Tag Archives: Dinner

Come Hungry, Emerge Happy At PJ’s Pancake House

By Lakshmi:

For those local to the Princeton, New Jersey area, PJ’s Pancake House is that iconic restaurant across the street from Princeton University whose pancakes, waffles, breakfast and lunch specialties leave you coming back for more years after your first dining foray.  Long lines of students, young couples, families young and old are a common sight, sometimes waiting for a long time in the sun, wind and cold to grab a bite here.

This morning, with the temperatures hovering around the low 20’s and the wind howling like crazy, the thought of going into this familial place and tucking into some of the fluffiest, flavorful pancakes doused with butter and syrup got us going.  After a short wait in the cold, we were seated at a large table for five.  As we waited for our waiter, we entertained ourselves looking at the messages etched into the table.  In fact, legions of diners have played tic tac toes, written love notes, expressed their emotions on tables across the restaurant.

Now to our meal.  Our assorted stack of raisin, banana and blueberry pancakes was perfect.  Fluffy, flavorful, melt in your mouth pancakes that made us joyful with every bite.  The bruschetta and onion rings consumer sang accolades with every bite.  The grilled cheese with tomato hit all the right notes on this cold afternoon.  And the eggbeaters with whole wheat toast was the perfect light lunch.

As with every meal at PJ’s, we did not have one morsel of food left on our plates.  We were stuffed and pushing ourselves out of our chairs required a bit of effort. Of course, our final question to the manager was when they were opening a location even closer to our home.

Come May PJ’s will be hosting us for more breakfasts, lunches and dinners as they open a new location five minutes from our home.

Don’t just take our word for it.  If work or life ever brings you to the Princeton University area, don’t miss a meal here.  To get tempted, take a look at their menu below.

http://pancakes.com/system/docs/6/original/menu-august2012.pdf?1343953257

PS.  Soon, this iconic restaurant will be seen on the big screen in a scene shot by Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck for Runner Runner!

The Melt – Lunchbox Favorites in Palo Alto, California

By Rohan:

It is no surprise that the Grilled Cheese Sandwich has made itself a staple in the American Diet. You would’ve never thought that a lunchbox classic made with just bread and cheese could be toasted in a way that makes it a timeless treat regardless of the time of the year.  At the Melt, they take their Grilled Cheese Sandwich seriously. And with a location that is just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque Stanford University, what is there to lose?

The Melt offers a unique ambiance along with its unique menu. Simple wall decor and bright colors parallel the eatery’s devotion to their simple menu. With just six different Grilled Cheese options inspired by different parts of the world, it is no wonder why this sandwich shop has lines out the door 24/7. If you feel like being traditional, the classic Grilled Cheese is a succulent option. With fresh sourdough bread and gooey melted American cheese. If want an Italian or Mexican twist, the Melt will gladly accommodate your request, substituting American sourdough bread with homemade garlic bread.

You can’t have a sandwich without a hearty soup to go along with it, and the Melt’s wide variety of soups also pay homage to different parts of the world. A Southwestern Black Bean soup, a rich Tomato-Basil, and a cozy Broccoli Cheddar are just few of the many options you have to choose from.

When it comes to comfort food in Northern California, we can’t recommend the Melt enough. Located in the bustling Stanford Shopping Center, their Grilled Cheese sandwiches provide the fuel you need to hit the stores or take an energizing walk through campus.

To learn more about the Melt, visit www.themelt.com

Dinner and a Show in New York City – An Oft Repeated Experience Turns Into a Memorable Night

The Paupers at The View

By Lakshmi:

Read any guide-book on New York City and you will find a nice dinner in town followed by a broadway show as a must do experience.  Tens of thousands of visitors have done this, including me, but what I experienced last night will stay with me forever.

Last night was Siddhi’s last day of her first year at Tisch and we were invited to an event at school that was being held offsite somewhere near Times Square.  While it was a bit odd that Tisch was doing an event offsite, off we marched on the subway and streets till we ended up at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square.  “Lack of space at Tisch” was the excuse proffered to me, and as we rode the elevator to the top of the building to “The View”, little did I suspect that something did not smell right.

As soon as we reached the revolving restaurant famous for its 70 minute rotation with some of the best views of the New York skyline, the kids announced that there was no school event.  It was a ruse to get me to the city for an early Mother’s Day celebration, since I would be on a trip with Siddhi on the holiday.  I was completely taken aback.  The View is a pricey place to eat and while Siddhi has a part-time job and Sathya had a little bit of cash saved up, it was cost prohibitive for them to bring me here.  Not according to them.  As I sat down recovering from the shock, out came a gift bag with two picture frames filled with memories of me and the girls taken in different locations around the world.  Digging further into the bag, I found a vase with a flower and a TON of Twix bars and Heath, my favorite candies.  Needless to say, I was crying at this point.

We proceeded to have a lovely meal of heirloom tomato salad, gnocchi with pesto, penne with tomato sauce and the most yummy chocolate mound cookies with vanilla ice cream for dessert, all while taking in the beautiful, changing views of the city.

When the waiter approached us with the check, Siddhi took it and signed away probably multiple months of money saved.  For a mother, it was a moment of tremendous pride (at the kids being so thoughtful and doing this), joy (that they just made me so happy) and a tinge of sadness (that because of me, they were spending all this money).

Siddhi wanted to make one quick stop to bid her roommate good-bye and as we headed to Tisch, there was one more surprise.  We paused in front of the theater where Wicked was playing and the kids turned to announce that was part two of my surprise.  Speechless, I walked into the theatre dazed and was seated right in the front row (their treat), while they went several rows behind to claim their seats.   What followed on stage was just one of the most magnificent audio-visual spectacles.  The music was beautiful, the sets and special effects magical and haunting and the actors superb.  This was one of the best musical productions I had seen.

As we walked out of the theatre, I looked at the kids with a mix of marvel and joy.  Sensing something, Siddhi said, “Mom, I have no money left, you’re going to have to pay for the cab back to NYU and there are no more surprises.”

Driving back home at 11:30, I told the kids how proud and grateful I was for the gift of a perfect night, a night that they did not have to package and yet how it will be one that I will cherish for life.  And the reply in unison?  “Mom, it is a small thing we could do in return for everything that you do.”

Here’s the link to the View Restaurant:

http://www.theviewnyc.com/

Go here to learn more or purchase tickets for Wicked:

http://www.wickedthemusical.com/