p

Paul N's Profile

Title Last Reply

Fernando's Grille Opens on old Bistro Soleil site in Hightstown

They're doing something right, because they're packed every time we drop by. I usually get the cajun tilapia and shrimp or a burger. Both are great. The pastas and salads are just average. The items off the grill tend to be the best bet.

Apr 16, 2011
Paul N in New Jersey

Bagels in East Windsor

I'll admit I don't have the world's most sophisticated palate when it comes to bagels. My number one criterion is how fast they get from that oven into my mouth. I love Hightstown Hot Bagels because any weekday morning at busy time, you can drop in and find 3 or 4 choices still blazing hot.

I'm not immune to the other bagel virtues like firmness, tastiness, etc.(and I find H.H.B both firm and tasty), but if we're talking about a cold or reheated bagel, to me those virtues are just consolation prizes. A fresh and hot-from-the-oven "good" bagel beats a two-hour cold "great" one.

Feb 20, 2011
Paul N in New Jersey

Bagels in East Windsor

I wasn't aware of Bagle Bazaar. Definitely looks worth checking out.

Apparently the place on Main Street is called Hightstown Hot Bagels. NJFoodie, your experience does not sound atypical for a Sunday morning. I arrived late one Sunday morning to find them out of everything and the place looking a complete mess (it doesn't look very pretty on their best day.)

It's a "no frills" place, to put it generously. But I do love their bagels. They're exactly the kind I like best. They usually have at least a few varieties still piping hot from the oven, yet they are never the insubstantial kind that just deflate . Good crust, right amount of chewiness and good flavor.

Their bialys, on the other hand, are terrible. They taste like they're just using the same dried onions they're using on the bagels. I have yet to find a place around here that can make a decent bialystoker kuchen.

Feb 06, 2011
Paul N in New Jersey

Bagels in East Windsor

Seconded. I still have no idea what that place is called but those guys make excellent bagles.

Get there early on the weekend because they sell out. But the rapid turnover means they're very fresh.

Jan 24, 2011
Paul N in New Jersey

Fresh Bratwurst in Central NJ?

Two great options. Thanks!

hotdoglover, I'm with you on Usinger's. I grew up in Milwaukee and miss all the great brat options.

Oct 10, 2010
Paul N in New Jersey

Fresh Bratwurst in Central NJ?

Having people over for Ocktoberfest and I'd love to make some of these on the grill.

Anyone know any butchers that make them fresh?

Oct 09, 2010
Paul N in New Jersey

Cheese Pairings For Our Daily Five Fruits/ Vegetables

I realize we can't eat all of them with cheese. Some we'll have to wrap in prosciutto.

But the prolific "Strange Pairings That Taste Uncommonly Good" thread got me thinking that there's probably a wealth of knowledge on this site that could make the idea of eating these five servings of fruit or vegetables a day more appealing (at least to me).

Also, I love the idea of a two (or three) ingredient lunch. The pairings I do now are the well-known ones: strawberries and chevre, apples and Gruyere, tomatoes and fresh moz, etc. and I'd love to broaden my horizons with a great cheese for radishes, or raw broccoli, or red grapes or what have you.

What's you favorite cheese-and-fruit or cheese-and-veg combo?

May 23, 2010
Paul N in General Topics

Fernando's Grille Opens on old Bistro Soleil site in Hightstown

My wife and I tried Fernando's out for dinner the other night. I had a similar though about the menu - looks kind of safe and ordinary. So I decided to be safe and ordinary myself and try the burger. It was perfectly cooked and very tasty. The fries arrived hot and crispy - though they did not look like they were cut on premises. My wife ordered some sort of tomato-vegetable tower app as an entree and she enjoyed it a lot.

The service was very good. I freely ogled the food plates going out to other diners and most of it looked delicious and nicely presented.

We shall return.

May 23, 2010
Paul N in New Jersey

Famous Dave's Review

For some reason I've had much better luck with Famous Dave's by-the-pound take out menu than ordering anything directly off their regular dining menu. The ribs and the pulled pork were both a lot more moist and less dry when ordered by the rack/pound off the a la cart menu. Perhaps they're more likely to be finished to order that way. The regular menu stuff tastes like it's been drying out in a heating unit.

A la cart is still not spectacular bbq but much better than the regular stuff.

May 10, 2010
Paul N in Chains

East Windsor, NJ: Another new Thai place opening

I'm seriously addicted to the Tom Yum Goong soup from this place. I've also tried the Tom Ka Ga - which alright but not nearly as good as the soup the place is named for.

The pad Thai was also pretty good (though no noodle dish ever does very well as take out). And the golden bags were quite tasty. Still, this place is all about the Tom Yum Goong.

Apr 26, 2010
Paul N in New Jersey

East Windsor, NJ: Another new Thai place opening

Don't have time for a detailed post, but the takeout I got from here Monday was excellent. Tom Yum soup and plum duck. Both much better than expected. The duck was both crispy and succulent. The soup was fresh-tasting and complex. Just right.

Very excited about this place.

Apr 21, 2010
Paul N in New Jersey

East Windsor, NJ: Another new Thai place opening

Web site and menu up.

http://tygthai.com/index.html

Apr 15, 2010
Paul N in New Jersey

East Windsor, NJ: Another new Thai place opening

This place will also be called Tom Yum Goong and is slated to open Monday April 19th, according to the guy who answered the phone there today.

Apr 09, 2010
Paul N in New Jersey

Hanami- Wont be back Ever!

I got take out there last week - similar story: a long wait, then a $10 gift certificate, and when I got home I was surprised by how small the portions were.

But I probably will be back, because everything was tasty and it's that or P.F. Chang's.

Dec 28, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

Bistro Soleil in Hightstown, NJ

I think that's a good idea, eatinman. The current system seems like payola in music - where the big labels thrive and the little guy doesn't stand a chance. Only it's worse in food, because it prevents NJ from having as rich a local dining scene as we should, keeps all of us driving into Manhattan to eat, and prevents us becoming much of a culinary destination (no one's going to visit your town just to go to Fridays.) The policy may end up costing local government more in tax revenue than they make off those expensive liquor licenses.

Nov 24, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

Bistro Soleil in Hightstown, NJ

I wonder if all these closings have something to do with the tough liquor laws for restaurants. BYOBs like Bistro Soleil must have a tough time making ends meet without those big liquor tabs. While I appreciate the money I save bringing my own bottle to a good BYOB like Bistro Soleil, ultimately I think sparsity of restaurants licensed to serve alcohol is a disaster for New Jersey dining. Jersey, after all, is one of the wealthiest and most densely populated states in the country and should be able to support at least as many great restaurants and good cheap eateries as NYC. Instead, our options state-wide seem to be no where near as good.

Wouldn't we have a much better food scene if those laws were changed?

Anyway, R.I.P. Bistro Soleil.

Nov 23, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

East Windsor, NJ: Another new Thai place opening

Exciting news. We've been losing a lot of restaurants around here lately. Nice to see something besides a chain opening.

Nov 22, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

How's the Fish at the Asian Food Market of Plainsboro?

Thanks NJforager. The red snappers there look good and I like the fact that they're willing to let you pick out the fish and then bone and/or fillet it for you (though I'm not quite sure whether this service raises the costs.)

I got some shrimp there the other day and it was fine - exactly the same pre-frozen tiger shrimp you'd get at the supermarket, only much cheaper. But no mushiness or fishy smell.

Aug 28, 2009
Paul N in Mid-Atlantic

How's the Fish at the Asian Food Market of Plainsboro?

I love the Asian Food Market in Plainsboro - not just for Asian ingredients but also for their produce department, where certain items, herbs and mushrooms in particular, are better and cheaper than anywhere in the area.

There's a busy seafood counter in the back, where the fish is the cheapest around. The problem is, I'm not a very experienced fish-buyer - what I know I've read in books and this place is sending me mixed signals:

very busy = good
store smells like fish = bad (it doesn't stink, but it does smell like fish)
lots of whole fish for sale = good
eels in tanks = impressive

I was wondering what all the experienced fish-buyers out there think of this place. I usually go to Nassau Street Seafood, which is very expensive and not always reliable (they once sold me bad scallops.)

If the fish at the Asian market is good, it could be a real find.

Aug 24, 2009
Paul N in Mid-Atlantic

Buffalo wings in and around surrounding counties of central jersey

Yeah. The chops and steaks can get a little pricey, but stuff life burgers and wings are good and reasonable.

Aug 01, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

Rotisserie Chicken Central NJ

My condolences, Shabbystorm.

I did the same for my dog when he was sick - rotisserie chicken.

May 27, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

Eating Local: Princeton

I've driven by Shrimp King and wondered about it.... Thanks for the rec. I'll give it a shot.

Apr 22, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

Rotisserie Chicken Central NJ

Oh... shoot. Look's like you're right.... Bummer.

Apr 16, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

Rotisserie Chicken Central NJ

Holy Cow Grill in East Windsor has my favorite rotisserie chicken around here - only they're usually sold out of it by dinner time.

It's best with the Yuca Frita.

http://www.holycowgrill.com/

Apr 14, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

Eating Local: Princeton

I second Lee's! Got 2 turkey's from them last year.

Apr 02, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

Rolly's Bistro in Cranbury

I haven't dined in yet, but I'm enjoying takeout from Rolly's Bistro on 130. I'm excited to try the fresh pasta.

What I've tried so far:

Burger: B+ Delicious. Actually came medium rare, the way I ordered it.

Vegetable Quesadilla: A- Surprisingly filling and tasty. (The guac on the side was mediocre.)

Cheese steak: C+ Came with provolone and American. Not thrilling.

Regular fries: B+ Tasted fresh cut - flavorful - not greasy.

Sweet potato fries: A As good a sweet fry as I've had round these parts.

Parmesan fries: C. Not to my liking. Gritty and odd, with no improvement in flavor.

I think I'm going to wait to dine in to try the fresh pasta, since pasta doesn't seem to hold up well as take out.

I hope this place makes it.

Mar 19, 2009
Paul N in New Jersey

Blue Point Grill, Princeton NJ

Went there again last night. Great as usual.

Aug 22, 2008
Paul N in New Jersey

Where do you buy cheese in central New Jersey?

Agreed. The cheese counter at Bon Appetit is the best in the area.

Aug 22, 2008
Paul N in New Jersey

Where to get good take-out lunch for day at the beach?

Whether or not food is permitted at the actual beach, I too would love to know some good takeout places in the Spring Lake area.

Thanks.

Jun 23, 2008
Paul N in Mid-Atlantic

Basil's Legends in East Windsor

Again, that description comes after the menu item, which reads

American Lamb Chops $35

You have to understand there are more than one kind of lamb chop. The word "rack" is necessary somewhere in the description.

It's not the way I would write the menu, but it's not my restaurant.

My only point is I don't believe he's trying to rip anyone off and, based on my research, I don't consider the item overpriced.

May 15, 2008
Paul N in Mid-Atlantic