We’ve challenged ourselves to start reviewing NJ’s great institution… the diner. But, with enormous menus, hundreds of diners all over New Jersey and ambience that sometimes enhances ordinary food, we were unsure how to proceed. We finally decided that we’d focus on some diner staples and just compare diners using those menu items. So, how did the Village Diner in South Orange fare in this challenge?? Outstandingly! Except for one dish that was just OK, we really loved everything we tried here.
Here’s what we found among the diner staples:
Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese on a Roll
Look at this picture of perfection. This was from our first visit to the Village Diner and it instantly amazed us. There is a ton of Taylor Ham on there! The eggs were moist but not runny and the cheese was copious but not dripping off. Everything was right about this sandwich and this would become the theme for the rest of our meals here.
Again, picture perfect food that tasted as good as it looked. Light fluffy cakes and served with the little syrup pitcher so you don’t have to mess with all those little pull tabs from the to go packs some diners serve.
The ham, peppers and onions were chopped very fine and sauted nicely inside the eggs. The eggs were well-done which I actually like but isn’t everyone’s preference. If you like softer eggs, you might want to specifically ask for that. Note that the eggs on the sandwich up top were not cooked as much as these. The home fries were creamy on the inside with lots of crispy edges. Yes, we really enjoyed all the breakfast here!
We started out our dinner with a nice little appetizer of chicken tenders. They weren’t the best we’ve ever had but they were in that upper echelon of good tenders that aren’t house-made. Nice juicy chicken and a thin layer of crunchy coating.
Ed got the Monterey Burger which had Monterey Jack and sauted peppers and onions. He loved it. The burger was cooked to perfection and the veggies were fresh and kept a little crunch after being sauted. Simply put, another home run for the Village Diner.
I tried the onion rings and Cuban panini as our wild card picks.
The onion rings were so good that I invented the term “fried pornography” for them. Very, very crunchy outside and the onion inside was cooked well enough that it didn’t slide out of the coating on the first bite. We’ve had a lot of onion rings before and these were some of the best.
The Cuban Panini was just OK. There was plenty of meat and cheese but the pita bread it came on didn’t really crisp up like a panini. It made a very loose sandwich that was tasty but not the crunchy well-pressed bite that I anticipated.
Check out all the pictures from our visits to the Village Diner in South Orange and go check it out under the S.O. train station. We love downtown South Orange and the Village Diner is a great place to start or end your visit there.
1 Sloan Street, South Orange
Mon. to Sat. 7 am – 11 pm
Sun. 7 am – 10 pm.
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