Salt Creek Grille, Princeton, NJ

Salt Creek Grille is an upscale chain with 5 locations, 3 in California and 2 in NJ. The Princeton location opened about a year ago. The food is essentially American Grille fare along with a really good wine list. If you’ve read my earlier posts you will know that I like this place. In an area that lacks decent restaurants, Salt Creek Grille is definitely a worth while addition.

I’ve now been here 4 or 5 times for either luch or dinner. The place is always packed which isn’t surprising considering the combination of good food, reasonable prices and a really nice setting – kind of like a mountain lodge with a fireplace, live music on evenings, and a lively bar area.

Unfortunately my last visit earlier this week was far from satisfactory. I went for lunch with a friend. The place was packed as usual, though we didn’t have to wait for a table. It looked like there were quite a few corporate holiday lunches going on. The service was prompt but the food really was sub par. It seemed that everything I ordered had been pre-cooked and just reheated or had been sitting under the warmers for way too long. I ordered the calamari which was rubbery and the reuben sandwich which tasted dry. My friend Barry ordered the prime rib french dip sandwich and said it wasn’t as good as the last time he had it. The sandwiches came with an unbelievably large portion of garlic fries. I think Barry and I could have shared half a portion between us. We need to do something about these portions, they need to be smaller. I feel so guilty leaving anything on my plate. Finally, even my coffee came in a dirty cup – it had pink lipstick on it! That is just inexcusable.

On previous visits I have tried the ahi tuna stack which I really like, the blue cheese burger which is very good, though could do with a  better bun, the cobb salad which is good, the stuffed alaskan sole which I didn’t care for and porterhouse stragonoff which is very rich and good.

I hope that this experience was a one off and things return to normal after the holidays. I’ll try it again in a few weeks and see if things changed. I hope so, because we need good places in Princeton.

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