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Archive for the ‘1948’ Category

Tick Tock Diner

The Tick Tock Diner (1948- ), “the King of the New Jersey Diners”, is a northern New Jersey landmark. It is an all-night place to eat on Route 3, one of the main road that head west from New York City. Jean Shepherd used to talk about it on his old radio show. He liked the sign in front that says “Eat heavy.”

There is a Tick Tock diner in New York City too. That is a different diner.

Its busiest time is from midnight to three in the morning, when party-goers are on their way home from New York and need a bite to eat. It is just down the road from the Meadowlands, the vast swamp where Giants Stadium stands, so it gets people coming back from a game too.

Because it stands near a crossroads it gets all sorts of people. Those who want or hold public office see it as a place to go to meet “the people”. Chelsea Clinton and Governor Corzine were both there in February 2008.

I see it every day on the way home from New York. But I never ate there till this week. We went at ten on a Wednesday night (March 12th 2008).

From the road it is very noticeable, so when you walk inside it seems smaller than you expect. And nicer too. So nice that while Verizon used the outside of the diner in a 2008 television ad, it did not use the inside. (It is the ad where a man is trying to use his daughter’s pink mobile phone.)

The food is good. Much better than what you get at IHOP, Bob Evans or any of those other roadside places that serve homestyle cooking. It is not as good as, say, Red Lobster or Ruby Tuesday, but the food seems more like home cooking. It is way better than White Castle.

The servings are large, larger than you get at most places, which is nice.

Our waitress was very nice. (No, my cousin does not work there. This is not that sort of review.)

It seems like a great place to eat with friends or family, but not a place to bring a date. It is nice, but not that nice.

The cost: A big dinner for a family of four – we ordered so much food that we were all stuffed and had to take some home – cost us $72.60 (four crowns). Not bad at all for what you get.

I had the soup of the day, a Black Jack Burger, fries with gravy, a chocolate shake, tea and a brownie with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. All great stuff. Even the tea was good.

The diner was built by Kullman, who built other diners too. It does have that Jersey diner look to it. But it has been built and rebuilt over the years. Only the clock and maybe part of the sign are from the old days.

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