If you have been among the legions who have previously enjoyed The Diamond at its two locations in Cherry Hill (RT 70) and Voorhees ( Rt 73) and saddened by their closing, then its back to the future at a new Diamond in Hainesport. Located on Route 38 East it’s an easy drive from Cherry Hill, Marlton, Mt. Laurel and Voorhees…and worth the trip. Upon reaching the generous parking lot, you’ll surely notice the hallmark stonework that was at the prior locations. Immediately upon entering the restaurant the eye is drawn to the yummy glass enclosed dessert case on the right just in front of the separate dining section. If you were familiar with the Voorhees location you can be excused for having a sense of ” deja vu”…since the floor plan is pretty identical. The ” counter seats” are exactly where they were in Voorhees and even the rest rooms are in the same area. But the essential question is, buildings could be replicated….but what about the management, service team and of course the menu?
If you guessed that the ” new” Diamond was the work of the original owners, you would be correct. Likewise some of the former wait staff also ” migrated” over to this new location. Our two visits were for lunch and seating was fairly prompt. A perusal of the menu revealed that it was a fair representation of its former self, with favorites like chicken soup with rice and a Greek salad with Tzatziki dressing. A ubiquitous offering of hot and cold sandwiches, breakfast dishes and more substantial fare also was typical of New Jersey diners. Prices were moderate and in line with other establishments. Our servers on both occasions were pleasant and efficient, with one diner choosing a western egg sandwich and the other a gyro. The food arrived within a reasonable time and was very good. Sad to say that the lone dessert order of sugar free cheesecake was most disappointing. It tasted like silly putty with a gelatinous strawberry topping. With no problems it was exchanged for a blueberry pie ( with sugar) that was marginally better. While the crust was acceptable the filling appeared to be your basic ‘Comstock’ type and deficient in any form of flavor. Both desserts you might say looked better than they actually were. Morale….always go for the towering chocolate layer cake!
The coffee accompanying the dessert(s) was par for the course-a plane jane-but then the reviewer is no fan of Starbucks either. At the second visit, an interesting twist. One guest received a menu for the correct day ( Saturday) while the other didn’t. In the excitement that the appearance of meatloaf on the menu created the other guest lamented that the menu was for the prior day. No worries however, for the server said that while the day of the menu was indeed past-the request for a meatloaf dinner could be accommodated. That was pretty neat, as was the meatloaf itself. Three generous slices sailing on a sea of rich and savory mushroom gravy. So filling was the meal, that any dessert was out of the question.
So to sum it all up you can go home again….that sometimes good things from the past do reappear, if not always in the same place. The Diamond shines, and it would be a rare traveler or local that wouldn’t be able to find an enjoyable meal at a reasonable price.
Pop Pop’s Score: 4.0 Chews
Subjective Rating: Make the trip.
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