It took us a long time to figure out how to review a diner since the classic diner menu is giant and has 95 percent of the same menu items that every other diner in the state has. Finally, we reached the conclusion that we’d try out some diner classics, throw in some wild card menu items and see what we got.
When we asked our readers about their favorite diners throughout New Jersey, the Bridgewater Diner came up a couple of times. Sitting in the middle of Route 22, it’s very conveniently located to most people in Central NJ. We wanted to love Bridgewater Diner like so many of our readers say they do. We did enjoy breakfast but lunch was pretty abysmal. Maybe we just caught them on a bad day when we stopped in for lunch? Here’s what we found.
Pork Roll, Egg and Cheese Sandwich
This sandwich had a really nice amount of pork roll on it, in two layers around the egg. The roll was light inside with a small amount of crunch outside. We had Bridgewater’s breakfast on our second trip to the diner. If we’d had breakfast first, I think we would have had a very different opinion of it. Breakfast is on point.
Great eggy pancakes with lots of moisture and well-griddled on the outside. These were perfect prototypes of the diner pancake!
We got a little off course with the omelet. The eggs and the home fries were good. The veggies in this Garden Omelet were just cut way too big. The omelet couldn’t even stay together there was so much moisture from all the veggies. Now, if you’re looking for a mostly veggie breakfast, this might be perfect. We just like a little better cohesion.
Our first visit to the diner was for lunch. After waiting forever for a table (we took the busy waiting area as a good sign), we were presented with what looked like a pretty good Jersey Burger. Unfortunately, the burger was really dry (we asked for medium and got very well done) and the fries were cold and not fried long enough.
We moved on to the chicken fingers hoping things would improve. They did not. The chicken fingers were also very dry and kind of skimpy for an $8 plate.
The BLT was the only thing at lunch that wasn’t terrible. It was loaded with tomato and lettuce but only had a small layer of bacon. But, the bread was nicely toasted and chewy. The sandwich overall was OK.
Matzo Ball Soup
Absolutely, the worst thing we ordered was the Matzo Ball soup. Normally, this is a nice light soup with some chicken flavor and a nice fluffy matzo ball in the broth. This soup was nowhere near that. The closest thing I can think of to explain the taste of the broth is dishwater. I’ve never tasted dishwater but it’s got to be close to this. A chicken may have swam through this broth at some point or at least looked at it. A rich chicken flavor with herbal notes from vegetables boiled in it were absent. The matzo ball was dense and compact. I ate a few bites and moved on.
I really wish I could give a better report on the Bridgewater Diner since people we know personally and respect their food opinions like it. That’s why I’m clinging to the hope that we caught lunch on the worst day of their business-lives. Breakfast was good but that lunch pretty much took the diner off our list of places we’ll return to.
Check out all the pictures from our visits to the Bridgewater Diner:
1244 Route 22, Bridgewater
Monday – Thursday 6 am – 12 am
Friday – Saturday 6 am – 1 am
Sunday 6 am – 11 pm
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