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
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.
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
This cafeteria is the place to go for a visual jolt. Its
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
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.
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.
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.
Much smaller than Greenway Cafe, which sits just across a
stone bridge, La Vincita has a pizza oven and a Starbucks coffee
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.
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.
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
Gillies, owner. 919-0944.
This restaurant — in the office just south of Alexander
Road — serves breakfast and lunch, including hot specials,
soups, and all the sandwich favorites. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
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.
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
Main Bowl." It is a melange of ingredients, including fresh
and noodles. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
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.
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
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
and hot dogs too. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
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
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.
chef; Luigi DiMeglio, owner.
This new cafeteria carries through on the distinctive
style of its host building, 100 College Road West, the
office building just south of the Harmony School that makes a
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.
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
Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This is the newest, and most attractive, cafeteria on Lenox
Drive. Painted in tones of peach, purple, and aquamarine, this
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.
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.
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.
6, Suite 103, Lawrenceville 08648. Dino and Ross Bottoni.
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.
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
fare, including flounder putanesca and artichoke and tomato pasta.
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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
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
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
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,
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,
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
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
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.