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Jun 10, 2013 07:36 AM

Paramount Diner - Manasquan

I was driving through town and noticed that the Paramount Diner building was in the process of being painted (very bright yellow and orange). There were a couple of signs but could only read the one that said opening soon before the honking started. Anyone know what is going in there?

MGZ - You're not opening that cheesesteak/lobster roll place we so desperately need by any chance are you?


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    1. Nah, Missy, I wish, but that ain't us. Besides, after all these years, do you really think my taste is so bad that I'd paint stucco "Golden Arches" yellow?

      I admit that I tried to put together NJ's most talented chef with some big guy who's family has been in the restaurant business for years and has enough money to send his kids to RBC. All I wanted was an M. Wells type spot in this silly town, a stool with a "Z" on it, and a chance to tell ChefMd to feed me whatever he'd wanna eat whenever I came in. I so woulda innocently worked this Board and Yelp that the place woulda exploded and no one woulda had a clue . . . .

      Manny wanted too much for the space and jrv wisely saw that. Plus, I'm not sure he liked our "blow Firefly outta the water" idea and had no real interest in renting to us. What are you gonna do? The Earth keeps spinin', right? A real estate agent from Spring Lake told me there's BYO coming up for sale around Thanksgiving. And my cohorts haven't bailed on the idea. I assure you if it comes to fruition, you will be welcomed to come in on the first night and offer your thoughts, OK? Food's on us!

      I met the lady who's takin' over the Paramount this morning. She's quite nice, older, and, if you can believe it, of Greek descent.

      "So, congratulations on your new opening."

      "Thank you, so much."

      "What are you gonna do with the place?"

      "Well, we painting it."

      "I know, it looks really nice. I meant food wise?"

      "Oh, nothin's gonna change."

      8 Replies
      1. re: MGZ


        I was so hoping that you had something going. I guess I'll have to keep my fingers crossed til November.


        1. re: missybean

          Tell you what, if I can get those guys to pull it off, there will be a chair with an "M" on it too.

          1. re: MGZ

            Shouldn't it be a "Z" on the seat? The mark of Zoro, you, the masked man of mystery.........

            1. re: jrvedivici

              As I said above, that's part of the price for gettin' me to put it together. You'll cash the checks and I'll simply hold Court.

              Missy knows the value of that. That's why she gets a stool too.

              By the way, if you look under some of the bar tables in Red Bank. there are still a few "Z's to be found. A friend of mine recently send me an iPhone picture of one I carved in 1989.

            2. re: MGZ

              Thanks. I always wanted to be a regular somewhere. The closest I've come was to be able to walk into one particular bar in New Brunswick many years back and my drink would be on the bar before I ordered it. And now, when I go into Cielito Lindo and don't order Goat Mole they ask me why not.

              If you need any back up regarding our need for something new, I'd be happy to add my 2 cents - for what it's worth.


              1. re: missybean

                Well, I'm walkin' into work this morning and, believe it or not, thinkin' about food. I've got the last of my three Gorditas de chiccarron that were leftover from dinner last night to have for breakfast. Never had 'em before and they sincerely impressed both me and the lovely Mrs. Z.

                So, I got to the Paramount and peeked in the windows. The door was open, but I wanted to go heat up that Gordita so I didn't stop to chat. The tables have been reset. There appeared to be a coupla waitresses inside and the lights were all on.

                I guess that means they're opening soon, if not today. They have a new menu on the corkboard outside. Pretty much standard diner fare, but less than what the old owners offered.

                They still haven't finished the painting, which is a weird thing considering how little there was to paint, but . . . . Nonetheless, it's my hometown, so I'll go in soon to support. Though, unless the food is special, I'll probably wind up thinkin' about what couldov been..

                I had just passed Firefly before I got to the Diner, so besides the Gordita, I was thinkin' about the state of Chow in the 08736. The reason I think that the M. Wells diner approach might have worked is because Firefly introduced that concept of cuisine with training wheels. I respect 'em for that, I'm glad they've helped educate some of my neighbors, an are makin' so much money. I just thought maybe it might be nice to bring us a ten speed.

                I've never had a "great" meal at Firefly. Plenty of terrific dishes, sure, but never anything that I woke up in the morning and the first thing I thought about was, "Wow, that uni blew me away. Maybe we should go back tonight?"

                In a way, it's sorta like hearin' a Yankees game on the radio:


                Sterling chimes in, "Boy, he really got a holda that one. It's high. It's deep. It's just foul."

                1. re: missybean

                  Just walked down to the Bank. The Diner's open. Let me know if you get there before me?

                  Also, there is a Food Truck at Seawatch Beach that purports to specialize in Lobster Rolls. I go to the Beach too early for it to have been open, but, I thought I'd share and see if you might want to keep it in mind.

                  1. re: MGZ

                    Truthfully, I probably won't make a point of going to the Paramount but if i happen to be there and hungry I might stop in. I do plan on hitting up the Truck at Sea Watch as soon as I am off on a nice enough day.

                    Gotta agree with you on the local Chow. Of late I have become quite bored on the local "fine" dining scene. There is a sameness to most places and I have trouble telling them apart. How many variations on "Our Special House Salad" are there? 1 and it is always mixed greens with roasted pears/beets and goat cheese. All of which I can slap on a plate as well as any them.

                    Yes there is a random dish of interest but not usually more than 1 or 2. And while Mr Bean will eat the same thing over and over (ex. the lamb at The Shipwreck) I like try new things all the time.

                    I was not familiar with what an M Wells type spot would be but after doing some research, I am in. Sounds like something right up my alley. Til then, I'll continue hitting up CL, Shanghai Bun and Point Lobster with an occasional foray to Edison and Patterson.


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