Walt would be proud?
Whitman Diner – Turnersville, NJ
Price: $21.26 (Excluding Tip) for Two
Meal: Weekday / 7pm
No Known Website
On super-busy Route42, there are plenty of places to eat. Although we’ve driven past the shining mount of Whitman Diner on many occasions, we hadn’t had a chance to stop there. Coming back from the Tunersville area and hungering, we finally had the perfect opportunity – as a result of opting-out of a long wait at Nifty Fifty’s – to give Whitman a try.
At the time we visited, there appeared to be some kind of construction work on the side of the building, maybe the parking lot area. Still, there was more than ample parking for a week night, and the diner was relatively vacant. The exterior chrome-a-rama design is either nostalgic or painfully typical, you choose. The inside appeared much smaller than I expected looking from the parking lot. We were greeted politely, and ushered to a booth. Autumn liked how clean everything was, and I appreciated that they seated the family with a bunch of kids in the corner as to minimize the disruption to the rest of the room. There was a single LCD TV mounted on the ceiling, which probably had very limited viewing depending on where you were seated. We didn’t check out the other side of the diner, but we can’t imagine it would vary much. I liked the throwback prints and photos on the wall.
The diner wasn’t very busy and the waitress did a terrific job making sure we were attended too. Oddly, we’ve been in other places with virtually no business and scratched our heads because we couldn’t get a refill of water. Not at Whitman. Service and atmosphere receive very top marks in my book. Checking out the menu, it jumps out at you that this place is expensive. Many dinner entrees are pushing $20, and your garden-variety burgers, wraps, and other necessities close in on $10. It’s safe to say that Whitman is in that top pricing tier for a diner – perhaps a marginal discount against national-chain casual eateries. Autumn selected a french dip (with au jus) , and I tried a chicken wrap with sauteed spinach and roasted peppers. We split a very good ‘side’ salad that was fairly large and, if I recall, $4.00 on its own.
In what seemed like an impossibly short wait, our items were on the table. I already knew that Autumn’s french dip was too large for her, and it came with a decent side of fries, cole slaw, and a full baby pickle. She loved it, and said it was one of the better one’s shes had. The chicken wrap was huge, much larger than I had expected. It was served with identical sides as Autumn’s sandwich. The fries and cole slaw were strictly average. The wrap was presented pleasingly on the plate, and steaming hot. I needed to hold it in both hands, it was too large to use one if I had wanted too. We both thought the quality and the size of our order really offset the premium pricing. We’ll have to solicit your comments to see if everything else on the menu is super-sized.
We left our waitress a generous tip and took home half of Autumn’s meal to have for lunch the next day. We’ll definitely return to Whitman again in the future, although it would have to be in moderation to keep that ‘dining out’ expense under control. If money isn’t an object, though, you’ll probably love this place and leave very, very full. We’re going to take the unusual route of putting this into both the cheap, and not-so-cheap categories because it really is split right down the middle as far as memory serves me.
- Polite, efficient service
- Great portions and entree qualities
- Expensive across the board
- Location might be tricky for some
Autumn’s Score: 4.1
Guru’s Score: 3.9
Combined Score: 4.0 Chews
Subjective rating: Makes the cut!
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