The White Horse Dinner
50 South White Horse Pike
Berlin, N.J. 08009
Berlin has a small quiet downtown with a few antique stores, and until fairly recently two diners. One the aptly named Berlin Diner, spotless and reminiscent of a Pullman car, has closed….to the regret of your reviewer. The remaining choice is the White Horse Diner located on the southbound side of the “pike”. This was your reviewer’s first visit, and it was for breakfast. As I was reminded by my companion “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Well, if one were to do that you would have to start with the smallish lobby complete with a motley assortment of machines including gum ball and plush type toys. The “entrance rug” could do with a clean, and the monochromatic light green paint, offset against the white individual removable ceiling tiles did nothing to inspire confidence. Once across the threshold there were two separate, but equal, dining areas all pretty much the same with booths and tables. The ubiquitous paint scheme seemed even more in need of a “brush”.
On the plus side there was a very pleasant waitress who has been with the establishment since it was opened 13 years ago. Our order was taken promptly and she returned with separate carafes of regular and decaf coffee. She advised us that they were out of orange juice, although it was only 11:10AM. Subsequently a delivery by a presumed family member rectified this situation. Your reviewer had the Belgian waffle, with a request for sugar free syrup. At $4.50 it was competitively priced. Coffee was priced at a dollar, and considering the carafe held at least 2-3 cups it was a “bargain.” My dining companion chose the special number 4, a meat lover’s omelet that came with juice, coffee, home fries and toast for $7.95. Another dollar was added on account of the cheese in the omelet. In about the time that it took to enjoy a cup of coffee, the meals arrived as ordered. The waffle was of a generous size and nicely browned, without being burnt. Smucker’s sugar free syrup adorned the platter. In a word it was most enjoyable. Likewise my observation of my companion’s breakfast was that it was appropriate in size; the toast appeared to have spent a bit too much time in the “oven”. Upon questioning I was advised that the omelet and potatoes were very good.
The White Horse, from appearances, was well patronized with families of a number of generations. The staff seemed friendly all around, and took the time to chat where they could with patrons. There is also a counter with stools at the back of the diner, which had a lone diner. However he was also well looked after. A display case on the wall above the counter held some tempting cakes and pies. By way of observation (wistful) and perusal of the menu that included New York style cheesecake, chocolate layer cake and assorted fruit pies.
The menu offered is extensive and covers the breakfast spectrum nicely. I must admit that “raisin pancakes” were an item that I haven’t come across in other restaurants or diners. Both the “hot cakes” and French toast are offered in short stack version, again I don’t recall the latter being on offer at other places where I have eaten. Lunch and dinner selections are likewise numerous and would appear to have enough to satisfy all palates and purses. By way of example you could have a turkey club priced at $6.95 or a French dip at $7.25 both accompanied by french Fries, cole slaw and pickle. The prime rib dinner is set for $13.95 and includes potato, vegetable, salad or soup. Alternatively you might try the broiled filet of flounder priced at $12.95, deep fried sea scallops at $13.95 or breast of chicken parmigiana with linguini at $11.95.
There is parking in front and to the side of the diner; it can be a bit tricky crossing back to the northbound side of the “pike” so be cautious. On an ambiance factor, I think even a 1 “chew” would be generous. Quite frankly a “spring fresh up” is long over due. From a service and quality of food perspective I would give it 3 chews. The proof is in the “pudding” and on that account the visit to the White Horse Diner was successful.
Pop Pop’s Score: 3.0 Chews
Subjective rating: Likely to return.
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