Restaurant Review #131: Broad Street Diner (Keyport, NJ)

If you look online for lists naming the best diners in New Jersey, the diner capital of America, chances are you may spot the Broad Street Diner in Keyport. A sign on their front door boasts of naming them the best diner in the entire state. When you walk in, you certainly get that vibe. It’s a tiny hole-in-the wall. Not many tables but lots of chrome and metal. It has the look and atmosphere of one of those classic diners. Things were feeling pretty good as we ordered our drinks. The place was packed. But how was the food? Well, I’ll just ponder that maybe we were here on an off-day.

We started out with the Memphis BBQ fries, which were great and would prove the highlight of this dining experience. Thick-cut fries were covered in an apparent homemade, tangy Memphis-style barbecue sauce, pulled pork, cheese, and scallions. There was just the right amount of everything, and plenty of meat for $8.95. We were both more than satisfied.

For meals, we both went with breakfast bowls. Mine was the veggie one, which included peppers, onions, home-fries, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, and spinach. This was covered with scrambled eggs and cheese. It was a behemoth platter, with an impressive amount of food. It looked amazing and I could not wait to dig in. But looks can be deceiving. As I was ordering, I asked them to hold the green bell peppers. I could swear I heard her say that the home-fries are made with peppers but she would ask them to make it without them. Great. Sure enough, when it arrived, there were enough green peppers that they could have been the main event. Aside from that, the broccoli florets were a little more than stems, the potatoes were hard and almost raw, and the dish as a whole had no flavor. I picked at the eggs and cheese, but I don’t think I finished half of it. I took the rest home and it is still sitting in my fridge. I should probably throw it out. I hate to use the word “disgusting”, but I am at a loss.

My friend was not crazy over his bowl either, which included corned beef hash and some of the items I had in mine. Just totally bland. Such a disappointment when you consider how the food looked when it hit the table, and the amount of food they gave for $8.95 and $9.95. He also had a side of biscuits and gravy, which he actually enjoyed very much. He said there was just the right amount of gravy. I took a bite and all I could taste was sage from the sausage. Another strikeout.

I have no doubt the Broad Street Diner is better than the representation we were given today. Even for the rating of 2.5 out of 5 stars (it would have been 2 if we didn’t get those fries), I would return to try a sandwich or meal in the hopes that rating would climb higher. Best diner in a state loaded with them? I just cannot see it, at least not right now.

The Broad Street Diner is located at 83 Broad Street in Keyport, New Jersey.


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