Tops Diner

Voted by NJ.com as New Jersey’s best diner, I had to try it out for myself.

I came here late at night – around 10:30pm. As I pulled into the parking lot, I was not expecting to see the parking lot so full. And I was walking into the diner, I was not expecting to see people waiting to be seated. The wait was 25 minutes and I’m generally a patient person so I didn’t mind waiting.

Once we were seated we ordered potato skins as an appetizer. Mouth-watering is the only way to describe them. At this point, I was starving and probably would’ve eaten wet cat food. But, I’m not saying the potato skins were good just because I was starving, they were actually delicious.

For an entrée, I ordered a Philly Cheesesteak. It was delicious and it was a decent size. I brought half of it home but I accidentally left in the car overnight so there went that sandwich.

For dessert, we ordered a cookies and cream milkshake. Again, delicious.

The overall experience was great! The food and atmosphere was terrific. I definitely recommend this diner. If there was a 25 minute wait at 10:30 at night, I would suspect there would be a long wait during dinner and weekend breakfasts – so be prepared. But, it’s worth it!

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Liberty Park Cafe

Located near the entrance of Liberty State Park, this tiny diner is a hidden gem. While it may be small and off the beaten path, the food is amazing.

Of course, I ordered a burger because diner burgers are the best. This burger was topped with Taylor ham, cheddar cheese, and an over easy egg. As an appetizer, we ordered Disco Fries because God forbid an entrée wasn’t enough, right? The Disco Fries were delicious and the cheese was melty.

The service wasn’t spectacular. Our waitress took her lunch break while she was serving us so I had to wait until she came back for a refill. But I guess I can’t complain too much since I lost my keys somehow and she found them.

Overall, this was a great diner with good food!

New Heritage Diner

Last week I reviewed a diner called The Heritage in Ocean County. This week, I’m reviewing the New Heritage Diner in Bergen County.

Located on River Rd in Hackensack, this is one of the better diner’s that I’ve visited. I’ve been here twice and both times were late at night (or early in the morning – depending on how you look at it), so there weren’t many people dining.

Both times I went with a group of friends and the service was great. The waitresses had no issue with splitting the checks and the food came out relatively fast.

This past time I ordered an Italian burger which was topped with melted mozzarella and tomato sauce. The tomato sauce was meh, so I scraped it off. The rest of the burger was good, as were the fries.

The chocolate milk shake and hot chocolate were delicious! I definitely recommend trying these two beverages.

The place itself is a little unassuming but sometimes those are the best places.

 

The Heritage

The Heritage Diner is located in Whiting, New Jersey. For those who don’t know, Whiting is a town with many, many, many senior communities. The stores and restaurants are flooded with seniors.

This was the first time I came here in years. I came for lunch last week with my grandmother, aunt, and uncle. I ordered an Atlantic City Burger. The burger was topped with Taylor Ham and melted Cheddar Cheese. It was delicious! Plus, the diner had my favorite type of French fries.

My aunt likes the diner simply because they serve saucers with the tea cups (which apparently many places don’t anymore). The saucers come in handy when trying to dispose of the tea bag.

The atmosphere was slow but the music was good. They played all Oldies and Motown, I guess to please their target demographic.

Overall, it was a good diner. It wasn’t the best but for a quick lunch on a weekday, it did the job.

 

Coach House Diner

IMG_0569This was the first time I dined at this establishment and it was great! It’s located on Kennedy Blvd in North Bergen – about 15 minutes from St. Peter’s University campus.

I went to the diner with a classmate of mine, Awilda. I asked her a few questions about her experience at Coach House.

Q. What did you get to eat tonight?
A. So tonight I got a salad bar option along with my chicken pot pie. Oh, and I also got a Coke…or a Pepsi!

Q. What kind of salad did you have?
A. I had a Cesar salad – it was really good. It’s my second one this week.

Q. How was the chicken pot pie?
A. It was good! But it was too much for me to finish in one sitting.

Q. What do you think of this diner?
A. It’s pretty cute. I’ve been coming here for a long time. Our waitress was a cutie. It’s always pretty good food here; I feel like it’s fresh. I really like it.

Q. Do you like the service here?
A. Yeah. The waitress is new but she was pretty food. I’m not going to complain, it was her first day.

Q. How were the fries?
A. Crispy. Yummy. Good. Lots of ketchup. Love it!

Q. How was your overall experience at the diner?
A. It was good! I had a fun time!!

At the diner, I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with mozzarella and tomato. It was delicious but I could only eat half because it was so filling. It seems like every time I go to a diner I order cheesecake. So why break tradition now? We ordered a side of strawberries to go along with the cheesecake and it perfected the dessert.

Coach House has a more restaurant feel than a typical Jersey diner feel but the food was delicious, the service was good, and the atmosphere was nice, too!

Brownstone Diner

The Brownstone is usually my go-to diner to eat whenever we don’t know where else to go. The food is delicious, the service is good, and it’s nestled on a street lined with brownstone buildings (hence the name).

A few years back the diner was featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The diner is known for its infamous pancakes. They serve this one dish where a cheeseburger is sandwiched in between two large pancakes. It’s actually really good but makes you feel like a glutton because it’s probably two days worth of calories.

The burgers are amazing. The panini’s are delicious. The chicken quesadilla, which I ordered last time, is really good. The disco fries are sinful. But, I could pass on the meatloaf.  All the servings are huge and you definitely won’t leave still hungry.

But the best item on the menu? The cheesecake.

There are no words to describe the classic New York Style Cheesecake other than orgasmic. And the slices are huuuuge.

Overall this diner is one of the best around. There is one downside, however. To me, it seems a little pricey for a diner. But considering it’s normally always on point and the portion size, some might say it’s all worth it. And since I keep going back, I guess I think it’s worth it too.

The VIP

This diner has been around for years – since my parent’s were younger (and that’s quite a long time). Honestly, this place is a hit or miss. But, when I last came here, the food was delicious.

I decided to stop in here one day after work as I was walking back from Journal Square. It was the first time I ever went to a restaurant by myself. I decided to sit at the counter with the other solo diners.

Having no self control and being who I am, of course I looked at the drink menu first. Drinks were so cheap. A Long Island Iced Tea was only $6, compared to other places where they range from $9-$12. So, naturally, I ordered one. When I first started drinking it, it didn’t taste as strong as I’m used to but I quickly found out I was wrong.

I decided to order a Cuban sandwich. I’ve only had a Cuban sandwich once before when my parents made it, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was delicious. The pork was tender and there wasn’t too much mustard. The bread was similar to Pita bread so that was a little different, but good.

As I said, drinks were cheap. So I decided to treat myself to an after dinner drink because why not? I ordered a Rusty Nail, which I first heard about from my mother. That was probably the strongest drink I ever consumed – which means, I’ll probably order it again.

This diner really is a hit or miss. But it’s in walking distance from campus so it’s  convenient to pop in for a quick bite.

The Broadway Diner

This diner has a special place in my heart. Located on Broadway in Bayonne, this may be my favorite diner simply because of the countless memories I have of going here when I was younger with my family. I remember being here when I was little and I thought I saw Betty White. Much to my disappointment, it wasn’t her.

The Broadway Diner has the typical Jersey diner atmosphere and it serves great food to boot. I ordered a Black and Bleu cheeseburger – well done but still juicy. I upgraded my fries to disco fries. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s french fries with mozzarella melted on top and brown gravy – it’s sooooo good.

My friend ordered a bowl of french onion soup. On top of the bowl, there was phyllo dough baked on, which I had never seen before but it was a nice touch.

The prices are very reasonable at this diner! It’s a great place whether you want a quick bite or a big meal. Perhaps the only thing this diner is missing are tiny jukeboxes on the tables.

The Suburban Diner

This wasn’t the best diner I’ve been to but it was satisfactory. It’s located on Rt. 17 in Paramus.

The outside looks like a typical diner but the inside is somewhat reminiscent of The Cheesecake Factory. It looks like it was recently remodeled so the whole “diner feel” wasn’t exactly there.

The menu was as typical as one would imagine. I ordered the Brooklyn Hero. It was grilled chicken, fried eggplant, roasted red peppers, and mozzarella. On the menu it said that tomato sauce was poured over top but I asked for that on the side because I’m a little leery about how Italian food is cooked from a non-Italian restaurant (plus, my mom is Italian so I may be a little biased).

The chicken was little dry but edible. The fried eggplant was actually grilled – which meant I didn’t feel guilty about eating the fries. The tomato sauce was as I imagined so I was very thankful that I ordered it on the side.

The best part of the entire meal? The cheesecake. (Again, the eggplant was grilled, so dessert is acceptable, right?). We ordered the cheesecake to go and ate it later that night. It was delicious. It wasn’t hard like some cheesecakes are; it was light and creamy.

Overall, it was a decent place to stop and have dinner. If I ever go back, it’s solely for the cheesecake.

New Jersey’s First Love: Diners

Growing up in New Jersey, I was exposed to different cuisines from a young age. New Jersey is flooded with restaurants that serve cuisines from around the world. From Chinese buffets to small mom and pop Italian restaurants, from Thai food to Portuguese food, New Jersey has it all. But there’s one type of restaurant that has a special place in all New Jerseyan’s hearts: diners.

For New Jersey natives diners are more than just restaurants. Diners are an essential part of our lives. It’s where we met our friends after a Friday night football game in high school. It’s where we go to breakfast with our families on Sundays after church. And it’s where we go at 2am after a night of partying.

Diners are the backbone of New Jersey eateries. New Jersey diners are timeless and provide a certain feeling of being at home. This blog will review diners – from the best to the worst – across the Garden State.