Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The Randolph Diner

It may not be very appealing on the outside, but...
When we visit my family in New Jersey, it's become a little tradition to eat at least once at the Randolph Diner (spiffy new website). It's a good 20 minute drive from the family house, but worth the time and gasoline. We often meet my tío and sobrinas there.

The Randolph is not a gourmet restaurant, but instead, serves appetizing, satisfying food in generous portions, at a moderate price.

Yesterday, three of us, Mamá Cuevas, Sra. Cuevas and I trekked to Randolph for a nice lunch.

I had hoped to find some special from the blackboard menu, but as it was just Monday, the section was slender. But, no problem. The multi-page printed menu has more than enough to choose something that will please almost any customer. (Except maybe YELP! member-reviewers, who seem to have a higher than average percentage of whiners and nitpickers.)

"Blackboard" Specials a year apart
Navigating the vast full menu can be a pleasant challenge. I helped Sra. Cuevas, mi esposa, focus on Calves' Liver with Onions. It's a dish she loves but one that we rarely have in Mexico. It was perfectly cooked to her taste, with a light and tasty jus enhancing the meat. The onions, to the side as requested, were somewhat undercooked, but ignorable.

Calves' Liver dinner
Mamá Cuevas went for the Fish and Chips. It is just that; three fish portions fried in a puffy batter, a heap of French Fries, ($6.95) but more than she could finish.
Fish and Chips
Fried shrimp is offered in at least two presentations, as far as I can discover. The Shrimp In a Basket, $15, consists of 5 very large, butterflied shrimp and a heap of French Fries. It's accompanied by some pleasant, sweet and creamy coleslaw and preceded by a cup of homemade soup. The larger Shrimp Dinner costs $17 and has more shrimp. It's hard to imagine eating even more! more! shrimp, although I have done it on past visits.
Shrimp In a Basket
Our waitress, who at first looked grumpy, turned out to be very helpful and even subbed the fantastic Randolph Diner Onion Rings for the French Fries on my lunch. It's also possible to request half FF and half OR.

I think I have written about these great onion rings in "Lord of the Rings".

We drank iced tea, which was good and strong. When we left the bar area where we'd been seated, I saw on a blackboard that draft beers were $1.00 off on Mondays. Perhaps that was a lost opportunity, but a vigorous shopping visit to Costco still awaited us, and I needed all my mental acuity and remaining physical strength.

Ratings (based on several visits)

Food: ****

Service: *****

Price: (in U.S. dollars, one $= $10 per person)
$-$$ Our check was $50 before tip.

Ambience: Modern diner, comfortable seating, varies from room to room.

Restrooms, small but serviceable. Nifty hot air jet hand dryer!

Hint: The Lemon Meringue pie: avoid. I have no opinion on other desserts, and there's usually no room for any.

Coffee: very weak.

Useful Info:

517 New Jersey 10, Randolph, NJ 07869

Mon-Thu: 6 AM – 2 AM
Fri-Sat: 6 AM – 4 AM
Sun: 6 AM – 2 AM


John Calypso said...

Don Cuevas You threw me off with the diner photo, forgetting you are a jet setter. $15 U.S. for 5 shrimp and fries - ouch! Viva Mexico!

DonCuevas said...

Huge, sweet shrimp. I think that's a bargain for este lado de la frontera.

Saludos, Don Cuevas 

John Calypso said...

 Well like I wrote VIVA! de este lado de la frontera where large shrimp are 100 pesos a kilo (less in Puerto Escondido).

Felipe Zapata said...

Aww, you eat the livers of cute little calves?! Well, the rest sure looks tasty.

Andean said...

I hope you la Sra. are enjoying the heat, aqui en el norte de NJ. And the thundershowers with their lightening storms have been quite a treat too. :)
Diners have the best breakfasts for your buck, and very good sausage. And their club sandwiches can't be beat. Funny if I do have a bigger meal, I always order the liver, it's hard to find nicely cooked with onions in many places -- go figure.

Blaqkitty said...

Looks delicious.Thanks for sharing

Glorv1 said...

I think the fish and chips looks great and I would have eaten them all. Thanks for sharing. Great pics.