613 Valley Road in Upper Montclair is an address that should be known to every student at Montclair State University. Occupying this space is the Montclair Diner, a small, community-based restaurant in the heart of the city.
As soon as you walk in, prepare to be greeted with the warm welcome of the employees, as well as the owner. The staff makes you feel like you are right at home instantly, as the owner asks about your day and how you are doing. As I was being walked to my table, the staff continued to greet my friends and I until we sat down.
The menu at Montclair Diner consists of everything you can imagine, from chicken tenders and fries to salads and all-day breakfast. It is your typical comfort diner food. These types of menus can be intimidating, I found myself constantly changing what I wanted to eat since everything sounded tasty.
As I flipped through the long menu, my eyes were instantly drawn to the all-day breakfast. I have always been a fan of breakfast, anytime and any day. This being said, I was absolutely going to get some eggs and Taylor Ham. Then I looked at the bottom of the menu to find eggs benedict, a dish I was familiar with but have never had. I liked eggs, ham and English muffins, so I figured I would give it a whirl.
My mouth watered as the hot plate came out. The hollandaise sauce was smothered over everything, including the home fries that came with the dish. It smelled delectable, with the sauce outweighing all of the other smells along with hints of ham and poached eggs. The home fries looked equally as good with just the right amount of crispy on top and soft and warm on the inside.
I cut my first bite of English muffin at the bottom, then ham and poached egg topped with hollandaise sauce. Each ingredient blended perfectly together as I took the first taste of the breakfast dish. The hollandaise sauce was creamy and blanketed the entire bite of food.
The ham was kept on the grill just long enough where it was a bit crispy but still delectable. The poached eggs were executed perfectly, they were soft and the yolk dripped out as I cut it in half. There was only one small thing wrong with the dish, the English muffin was a bit overcooked and chewy. This was a small issue, as I could get behind the English muffin with the tastes of the rest of the ingredients.
Then came the home fries. I pushed my fork into the fries to break the crispy outside, getting a perfect bite of crisp and soft potatoes. They tasted delicious, still moist yet crisp. I dipped the home fries in the extra hollandaise sauce to give them some extra taste, which was a flavorful idea.
I took bite after bite, eggs benedict after home fry bite and the dish was gone sooner than I expected. I was extremely full but satisfied from the tastes of the entire meal. I washed it down with some cold water and was ready to take on the rest of my day. My friends were equally as satisfied with their meals.
The Montclair Diner is definitely a place to visit, especially as a Montclair State student. An added plus is that they give 10% off to all Red Hawks with your school ID. The only downside is they close at 8 p.m. every day and at 3 p.m. on Sundays. However, if you can find the time to go, you will not be disappointed.