One of the unexpected side benefits of our Diner Project is that it is a great conversation starter, and these conversations never fail to give us some good diner suggestions. Everyone in South Jersey has a favorite diner to recommend. So it was one of these conversations on Christmas that led Mike and I to Mastori's Diner in Bordentown.
[Mike took those two.]
Mastori's is huge; it is less of a diner and more of a diner complex. There were two non-smoking rooms, a smoking section (with the traditional diner counter and booths), a bar (with the appropriate dim lighting and wood paneling), a banquet room, and an entrance room that serves also as a bakery counter. There was also a fleet of catering delivery trucks out front. There might even be more to it, but that was all I saw. We went on Tuesday, at prime lunchtime, and I have never seen a diner's waiting area so crowded in my life. Even so, they said it would only take 15 minutes to seat us. While we waited, I took pictures with my old-school camera. I am getting much better at this manual focusing thing.
It wasn't that long until they seated us on the patio. The good thing about that is there was lots of light for pictures! Usually it is hard to get interior shots without a flash.
The first thing they do at Mastori's is bring you cheese bread, we were told. When I heard this, I thought it was a savory cheese bread. But I was mistaken; it is a sweet cheese bread.
They also bring cinnamon bread. Mike liked both of these a lot. I am not normally a big fan, but I tasted these and they were pretty good.
In the bottom of that picture, you can see the top of the Best Diner Salad ever. Mike and I both ordered lunch specials: for $9.99, you get a soup or salad, entree, vegetable, beverage, and dessert from the tray. We both got the salad, and it was great. Large (for a house salad), with romaine and greens, no iceberg in sight. It was decorated with purple cabbage, sliced radishes, baby tomatoes, and slices of carrot. Yum.
For entrees and vegetables, Mike got the lemon chicken with string beans, and I got the ultimate nachos with french fries. Readers of this site will understand my unusual pairing since we have to test the french fries. This understanding apparently did not extend to the elderly lady sitting across from us who I heard comment derogatorily on my choice.
[Mike took the nachos picture.]
I am glad I got those fries too, because it overturns an assumption I made right here on this site. Mastori's serves steak fries as their normal french fry! Golden, perfectly cooked steak fries! Click here for my definition of the perfect fry. Mastori's gets top fry props.
Mike and I didn't care for the dessert tray selections, so we ordered from the regular dessert menu. Mike got a piece of cannoli pie - he wanted to try the cream cheese pound cake, but they didn't sell it in slices. I tried the oreo cheesecake, a favorite of mine. This one didn't mix up the cookie and cheesecake, but kept in layers, resembling the cookie.
At first, I was a little disappointed with the waitress, because she was kind of snappy with us. But she was very busy, and after we commiserated with her about not being able to go to the bathroom since 7am, she became much nicer. She even fixed the bill for us, so we only paid the difference for our non-tray desserts, instead of full price.
Before we even finished our meals, we knew that Mastori's was another five cup diner. They are not technically open 24 hours a day (they close between 1am and 4am), but Mike said "that's close enough."