The hype is not hype. Hoagie Haven is for real, churning out simple sandwiches that focus on their core ingredients and do not try to be fancy. At lunchtime on the Saturday of spring break, the place was still full of students and other locals, ordering and moving aside so as not to block the flow. The place has a working man's feel to it, but there is an order in motion here that might take a return visit or two to fully grasp. I felt as if I was in the way more than once, holding up the line and therefore coming between men and their hoagies.
A friend and I decided to pick two and split them for a little variety. We were surprised by the sheer size of each beast. almost two feet in length, a tremendous value for the price. The hot pastrami ($6.90, large, below) was stuffed full of delicious strips of meat. I found it a little strange that he asked if I wanted mayonnaise, but the sandwich was eventually delivered with a beautiful and biting mustard that complimented the pastrami perfectly. The breads were fresh and delivered from nearby Italian Peoples Bakery, thrown into their over for good measure to make sure everything was toasty.
More toppings confusion ensued with the chicken parmesan ($7.90, large, below), which somehow ended up with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Those were easily removed though and the delicious crispy fried chicken and sharp cheese shined. The sauce was used sparingly, and I think anymore would have completed disentigrated the bread before we could eat it. I would have loved to have asked for some more on the side though, as it was one of the best parts.
How did THAT happen?!?
I realize that Princeton might not exactly be within the metropolitan area of New York City, but it was only a 45 minute drive, and can be reached by train in a little over an hour. I've been to places in Queens or the Bronx that required 90 minutes of my time to reach, so I do not feel bad writing about this. Some things are worth using means of transportation other than the MTA.