Sunday, December 30, 2007

Land of Diners

New Jersey is the land of diners. It seems impossible to drive 10 miles in any direction without seeing at least one of 'em.

No wonder ex-Gov. Jim McGreevey writes in his recently published autobiography, The Confession, that the most important political decisions in New Jersey are made inside diners.

Traveling through central N.J., heading east to visit friends in metro New York, I stopped and ate at The Spinning Wheel Diner a few nights ago. It is located on Route 22 in Hunterdon County. The hot pastrami sandwich was excellent; the onion rings were not.

Yesterday for lunch, it was the Riverview Diner in Weehawken, N.J. It is aptly named, as it may have the best view of any diner in the Garden State, only 40 feet from the western bank of the Hudson River with the sleek skyscrapers of Manhattan looming in the distance, spread out like a line of dominoes.

As we left the Riverview Diner, I overheard a customer speaking to a waitress in a Tony Sopranoesque voice. "I don't wanna be no trouble," he said, "but could I get a few meatbells wid my ravioli?"

The waitress nodded, barely making eye contact.

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