Located just off exit 10 on I 287 - about one mile south on NJ 527 (Easton Ave.)
Diner Food and More in Somerset, NJ
Had an unexpectedly great eating experience at the Somerset Diner and Restaurant (1040 Easton Ave, Somerset, NJ) last Saturday evening. The exterior is done in a stainless steel and red, faux diner style and it is clean, reasonably priced for the area, serves very good food from meatloaf to prime ribs and italian dishes and the portions are substantial. The bus people work like demons keeping tables cleared and clean and my waitress was courteous, friendly and most importantly, there when I needed her! I had the Prime Rib special that came with your choice of soups (while the Matzo Ball soup was tempting, I went with the minestrone and was not disappointed) a salad (nice size, very crisp lettuce with shredded carrot and some purple cabbage, a generous amount of tomato and a decent blue cheese dressing) two hot crusty rolls with butter (delicious, fresh, yeasty rolls) two side vegetable dishes (I had the baked potato with REAL sour cream and a stewed eggplant and onion dish that was nicely prepared and surprisingly good considering the utilitarian name!) and topped it off with a dessert. A small dessert came with the special (I can’t remember exactly what that was) but they offered any of the regular pies or cakes for only a $1.25 extra charge. I had the blueberry pie with a very nice sized portion of vanilla ice cream and a mountain of whipped cream. The pie was above average for what you would expect at a good diner – very good but not your Aunt Martha’s home made, to-die-for pie! The coffee was very good as well.
What I enjoyed most about this diner was the warm atmosphere and the incredibly good service. The owner is on hand keeping an eye on things and speaking with the regulars. There is also a very stern looking older gentleman who walks around wordlessly managing the wait staff. He obviously does a great job but never smiles! They have a few flat-screen TVs mounted near the ceiling which were on mute with closed captions displayed so they were not offensive or overly obtrusive in any way and I enjoyed being able to watch the end of the Penn State Wisconsin game. The place has a nice “homey” feel and obviously attracts a large number of local regulars and families. While it was full almost all of the time I was there, it never felt crowded and the line was never excessively long and it moved quickly. I liked it so well that I went back for a quick lunch the next day before I had to hit the road. They also make a great strawberry milkshake with real ice cream and strawberries.
I’ll make a point of going back again whenever I’m in this area! Highly recommended for people who like well prepared comfort food served in amounts that will not let you leave hungry in a warm, friendly atmosphere.