Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Good Eats, Princeton



I went to my good friend Virgi's wedding last month in Princeton, NJ, and while I was visiting I found some delicious eats in the quiet college town.

My first meal there was at the Nassau Street Seafood & Produce company right across from campus. This tiny market boasts dewy-fresh fruit, vegetables, and seafood at extremely reasonable prices. They even carried one of my favorite fruits of all time, muscadine grapes, for only $4 a pound! For lunch they serve seafood sandwiches made fresh to order with fries and slaw for less than $10. The deal is only slightly less generous than what we found in New Orleans, and in some respects even tastier. We ended up with a fried shrimp po-boy and a crawfish sandwich, which were both delicious with house-made sauce and soft, yeasty buns. After we refueled, there was more than enough left over for a late-night snack later that day, which we packed into those quintessential travel companions, plastic sour cream containers. All in all, The Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Company tops my list of good eats in Princeton.

Before heading to dinner at the Main Street Bistro, I couldn't resist stopping by Bon Appetit, a gourmet food shop in the same shopping center. It is a fairly spacious shop with a fine array of cheeses, meat and fish, dried fruits and nuts, chocolate, baking ingredients, and oils and vinegars. I picked up some chestnut flour for only about $4 / lb, and I can't wait to make some chestnut cake. The next day we stopped at Zen Palate for some tasty vegetarian mock-meat wraps.

Alas, one place I really wanted to go but couldn't find time to was Terhune Orchards, an orchard in the town of Princeton with many different kinds of fruits and vegetables for picking and purchasing. After an enjoyable wedding and a brief survey of the Princeton foodscape, I've surmised that Princeton is kind of like a miniature version of Boston, except everything is about 40% cheaper. It's a nice place to visit, and judging by the food, I wouldn't mind living there either.

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