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More College Visiting: Princeton

April 27, 2009

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So my cousin Josh goes to Princeton, and he let me stay over with him for a night.  It was awesome. I’ll be honest—I had never even considered applying to Princeton due to its preppy/ pretentious reputation, but I didn’t get that vibe at all. I got to meet professors, students, I saw the play (King Lear), where Josh was in charge of mixing blood (peanut butter, corn syrup and food coloring, if you were wondering). The campus was beautiful and surprisingly, I had some of the best sushi I’ve ever had.

I always thought of the campus as being not very foodie-friendly, but after walking around, I realized that it totally is. We didn’t go there, but a famous Princeton hangout is The Bent Spoon, an organic ice cream place with flavors like carrot cake, Earl Gray and blood orange.

Our grandma had given us money for cab fare, but since we didn’t end up taking any cabs, we decided to spend it on sushi instead 🙂

The sushi place we went to was called Ajihei. Josh had gone there for his birthday last week. Of course, we ended up ordering an insane amount of food. We started out with a salad each: regular green for him and seaweed for me. First of all, the portions were enormous and served in actual salad bowls. My seaweed salad was like nothing I’d ever had before. Rather than the classic green seaweed and cucumber only, it had at least 4 or 5 different kinds of fresh seaweed, as well as lettuce and bell peppers. It came with a sesame and soy dressing. I ate the entire thing, but it filled me up more than I would have liked, given everything else we ordered.

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Josh ordered a spider roll (but we were sharing everything). I have never had such a good spider roll in my entire life, and I don’t say that lightly. The maki were wrapped in cucumber, but there was still nori, as well as roe, avocado, and other delicious components that I am now too delirious to remember. All I remember is that it was crackling in my mouth and that it wasn’t drenched in mayo. It was SO GOOD.P4100027

We also ordered a “sushi deluxe,” basically nigiri with a tuna roll. I subbed scallop for salmon roe.. gotta have my scallop. I didn’t bother eating the maki, so Josh ate those. We split the rest. The pieces I did eat: the scallop, the hamachi, one of the mackerels, a tuna, and the SALMON. Okay, Josh and I both agreed that this place has the best salmon ever. First of all, just by looking at the photo, can’t you see how thick the stripes of fat are? The salmon had a texture unlike any of the other fish on this platter… it was so slippery and luxurious that it literally melted in my mouth. It didn’t taste like salmon, didn’t taste like fish… it was like I tasted a piece of heaven, and then it was gone.

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Josh also ordered a salmon skin roll… this was probably unnecessary, since it was nearly identical to the spider roll, but of course, it was also delicious.P4100029

The sushi also came with miso soup… how could we possibly finish everything?

But, as you can see… we did.P4100031 P4100033 P4100018

Considering how much we ate, it’s a good thing that we literally walked nonstop all afternoon touring the campus. Here’s one of Princeton’s “eating clubs”:P4100047 P4100048

I was starving by dinnertime, so we went to the dining hall. I thought everything looked great, but Josh said the options weren’t that great tonight. He had pizza, I think… I got salad with chickpeas from the salad bar and decided to go with the Asian options: tofu and vegetables, carrot salad, soba noodle salad, and rice. It was so awesome seeing how many different options there are for everyone: a deli, a grill, pasta, ice cream, cereal bar… and all you can eat? P4100061  

After we saw King Lear, Josh took me to Mary Dodge, a student hang out where there are always freshly baked cookies, tea and hot chocolate. I can imagine that it would be amazing in the winter. The table was piled with giant bowls of cookie dough.P4100071

Instead of eating cookies, we decided to get some ice cream. Josh prefers Thomas Sweet over The Bent Spoon. He says The Bent Spoon has original flavors, but the quality of their ice cream isn’t that good. Thomas Sweet is known for sugary mix-ins and milkshakes and the like, but I honestly just wanted some frozen yogurt. The “small” was enormous, but it was so good that of course we finished the whole thing. The texture was perfect, and really solid… I’m telling you, that little cup was packed!P4100073 P4100074

The next morning, Josh wanted to sleep, but I knew I needed to eat something before heading back to New York. The problem was, it was pouring, and I was having a lot of trouble locating the dining hall (there are so many!). Anyways, turns out that on the weekends, none of the halls even open until 10… but I had already swiped my card! One of the workers there was so incredibly nice to me… he said I could eat breakfast if I wanted, and even offered to make me French toast! I asked if they had oatmeal… of course they did. I topped it with banana, cereal and a spoonful of peanut butter. I also had fruit, coffee (sweetened with chocolate milk, sounds disgusting but it’s great) and a carton of rice milk, just to try. Obviously I’m not complaining, since the guy was so nice, but it would have been even more awesome to be there for the official breakfast… I saw them setting up, and they had SO many different kinds of options.P4110076

Conclusion: I can’t wait for college! Of course, this is kind of a skewed first impression, considering Princeton is like the richest university in the country… but even so, who would have thought I’d eat the best raw salmon in my life there?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Froma Zeitlin permalink
    April 27, 2009 4:26 am

    sounds as though you had a really good time. I’m so glad

  2. Joshua Zeitlin permalink
    April 30, 2009 5:32 am

    Murray-Dodge, by the bye. And I’m so glad you had a nice time!

  3. May 15, 2009 2:29 pm

    Lida, I read your Princeton entry and you are really passionate about food! That’s fantastic! You’ve certainly inspired me to go out and eat a bunch of food today!

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