After really enjoying my last (and first) Princeton visit on Father's Day, Al and I decided to spend a weekend here. We're staying at the Nassau Inn on Palmer Square. I chose the place for its location and hoped for a bonus of charm; I'm not sure we've really gotten the bonus, but the location *is* great. Our room reminds me strongly of the one we stayed in at the Jameson Inn in Lakeland, FL on our honeymoon, though I believe this is the original early American design that the Jameson was attempting to copy. I like the copy better; though the top sheet on the bed here is excellent, the bottom one, inexplicably, is scratchy, and the bathroom is a bit grim.

We've already been out for a little walk around town to scout dinner options, and while wheeling the stroller around in 95° heat we formed our plan for the rest of the weekend: go to bed early, get up when Austen does, walk around the town and the campus early in the morning when no one else is up (and the temperatures are lower), and hide in the room or in air-conditioned cafes when the heat is on. Oh, and to buy these pants:

whale pants

Just kidding! I did buy a pair of pink capri golf pants recently because I thought they were funny as well as comfortable, but I draw the line at whales. Anyway, back to scouting dinner: We saw a place called The Ferry House on Witherspoon whose specials sounded yummy, but neither of us really needed a full dinner, and the idea of putting more dining room-appropriate clothes on our sweaty bodies did not appeal. Instead we opted for an ice cream pastry at Halo Fête followed by take-out from Olive's.

Halo Fête claims to be America's first ice cream patisserie, and they're probably right about that. The idea is interesting—traditional French pastries made with ice cream and sorbet instead of pastry cream, custard, and curd—and the execution amazing, but as someone who loves pastries and could take or leave ice cream, I'd rather have the regular pastry than the ice cream version. As it turned out, the pastry that Al wanted was the one I also would have picked (a cashew caramel dome), so we decided to share. I only had one bite; the caramel was a bit too sweet for me, and I hated the nuts. Al loved the nuts, but declared the dessert, on the whole, ordinary rather than sublime. Overall impression: Better to look at than to eat.

lemon tart with sorbet ice cream teddy bears

Next stop was Olive's, a mediterranean take-out/bakery on Witherspoon Street. Al went right for the carne asada sandwich with avocado, which they kindly heated for him, but I had a harder time finding something I wanted. I finally settled on a small container of cucumber, tomato, feta, and red onion salad and a slice of peasant bread. Al also got a blueberry muffin with lemon glaze, and I a miniature raspberry almond cake. Now that was sublime: yellow/white cake layers with raspberry jam filling, a traditional buttercream icing, and toasted sliced almonds around the outside. Really, really excellent. The salad too was very good, Al really liked his sandwich, and the muffin was on par with the Mmmmm Muffins ones Al gets in Vancouver, "only more homemade-tasting."

raspberry almond baby cake

Posted by Lori in food and travel at 6:00 PM on July 22, 2005