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Earlier this week I celebrated my 26th birthday. Someone told me that 26 is closer to 30 than it is to 20; and I wanted to cry. But keeping with birthday traditions, there was only one place to spend my (not so) special day: Princeton. (New Jersey, that is, for any new readers.) And really, what better place for a tradition than Princeton?! So let me share all of my favorites…

The afternoon started out at the Nassau Inn’s Yankee Doodle Tap Room with some delicious Bloody Marys and spot on wings. I recommend the honey garlic, well done. The bleu cheese there is super good, and there is plenty of crunchy celery on the side. Sitting at the bar promises two TVs and the famous Yankee Doodle mural by Normal Rockwell (and wireless internet so you can totally play on your phone).

After some meandering and tipsy run-ins, the second stop of the day (and a must in my Princeton book) was Winberie’s. I love this bar. There are many, many reasons that I love this bar; but this is not the time and place for that discussion. Red Deaths and well-done bacon cheese fries may have been the tipping point of the afternoon; but those are some of the best damn fries I have ever eaten in my life. And who else has a gaming machine sitting across from the bar with Photo Hunt?!

Next it was on to Triumph Brewery! One beer and no food – because we had places to be – was a great end to the trip. Currently there is a stout on draft made with Small World Coffee coffee beans. Smooth and rich; it was like a boozy iced coffee…heaven to say the least.

After a stop at the Princeton Record Exchange and the House of Cupcakes it was back home, to waste time in the tried and true Petrocks.

AND HOW COULD I FORGET ABOUT THE TIGERS TALE!!! We met Sam, a very friendly regular who talked to us about birthdays, working and life in general. He told us about his girlfriend and even let us read his newspaper. Drunken Clams are a MUST, and there is always a friendly response when you tweet them hello!

 Good food, good booze, good people.

all of the lights

Lit up trees in Palmer Square, Princeton