Mark is going to the undergrad business school at Rutgers Newark. Hooray!! So on Saturday, Alex took us around the neighborhood, giving a tour of the campus as well as shortcuts/backroads to take when there’s congestion. I really tagged along for the food part of the trip.
Around noon-ish, we headed over the bridge towards East Newark to Tops Diner. It’s Alex’s favorite.
The place was packed. There’s additional parking in an “upper lot,” which is really an elevated addition via a slight ramp in the middle of the ground parking lot. Right when we stepped outside, we were hit with fumes of fried chicken. Only, this isn’t really a fried chicken joint. And even stranger, when we stepped into the diner, all fried chicken-like fumes disappeared.
As the parking lot indicated, the place was completely filled. Not a shocker given that it was prime-time brunch time on a Saturday. The diner is pretty big with two sections. For a party of three, we ended up waiting roughly 15 minutes.
All the specials are in the mid-teens to twenties price range
We were fortunate enough to snag a booth in the very back of the diner where it was more quiet. Luck also had it that the server was an old family friend of Mark’s. And then, as if that weren’t enough, it ended up that Alex’s good buddy in college was the server’s boyfriend. What a small world.
The three of us got omelets, despite our goal to each get something different. Well, at least we got three different omelets.
Whole Wheat Toast: Buttered and Complimentary of all omelets
All the omelets come with both homefries and toast. For the toast, you have a choice between whole wheat, rye and white bread. We all got whole wheat. It even comes buttered for you. In the beginning, it’s what every toast fanatic dreams of- a generous slab of butter right down the middle. But then, towards the end of the meal, it sorta gets gross because the butter solidifies!! YUCK!
Colorado Omelet: A Meat Lover’s delight with ham, bacon, sausage, peppers, onion, Jack & Cheddar cheese ($9.50)
This was actually my favorite omelet of the three. I ended up getting the Bourbon omelet (which is not pictured since I couldn’t seem to focus!) and that basically had spicy Andouille sausage with peppers, onions, tomato, and cheddar cheese. The difference between the Bourbon and the Colorado was the slightly spicy kick from the Colorado omelet. The peppers were a bit more pronounced and I think the onions really made a difference. However, the Bourbon omelet is by far the cheesiest!
But both were pretty delicious. Fluffy egg and plenty of stuffing!
Steak Fajita Omelet: Grilled Steak, Peppers, Onion, Jack & Cheddar Cheese ($10.50)
Alex opted for the Steak Fajita omelet. Out of the three omelets, this was the most photogenic. I think the guys liked this omelet the most, but for me, I’d rather have sausage in my eggs. Plus, the meat was a bit dry. But the bite with the onion was just oh so amazing.
Whereas the other two omelets looked like the stuff was cooked along side the egg, the egg in this omelet wrapped around the filling, which was pretty awesome.
Of course, the homefries were amazing. Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. Plus tons of peppers!!
Key Lime Pie (~$6.00)
It took us awhile to decide dessert and in the end, we had to flip a lens cap. It was between red velvet and key lime. They’re apparently known for their red velvet. Given how good the red velvet is at the Cheesecake Factory, I really wanted to try this. This one actually looked bigger (if that’s possible). But in the end, Mark wanted key lime and honestly, I wanted something “light” and tangy.
By far, the best fruity cheesecake I’ve ever had. The key lime slaps you in the face, but in a good way. It’s super tart but has all the consistency of a soft cheesecake. The only thing that could have made it better was a thicker graham crust but this was spot on delicious.
We got a red velvet to go for Clare. I have a feeling I’ll be back at this place again, so when I do come back, I’ll be sure to get the red velvet then. As for now, I’m stuffed just thinking about this meal.
You must come here if you’re in Newark. It’s diner food, but it’s cheap, it’s big portions, and it’s just amazing ordinary food. Can’t ask for anything more!
500 Passaic Avenue
Harrison, NJ 07029