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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hoagie Haven

I cannot go to Princeton, it seems, without making a pilgrimage to Hoagie Haven, and last night was no exception. I was there in an official capacity - one of "my" singers is singing Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the Princeton University Orchestra tonight, and I was her "set of ears" out in the house for the dress rehearsal. But after the final Abschied was taken, it was hello, Hoagie Haven time!

This place never, ever disappoints. They crank out consistently wonderful sandwiches and hoagies of all sorts, and have been doing it for over 40 years. For me the star is the cheesesteak, and, predictably, my favorite is the bacon cheesesteak:

It differs from the classic Philly cheesesteak in a couple of respects - the slices of, um, "steak" are left intact on the grill, rather than being chopped up, and they use provolone instead of the echt-authentic Cheez Whiz. No matter... it's still one of the great sandwiches on the planet as far as I'm concerned. And their prices are eminently reasonable.

They also make the best breakfast sandwich I have eaten anywhere, in case you happen to be in the vicinity before noon: egg and sweet Italian sausage slices (grilled together) on a kaiser roll. It ain't no Egg McMuffin, that's for damn sure.

God, I hope these guys own the building they're in... As Princeton gets more and more twee (and EXPENSIVE) - as if that were even possible - businesses that cater to regular people are fast disappearing (the exact situation that has made Manhattan so unpleasant these days). It would be a tragedy if this place didn't have some protection against the kind of skyrocketing business rents that is killing NYC.

Hoagie Haven
242 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ 08542


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