New Jersey Diner Guide Blog

Below you will find the most recent Blog posts before they go to Archive.

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Vintage photos of N.J. diners

If you grew up in New Jersey and never ate at a diner, then you must have had good reason.

I would venture to say that few things are as intrinsically connected to a state as diners are to New Jersey. Perhaps that’s the reason our diner galleries are among our most popular.

According to, “In the state of New Jersey, diners are more than just a place to grab a breakfast sandwich or a late-night cup of coffee. Often the center of the community, diners built in the 1920’s are still beloved by their guests despite modern restaurants filling up Main Street.”


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Harvest Diner Closing Sunday

Cinnaminson Diner

Cinnaminson Diner

Harvest Diner in Cinnaminson will close its doors this Sunday after 19 years in business.

However, the diner is slated to reopen in the spring with a new menu, a new look and new owners.

Stella Savva, owner of Harvest Diner since 1994, told Cinnaminson Patch Thursday it was “the right time” to close.

“We are sad we are leaving now,” Savva said. “It’s our home away from home. It was something we needed to do.”

Savva did not elaborate more on the reason for closing.

However the owners of Sage Diner, the popular Route 73 diner in Mount Laurel, are set to take over.

“It’s going to be pretty spectacular,” said Sage manager Bobby Roustas.

The Roustas family has owned Sage for 21 years. Roustas said the deal is not final yet, but plans are to start renovations this Monday.

“We’re going to redo the inside, the outside, everything,” Roustas said.

The staff of Harvest will be offered their jobs back once renovation is complete and the diner reopens.

“We are trying to help everybody,” Roustas said.

Stay with Patch for updates.

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Firefighters extinguish blaze at Gus’s Diner in Manalapan

Firefighters were summoned to Gus’ iconic diner located on Rt 33 in Manalapan Township in the early hours of January 22nd.

First responders were summoned approximately 1:45 am and according to police, the fire was extinguished a short time later. There were no injuries reported and sources say the majority of the damage was caused by water during the firefighting efforts.

According to Monmouth County Deputy Fire Marshal Rick Hogan the fire appears to be accidental but remains under investigation.

The diner was undergoing an addition at the time of the fire and was closed when the fire started. It is unknown when the diner will reopen.

NJ DOT shut down Rt. 33 Eastbound for approximately two hours due to the fire according to police. Responding agencies include Manalapan Fire Company #1, Gordons Corner Fire Company, Englishtown Fire Compay, Adelphia Fire Company and Freehold Borough Fire Department. The Englishtown-Manalapan First Aid Squad also responded to the scene.

Gus Diner Manalapan Fire

Gus’s Diner after fire

Photo Source

Gus's Diner

Gus’s Diner Before Fire

Photo Source

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Dennis and Judi Announce NJ Diner Tour 2013 – NJ 101.5

NJ 101.5 van at diner

NJ 101.5 Diner Tour 2013

Well, it seems the tenth season of Dennis and Judi’s diner tour will be taking place! Each year, Dennis Malloy and Judi Franko, radio personalities for station nj 101.5 broadcast their show live from a nj diner in a different region of New Jersey each Friday. This particular run is slated for April 2013.

A post was made yesterday on the NJ 101.5 Website announcing the tour and offering registrations for Garden State Diners to sign up for the tour.

As the tour proceeds I will update with blog posts and plan on adding a map of all the new jersey diners Dennis and Judi make an appearance.

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New Campaign Enlists Help of NJ Diners to Remind Motorists to “Move Over”

Donna Setaro, mother of State Trooper Marc K. Castellano.  Credit: Jennifer Bradshaw Photos

Donna Setaro, mother of State Trooper Marc K. Castellano. Credit: Jennifer Bradshaw


A board advertising New Jersey's "Move Over" Law. Credit Jennifer Bradshaw

A board advertising New Jersey’s “Move Over” Law Credit Jennifer Bradshaw.

A large print of the new place mats that will be distributed to diners statewide to educate the public about the "Move Over" Law. Credit: Jennifer Bradshaw

A large print of the new place mats that will be distributed to diners statewide to educate the public about the “Move Over” Law. Credit: Jennifer Bradshaw

A new informational campaign will use diner place mats to remind drivers to move over or slow down when they see emergency responders stopped on the side of NJ roadways.

At 450 diners throughout New Jersey, the coloring pages distributed to children are now more than a distraction to keep them busy. They’re also an effort to educate the public about a law that intends to protect first responders.

500,000 place mats describing the state’s Move Over law are to be distributed to 450 diners throughout New Jersey through a partnership between the Middlesex County Law and Public Safety Committee and the Middlesex County Comprehensive Traffic Safety Program, the New Jersey Department of Health and Traffic Safety, the New Jersey State Police, and Pan Gregorian Enterprises.

The place mats advertise that drivers in New Jersey must, by law, move over one lane away from stopped emergency response vehicles. If they cannot move over, they must slow down to the posted speed limit. Failure to do so may result in the driver being ticketed.

The Move Over law was passed in 2009, but officials at a Tuesday press conference said the public isn’t adequately aware of it.

One of the most known cases involving this law was the death of 29-year-old State Trooper Marc Castellano, who was struck by a car and killed in June 2010 while investigating an abandoned vehicle on a Howell highway.

In March, the Marlboro Police Department honored Castellano at its Community Excellence Gala and with their Police Unity Tour ride to Washingtown D.C.

According to information provided by Middlesex County, since 2007, there have been nearly 30,000 crashes in roadside work zones in New Jersey, resulting in nearly 10,000 injuries and 70 deaths.

Additionally, 3,200 citations have been written to drivers throughout New Jersey for failure to move over when in range of a stopped emergency response vehicle on the side of the road, according to the county.

At the site of the press conference outside the Edison Diner, Castellano’s picture was prominently displayed as the face of the campaign, and his mother, Donna Setaro, praised the work of the groups involved.


Continued at Source

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Monarch Diner Owners Focusing On Quality And Fun

The Monarch Diner just feels fun.

The newest addition to Wayne’s roster of diners is located next to Fuddrucker’s on Route 23 South. Historically, the location has been home to several diners, all of which have failed to get any momentum going in recent years. The Diakos sisters are trying to reverse that trend.

“This is just an opportunity that we had to take,” said Pauline Diakos, who owns the diner with her sister Tina.

The sisters come from a family of diner owners. Their relatives own The Pilgrim Diner in Cedar Grove and the Fairmont Diner in Clifton.

“We grew up with it. We both went to college for other things, but we’re both here now,” Pauline said.

So far, the sisters are enjoying the experience. Always smiling and laughing, they have tried to inject their personalities into the establishment from day one. They want their customers to have a good time when eating at the Monarch. The diner is open 24 hours a day.

There’s The Burger Garage with each burger named after a different car, like the Beamer, a burger with swiss cheese, grilled ham, and pineapple on a Kaiser roll or the Thunderbird, a burger with mozzarella cheese, grilled tomato, and roasted peppers on a garlic Kaiser roll.

Each wrapped sandwich is named after a famous rapper. The Jay-Z is a traditional BLT with spicy mayo, and the Will Smith, a Philadelphia-style wrap, has strips of beef with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and American cheese. The girls grow some of their own herbs on the property.

The chicken platters are all named after famous women, including Queen Latifah, who stopped by the Monarch recently, Tina said.

The Monarch offers a full breakfast menu and specials change everyday. A full slate of desserts are written out on a blackboard near the door and a display of sweet offerings tempts customers when they first walk through the door. Outdoor seating is offered during nice weather.

Continued at Source

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Manalapan Diner picture “Clothified”

This is an image of the Manalapan Diner with the “clothified” filter applied from Gimp. I have other renditions with various filters applied but so far the clothified looks best.

"Manalapan Diner Clothified"

Manalapan Diner Clothified

I must say Gimp’s filters are right up there with Photoshop filters. I plan on running more NJ Diner pictures through the filters and posting them up.

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Golden Bell DIner Freehold, NJ

The Golden Bell DIner
3320 US Highway 9, Freehold Township, NJ
(732) 462-7259

"Golden Bell DIner Sign"

Golden Bell DIner Sign

Stopped by for lunch today at the Golden Bell Diner in Freehold Township New Jersey.

The Diner itself has a nice contemporary feel to it but the landscaping is a little neglected. It is early in the season so that could change.

The interior is nice and clean and there is plenty of room. I was greeted at the door by a friendly hostess who guided me to the counter area in the rear.

The staff is very friendly and attentive and I did not have to wait for a drink or a menu. The menu is typical diner fare and there is also a salad bar as you can see in the pictures.

I ordered a California Cheeseburger Deluxe with bacon and a side of brown gravy and a soda. The food came out in about ten minutes and was an average size portion. The burger was tasty as well as the brown gravy which I used for the fries. The french fries were not as big as I am used to but the portion size was just right. I thought I took a picture of the burger but I do not see it on my phone.

The bill came to almost sixteen dollars which I thought was a little expensive but with the high oil prices today everything is getting more expensive.

I can recommend this diner with good conscious though you may want to check the prices before you go.

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View from inside the White Diamond Diner, Clark, NJ

"White Diamond Diner"

White Diamond Diner

I found this photo on Flickr and it really captures the essence of a New Jersey Diner. I love the stools facing the window, I could make this place my home!

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Diner lingo



I found this list on Wikipedia and had to share it. This doesn’t apply strictly to New Jersey Diners but I have heard some of these in my travels.

It is almost like another language being spoken and it’s speakers from another country.

Please comment if you know of a local diner in NJ that uses their own special lingo, I would love to check it out!


A C – sandwich made with American Cheese
Adam & Eve on a raft ‐ two poached eggs on toast
Adam & Eve on a raft – wreck them ‐ two scrambled eggs on toast
Adam’s ale ‐  water
All hot ‐ baked potato
All the way  ‐ sandwich made with lettuce, mayonnaise, onion and butter
A pie – apple pie
Axle grease –butter


B & B ‐ bread and butter
B.L.T. ‐ bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich
Baby ‐ glass of milk
Bailed hay ‐ shredded wheat
Balloon juice/Belch water/Alka Seltzer ‐ seltzer, soda water
Beef stick ‐ bone
Billiard ‐ buttermilk
Birdseed ‐ breakfast cereal
Black and white ‐ chocolate soda with vanilla ice cream
Blonde – coffee with cream
Blonde with sand ‐ coffee with cream and sugar
Bloodhounds in the hay ‐ hot dogs and sauerkrautBloody ‐ very rare
Blowout patches ‐ pancakes
Blue‐plate special ‐ a dish of meat, potato, and vegetable served on a plate (usually blue)
sectioned in three parts (can also refer to the daily special)
Boiled leaves ‐ tea
Bossy in a bowl – beef stew
Bottom – ice cream added to a drink
Bow‐wow/Bun pup/Tube steak/Groundhog ‐ a hot dog
Bowl of red: a bowl of chili con carne (so called for its deep red color)
Break a cowboy – Western Omelet
Break it and shake it ‐ add egg to a drink
Breath ‐ onion
Bridge/Bridge party ‐ four of anything (from the card game bridge)
Bronx vanilla/Halitosis/Italian Garlic ‐ garlic
Brown Bellies – baked beans
Bubble Dancer ‐ dishwasher
Bucket of cold mud ‐ a bowl of chocolate ice cream
Bucket of hail – glass of ice
Bullets/Whistleberries/Saturday night ‐ baked beans (so called because of the supposed
flatulence they cause)
Bun pup – a hot dog
Burn it and let it swim – a float made with chocolate syrup and ice cream on top
Burn one ‐ put a hamburger on the grillBurn one, take it through the garden and pin a rose       on it ‐ hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion
Burn the British ‐ toasted English muffin


C.J. Boston ‐ cream cheese and jelly
Cackle fruit/Cackleberries ‐ eggs
Canned cow ‐ evaporated milk
Cat’s eyes ‐ tapioca
Check the ice ‐ look at the pretty girl who just came in
Checkerboard ‐ waffle
Chewed with fine breath ‐ hamburger with onions
China ‐ rice pudding
Chopper ‐ a table knife
City juice – water
Clean up the kitchen ‐ hash
Coney Island chicken/Coney Island bloodhound/Coney Island ‐ a hot dog (so called because hot dogs were popularly associated with the stands on Coney Island)
Cow feed ‐ a salad
Cow paste/Skid Grease/Axle grease ‐ butter
Cowboy Western ‐ a western omelet or sandwich
Creep ‐ draft beer
Crowd ‐ three of anything (possibly from the saying “Two’s company, three’s a crowd”)
Cup ‘o joe ‐ a cup of coffeeCup of mud – coffee
Customer Service ‐ attractive table
Customer will take a chance ‐ hash


Deadeye ‐ poached egg
Dog and maggot ‐ cracker and cheese
Dog biscuit ‐ a cracker
Dog soup ‐ water
Dough well done with cow to cover – buttered toast
Drag it through the garden ‐ a hamburger, hotdog, sandwich or similar with all condiments on it
Draw one/A cup of mud ‐ a cup of coffee
Draw one in the dark/flowing Mississippi ‐ a black coffee
Dry ‐ a hamburger, hotdog, sandwich or similar without butter, mayonnaise or other dressing
Dusty miller ‐ chocolate pudding, sprinkled with powdered malt
Dish pig ‐ dishwasher


Echo – repeat
Egg o’ biscuit ‐ fast food‐grade biscuit with egg
Eighty‐one – A glass of water
Eighty‐six: “86 the ‐‐ ” E.g., “Do not sell to that customer.” or “The kitchen is out of the item ordered.” or “To remove an item from an order or from the menu.”
Eve with a lid on ‐ apple pie (referring to the biblical Eve’s tempting of Adam with an apple, the “lid” is the pie crust)Eve with a moldy lid ‐ apple pie with a slice of cheese


Fifty‐five ‐ a glass of root beer
Fifty‐one – hot chocolate
First lady ‐ spare ribs (a pun on Eve’s being made from Adam’s spare rib)
Fish eyes or Cat’s eyes ‐ tapioca pudding
Five – large glass of milk
Flop two ‐ two fried eggs, over easy
Flop two, over easy ‐fried eggs, flipped over carefully, with the yolk very runny
Flop two, over medium ‐ fried eggs, flipped over, with the yolk beginning to solidify
Flop two, over hard ‐ fried eggs, flipped over, with the yolk solid all the way through
Fly cake/Roach cake ‐ raisin cake or huckleberry pie
Foreign entanglements ‐ plate of spaghetti
Forty‐one – lemonade
Frenchman’s delight ‐ pea soup
Frog sticks ‐ french fries
Fry two/Let the sun shine ‐ two fried eggs with unbroken yolks


GAC ‐ grilled American cheese sandwich (also called “jack”, from the pronunciation of “GAC”)
Gallery ‐booth
Gentleman will take a chance – hash
George Eddy – a customer who does not leave tip.Go for a walk – a take out order
Gravel train ‐ sugar bowl
Graveyard stew ‐ milk toast (buttered toast, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and dropped into a bowl of warm milk)
Grease spot – hamburger
Groundhog – hot dog


Hail ‐ ice
Hamlette – an omelet made with ham
Heart attack on rack ‐ biscuits and gravy
Hemorrhage ‐ tomato ketchup
Hen fruit ‐ eggs, typically boiled
High and dry ‐ a plain sandwich without butter, mayonnaise, or lettuce
Hockey puck ‐ a hamburger, well done
Hold the hail ‐ no ice
Honeymoon salad ‐ lettuce alone
Hot top ‐ hot chocolate
Hounds on an island ‐ franks and beans
Houseboat/Dagwood Special ‐ a banana split made with ice cream and sliced bananas
Hug one/Squeeze one ‐ a glass of orange juice


Ice the rice ‐ rice pudding with ice cream
In the alley ‐ served as a side dishIn the weeds ‐ a waitress/cook that cannot keep up with the tables or orders
Irish turkey ‐ corned beef and cabbage


Jack Benny ‐ cheese with bacon (named after Jack Benny, the comedian)
Jawa/Java/Joe ‐ coffee
Jerk – an ice cream soda


Keep off the grass ‐ no lettuce


L.A. – serve with ice cream
Ladybug ‐ fountain man
Lead pipes with rounded cows – spaghetti and meatballs
Let it walk/Go for a walk/On wheels/Give it shoes ‐ an order to go, a takeaway order
Life preservers/Sinkers ‐ doughnuts
Lighthouse ‐ bottle of ketchup
Looseners ‐ prunes (so called because of their supposed laxative effect)
Love apples ‐ tomatoes
LTO ‐ lettuce, tomato, onion
Lumber ‐ a toothpick


An M.D./Doc ‐ a Dr Pepper
Machine oil ‐ syrupMagoo ‐ custard pie
Maiden’s delight ‐ cherries
Mama – marmalade
Marry ‐ consolidate food in same containers, i.e. pouring ketchup from half‐filled bottles into
other bottles to make full bottles
Mayo ‐ mayonnaise
Mike and Ike/The twins ‐ salt and pepper shakers
Million on a platter ‐ a plate of baked beans
Mississippi mud/Yellow paint ‐ mustard
Moo juice/Cow juice/Baby juice/Sweet Alice ‐ milk
Mother and child reunion ‐ chicken and egg sandwich
Mully/Bossy in a bowl ‐ beef stew (so called because “Bossy” was a common name for a cow)
A Murphy ‐ a potato
Mystery in the alley ‐ a side order of hash


Nervous pudding ‐ gelatin
No cow ‐ without milk
Noah’s boy ‐ a slice of ham (Ham was Noah’s second son)
Noah’s boy on bread ‐ a ham sandwich
Noah’s boy with Murphy carrying a wreath ‐ ham and potatoes with cabbage


Oil – butter
On a rail ‐ fast (as in “Fries, on a rail!”)On the fly ‐ as soon as possible
On the hoof – meat done rare
On wheels – a take‐out order
On the hoof ‐ any kind of meat, cooked rare
One from the Alps ‐ a Swiss cheese sandwich
One on the city ‐ a glass of water


Paint it red ‐ put ketchup on an item
Pair of drawers ‐ two cups of coffee
Pearl Diver ‐ dishwasher
Peel it off the wall ‐ add a leaf of lettuce
Pigs in a blanket ‐ sausages wrapped in pancakes
Pig between two sheets – ham sandwich
Pin a rose on it: add onion to an order
Pipes – straws
Pittsburgh: something burning, toasted or charred
Pope Benedict ‐ eggs benedict
P.T. – pot of tea
Put a hat on it: add ice cream
Put out the lights and cry ‐ an order of liver and onions


Quail ‐ Hungarian goulashR


Rabbit food ‐ lettuce
Radio sandwich ‐ tuna fish sandwich
Raft ‐ toast
Run it through the garden ‐ any sandwich, usually a hamburger, with lettuce, tomato and onion added


Sand – sugar
Seaboard – item wrapped for take‐out
Sea dust: ‐ salt
Schmeer ‐cream cheese, usually on a bagel
Shake one in the hay ‐ strawberry milkshake
Shingle with a shimmy and a shake ‐ buttered toast with jam or jelly
Shingle with a shinmmy and a squeeze – toast with jelly and orange juice
Sinkers and suds – doughnuts and coffee
S**t on a shingle/S.O.S. ‐ minced dried beef with gravy on toast (it was a reviled and loved
standard fare in army messes)
Shivering hay ‐ strawberry gelatin
Shoot from the south/Atlanta special ‐ Coca‐Cola (probably refers to the headquarters of Coca‐Cola in Atlanta, Georgia)
Shot out of the blue bottle ‐ Bromo‐Seltzer
Slab of moo, let him chew it ‐ rare round steak
Sleigh ride special ‐ vanilla pudding
Smear ‐ margarine or butterSoup jockey ‐ waitress
Splash of red noise ‐ a bowl of tomato soup
A spot with a twist ‐ a cup of tea with lemon
Squeeze one – orange juice
Stack ‐ order of pancakes
Short stack ‐ 2 pancakes
A stack of Vermont ‐ pancakes with maple syrup
Sun kiss/Oh jay (O.J.) ‐ orange juice
Sunny‐side up ‐ eggs fried without flipping them, so the yolk looks just like a sun on white
Sweep the kitchen/Sweepings/Clean up the kitchen: ‐ a plate of hash


The works ‐ a hamburger, hotdog, sandwich or similar with all condiments on it
Throw it in the mud ‐ add chocolate syrup
Twelve alive in a shell ‐ a dozen raw oysters
Twenty‐one – Limeade
Two cows, make them cry ‐ Two hamburgers with onions


Vermont ‐ maple syrup


Walk a cow through the garden ‐ hamburger with lettuce, tomato and onion
Walking ‐ to go
Walking in ‐  a new order just arriving in the kitchen.Warts ‐ olives
Wax ‐ American cheese
Well‐dressed diner ‐ codfish
Whiskey ‐ rye bread
Whiskey down ‐ rye toast
White cow ‐ vanilla milkshake
Wreath ‐ cabbage
Wrecked hen with fruit‐ scrambled eggs with orange juice


Yesterday, today, and forever ‐ hash
Yum Yum/Sand ‐ sugar


Zeppelin ‐ sausage
Zeppelins in a fog ‐ sausages and mashed potatoes