Montclair Food Review: Montclair Diner

By Tunmise Odufuye, Staff Writer

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Cheddar omelette with golden home fries can be enjoyed at Montclair Diner — a restuarant located on Valley Road in Montclair, New Jersey. Photo by Tunmise Odufuye
Cheddar omelette with golden home fries can be enjoyed at Montclair Diner — a restuarant located on Valley Road in Montclair, New Jersey.
Photo by Tunmise Odufuye

The best diner/restaurant in Montclair. Period.

As human beings, the exercise of love and care should extend beyond one’s comfort zone. That is what makes us vibrant citizens within the communities we inhabit, because when affection is at equilibrium outside of your home, it encourages you to share memories with other people, in addition to your family and your inner circle of friends. One place in Montclair that has given me this expression of comfort and acceptance is The Montclair Char-Broil, also known to many as simply “Montclair Diner.” Think Pops Barber shop in “Luke Cage” or the Central Perk coffeehouse from “F.R.I.E.N.D.S.” Montclair Diner serves as the diner where you get delightful meals for prices that will certainly surprise you once you get the tab. Combined with the cordial demeanor everyone commits to in the diner, it would be preposterous to believe you could find a better place in Montclair to relax and eat than here.

On a typical day like today, you are greeted by Gus Makris, the owner of Montclair Diner. He is the father of the establishment. I know he is reading this right now so I won’t tell everyone that he told me he’s 76 years of age now. Oops. Did I do that?

Regardless of the number, Gus displayed his family attitude towards me ever since I can remember. Every time I go in there now, I am greeted with a powerful Greek handshake and the best chicken noodle soup, on the house.

The interior of the Montclarion Diner. Photo by Tunmise Odufuye
The interior of the Montclair Diner.
Photo by Tunmise Odufuye

I can’t even call the servers, “servers.” They are more like my caretakers who grace me with the lovely meals that permeate the crevices of my hypothalamus. Today, my hypothalamus cried for some fresh apple pancakes, butter-caressed wheat toast, beautifully mashed home fries and last, but not least, a gratifying cheddar-filled omelette. Also, if you know anything about me or if you are still reading my reviews since the first one (thank you, thank you), you will know that the one thing that must always greet my taste buds before any meal is the most important part of any meal in the world: water. Since Montclair Diner is the best restaurant/diner in Montclair, you should also know that the water was on my table within a minute. Yes, one minute.

Montclair Diner's apple pancakes with cinnamon. Photo by Tunmise Odufuye
Montclair Diner’s apple pancakes with cinnamon.
Photo by Tunmise Odufuye

As the water lubricated the nooks and crannies of my body like a new oil change for an engine, the food came out, within four minutes of the water delivery. To my surprise, the apple pancakes came with warm, caramelized apples sliced in between three large flapjack-like pancakes, almost like a burrito. Cinnamon was handed to me by the lovely waitress as she smiled, encouraging me to saturate my pancakes with the saddle brown spice. After the sugar, spice and everything was added to the pancakes, I did a wax on/wax off treatment with my good ol’ pal Land O’ Lakes diner butter, right on the decorated pancakes.

The wheat toast sat in between the pancakes and the omelette like a good boy, buttered up and ready for my attention. It wouldn’t get it until the end of my meal, but more on that later. For now, the apple pancakes and cheddar omelette were at the center of attention. The apple pancakes excelled charmingly within my mouth. The omelette did as well. I felt a sense of care and adoration for the preparation of the omelette because of how the cheddar oozed out of the whisked, fried egg mixture. It didn’t feel like Kraft’s cheddar cheese singles.

Diners can enjoy wheat toast at the Montclair Diner. Photo by Tunmise Odufuye
Diners can enjoy wheat toast at the Montclair Diner.
Photo by Tunmise Odufuye

Fifteen minutes later, I was seeing stars. My stomach was full and the wheat hadn’t been touched yet. The omelette was 90 percent finished, as well as the apple pancakes. I couldn’t touch my eating utensils any longer. Just for the sake of respecting the wheat toast, I picked up a piece of the triangular-shaped grain and gave it the attention it needed, a nice, flower-shaped bite. I couldn’t even finish the rest. I was defeated.

Now, with three apple pancakes, two wheat toast pieces and a full omelette, you would think the price would amount to $25, possibly $35 if you were in the city. Well, I received the tab and it was only $13. Amazon couldn’t even beat that. With unbeatable prices and a family atmosphere too pleasing to pass on, if you don’t get your behind to Montclair Diner right now, you are losing by the second.

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