New Brunswick Cheap Eats

With my kid a few weeks into his college campaign and my days along the Raritan nearly 30 years removed (I miss you Greasy Tony’s!), looking for good, cheap and mostly (but not exclusively) lunch time eats where we can meet up when business takes me his way. On Easton Ave, we’ve already hit up Mamoun’s (very good), the taco joint next to Mamoun’s (very good), Stuff Yer Face (an oldie but a goodie for bolis), Fritz’s (better than expected sandwiches), KBG Korean (not bad), and Brother Jimmy’s BBQ (not worth a repeat visit). We don’t need to be confined to the immediate RU vicinity, nor do we mind an out-of-the way ethnic joint. I kind of figure he’ll make his way over to Highland Park and White Rose on his own as did his forefathers before him. Any suggestions are appreciated, especially @seal who I suspect may know a place or two.

Edit = Reading > me

Two of my favorites in the outlying area.

Casa De Tortilla -
Its kind of a love it or hate it place. Tex-Mex served by an Asian family. They make their own tortillas for the soft tacos and quesadillas.

Sappore Ravioli and cheese - Check out my HO post here: Sapore Ravioli & Cheese - Middlesex
If you want an italian style sandwich anywhere near new Brunswick or Piscataway, you should go here. I highly recommend the “Not so Chicken Little”

Yeah I’ve worked in NB for about 20 yrs.

Right near SYF on Easton is one of the best bargain joints on the block - Noodle Gourmet. Everything is good there and cheap too. For the immediate area they are the best of the best cheap eats.

One of the other great options if you are in the mood for american food is Hansel and Griddle further up Easton Ave. On my hungriest days I used to get a Coco Crisp with extra gravy for lunch. It has all the major food groups - bacon, cheese, steak, potatoes and gravy inside a grilled wrap. Huge menu and breakfast is as good as lunch/dinner. Not sure what they get for it now, but I remember about 10 yrs ago it was little for than a $5 for the Coco Crisp.

There is a lot of good Mexican food in NB, but the best of it is further afield from Rutgers. My favorite is technically in North Brunswick, but just barely. It’s on Livingston Ave, almost across the street from the New Brunswick Middle School and they have both Mexican and Peruvian food. Get the green spaghetti topped with a fried chicken breast, or any of the tacos. Heck, it’s all good.

And, if you’re going to drive a little anyway, head across the bridge into Highland Park just a few blocks up Rt. 27/Raritan Ave to one of my favorite restaurants anywhere, Pad Thai. Maybe not quite cheap eats, but for $10 I would take their Thai Fried Rice with Thai Sausage over almost any dish anywhere. I add pineapple and sub out the onions in mine and it is the one dish I could eat every day for the rest of my life. They have a huge menu and I love it all, from the jumbo shrimp and avocado in panang curry to the bbq pork. My friend John and I are there every parent/teacher conference night every year.

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And don’t forget The System in HP! Although your son will probably find that in his own…we certainly did!

It might involve too much traffic, but aren’t H Mart and the Korean barbecue place straight out 27 from Highland Park?

Rereading my post I think I missed something…

The name of the Mexican restaurant is Lucy’s.

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I heard the food trucks have been moved from the lot next to Old Queens over to Cook.

It would not be a trip to Rutgers without a fat sandwich.

Looks like they’re back on College Ave next to the library:

Somerset Diner on Easton Ave also has great pancakes and eggs anytime.

Picnic Garden is on 27 by Plainfield Ave as is Little Sheep Mongolian hot pot. That’s on the way to the Rac on the Livingston campus if you’re headed in that direction.

Yes! Picnic Garden is the place I was thinking of…

Thank you HO’s. Great suggestions. We’ve been to Picnic Garden and Little Sheep and will be hitting them up again now that the visits to NB will increase. Somerset Diner was in the regular rotation when I was a student and good to know they are still putting out good diner staples. The area where the grease trucks used to be located on College Ave have been scattered to other locations. The old area has been developed into what is now called The Yard and its really quite nice. A big grass square spotted around the perimeter with tables and a huge overhead screen to watch outdoor movies, sporting events, etc. A bunch of eateries have opened and are opening up around The Yard, including Surf Taco, Jersey Mikes, Krispy Pizza, a burger joint, a store front location for a grease truck (RU Hungry), and a stir fry joint called Honeygrow. Yet, in my mind, nothing quite compares to a drunken 2 am cheesesteak with a fried egg on top.

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Don’t forget the chikn fingers and jalapeno poppers on that 2am cheesesteak😁.

Just remembered that there used to be an above-average Chinese restaurant in the KMart shopping center on Easton Ave in Somerset (is the KMart even still there, she wonders??)…I can picture it but couldn’t tell you the name.

If you are looking for GREEK in Highland Park (and let’s face it, who on this board is not looking for Greek. Well maybe JR, but only till next Tuesday) then I can highly recommend Pithari Taverna in Highland Park. It’s a nicer sit down kind of place, and they also have a delicatessen next door with lots of Greek treats and wines, so you can conveniently acquire a bottle of roditis to wash down your lamb shanks and choriatiki.

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Do you mean Hunan Delight? As I recall they were kind of averagish, but they did have a buffet.,-74.503818,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0xaaafe7c91de9524d!8m2!3d40.51189!4d-74.4880151

I had roditis once, but the doc gave me a prescription. Cleared it right up! :joy:

The lunch buffet a little further up at Kam Luang on Cedar Grove Ave is pretty good. Under $10 including a soda.

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That could be it; the location is certainly right, but it’s been (ahem) DECADES since I was at RU! I just know that it (and Noodle Gourmet, which was upstairs near the George St Playhouse back then) were our go-tos for Asian food. The other takeout Chinese places were downright awful.

I believe the Kmart is still there. I used to live in Somerset and agree with @VikingKaj that Hunan Delight was “averagish”. Let’s just say I went twice and never went again.

Yep. It’s in the plaza with k Mart and has been there forever, at least 15 years maybe even 20. There’s a Stop n Shop there too.