Published on March 6th, 2013 | by Charu Suri
8 The Best Eggplant Fries in New Jersey
Our family took the day off on Friday to return to Lambertville, the antiques capital of New Jersey. After a painless two hour drive, we saw the familiar church spire in the distance (St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church), which towered the sky like a soothing, welcoming landmark.
I loved how small and cozy the city was, and it truly felt like a town rather than a city, with a few people briskly waking, sipping coffee in cafes and polishing the silver in windows.
Antique stores and art galleries were almost on every block, and some stately Victorian homes served as stores too. The city is known for its nod to glass blowing, crafts and unusual and unique items that complement your home. Colored glass with tones of the Aurora Borealis graced stores like the small but artfully jam-packed Greene & Greene Gallery, and if you had a great eye and disposable income, you could do a lot of damage to your pocketbook in this city.
And of course, the Delaware River, which George Washington crossed, way back in 1776 on his way to secure victory at the Battle of Trenton, is there, like a shining natural landmark. During the warmer months, it’s not just a good idea to walk across the bridge, but to take a boat ride on the river too. The Delaware & Raritan Canal offers a charming vantage point from which to take plenty of photos, or simply be contemplative. The canal also provides a cool backdrop to the aptly named Lilly’s on the Canal restaurant, which has been described by my friends as the place to nosh on eggplant fries.
And so, in pursuit of the holy grail of fries, we went to Lilly’s (Baby Erika seems to enjoy our outings more and more: every time there’s a car ride involved, she positively coos and gurgles. I suspect she’s a born traveler too).
From the color-coded napkins to the Lambertville-patterened tiles, Lilly’s had some eye-catching urban chic décor, and we all enjoyed the classic American fare. While the food was decent enough (we were hungry, so everything tasted especially delicious), it was the eggplant fries that were the cat’s meow. Crisp, densely textured and perfect on a rainy day, these fries are the hallmark of Lilly’s and definitely something to ask for if you decided to dine there (note: they have a gluten-free chocolate cake that’s delicious).
The stately flowing waterfalls, the green-gray canal backdrop and some inspired touches set a warm, comforting tone to the afternoon. If you’re in town looking for a good place to nosh, Lilly’s is hard to beat.
Lilly’s on the Canal
2 Canal St Lambertville, NJ 08530