A bike ride to one of those 50 must-eat New Jersey dishes for 2023

This bakery makes a must-eat foodie list. So we biked there. Here’s what we ate.

Pistachio donuts on top, that chocolate hazelnut baklava below
The chocolate hazelnut baklava is on the bottom.

Spring is here, the sun is out — and I was prepared with a new destination for a bike ride!

I’ve been entertaining myself with some of these “best” foodie lists on NJ.com, and the Baklava Lady in Englishtown popped up on the list of the 50 New Jersey dishes you need to eat in 2023 — specifically the chocolate hazelnut baklava. It also made the list of around the world in 23 New Jersey bakeries (that baklava again plus the spinach and cheese borek got shout-outs). It’s all vegan, if that matters to you. Yeah, sorry about the paywall on those articles, but trust me on this. (Well, the burger on a bagel entry closer to home didn’t sound persuasive…)

Anyway, a bike ride sounded like a great way to justify this food adventure. So off we went, three of us ready to decide whether it was worth the trip.

It turns out we’ve biked past the Baklava Lady a few times (on the way to this eastern European/central Asian supermarket called Netcost, another one of our foodie adventures) and never gave it a look. It’s also practically on the way to Freehold and our Bruce Springsteen tour, if that’s more your thing.

Since we last rode this way, there’s been a bit more construction. And a lot more since we first biked toward Freehold a decade ago. More and more big houses, no more chickens for sale. More warehouses. That senior center still only reachable by car, no sidewalk. Even with all that, the route still has lots of quiet roads or roads with a decent shoulder.

You of course can use my route. For those who prefer DIY, a couple of tips: peel off Cranbury Station Road at Ely Drive (Ride with GPS will want to take you a bit further, but you have to pay more attention with all the turns in that neighborhood), and then get off Federal Road at Perrineville. Yes, Perrineville is busy, but it’s less than a half-mile until you turn onto Dey Grove Road. The worst section might be the final 1 1/2 miles into Englishtown, just because traffic picks up.

My start point is a park (with a bathroom!) in West Windsor, but if you start at the Princeton Junction train station just up the road from there, plan on just over 16 miles.

It’s a flat route — yay this early in the spring! — but wow that non-stop headwind on the way back meant we definitely worked over those 30 miles.

The food report

So what did we eat?

I admit that the oversized chocolate hazelnut baklava, more like a generously filled slice of pie and then with a layer of chocolate chips visible below the top crust, was oh so enticing. See the photo at the very top and admit that it’s what you’d pick too. But did I really want to limit myself to just one thing? In the end, two of us shared the spinach and cheese borek plus the orange blossom semolina cake. Thumbs up on both.

The third person in our group opted for this impressively stacked lemon chickpea tuna sandwich on a house-made bun.

Coffee comes from a roaster 22 miles away in Asbury Park.

The place was hopping at lunchtime on a Sunday. We scored a table inside, but there’s also some outside seating.

Next time — and there will be a next time — I’m not even thinking about it. I’m getting the chocolate hazelnut baklava.

Before you head out, make sure the Baklava Lady is open. As of now, it’s only open Friday-Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Author: alliumstozinnias

A gardener (along with the Brit) who has discovered there is more than hybrid tomatoes. And a cyclist.

4 thoughts on “A bike ride to one of those 50 must-eat New Jersey dishes for 2023”

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