From the Lost Files of Diner Nation…
Last month, Robyn and I dropped Hayden off at a friend’s house in Absecon. On the drive home, we were hit with an overwhelming hunger, and – considering that our cupboard was filled with lots of ingredients but nothing assembled – we knew what we had to do.
This time we settled on the Harbor Diner on the White Horse Pike in Egg Harbor City, NJ. It wasn’t our first visit there, and we were generally satisfied in the past, so we knew this would be a good place to satisfy our hunger.
We walked in and were seated immediately. Robyn excused herself to the ladies room, asking me to order her a coffee in her absence. The waitress still had not yet arrived upon her return, so we began perusing the menu.
Within a few minutes, our server Ashley came over to take our order. Robyn was in a breakfast mood, so she ordered the French toast with bacon. I wasn’t sure if I wanted breakfast or some manner of sandwich, so I compromised: a Monte Cristo.
Ashley brought our coffee first, of course. It was better than some diners, but not as good as others; it was a bit on the weak side. It did the trick but didn’t light the world on fire.
In relatively short order, Ashley brought our orders. The first thing Robyn noticed was that her French toast was only lukewarm. This made spreading the butter a bit of a chore, and it didn’t melt into the French toast like one would expect. That being said, it was quite flavorful, and the bacon was delicious – one has to purposely set out to ruin bacon in order to make it not delicious – but the overall experience would have been greatly enhanced if only the French toast were hotter.
The French toast on my Monte Cristo was also lukewarm, but that worked in this case; I really wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of picking up a griddle-hot sandwich. The slices of baked Virginia ham and roast turkey were thick and tasty, and the Swiss cheese (again with the Swiss cheese; what’s happened to me?!) was melted just right. The savory combination of the three mixed with the sweet French toast and the pancake syrup in which I dipped it made for a very tasty meal.
The Monte Cristo also came with French fries, which might have actually been the real headline here. They were far better than we had any reason to expect; crisp, with just the right salt-grease-potato ratio. Absolutely excellent.
Ashley kept our coffee full during our stay, and was pleasant and attentive throughout. She helped make our dinner at the Harbor Diner a good one, and is one of the reasons we’ll keep going back there.
Until next time, happy eating!