YDKJ’s fifth anniversary is this year and upon reflection we noticed that our diner coverage was severely lacking. There’s a reason for it, though!
The major dilemma was trying to figure out how to cover a New Jersey institution with upwards of a twelve page menu—a menu which duplicates most other diners by about 95 percent. So, we came up with a plan of attack. We chose some iconic menu items and allowed for a few wild card items. The wild card items could be something out of the ordinary on the menu, something that we happen to know the diner is famous for or something we’re just in the mood for.
The Raceway Diner in West Long Branch is a great classic diner that’s just missing the silver train car-shaped building. Even the menu is a throwback to a time when diners didn’t have a 32-page menu offering everything under the sun. It’s nearby Monmouth Park so there are horse racing pictures and decorations all over.
Our first stop was for breakfast and it was great.
Pork Roll, Egg and Cheese – The roll was really soft which I like but some people might miss the crunchy exterior on some diners’ offerings. There was plenty of pork roll on there even though it’s a little hidden in the picture. A really nice version of the quintessential New Jersey breakfast.
Pancakes – Giant and spongy, these are the pancakes I love. These will fill you up just right!
Western Omelet – Diced veggies are the best, we think, for omelets. How else can you get a bite with ham, green pepper and onion all at once? This was a little overcooked for us but the ingredients were fresh and diced perfectly. The home fries were delicious, too! Creamy on the inside with a little pepper and onion and lots of crispy bits.
Pizza Burger – Man cannot live on a plain Burger Deluxe alone. This time we tried the pizza burger and it was worth the change. Just the right amount of cheese, yummy tomato sauce and a great juicy burger. We’d definitely come back for this burger! Bonus when ordering the pizza burger is that you get at least ten fries with melted cheese on them!
Chicken Tenders – These were the closest to chicken “fingers” we’ve seen in a long time. Thin and long, if chickens had actual fingers they might actually look like this! These came with a really good corn meal crust which is another thing we don’t run across very often. These were really interesting, different and good.
BLT – There is more bacon on here than you can see. Cutting the sandwich may have pushed it toward the edges or something. Unlike many other diners, this sandwich had the correct ratio of lettuce and tomato to bacon and bread. Why do some places give you nearly a whole head of iceberg? This was a great, great sandwich.
The Raceway Diner is not the most exciting diner but it’s got good and very well-priced food with great service. What else can you ask for??
Check out all the pictures from our visits to Raceway Diner in West Long Branch:
135 State Rte 36, West Long Branch
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