Early in the month, I went up to the Route 1 diner in Lawrenceville, NJ. I actually didn’t know this diner existed until recently, which is unfortunate because it’s only 30 minutes from me and 30 minutes from the base!
I got there on a Friday night, and they were packed. The owner had me sit at the bar until a table cleared up.
The Route 1 Diner appears like a cross between a diner and restaurant (as the name indicates). The exterior is a typical building (versus a big metallic, shiny one) but the interior is all diner with a full-length bar, multiple booths, and table. We sat near the drink fill-up station for servers, and I didn’t quite appreciate servers always reaching around us to fill up drinks. Oh well!
The coffee was piping hot, and the owner refilled it often. I have no complaints.
I believe the service should be categorized into two parts. The owner seemed to play a role in our experience because if it was just the waitress, the score would have been lower. It took over 20 minutes to just take our order. I watched our server go to almost every other table except ours taking orders, refilling drinks, and bringing food. Once we did order, our food was our quickly, and for that I was happy.
The Route 1 Diner has almost everything you can imagine from breakfast, lunch, specials and most dinner options. I opted to order the stuffed shells.
The meal came with a bread basket which included cheesy bread. Normal bread baskets are boring but including cheesy and cinnamon bread is a win in my books.
My meal also came with a salad which was relatively green as far as diner salads go.
I am not a huge pasta fan but stuffed shells or lasagna or two I do like. The food at the Route 1 Diner was good. The dish was a bit smaller than anticipated, but it wasn’t bad. It was definitely hot, and I nearly burnt my tongue eating it.
I decided to order a cupcake. The waitress asked if I wanted a “minion cupcake” or “Elmo”…I said Elmo because why not. She came back with a minion cupcake, plopped it on the table and said it was all they had. To be honest, nothing about the cupcake was pleasing.
The presentation looked sad, the cupcake itself wasn’t that great, and the waitress didn’t even come back beforehand saying “well all we had is this”. I didn’t even finish the dessert which is rare for me (in fact it’s only happened at the Red Lion Diner and Sage Diner).
For my coffee, shells, and cupcake the cost was $18.
While I didn’t have the worst experience at the Route 1 Diner, I didn’t have the best either. The owner was friendly and probably the only reason I would come back.
Questions for you:
Have you ever had the owner of the restaurant wait on you?
What’s your favorite type of dessert?