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Town Diner - East Windsor

I was driving past and saw that the sign is new.
What was the Clairmont Diner which became Windsor Grand Cafe is now the Town Diner.

They are hiring. Not open yet.

We will have to give it a try once it opens.

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  1. That place has had more owners / names than I can count over the last 15 years that I've lived here .

    3 Replies
    1. re: arpad

      It is going to be tough.

      Perkins isn't a diner, but their business is always very good.
      The Americana Diner is a diner in name only, and their business is always very good too.

      1. re: ieee488

        Perkins is absolutely a chain diner.

        Always felt like I was eating at a diner when I went to Americana except for the fact that the waitress handles your tab.

        1. re: ebchower

          Americana interior looks like a diner, but their prices for their dishes does not seem very diner-ish to me.
          They err more on the quality than the quantity.

      1. re: cuddles115

        May go for lunch there tomorrow.

        They are on Facebook http://wwwfacebook.com/towndinernj
        and they have a menu up on their website http://www.towndinernj.com

        1. re: cuddles115

          Gave it a try. It's an old-fashioned diner (which we actually really need since the Americana went "Upscale"). Seems to be standard diner fare. My wife had a perfectly acceptable Turkey Club, daughter had a decent Burger, and I had a slightly disappointing Chicken Gyro (the meat was just griddled chicken breast).

          The service was a bit amateurish, but very friendly.

          1. re: cranrob

            To be honest, we really like the food at the Americana Diner. It seems to be higher quality of food. We went there yesterday for lunch. Had the 1/2 soup (mushroom beef barley) + 1/2 sandwich (roast beef) + 1 side for $8 per person. Very tasty.

            We will eventually give the Town Diner a try, but if it is just diner food, I am not sure we are going to like it.

        2. If so....let me know. Passed by yesterday at lunch time. Lots of people going in

          1. I was going to try it Sunday early but there were no signs of life at quarter past six and their schedule says they open at six ?

            1 Reply
            1. re: arpad

              Sounds like someone forgot to spring forward.

            2. Went there with my family last week. Food was incredibly bland and the service was rather poor. I asked for a tuna melt and got the wrong order. Can't recommend it, certainly won't go there again. The Americana is right down the road, a little more expensive but much better.

              1. I gave the Town Diner two weeks to shake out the kinks and tried it today. Two weeks didn’t do it. Judging by the number and seriousness of the flaws, maybe I’ll try it again mid-summer. Maybe never.

                The place has the same basic look as the WGC did after the make-over, and that’s a huge plus. The one change is that the bar-area high-tops are gone, and normal diner booths are in their place. I thought that was a good sign, in that the Town Diner seems to be comfortable as a diner, and doesn’t send mixed signals like the WGC did.

                So much for the good news.

                Cleanliness: The WGC was spotless and after the Clairmont with its dusty rugs and dirty silverware, that was a huge WGC plus. The Town Diner is filthy, and that’s not the fault of the owners and managers; it’s the fault of poorly trained staff. I sat at the bar (have to call it that instead of “counter” because it’s a standard bar setup, not a diner counter) and when the hostess seated me, she told one fellow eating his lunch at the counter that staff had to eat in the rear. He left, she took his plate, and for 22 minutes his crumbs, errant french fries, and ketchup smears sat on the counter until another customer finally sat at that seat and complained. During this time there were three people behind the bar (one server for the bar and two whose jobs I couldn’t guess) and they were much more interested in basketball on one of the 4 big-screen TVs than cleaning up.

                Menu: This is a “trendy” Greek Diner menu. A full page of salads, a full page of wraps, half a page of paninis… you get the idea. There are some old-fashioned diner staples (open-faced hot sandwiches; meatloaf) but no “chicken croquette”-kind-of-food; the things you ONLY find in old-fashioned diners. The prices are lower than what the WGC had been charging but not cheap (salads $9-14, wraps and paninis $9-10.) Based on some menu items’ names, I suspect this is an offshoot of the Dynasty Diner in Tuckerton and they simply took the menu from that place and duplicated it here.

                Bar: There’s no full bar yet (the hostess said there’s an “Open Bar” coming and I home she’s right but she probably meant “Full Bar” – not sure she’s ever worked in food service more complex than McDonalds before; it took her thirty seconds to make change and couldn’t answer a question while she was doing it; I didn’t see her count on her fingers, but wouldn’t have been surprised.) There’s currently beer and wine, and they have mimosas and kir on the menu.

                Quality of food: Others have said the food is boring; that was its BEST feature. I ordered a pizza burger, medium well done. The coleslaw was boring (WGC had great coleslaw.) The pickle was a nothing. The sauce was straight from a can. The cheese was boring. The coffee was weak and boring. The fries were the frozen nonsense that seems to have a crust of fried flour on them – no taste, no crunch, no creamy center. They’re the fries that give French Fries a bad name (that’s not salt on the fries in picture #1, that’s the fried flour or cornstarch.) The burger itself was a travesty. The best news about the sauce was that there was so little of it (see picture #1 again) and the bad news was that despite being ordered “medium well” (which is what I always order when checking out a new place) the burger was raw on the inside (see picture #2.) Two weeks should be enough time for a grill-man to learn his grill. This one is up much too high, and when the outside of the burger is done, the inside is still raw.

                Service: Others have noted that the service is “cheerful.” That’s very nice. On the other hand, I don’t need a grinning idiot saying “very good, sir,” I need the counter cleaned; I need ketchup, salt and pepper delivered with the food (the ketchup never showed up at all;) I need a cashier who knows how to make change; I need a grill-man who’s cooked once or twice before.

                This place is a disgrace on so many levels. If two weeks wasn’t enough time to train the staff, then either postpone your opening or spend a couple of extra bucks and hire people who have worked food service before. The Town Diner, as it stands now, is an insult.

                 
                 
                2 Replies
                1. re: eapter

                  Thank you for the update.
                  Yikes, that barely cooked burger is scary.

                  You would also think that since today is a Saturday that they would have their "best" staff there. I guess not.

                  How busy were they?

                  1. re: ieee488

                    Two other people at the bar; four tables in the bar-area dining area (to your right as you walk in) and three tables in the main dining area.

                2. We ate there last night and it was awful. I wouldn't go back. the chicken was tough. I asked for a backed potato and it was in the middle of the plate. My kids had sandwiches. Dry and tasteless. Two mouthfuls of coleslaw and a sliver of a pickle. The bill was $34.00 and they went home hungry. Awful disgusting meal