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In Praise of the Diner

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by emptym, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Gravitas

    Gravitas Senior member

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    Tried a new diner this past Saturday at 5am. Best fries I have ever had. The veggie burger was quite good too, really light and tasty. I can't wait to go back.
     
  2. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Born in Jersey, so diners are in my blood -- when I was younger, eating at one somewhere was a monthly thing. We had many summer breakfasts in the diners from the Highlands to Point Pleasant when we had our boat in the waters. The coffee was always consistent strong and fine, the food hearty and cheap, the service fast and unapologetically casual and friendly. I rarely ate platters, but a Taylor Ham and Swiss on a hard roll with poppyseeds was a usual breakfast for me. A Reuben fit most other meals. You always knew what to expect, and there is comfort in that.

    When I left the Garden State the diners were getting pretty shabby and I didn't frequent them at all. A few months ago I had some business in NYC, missed dinner, etc, one thing led to another and I left on the last train out. Two hours later and after 3am, I get to my car for the couple of hours ride home. Blearily I remember a diner nearby. It's still there! I stop for a cuppa joe and a taylor ham sandwich. Roaches greeted me in the john. The coffee was bitter. And the sandwich lost only half a bite.

    I miss the old magic.

    ~ H


    Huntsman,

    I'm a recent transplant to NJ and everyplace I go to offers regular ham or Taylor ham.

    What the hell is Taylor ham?

    lefty
     
  3. thekunk07

    thekunk07 Senior member

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    i believe it's a sweet-glazed ham from ground pork shoulder. kinda like canadian bacon.
     
  4. greekonomist

    greekonomist Senior member

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    Huntsman,

    I'm a recent transplant to NJ and everyplace I go to offers regular ham or Taylor ham.

    What the hell is Taylor ham?

    lefty


    We called it "pork roll" or properly "Taylor pork roll." I honestly don't know what's in it or how the make it. It's usually eaten fried/grilled. You have to puncture it or else it will curl up and bubble while it cooks. Haven't had pork roll in probably 12-15 years, though.

    My favorite diners are (surprise) run by Greeks. I have a couple favorites back home that I never miss. Can't seem to find anything like that down in DC, though.
     
  5. thekunk07

    thekunk07 Senior member

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    philly diners have pork-roll, egg and cheese on a bun. good stuff.
     
  6. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Huntsman, I'm a recent transplant to NJ and everyplace I go to offers regular ham or Taylor ham. What the hell is Taylor ham? lefty
    As has been noted, it's a ground pork product, usually lightly smoked, like a very mild salami without all the fat. I am not familiar with it ever having a glaze, like a Virginia ham or somesuch, though some brands (Case, for one) are a little sweet. It's usually served lightly fried. I just have a taste for the stuff after all these years. Have probably had every brand sold in Jersey. The original Taylor is always excellent, but I preferred ShopRite's Tangy. The six-slice pack to be precise (Taylor's 4 was too thick, and the 8 too thin). ~ H
     
  7. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    Good thread emptym...
    Danke. If you're feeling like having some good diner food in LV, a friend (just elected judge!) and I usually go to the Arizona Charlie's cafe when I'm in town.
     
  8. tiecollector

    tiecollector Senior member

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    Oh how I miss the good diner. I finally found one downtown that is apparently the last one that hasn't been bought out by Chinese. The food is only so-so (though a million times better than the others) but the people are what you'd quintessentially expect to find and they all know each other's names.
     
  9. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    As has been noted, it's a ground pork product, usually lightly smoked, like a very mild salami without all the fat. I am not familiar with it ever having a glaze, like a Virginia ham or somesuch, though some brands (Case, for one) are a little sweet.

    It's usually served lightly fried. I just have a taste for the stuff after all these years. Have probably had every brand sold in Jersey. The original Taylor is always excellent, but I preferred ShopRite's Tangy. The six-slice pack to be precise (Taylor's 4 was too thick, and the 8 too thin).

    ~ H


    So you recommend TH? I guess I'll just have swallow the .35 upcharge.

    I've been spoiled by real Canadian back bacon. That's the stuff I'd love to find in a diner.

    lefty
     
  10. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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  11. DarkPinstripeSuits&OTCs

    DarkPinstripeSuits&OTCs Well-Known Member

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    One of the best diners I have ever eaten in is located in Bergen County, New Jersey, in the town of River Edge. The River Edge Diner is a spacious, clean, always busy diner with terrific dinner specials. A bit pricier than other diners, but worth every penny. The Chicken Francaise and Chicken Oreganata are superb, along with the scrumptious salad bar! The only other Jersey diner that is also really good is Tops, in East Newark. I haven't been there in about six or seven years, though. I wonder if it's still there.
     
  12. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    So you recommend TH? I guess I'll just have swallow the .35 upcharge. I've been spoiled by real Canadian back bacon. That's the stuff I'd love to find in a diner. lefty
    Well, I guess so -- I mean, it's not high cuisine or anything. But if you don't like Taylor pork roll, then it's likely you won't like any pork roll.....
     
  13. ms244

    ms244 Senior member

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    One of the best diners I have ever eaten in is located in Bergen County, New Jersey, in the town of River Edge. The River Edge Diner is a spacious, clean, always busy diner with terrific dinner specials. A bit pricier than other diners, but worth every penny. The Chicken Francaise and Chicken Oreganata are superb, along with the scrumptious salad bar! The only other Jersey diner that is also really good is Tops, in East Newark. I haven't been there in about six or seven years, though. I wonder if it's still there.

    Tops was there as of a year and a half ago, very busy at nights with the bar crowd.
     
  14. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Well, I guess so -- I mean, it's not high cuisine or anything. But if you don't like Taylor pork roll, then it's likely you won't like any pork roll.....

    Tried it yesterday.

    Not a pork roll guy.

    lefty
     
  15. Edward Appleby

    Edward Appleby Senior member

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    I love diners. The best if when you go in at 3 or 4 in the morning and there are a bunch of salt of the earth truckers eating.

    A Waffle House can be a decent substitute, though I probably wouldn't order any non-breakfast items.
     
  16. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    Tried it yesterday. Not a pork roll guy. lefty
    Not really surprised, it's one of those things you had to grow up on. It's debatable whether I enjoy it on its own terms, or merely for the comfort of familiarity. ~ H
     
  17. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The wild and the pure.
    Not really surprised, it's one of those things you had to grow up on. It's debatable whether I enjoy it on its own terms, or merely for the comfort of familiarity. ~ H
    I think pork products made from the less desirable parts are like that. Each culture seems to have its own version, and most do not catch on outside their home ground.
     
  18. VKK3450

    VKK3450 Senior member

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    A Waffle House can be a decent substitute, though I probably wouldn't order any non-breakfast items.

    Dewd!! Waffle House patty melts and Bert's chili are the nuts.

    But yeah, generally I feast on the breakfast goods.

    K
     

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