Silver Coin Diner – Hammonton, NJ

This week, Joe and I stayed close to home and visited the Silver Coin Diner on Route 30 in Hammonton, NJ. The menu is about 7 pages including a full list of chef specialties. Honestly, you can get anything from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to lobster at the Silver Coin. How’s that for full service!

It was hard to decide. I usually have a standard egg plate but I was craving something different. Not really anything specific…just not eggs.

Joe is so much better at making decisions like this. After ordering our coffee, I got to work on trying to narrow down what I might be in the mood for. Joe, on the other hand, knew the menu back and forth, having grown up in Hammonton with the Silver Coin serving as his base of operations since college. He has his standard plates as well, but decided on something different this time around.

I had difficulty, though. Then it hit me: when you can’t decide, have one of everything! By that, of course, I mean that I ordered the Pick Four Sampler from the appetizer menu. It offers your choice of four out of seven options of deep-fried goodness. I chose the mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, potato skins, and onion rings. Joe, meanwhile, ordered the chicken parm sub, which came with a cup of soup. He opted for cream of potato.

While we waited for our orders to arrive, we set about drinking our coffee. The Coin uses Lacas – a diner staple ‘round these parts – and it is always hot, fresh, and delicious. They have a secret when they make it: they add a few pinches of salt to the grounds before it brews, which removes much of the bitterness and enhances the bold, rich flavors.

Soon enough, our food arrived. Joe’s cream of potato soup was up first. It was thick and hearty, with large chunks of potato, and didn’t last very long in front of him.

The Pick Four Sampler was everything I had hoped it would be. Along with the actual food, it came with monkey dishes of honey mustard (pretty standard stuff), marinara (which was surprisingly good for diner marinara but not really when you consider all of the Italian restaurants in Hammonton with which the Coin contends), and barbecue sauce (which was amazing; it was tangy without being too spicy). The appetizers themselves were fried perfectly: crisp, and golden brown, gooey, and delicious all around. The onion rings were a particularly nice surprise: often, with onion rings, you take one bite and the entire onion comes with it, leaving a hollow fried shell. Here, I bit through and bit all the way through, leaving equal parts onion and shell in my wake. The entire thing was deep-fried gold.

Joe’s chicken parm sub came on a standard torpedo roll and was served with fries. The menu calls it a chicken patty parmigiana sandwich, but don’t be fooled – they use an actual chicken cutlet so that it’s real meat and none of the processed stuff. There was plenty of sauce and mozzarella on the sandwich, and was exactly what the doctor ordered. If Joe had his druthers, though, he’d have made one change: the sub, as served, had the sauce on top of the cheese, meaning that when the sandwich was closed, it was in the middle and oozed out with alarming frequency. He took what he could and smeared it on the roll itself, which probably would have made for less of a presentation but a more practical solution.

All in all, it was a great meal for a great price – about twenty bucks. It was something different for both of us, and we were quite happy with the results.
It may sound a little strange to say that we’ll definitely be back because the diner is in our hometown, but it’s absolutely the truth. I’ve been frequenting it for a year and Joe’s been frequenting it for twenty, and neither of us has yet to have a bad dining experience there.

Check them out online at www.silvercoindiner.net or on Facebook!

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