Saturday, January 15, 2011

Clinton Station Diner, Clinton, NJ

The Clinton Station Diner in Clinton New Jersey, just off Route 78, was featured recently on the Food Network show Outrageous Food with Tom Pizzica. I'd seen the episode, but I didn't recognize the restaurant as one we pass by once in a while on our way to Pennsylvania. Today we were passing by at noon and decided to stop by for lunch. This turned out to be a good decision. One of the reasons we always thought about stopping was that there is a railroad car attached to the building that was once a railroad observation car. We were given a seat in the main dining area, but I peaked into the dining car and realized we should have asked to be seated there as it was brighter and looked interesting. Well, next time.

Still didn't recognize the place from the Food Network until we looked at the place-mats and Teresa pointed it out to me. They make the world's biggest burger, a massive fifty pounder called the Mount Olympus. They also make burgers that are one pound, two pounds, three pounds, and up to a seven pounder called the Zeus, as well as normal sized ones with a whole bunch of toppings choices. I remember the big one on TV. This keeps up with our Food Network restaurants and chefs we've visited and makes number six.

We smelled the coffee as we entered and saw the sign that announces the coffee is made fresh every twenty-minutes so we ordered coffee and water and looked through the menus. Well, we took quite a bit of time looking as the menu is extensive and everything looked so good. I was originally going to get a Cuban burger and finally decided to pass in favor of the Cuban Panini, shown to the left. Teresa got a chicken and eggplant sandwich with marinara sauce on the side. By the way, the coffee was very good.

The food came rather quick and was piping hot, so hot I had to be careful picking up my sandwich. The cheese was melted perfectly, there were plenty of pickles on it and the ham had a nice flavor. The fries were steak fries and there were plenty. Very good sandwich. Teresa's was equally good and the marinara sauce had a nice flavor, better than the marinara at some Italian restaurants we'd been to.

The service was good and attentive and I watched how the waitress handled a complaint at a neighboring table where the woman didn't like what she'd ordered. They did a nice job of rectifying the situation pleasantly. Oh, and the bathrooms were clean.

Overall it was a good dining experience and I think we may take this route so we can stop by more often to sample a few things on the menu that looked interesting. I will try a burger as I saw one being delivered to another table and it looked big and juicy. They have a website for more information.