Popular New Restaurant, Eatery@Princeton Offers Homestyle Cooking at Affordable Prices
PLEASING THE PALATE: “We wanted to offer the best food at affordable prices. We specialize in unique grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade soups, all with our original recipes, developed over the years.” Nadir Gillani (left) and Karim “Mike” Sopariwalla, owners of the Eatery@Princeton, look forward to welcoming customers to their new restaurant.
By Jean Stratton
Nothing tastes better on a cold day than homemade soup and a tasty grilled cheese sandwich.
Now, a new restaurant in town provides both, and a lot more too!
Eatery@Princeton opened in January at 180 Nassau Street, the former location of Cox’s Market, that long-time Princeton mainstay.
Eatery@Princeton is ready to carry on the tradition of an independently-owned establishment providing customers with quality food at affordable prices.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, take-out, and catering are all offered, with emphasis on down-to-earth, home-style cooking.
“It’s American comfort food,” report owners Nadir Gillani and Karim “Mike” Sopariwalla. “Everything is very fresh, with lots of vegetables, a variety of homemade soups, our grilled cheese sandwiches, and ‘Market Bowls,’ filled with many fresh vegetables, greens, rice, and chicken or salmon.”
Both owners are originally from India, and Nadir Gillani has a 30-year history in the restaurant business, both in India and the U.S.
“I grew up in my family’s restaurant business, and when I came to the U.S., I had restaurants in Jersey City and New York. For many years, I had eateries near New York University in the city.”
“I was looking for a change, and I had always liked Princeton,” he continues. “It turned out that this location was available, and it seemed just right. We wanted to be in town, and be a real community gathering place.”
They are off to a great start. Customers have been coming in since the restaurant opened, enjoying both the food and the relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
“We are very encouraged,” reports Gillani. “People have been coming in all the time, and we have many regulars already. Some are coming in every day.”
And for many of the regulars, the earlier, the better. The Eatery opens at 7 a.m., and there are always early risers on hand. The choices are appealing and delicious: among them, omelets, eggs any style, French toast, pancakes, croissants, and bagels.
“We have great breakfasts,” says Gillani. “The Tuscan omelet with roasted peppers, tomato, baby spinach, basil pesto, andouille sausage, and fresh mozzarella is a big favorite, as is our original French toast, with three thick challah bread slices, grilled in egg batter with Madagascar vanilla, sugar cinnamon, and a hint of orange zest.”
The list goes on: wild blueberry or banana pancakes, and all kinds of egg dishes, including on a roll with bacon, sausage, or pork.
Lunch is equally popular, and the expectation of homemade soup or one of the special grilled cheese sandwiches is tantalizing to many customers.
“Homemade soup is one of our specialties, including roasted vegetable, chicken, lentil, and French onion, all served with hand-rolled whole wheat flat roti (Indian bread),” notes Gillani. “they are available every day, as is our number one specialty, our grilled cheese sandwich. We have many choices and use a combination of different cheeses and sauces.”
Twelve different versions of this old favorite are available, and all have their fans. Among the choices: the Mac Melt, the old fashioned mac and cheese with jack and cheddar cheese; Italian Mafia featuring roasted peppers, tomato, pesto, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and thin-sliced garlic; Flying Cuban with sliced oven-roasted turkey, ham, Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, pickle, and mustard; and the California Melt, with oven-roasted turkey, avocado, cheddar, and jack cheese.
Choice of breads include 7-grain, Texas toast, ciabatta rolls, and wraps. Extra toppings are also available. In addition, hamburgers are on the menu, including veggie burgers, and a variety of cheeseburgers.
Another important choice at the Eatery is the Fresh Market Bowl, filled with assorted fresh vegetables, brown rice, greens, and choices of grilled chicken, salmon, or vegetable substitute. Also included are shredded Vermont cheddar cheese, crumbled feta, and chickpeas.
Dressings and sauces feature Thai coconut curry, organic tzatziki sauce with cucumber, balsamic, Caesar, ranch, honey, and sriracha aioli. Vegetables include roasted beets, honey-roasted butternut squash, charred Brussels sprouts, steamed cauliflower with turmeric; chopped tomato, edamame, chopped Holland cucumber, broccoli, and roasted red peppers.
Smoothies are a big favorite at the Eatery; a variety of fruit-based, including strawberry/banana, wild berry, and mango passion are offered, along with the popular vegetable smoothie, with coconut, spinach, carrot juice, and banana.
Other beverages include an assortment of juices, such as cold pressed (Naked Juice), and coffees, with espresso, cappuccino/latte, and cafe mocha among the favorites. Also, teas, masala chai, and hot chai latte are available.
A variety of cookies, brownies, and fruit platters are popular desserts.
Any Size Event
Prices at the Eatery are very affordable. Breakfast choices range from $1.95 (egg on a roll) to $7.95; sandwiches are from $7.95, soups from 2.95; and Market Bowls, also from $7.95. Smoothies are $6.95, and coffee from $1.95.
Catering is also available, and as Nadir Gillani points out, “We cater any size event and any kind, such as wedding receptions, birthday parties, anniversaries, and others. Breakfast, lunch, and dinners choices are all offered.”
In the short time it has been open, the Eatery has become very popular with all ages, and families are especially enjoying the food and friendly ambiance, notes Gillani. “We are also seeing high school students and a lot of people who work in the neighborhood.”
There is space for 15 people to sit down, and take-out is very popular with many people, who stop in before and after work. Delivery is also available in Princeton and the area.
The owners pride themselves on the warm, friendly atmosphere they have created at the Eatery. “We want everyone to know that we’re here, and here to stay. We look forward to growing the business and becoming a place that people enjoy coming to. We want to be a place in the neighborhood for kids — and adults — to say ‘I’ll meet you at the Eatery’.”
“I’m enjoying the challenge of a new restaurant,” adds Nadir Gillani. “Our staff is so important, and our employees share our goals. I feel sure we will become a real part of the community.”
The Eatery@Princeton is open seven days from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (609) 252-1500. Website: www.princetoneatery.com.