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Shanghai Bun In Princeton Junction, NJ

Very excited when this opened. Before that, my only choice for noodle soup was Noodle Gourmet up in New Brunswick. Lawrenceville to NB is quite a schlep, although getting from Princeton across to, and back from, Princeton Junction during Route 1 rush hour is probably just as long, ha ha.

Anyway we've been there like 5 times already and enjoyed it every time!!

Soup dumplings - which I was the most excited about - I found them a tiny bit bland, and a bit too "porky" tasting (personal taste) - although still very good. Yes, the steamed things do take a long time.

Appetizers - scallion pancake, delicious although deep fried of course. The sesame noodles I also found bland, but with a tiny bit of a spicy kick. Recently I've been finding a lot of things bland or tasteless - must be my taste buds. Cucumber in spicy sauce is wonderful, especially in the recent heat wave.

The pot stickers were large, and somewhat greasy, of course deep fried things are such. The pork and chive buns are large and filled with a ton of chive (leek, really). The shrimp shumai were quite tasty, with a large whole shrimp on top of a bun stuffed with a pork mixture. Large, not the usual tiny bite-sized frozen kind you see in most places. Spicy wontons also quite good. They obviously roll out their own dumplings and dough.

Main dishes all were thoroughly enjoyed, including my favorite, the shredded pork with dried tofu. The Shanghai fried rice was delicious. They had a special of 3-Cup -Chicken, which was totally awesome!!! There was a choice of sauteed water spinach in garlic, which was also nice although floating in a lot of liquid.

Speaking of specials, a bit of an issue for me: they don't list the specials in English. (Also of note, all the times we've been there, we were the only Caucasian / American people in the place - which is a good thing because it obviously means more authentic food. They do have an "Americanized" menu choices such as chicken with broccoli and so forth).

However, the last time we went, the manager was not there, and we had a devil of a time with LANGUAGE BARRIER issues. Now, it's true, it happens. But I personally got upset and ticked off when, after pointing at the specials on the board, the waitress said "no, not for Americans". Come on!!! I know nothing rude or insulting was meant by her comment, it translates more to "well, we're not sure an American palate would appreciate this dish" but at the same time, it was, well, a bit insulting. (Note: we have since talked with Jennifer the owner, and she apologized and promised to speak to the wait staff - and it seems that the manager that night actually CALLED HER on her phone to seek assistance, since Jennifer was not at work. That's nice to know, and appreciated they will rectify the situation).

We were not able to order any of these dishes even if we wanted to, because of the language barrier issue. Very awkward all around.

For the record, I believe the dishes on the specials were the 3-Cup chicken, but they also had a dish of clams and what I assume was bitter melon, in a broth. It looked very good. Perhaps another time.

The noodle soups are sound quality, although I found my duck and taro soup a bit bland, until spiced up with some chili oil and a little soy sauce. As mentioned recently I personally have found things bland in general). Have yet to try one of the spicy noodle soup ones.

Also looking good on my short list to try would be the fish fillet dishes such as with ginger scallion, or black bean sauce. Next time.

Jennifer, the owner/manager, is quite nice and very pleasant. It's a pleasure to dine there when she is around, and she goes out of her way to be helpful (to us Americans, ha ha).

The restaurant has been filled every time we've gone, as mentioned almost an entirely Asian clientele. Someone on a post here mentioned Sultan Wok, which is good for the occasional fried rice and egg rolls, but not really in direct competition so perhaps they will both co-exist peacefully. It's a shame that so far, Jennifer has said they have no plans to deliver.

They also offer a "VIP" club card, which applies a 10 percent discount to cash payments.

Service is a bit disorganized, as everyone seems to be waiting on every table, randomly. We've already seen several "new" faces the different times we've been there - I'm sure as soon as they get settled in things will smooth out fully.

Another note - steamed dumplings of any sort take a very long time to arrive.

Great place!!

(For reference, it's a bit odd location. If you are coming over from Princeton / Route 1, once you go over the railroad overpass, you must make the left turn at the light and then another left into the driveway - being careful to avoid the maniac drivers from Dominos and Sultan Wok as they careen around!!).

Jul 14, 2013
Sethboy in New Jersey

Charlie Browns Lakewood remodeled ,improved ??

Recently went to the one in Hamilton with Grandma (her kind of place). It seemed exactly the same as the last time I set foot in one, probably 10+ years ago. Salad bar the same including the gloppy neon-orange "Frech" dressing (although missing the black bread), Grandma had an onion soup (came out cold) and I ordered a strip steak and fried shrimp. The steak must have been over-marinated in some sort of herb and flavor mix and was mushy. The fried shrimp were the standard frozen ones. She was satisfied with her bloody nearly-raw prime rib after she sent the first slice back because it was about 70 percent fat and no meat.

Short order: nothing new, poor quality meats, skip it.

Sep 02, 2012
Sethboy in New Jersey

Bistro that serves Boudin Noir?

Can anyone recommend a good French bistro that serves Boudin Noir on their regular menu?

Thanks!

Feb 15, 2011
Sethboy in Philadelphia

Boudin Noir / French Bistro

Can anyone recommend a good Bistro, perhaps in Philly (I'm also posting there)
which serves Boudin Noir on their menu?

(or NYC I suppose - Les Halles claims to no longer serve it as a dinner, only part of a charcuterie plate)

Feb 15, 2011
Sethboy in New Jersey

Did Hanami (formerly Sunny Garden) in Princeton close?

The website has been "suspended" and the main sign out on the road is gone.

Darn, it was good and I particularly enjoyed the fact they had lunch specials and delivery.

Oh well :(

Feb 15, 2011
Sethboy in New Jersey

Large dinner party (50 people) suggestions??

My friend is looking for a place to have an 80th birthday party for his relative. In the range of 50 people. I assume he would rather find a large restaurant that can handle a party that size, as opposed to renting out a banquet hall or something. Private room, perhaps? American food, standard fare - nothing fancy or incredibly expensive either.

Any suggestions?
Thanks

Jan 29, 2009
Sethboy in Manhattan

New restaurant in town! Little Saigon Vietnamese

Saigon has been evacuated. I called tonite to see what time they were open till, and the number has been disconnected.

Oh well.

Jan 07, 2009
Sethboy in Mid-Atlantic

Cheap Italian in Lawrenceville/Princeton??

Thanks Tom... its definitely on the "to try" list. Anyone else?

Dec 05, 2008
Sethboy in New Jersey

Cheap Italian in Lawrenceville/Princeton??

Hey all. Long time away from the boards. Recently moved to Lawrenceville, and looking for a cheap Italian "pizza restaurant" or "red gravy" kind of place.

Chicken parmigiana, meatballs and spaghetti, that sort of place.Nothing fancy, just good solid food. Where its 12 bucks for a pasta entree, not 32 dollars for chicken parm!!

Preferably as close to Lawrenceville as possible.
Any suggestions?

Dec 04, 2008
Sethboy in New Jersey

"Bar Harbor Inn" (Maine) ??

Hi . I have been reading several of the other postings of places in Bar Harbor. I am wondering about the Bar Harbor Inn, which seems to be right in the center of Bar Harbor (but only open seasonally ?)

Any reviews on this establishment would be appreciated. Please don't feel the need to recommend OTHER places, I already read several posts. In particular, local folks reviews would be especially helpful. Thanks.

Jan 24, 2008
Sethboy in All New England Archive

Any opinions on Lambertville "Thai-Lao"

I had dinner last week at Thai Tida, and was very impressed. (see an earlier post on the horrible food and experience at Siam for comparison). Service was swift, it was obvious the food was very fresh, decent portion sizes, and good flavor. I did hear from one person that their soup was bland and watery, but did not have a soup myself. The summer spring rolls (the non-fried-kind) were excellent and I ordered a grilled beef salad (which one of my dinner companions somehow thought was the calamari he had ordered, so he devoured half of it, but it was a nice blend of spice, herbs (cilantro) and charred beef.
I had the mussels for a main course, I love New Zealand "green shell" mussels (the really big ones that have nice pink meat) and they give you a huge bowl of them steamed open in a sweet-ish broth, with a side bowl of yellow curry. Excellent dish, and the duck special someone ordered was also a winner, as was a whole fish on the bone.
Sadly we didn't get to try dessert, but perhaps next time, since I will definitely be going back (and they supposedly deliver across the river to New Hope.... *crosses fingers*) understanding they can deliver "if they have someone who can leave the restaurant".

Aug 20, 2007
Sethboy in Mid-Atlantic

Doylestown Area Restaurant

Check into Slate Bleu, top dining spot.
Also check The Freight House, and also The Knight House (two different restaurants).
Don't miss Jules Thin Crust pizza for a great thin-crust lunch.
Do a search on here for "Doylestown" for more ideas.

May 03, 2007
Sethboy in Philadelphia

Need Vetri Reservation (If You Can't Make It....Any Wednesday Nite)

We did not make our Monday reservation (and I got a bad feeling that the Chef might not be there, since he "spends part of the time at (his) new place"... and Mondays are not the best day for quality and variety in many places.
We have reservations a few weeks from now in May, so I am totally looking forward to it...... stay tuned.

Apr 24, 2007
Sethboy in Pennsylvania

Marcella Nord in New Hope

Marcellas is very good but has a limited menu. Cool romantic space in the former Martine's building. They had some great desserts and a darn good Bolognese.

I posted a review of Martines several months ago, but its one of the only other places in town I would trust to feed me, and they do a nice meal, plus with the nice weather their outdoor deck on the river will be absolutely the best seat in town.
Definitely check out Tastebuds, very good food in an unassuming location.

Also check out the Paper Plate Cafe, its a nice little sandwich shop that does dinners also, with good foods.

Zubi seems.... foo-foo to me, very trendy, trying to be something that is much better suited for the big city, and ditto for 90 Main, which I have not tried but hear its ok. Havana has a tropical/Cuban (go figure) twist, but not sure how good the quality is and you'll have to deal with the hordes of biker "gangs" on the weekends.

The Mansion is very nice, the La Bonne Auberge is uber-expensive but nice, and Marsha Brown is very nice steakhouse-with-a-creole-twist.

Most of the places in New Hope, I have determined, are pretty much Tourist Traps. This includes Mothers, The Landing (which has not changed their menu in centuries and was not very good the last time I ate there many years ago), The Logan Inn. The Triumph brewpub is solid brewpub fare, the Blue Tortilla is horrid mexican steam-table food, the El Taco Loco is even scarier, Karlas is slightly.... out-there...., Esca is decent Italian fare but snobby the times I have gone, Wildflowers is lacks focus and quality, Frans and John/Peters are good if you're drunk and don't mind the "everything deep-fried" stuff, The Raven is decent, Guiseppes is ok if you want pizza-restaurant fare, and I think I've covered most of them.

Outside of New Hope but nearby and definitely worth checking out: Meils in Stockton (funky diner comfort food), Stockton Inn (with a new chef and gorgeous outdoor patio) also several in Lambertville such as No. 9, Hamiltons Grill Room, Tortugas Mexican, Manon, Ricks, and perhaps DeAnnas although one of the posters whose opinion I respect recently posted a negative review.

Apr 24, 2007
Sethboy in Pennsylvania

49 North Main (Lambertville) is now 5 de Mayo?

49 closed about.... oh, two months ago lets say?

Yes, its now 5 de Mayo (ha, ha. "Cinco de Mayo").
I have not seen it actually open yet, but the sign is out. Stay tuned......

Apr 23, 2007
Sethboy in Mid-Atlantic

Need Vetri Reservation (If You Can't Make It....Any Wednesday Nite)

Thanks Ray but that does not help when its April 10th and I suddenly have a desire to go there on Aprl 25th.

(insert smiley face i dont mean to sound like a jerk there)

However, luck be a lady, I ~HAVE~ managed to secure a reservation on Monday the 23rd !!!! I just hope the chef will be there and not have a day off.......

Apr 11, 2007
Sethboy in Pennsylvania

Need Vetri Reservation (If You Can't Make It....Any Wednesday Nite)

It's my Birthday on April 25th which just happens to be a Wednesday and which happens to be the only night I have off each week.

Anyone having any last-minute cancellation issues that has a Wednesday reservation at Vetri they need to "cancel" feel free to let me know, I'll be glad to "take" it from you....
... I know, ha ha, good luck getting one before June.....

This can be any Wednesday coming up.
Thanks in advance.

Apr 10, 2007
Sethboy in Pennsylvania

Siam Thai (Lambertville NJ)

Sorry about that.. .yes I was referring to Wildflowers, not Thai Tida which I have yet to try.

And I did not mean to come across so harsh sounding about Wildflowers, just not my cup of tea, shall we say.....

Mar 26, 2007
Sethboy in New Jersey

Review - Deanna's in Lambertville

Sarah have you tried Ricks in Lambertville? Its cute, in that checkered red tablecloth kind of way, nothing to really look at, and pretty decent food.
I do believe he makes his own pasta, because I've had (fettucini) bolognese several times, and if its not homemade fresh pasta, i'd be very surprised, but generally good.

Mar 24, 2007
Sethboy in New Jersey

Thai Tida Lambertville NJ

Errr... I was going to say something but I forget what.

They only very recently opened, waiting anxiously to try it.

Mar 24, 2007
Sethboy in New Jersey

Siam Thai (Lambertville NJ)

Not sure if its true, but I hear from a friend who waited tables there, that they "DON'T EVEN HAVE A STOVE" and that EVERYTHING comes out of the freezer and into the MICROWAVE...... scary sounding, but somehow believable.

Had dishes off the "Thai" menu one day, were so-so, nothing to write home about.

Had "American" fare one nite... meatloaf, of all things - something I normally despise. It was, to say the least.... intriguing. I was not sure whether or not it was so awful and foul tasting that I should simply not eat it, or whether it was somehow, pervertedly, good...... but like I said, intriguing none the less. In retrospect, I think I must have been slightly addled and it was just awful.

Shame, because they have a very lovely pretty garden outdoor patio.

Mar 24, 2007
Sethboy in New Jersey

Cafe Picasso in Somerville-- Bad first impression

Hmm.. the Dessert Plate looks awesome, but somehow EVERY time i think of stopping there they are closed. perhaps i just keep weird hours.

Cafe Picasso used to be located in the "shopping center" (that big ugly monstronsity on Main Street) sandwiched next to a laundromat (and to think, they had "outdoor" tables - how appealing, hmm?). Went there a few times a while back, and the food was lackluster at best (and they felt "risotto" should be some sort of soupy cream dish) and the service was ok but with a feeling of subtle undertones of snotty attitude.
Went more recently to the new location, and got a really bad vibe from the whole place, we sat for a few minutes and suddenly decided to get up and leave, just a bad feeling.

For standard pizza restaurant fare, Alphonso's down the street is ok, if you like the madhouse, family oriented mob scene and yes, HUGE portions of pasta (all your standard concoctions) with a.... half-price deal on Mon/Tues.

Mar 24, 2007
Sethboy in Mid-Atlantic

Atrio Cafe in Stockton, NJ - Closed?

Atrio closed around a month ago.

I hear they are putting in a "spaghetti joint" now but not sure when.....

Mar 24, 2007
Sethboy in Mid-Atlantic

Duck Confit

I casually picked up a SIX DOLLAR duck confit leg from D'Artagnan the other day. YIKES.

.

Feb 07, 2007
Sethboy in General Tristate Archive

please be seated

Its annoying to walk into an empty restaurant and be told "oh, we're sorry, we are completely booked there are NO tables available" (unless they are having an Invisible Man dinner party ).

Now, its true that balancing reservations and walk-ins is a delicate art at best, and host/esses must plan for no-shows, late arrivals, early arrivals, and every other type of fickle customer.

However, just the other nite as a matter of fact, we were in a restaurant, had gone in just as they opened at 5pm, and were the first table seated. One other couple came in, leaving (a rough guess) 20 tables empty in the small restaurant. Another couple was seated about 15 minutes into our meal. A third couple came in a few minutes later and I overheard the hostess say "no tables available". Now, being almost 20 minutes into the first hour of being open, we are assuming the first reservations have either not showed, or EVERYONE was given a reservation at 6pm (which shows poor management and planning on the part of the hostess). As we were leaving and the other seated couple was on dessert (thereby freeing up 2 more tables in the next 5-10 minutes and leaving the entire restaurant empty at 6pm, ANOTHER couple walked in and was also turned away.

Now, take into consideration this was a cold, crummy mid-week evening in a tourist town (read: dead ) and the restaurant more than likely was NOT going to suddenly be hit with a parade of people streaming in..... well, you get the idea.

Also, as far as crappy tables, its awful when you are the first people in the place and are given a tiny table in a bad location. Did everyone else who made a reservation specify a specific "good" table? Or are you just being shoved into the corner?

Feb 04, 2007
Sethboy in Not About Food

No. 10 Can? [moved from General Topics]

I googled this a bit further and found a few interesting websites, which left me MORE confused then when I started!!! But the general consensus seems to be, a #10 can holds approximately 12 cups, or 6 pounds, and if you ask again we're gonna smash-a-you-face-in.

The math doesn't make sense no matter how I look at it (its not like, gee, #10 means there are exactly 10 cups or something easy)... so, there is some fascinating reading about the history and production of cans, if nothing else.....

http://www.cancentral.com/standard.cfm#foodcan

http://www.amescompany.com/CAN_SIZES.htm

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Inform...

Perhaps you are better off just singing the ShopRite "Can-Can' jingle and slowly walking away......

Feb 02, 2007
Sethboy in Not About Food

Do any foods taste good after you brush your teeth?

Coffee.

Well, after mint mouthwash, or even after an Altoid, its good.......

Feb 02, 2007
Sethboy in Not About Food

can i bring a yogurt cup on board an airplane

My GOSH !!! Not a deadly yogurt cup !!!

Just think... germ warfare (the active yogurt cultures)
eco-terrorism (the plastic)
deadly weapon (the spoon)
vandalism (fling the yogurt on the floor)
second deadly weapon (the sharp edge of the container)

and don't even THINK about fruit yogurts.......
the list goes on and on......

Feb 02, 2007
Sethboy in Not About Food

Suggestions, Please

The "quick-dry cement" is a novel idea - kudos to the poster of that one.

Things like that just make your blood boil. Yes, contact owner, contact press, spread the negative word as much as possible.

Seriously though, contact the BBB, and file a small-claims court complaint for "theft of services" or some such (you can probably file the complaint yourself) no need to hire a lawyer, which will cost more than the @ 70-dollar loss... perhaps just the thought of the court involvement will make the owner wise up.

I do not endorse the following, however......
... if they do takeout.... order a large takeout meal, and CUSTOMIZE it.... so they have to prepare something that they won't normally be able to sell - for example, order a steak WELL-DONE, or substitute sauce A for menu-described sauce B on the item. Then of course, don't pick up the order. Say, that order comes to around... 70 dollars, hmm.

Feb 02, 2007
Sethboy in Not About Food

seargantsville inn, nj

Also, definitely go to Meils restaurant. Funky down-home diner / ecclectic food (who else has roasted sliced beets, homemade applesauce, turkey dinner, funky soups, and creative entrees) and a very very warm and caring staff. Excellent for weekend brunch, a light lunch, or dinner. (BYOB).

See my review here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/322846?query=meils

http://www.meilsrestaurant.com i think

Feb 02, 2007
Sethboy in Pennsylvania