What I stated in my previous post holds true: I am still playing catch-up since my daughter’s wedding, and I continue to burst out in restaurant-related print. Here’s the next batch. I am still not current. Consider yourself warned.
Ricky’s Thai, Skillman
Heaven knows, there’s a dearth of good Thai restaurants in the Princeton area. Check out my review of newbie Ricky’s Thai, from the May issue of the Montgomery News.
FunniBonz BBQ Smokehouse
Jim Barbour, the originator of the highly successful line of FunniBonz barbecue sauces, opened his first restaurant, the small, casual storefront FunniBonz BBQ Smokehouse in Robbinsville, in December 2013.
I recently sat down with him over lunch to get the scoop. Midway through our chat, he confessed that he had revealed things about himself that he’s never spoken of in public before. That includes his goal of turning FunniBonz into the Chipotle of fast-casual barbecue chains. My profile of Barbour-the-entrepreneur and Barbour-the-man is here, in the May issue of the Robbinsville Advance. In a subsequent post I’ll report on my lunch at FunniBonz. (Spoiler alert: I thought it was terrific.)
Lisa Shao of Szechuan House, Hamilton & Peony Pavilion, West Windsor
I’ve previously posted about Peony Pavilion, Shao’s Asian fusion restaurant that opened late last year on Farber Road, just off Route 1: reviewing it for the Montgomery News & blogging here about a dim sum lunch I later enjoyed. And I’ve long been a fan of the traditional Szechuan House on Nottingham Way, which Shao took over in 2010.
So for the cover story of the 2014 US 1 Spring Dining issue (above), I wanted to learn what makes this 44-year-old dynamo tick. Over lunch with Shao at Szechuan House I discovered how her love of the fine and performing arts led to her path as restaurateur. (I’ll report on that lunch in a subsequent post, too.)
Cafe Vienna, Princeton
Although there are already several fine coffeehouses downtown – Small World and Rojo’s to name just two – Cafe Vienna, which opened on April 26, sets itself apart by offering the beverages and sweet treats of a traditional Wiener Kaffehaus, including Sacher torte. It comes by them honestly: proprietor Anita Waldenberger is an Austrian native and many of the recipes are old family recipes.
I did a quick reconnoiter on Thursday afternoon. Sitting out on Nassau Street during the balmy post-deluge weather, my Jause for Kaffee und Kutchen consisted of a fine apple strudel and cafe mocha (hot chocolate with a shot of espresso). Clearly, more research is warranted.