I have passed this place hundreds of times. Sometimes I wondered what it was like and wanted to stop but Route 17 was busy and by the time I could get into the right lane I was already past it. Other times I'd already eaten. Well, today I made the effort to be in the proper lane and we stopped by. I'm glad we did.
Remember those restaurants on the side of the road before the Clown, the King and the red-headed girl with the pigtails took over? Well, that's what The Fireplace Restaurant is. This place isn't a retro burger place like so many companies are trying to create, this is the real thing like it used to be. It was started in the late fifties by an FBI agent and his family.
You place your order at the counter, pay them, and wait a few minutes. Your order is handed to you on a tray and you find a seat. Simple and pretty quick.
We ordered three cheeseburgers, a combo of fries and rings and a vanilla shake. The total? Fourteen bucks. The burgers were good, not phenomenal, but good. You can tell they're either flame broiled of car-grilled because you can taste it. The shake was nice with just the right amount of thickness. The rings were okay and the fries were a tad undercooked. You could tell the fries and rings were frozen, but they were good quality.
There are three sections to the restaurant. The burger counter (they offer a lot of other things too), the pizza counter upstairs, and the breakfast counter in the back that was closed when we were there.
The bottom line is that you really should stop by and taste a bit of Americana past at its best. They're better than any fast food place (except for a Five Guy's or a Jake's) and comparably priced. They have a website for directions, menu and all that stuff.