jerseybill52's Profile

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Philly Mag Top 50 Restaurants...

Went to Amada yesterday. I first went in August 2009 and have been 12 times per my "dining" diary. The main thing I noticed yesterday is the continuing trend of smaller portions. You used to get a plate to eat off of that was rectangular, about 3 by 10 inches. The Charcutarie came on a big oval serving plate – covered in meat with about 8 slices of bread. They have new serving dishes, ovals. And now you get your order of meat on the old rectangular “eating” dish, and it is about half of what they used to serve. Four slices of bread and half the size of the old order of meat. But the same price! Jose is cutting corners it looks like since the Amada at Revel is probably tanking along with the casino. A shame to see this place dong this, but since it is mostly tourists no one knows they are getting gypped.

Feb 17, 2013
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Nice restaurant for 6 people

Went to Amada yesterday. I first went in August 2009 and have been 12 times per my "dining" diary. The main thing I noticed yesterday is the continuing trend of smaller portions. You used to get a plate to eat off of that was rectangular, about 3 by 10 inches. The Charcutarie came on a big oval serving plate – covered in meat with about 8 slices of bread. They have new serving dishes, ovals. And now you get your order of meat on the old rectangular “eating” dish, and it is about half of what they used to serve. Four slices of bread and half the size of the old order of meat. But the same price! Jose is cutting corners it looks like since the Amada at Revel is probably tanking along with the casino. A shame to see this place dong this, but since it is mostly tourists no one knows they are getting gypped.

Feb 17, 2013
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

tashan?

Thanks for the tip on Indian Garden. My wife and I used to go to a place in this strip mall years ago I think. It was called Portobello. Don't get down to Bristol very much.

Harini is not very impressive physically. It is frequented by many Indians. Don’t be surprised to see people eating with their hands and not a fork.

Jul 02, 2012
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

tashan?

OK. Depends on your likes in Indian. Mostly south Indian, On Route 1 in Lawrenceville (just next to Olive Garden more or less) is Harini. http://www.harinirestaurant.com/
It's just a little strip mall spot but the food is good and cheap. Only place I know of where you can get Dosa. Best Dosa around, we like the Chili and Onion Masal Dosa. The Onion Kulcha bread here is good - but it can be hit or miss, Sometimes too thick, othertimes just right. And the dal is good.

In Princeton is Cross Cultures. Not in downtown - it's in the P-ton burbs.Best Dal in the area!!! SPICY!! They have an item I like - Kachumber. Sort of a pickled onion, chili and tomato item.
http://www.crossculturerestaurant.com/
My wife likes the lunch special - we go often in the summer since she is a teacher - as it has a variety of small apps and meats. You will see if you look at ther web site. But all year long this is a stand out Indian. Summer is nice since you can sit outside on the mall and eat
al fresco.

Also good food - but of mixed qaulity service - is Mehek in Princeton proper. Have not been here for a while as I was really, really unhappy with the service last time. Its been over a year since my last visit. Harini and Cross Culture have consistent service. This was good food, likely still is good food. I know this was the place my wife liked best for Chicken Tikka.
http://www.mehekprinceton.com/

These three are BYOB.

Avoid: Palace of Asia - over glitzy and over priced and Shahi Palace - both in Lawrenceville

Jun 30, 2012
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Leyla Turkish

A little gem on Chestnut. Clean and quick. First we had the Hummus - a safe play. But the bread they brought was not pita. It was a Turkish bread we were told. Hot, fluffy and good.

Lots of different kebab items. I had the adana kebab. Good, but I would have liked mine more well done like I make at home. I cook my kebab more at home. My wife played it safe and just had chicken kebab. She was very happy with it. A mixed lettuce and tomato salad side and rice come wiht each kebab.

Overall a big thumbs up to a very nice little Turkish place in Philly. With some Turkish places closing it is good to see a new one open.

Try this. I think you will really like it.

Jun 28, 2012
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

tashan?

I know what I orderd. And I've been eating Indian food for years. Both at home and out to dinner. That is why I wanted to try Tashan. Billed as "not strip mall Indian." It wasn't what was described on the menu.

If I order steak and you bring me fish whose fault is that? Just like giving my dal and Naan to the wrong table and the Paneer pizza they tried to give to us. Rotten service.

Jun 28, 2012
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

tashan?

After reading many good things about Tashan in both the Inky and Philly Mag my wife and I went last weekend for our anniversary. Everything about this meal was a disappointment. Everything.
It was a busy night so we had a reservation. Have you seen the picture of Tashan in the Philly mag review? Well, we were seated on the very left-hand side of that photo with my wife wedged between the leftmost swinging door and the next door over. The roar was deafening. It is very noisy here. And the tables are packed one upon another. Disappointment. Like anyone these days we had looked at the menu on the internet before going and we had each made a pick. For me the venison and my wife wanted the lobster. Looking at the menus we noticed that neither was listed. Disappointment. What’s on the web should be on the menu. When the hostess came to recite the specials I said that we noticed the venison and lobster items were not on the menu to which she replied “Oh, we just took them off the menu yesterday.” (To quote Meatloaf - I bet she says that to all the boys.) She did the specials, went over the menu and explained how the items would come out in sequence, one after another. Her personal recommendation was the Tandoor Chaamp, Frenched lamb chops. My wife and I momentarily discussed leaving, but I had been wanting to try Tashan for a long time so we decided to stay. So we ordered. First the Chicken Patanga, next the Lamb chops, Tandoor Chaamp, third the Dal Makkhani with the GOC Naan and last the Chicken Biryani.
First item, the Chicken Patanga, which the menu describes as Supremes roulade, nuts and onion-raisin stuffing, pomegranate Makhni sauce. What we got: six chunks of chicken which looked just like the kebab my wife had had at lunch at Leyla. I know what a roulade is. In this case Roulade, missing; stuffing, missing. Not at all as described on the menu. Disappointment.
Next, up the hostess’s recommendation: the Lamb Chops. Forget that part about how they bring one item after another in a sequence. I’d barely had time to eat one-and-a-half chicken chunks when the lamb chops came out. Now, I know you have all eaten a lamb chop, so when I say these had the texture of liver you’ll know how un-lamb choppy these were. Texture: Mush. Not good at all. Disappointment.
There was a bit of a wait between our second and third dishes. That was mainly because the Dal and Naan we were supposed to get were delivered to the table next to us. We suspected it was ours, but not knowing what the table next to us had ordered we had no way to be sure, and when they tucked into the dal and Naan we figured, “Oh well, it’s the kitchen’s problem now.” Service - Disappointment. Then a waiter shows up at our table and tried to deliver someone else’s Paneer pizza to us. We, at least, told him it wasn’t ours. The hostess finally figured out the dal/Naan screw up and told us it would be just a few minutes. We had barely torn the Naan and scooped up some dal when the Biryani was delivered. Disappointment. We’ve had biryani many times before; my wife even makes it at home. This was rather dry, as if it had been sitting, which would not surprise me as the kitchen was likely trying to serve the dal and Naan at least two minutes before the biryani. Disappointment, Disappointment, Disappointment. One after the other.
So, summary: Noise – very bad. Service – really very poor. Food – You can’t order what’s on the web and even once you do order it may end up at someone else’s table. I can recommend a few good Indian restaurants in the greater Princeton area where I live, but I can’t recommend Tashan. Philly mag bemoaned the fact that Tashan might soon close because Philly may not yet be sophisticated enough yet for fine Indian food. I’ve got to ask “Where is the fine Indian food?” Overall, one tremendous disappointment. If Tashan dose close, I’ll not shed a tear.

Jun 28, 2012
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Le Castagne

It is five years – five years since the last time we ate here. I was unhappy for the most part with that last meal looking back on my restaurant diary. Which explains why it’s been five years since we last ate here. So, it will likely be five more years before I come back again, if ever. Now, as for myself I have only myself to blame for the items which I ordered and I won’t discuss them much here. I had a shredded chicken over mixed greens salad. I thought the chicken would be room temp or warm – it was straight from the frig. That’s my fault, I should have realized they would prep the chicken well before service and keep it in the frig. I’m just not accustomed to cold chicken in a salad. Second was my poor choice on entrée for lunch. Tagliatelli with braised boar cheek. Didn’t like it. My bad pick. So, my mea culpa’s out of the way here are the things I have a bone to pick about.

Wine service - $12 a glass for the house Cab and they give you about 150mm. That’s $120 for a 1.5 liter bottle that likely costs them $14 or $15. That’s an outrageous mark-up. Now my wife’s meal is what really ticked me off. She got a lunch special – Tilapia served over mashed potatoes with sautéed Swiss chard. The slice of Tilapia was not as big as a pack for poker cards. I mean, it was less than the size of my palm. And the Swiss chard – and this is not a high cost item – but there were no more than two small forkfuls at most! It was pitiful how little Swiss chard there was! It was a joke! I used to think of this as one of the better restaurants in Philly. It is definitely off my list of any spot I would go to eat ever again. Overpriced wine, ridiculously small servings on the specials, and not worth the price. $60 for 5 wines and $68 for two apps and two entrees at lunch. And small portions to boot.

Very Disgusted.

Jan 18, 2012
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Belgian Restaurants in Central NJ

You are SOL pal - No Belgian in Central Jersey I ever heard of.

Jan 04, 2012
jerseybill52 in New Jersey

Trenton Tomato Pies

I must give thumbs down to Wildflowers. I live next town over in Ewing and I don't think the pizza is worth the trip.

Jan 04, 2012
jerseybill52 in New Jersey

Trenton Tomato Pies

I will be out voted here - no doubt. But my vote goes to La Villa across the river in Morrisville, PA. They have excellent thin crust Sicilian style tomato pies. I love it. An Italian buddy of mine took me here for the first time a few years back. It's a BYOB. Unlike Hudson (which I loved in the 1980's) I find that having a bathroom at a restaurant can be a plus. Delorenzo's on Hudson St is covered by an ancient grandfather clause which exempts them from providing a toilet for customers. One last item you may want to consider is that La Villa has some of the MOST beautiful wait staff you will ever find in a pizza joint. “Did you see that waitress.” is a common comment when we have lunch there. Over the summer I had lunch with a friend brought his 20 year old female summer intern to lunch with him. Neither of us made any comment about our waitress in deference to the young lady with us - but before the meal was over she commented "Did you notice that the waitress is gorgeous?"
Additionally, my wife loves the thin crust Sicilian here. It really is great.

http://lavilla-restaurant.com/

Jan 04, 2012
jerseybill52 in New Jersey

Ferry House in Princeton - Big Let Down

Need I say it – a disappointment. Well, Princeton has never been known for fine dining, much as some spots might try. We had dinner last night with friends who have been patrons here for years. One of the first things they said when we arrived was “It’s not as good as it used to be.” Well, the Chowhound reviews are right. It is not that good. We were given our menus. Shortly our waiter came to the table ready to announce the specials. We had to ask that he open the wine first. So, wine opened and specials recited, we next had to ask for bread. And here they do not give you a basket of bread. Each slice is served – and must be asked for – individually. And the bread was not that good. My wife would not even finish her piece and a dining partner who asked for a second slice asked if it was fresh because it felt state. The answer she was given was that “oh, it’s toasted.” I’ve seen toast – this was not toasted. Fresh or state, the bread was not much more than a slice out of a steak roll. One of the appetizer specials was a jumbo crab and avocado martini. At least that is what I recall the waiter saying. It was just shredded crab over an avocado salsa in a bourbon glass. Big disappointment. For the main course I had breast of duck, duck leg confit with risotto and asparagus. My understanding of risotto is that it should be smooth and creamy, not thick and glutinous. Well, you be the judge, but if you can stick a duck leg in risotto that is so thick and pasty that the leg is held straight upright, well that’s not my idea of a good risotto. Overall a big disappointment, but then again, not really. My wife and I went here for dinner about 8 or 9 years ago. I was so unhappy with the meal we never went back. We only went last night because our dining partners had picked it and we knew it to be a place they liked – or at least they used to like. So, you be the judge, if you want to risk it.

Dec 28, 2011
jerseybill52 in New Jersey

Planning Vienna trip... Narrowing choices

My personnel favorite in Wien is the Gösser Bierklinik. They serve excellent Tafelspitz - a Viennese specialty loved by Emperor Franz Josef. And the building is from 1406 according to the history given. Sure looked that old when we were there!

http://www.goesser-bierklinik.at/

Nov 08, 2010
jerseybill52 in Europe

Which Philly Chinatown Spot?

Myself and about 5 or 6 other guys will be making a trip down to Philly next week and we would like to try a Chinatown restaurant for lunch after seeing the Cleopatra exhibit at ther Franklin Inst.
Most of the guys are retired, so they are not looking for cutting edge Chinese cuisine. Can anyone reccommend a good buffet spot so that they can pick and choose what they want?

Nov 08, 2010
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Palate in Newtown

Heard about this place - so since we go to Newtown often we checked it out. The window menu really turned me off. Nothing I would want to eat. So, since I have not eaten here I can not comment on the food - just that a sidewalk cruise by to look at the menu ensures I won' t be eating here.

Oct 04, 2010
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

good eats in Newtown?

I agree - La Villa has the best thin crust pizza around. Went there with some buddies for lunch April '10. Took my wife about a week later for an early saturday dinner. Now I have to stay late at work twice a month to bring home pizza for her she loves it so much.

AS for Rouget, I have been there many times. It is good food. Problem is there menu is not on the internet and since I have diet restrictions I follow many times I find they have only one item I will order. My wife likes the menu and so do my family who I have brought there for my birthday dinner more than once. Plus we go there the night after Thanksgiving. Can be crowded at times. We usually go in the fall and winter. Although the glassed in porch looks very attractive we avoid it for two reasosn - In cold weather you really feal the cold and it can be noisy as hell. One night we sat there and there was a party of six women with too much wine and too much to talk about at the top of their lungs. We have never sat in that section again. The food is good.

-----
Rouget
2 Swamp Road, Newtown, PA 18940

Aug 20, 2010
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Philly Chinatown Dim Sum

This may be a good alternate - again - any web link? Reviews? We may be a bit older - be we are not less savvy. We want links and input if available.

Feb 28, 2010
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Philly Chinatown Dim Sum

Any web link I can show my buddies or something....

Feb 28, 2010
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Philly Chinatown Dim Sum

Where is Dim Sum Garden? We are not locals. We are really Dim Sum rookies. We could use advice.

Any webpage links?

Feb 27, 2010
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Philly Chinatown Dim Sum

Yeah, I know there are 8,000,000 answers to this question, But what do poeple think is good now? Me and about 10-11 buds are planning a road trip to Chinatown for Dim Sum. Lunch.

I read that Ocean Harbor is the 2009 Philly Best for Dim Sum but I have also read bad stuff on the service.

So - Chinatown - lunch-time - 12 guys - Dim Sum. Where to go?

Feb 25, 2010
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Ristorante Battibecco, Ewing NJ

Good for you - personally I don't like the bread which is, as you say, “slathered with olive oil, salt and cheese"

Good bread does not need all that.

Feb 01, 2010
jerseybill52 in New Jersey

Good, cheap, interesting places to eat in Vienna

I can't give you any advice on Ethiopian, Iranian, or Afghan in Wien, but for good, traditional Viennese fare try the Gösser Bierklinik. I highly recommend the Tafelspitz.

http://www.goesser-bierklinik.at/

Feb 01, 2010
jerseybill52 in Europe

Princeton area BYOB

I like La Mezzaluna.

http://www.lamezzaluna.com/

Outside Princeton I vote for ZA. I go there regular.

As for Enzos, last time I went it was a) crowded, it is small and tables are cheek by jowl and b) had a really lousy meal. I emailed a complaint and they offered me a 1/2 on discount on a meal the next time. Well who wants a lousy meal for 1/2 price. I've not gone back for the last two years.

Jan 29, 2010
jerseybill52 in New Jersey

Quick Sat. lunch in Lawrenceville area?

Have not been to Fedora in several years. U was a regular some years back. It will likely fit your needs, but it can be busy. It is VERY popular, at least it was when I used to go. It is right on 206 just a mile (maybe) north of the 295 exit for Lawrenceville.

Jan 29, 2010
jerseybill52 in New Jersey

Ristorante Battibecco, Ewing NJ

Yeah - I agree about the dinner menu. I've not been impressed with what I get. Been there twice - only because it is very, very local for me. Got grilled veal once and a grilled chicken with mushrooms the second time. I do NOT like the bread they sevre, which is covered with melted cheese.

Jan 25, 2010
jerseybill52 in New Jersey

Duck Sauce – Newtown, PA

Busy place for a Thursday night. Good sign. Our first app, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, was enough for two and very good. We will get this again. Our second app, the steamed veggie dumplings were made with great skill and care, you could tell by lightness of the dough, but had no taste. Fine workmanship in the making of the dumplings, just no taste. Bad pick by me. I should have got the pork dumplings, but I was trying to be healthy with the veggie dumps. On the waitress’s recommendation, and because I wanted to try the fish, I got the grilled halibut with soy garlic ginger sauce. It was not grilled. It was pan seared. That is not grilled. I did not like it. It was not what I expected. It was not as described. Grilled is grilled. Cooked in a sauté skillet or on a cook top is not grilled. As my wife later said to me “Why did you order fish in a Chinese place?” Good question. I must say "don’t do it " after last night. My wife did get a Chinese item – garlic Chicken – which she did like very much. So – a 50-50 review for Duck Sauce.

Jan 15, 2010
jerseybill52 in Pennsylvania

Harini lunch report

Well, it is just a store front type operation - nothing fancy inside - one of many stores in what is really just a strip mall on Route 1 anchored by an Olive Garden, which is the biggest problem about going here on a weekend night because it means you will fight the tasteless crowds who adore chain food fake italian bread sticks when they could have real food.

Dec 02, 2009
jerseybill52 in New Jersey

German-style Döner Kebab in Philly?

I've been to Germany on 5 trips totaling over 13 weeks in the past 10 years. Döner IS the German Fastfood, - it's everywhere -but it does not have any real niche here in the USA. I remember a spot just down the street from my hotel on Koblenz that was yummy. And I did notice last summer in Dresden that there were no Döner kebabs in Altstadt that I could see. I think it is a more West German item due to the 1950's Guest worker program that brought in Turks to the West and so is not as much a part of the culinary culture of the old East.

All that aside, it's a young mans food as it is packed full of meat, fat, dairy (yogurt) and a smidgen of vegie in lettuce, but tasty none-the-less. I recall a place on Leipzigstrasse in Berlin that looked realy good, but it was just 9:00 am and I was looking for a fruit market. Still, the Döner was on the grill - ready to go.

Dec 02, 2009
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

German-style Döner Kebab in Philly?

Here's a link to Divan. Ate there in the summer and had a good meal.

http://www.divanturkishkitchen.com/

Here is the link to Konak. Also had lunch there last summer, just before the menu changed. It was a disappointment at that time as many items listed on the web page were not on the menu. However, I expect to give it another try with this new menu.

http://www.konakturkishrestaurant.com/

Dec 02, 2009
jerseybill52 in Philadelphia

Ristorante Battibecco, Ewing NJ

This is the old Antonio's. It has just opened under new management. Anyone know anything about it?

Dec 02, 2009
jerseybill52 in New Jersey