What’s “Square” But Also “In?”

Princeton is full of talents. One of our favorites is writer and producer, Craig Keller, who recently had some nice things to say about the Nassau Inn:

Nassau Inn's Famous Red Door

In a college-town awash with ‘upscale’ chain stores and overpriced eateries, the Nassau Inn stands like an oasis — totally refreshing in its old-world charm and convivial atmosphere. So take heed: its facade is no facade. That fire-engine-red door, which centers a tableau like something from Mister Rogers’ train-set, speaks to the genuine charm and civility found just beyond the threshold.

And it is a very old door indeed, standing as one of the more appealing examples of the “1775′ish” elements that abound throughout town, and which include but are not limited to the celebrated Bayard Lane hairshirt, and the Chambers Street weathervane cast in the shape of Lady Sarah Lennox.

I’ve stayed overnight and found the rates more than reasonable (a welcome alternative to the cold-shower-price of NYC lodgings — and FYI’z, the water-temperature at the Inn was perfect), the staff gracious and courteous, and the accommodations themselves Clean, Quaint, and Comfortable. (In the last year alone I’ve had three text-msg exchanges in which I told impending visitors from out of town: “Def. stay at the Inn it’s totes CQC.”)

So yes, I am a townie, and that means I know where to enjoy a consistent and reliable wi-fi signal (the Nassau Inn), and where to get four bars on my 3G (N.I., ditto).

And speaking of bars, let me close by mentioning my favorite aspect of the Inn: the Yankee Doodle Tap Room. The wings are delish ($0.25 per, on Mondays), the black-and-tans never-less-than-expertly poured, and the setting unpretentious but pretty lovely. An enormous stone hearth warms up the room in the fall and winter seasons. A back wall displays the graduation photos of famous (and in many cases, notorious) P.U. alums. The tables of the dining section come graced with carvings by students and patrons alike — the rumor-mill has it that Einstein exacto’d his signature on one of these, but you’d have better luck forging your own than finding the genuine chiseling. — Over the bar hangs the mural by Rockwell, one moment in time of the Y.D. story, painted by the artist expressly for the pub – imagine if Dickens had taken to the American lecture circuit 80 years later than he actually did and discovered not only the steaks at Delmonico’s but also John Ford and CinemaScope. Yes, fans of beauty and of meat will find much to love here; I recommend the hanger steak with chimichurri in particular, but there’s great fare all around (not just wings ‘n other bar-food-stuff) on the newly reworked, redesigned menu. (Typeface aficionados take special note.) Rounding out the experience, a recently added outdoor patio-area provides a tiki-alternative to the indoor setting on blossom-scented summer dusks or crisp autumn evenings alike.

So: in keeping with Princetonian esprit, and to bring things back relative to Papa Einstein, one relevant riddle: What’s ‘square’ but also ‘in’? Answer: Nassau Inn, on Palmer Square. And that’s all the summing-up you need.

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