Chili’s and Macaroni Grill).

Is your favorite restaurant in our lineup? Do you know a jewel waiting

to be discovered or a popular restaurant that does not live up to

its vaunted reputation? Here’s your chance to be a restaurant critic.

You have been there. You know what you think. And you may tell the

world. And be forewarned: In cyberspace the world is liable to talk

back.


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