A few weeks ago, I decided to try Gus’s Diner in Manalapan. There aren’t a lot of diners in Central Jersey, and Gus’s is one of the few I haven’t been too. I arrived for dinner on a weekday, and it wasn’t too crowded.
Gus’s Diner is modern and clean. The front door is confusing, and we walked around the entire building before actually figuring out how to get in the restaurant. After walking over several pieces of construction board, we made it into the diner.
The inside is a lot bigger than I imagined. There weren’t a lot of parties inside so we had plenty of space.
The coffee was average. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t amazing either. I don’t have much to say. They did give whipped cream in a dish instead directly on top. For some reason I always find this comical.
There is virtually any regular option you could want at a diner with an entire page of specials. If you want a stereotypical diner menu, Gus’s Diner is it. I ordered the hummus appetizer special which came with pita bread.
Then I decided to order the broiled scallops special with a sweet potato and broccoli. It also came with a salad and dessert. In summary, it was a lot of food.
The hummus appetizer was boring. I don’t know if it was the way it was plated, but the appetizer was unappetizing and boring. It looked like they took a container of boxed hummus, placed it on a plate and put a few pieces of pita bread on it. It was a waste of money. It wasn’t bad, but I would have rather tried something else. It looked like they didn’t care or try.
The scallops were from a frozen container and heated back up. They didn’t taste bad, but they were also boring. Same with the broccoli and sweet potato. I had to request butter for the sweet potato. Since the scallops were dry, I added butter on those too. Butter makes everything taste better.
The special came with pudding, so I chose the bread pudding (my favorite noncake dessert). It was drenched with honey, but it was good. I enjoyed the crispy crust too. Out of the entire meal, the bread pudding was my favorite, but nothing stuck out to me. Was the food terrible? No. Was it edible? Yes. Would I seek out the diner based on food? Probably not.
It wasn’t a bad meal but just boring. It felt like I could have made something similar at home.
For the coffee, scallops, and the appetizer it was $29. It was pricey, but next time I won’t order the appetizer.
I have a meh feeling about Gus’s. It’s not a terrible diner, but it’s not a diner I would go out of my way to go too. If you are looking for a stereotypical New Jersey Diner, Gus’s is it.
Questions for you:
Do you ever order off of the specials menu?