Philly/South NJ Diners
Well, I was stupid enough to move away from Philly four years ago. Dumbest thing I ever did! Don't get me wrong, there is good food to be had in Nashville if you look for it hard enough. However, give up all hope when it comes to Jewish, Italian and Chinese foods. As a Jewish girl who grew up in an Italian neighborhood with parents who took me to Chinatown 2-3 times a week while I was growing up, you can imagine my pain. I mean, really, how much fried chicken can one eat? A whole lot, sure, but still...
Well, I still know where to go in Philly next time I'm home for chicken in a pot and knishes, for pizza and antipasto, and for chinese broccoli in black bean sauce (it broke my heart though last time I was home to find Lakeside Chinese Deli gone). What I no longer know is which of the diners are still really worth eating at. The Michael's diners are just awful. Olga's is no longer much good, and is also wildly overpriced. I was told the the Mayfair Diner is now owned by the Michael's people which horrifies me...
The thing with me and diners is I don't want Greek specialties or fusion cusine. I want chicken croquettes, hot open-faced sandwiches and meatloaf. I don't want fancy versions of these things. I just want them to be prepared basically and deliciously. I don't even object too badly to overpriced as long as the food is really, really good.
So, are any diners left that do diner food properly? Please help!
You are right. A good diner is becoming tougher to find. We've stopped going to the Mayfair. We tried the Dining Car in April. Not good enough to rush back to. Almost across the street (but somewhat east of) from Olga's is the Marlton Diner. Haven't been there in about two years but was my favorite in that area. Another poster not too long ago said it is still good. The Golden Eagle in Bristol is still pretty good. We also like the Eagle Diner in Warminster. Hope this gives you a starting point.
Of the three South Philly diners (Melrose, Oregon, and Penrose), we usually wind up at Penrose more often than not. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but we just went through a kitchen remodel and that's where we ate about 40% of our meals during that time so they must have been doing something we liked.