130 County Avenue
Secaucus, NJ 07094
Cherry Pie: $2.75
Coffee: $1.15 Fuhgeddaboudit. Best diner coffee in da state. It's not getting any better. Go ahead and drink it black.
Ran out to Home Depot in Secaucus on Wednesday for a new set of house keys. Jersey Pie was literally at a loss on Tuesday due to a traffic court date. But we were victorious. The judge accepted our argument that the Parking Authority should not have been enforcing alternate side parking and handing out parking tickets like tickets to the prom after posting Emergency: No Parking signs all over town. We won the court case but lost the house keys, so it was off to H.D. for new ones. While in Secaucus we reconnoitered Legends Diner.
Legends Diner couldn't possibly be more adorable. It's a classic, gleaming chrome diner with a working clock crowning its glory, and eight blooming rose bushes add their charm to the entry. When we returned for pie on Friday, birds were peeping their sunset song, and we fell right into a diner swoon. Sheer perfection, interrupted only momentarily by an icy blast of AC in the vestibule. Was this a foreshadowing of doom?
It didn't seem so when we ogled the dessert case and were bowled over by their genius solution to the refrigerator burn problem you have heard about so many times here on Jersey Pie. It is so simple, so easy. We looked at it and suddenly all of life's problems seemed solvable. Legends has innovated a system of 4 X 4 inch squares of rigid, clear plastic abutting the exposed edges of all their displayed desserts. Wow! Simply elegant!
Unfortunately, we can't recommend actually eating at Legends Diner. The food was beyond crappy. We think they gave the (chef?) the evening off and let the dishwasher do the cooking. And, they failed to employ their own dessert-butting method to the cherry pie! There was 3/4 C of hardened, tasteless matrix on one edge of our slice, and the rest of it was also nearly inedible in all the old familiar ways. The crust looked like a Cub Scout badge project! They call it Legends because 8 X 10 b&w glossies of celebrities adorn just about every inch of available space in the place. Our booth was surrounded by The Munsters, Gary Cooper, Lynda Carter, Stan Musial, Shirley Temple, Lucille Ball, and Sinatra and Kelly. When we sat down we were cheered by their legendary faces. But as we took one last glance back at them we felt a bit sad, their eyes seeming to say, "Don't leave us like this, don't go...." (Fred Gwynne and Yvonne DeCarlo notwithstanding). They're hanging there right now, looking down, perplexed. We may go back to see them again and have some of that coffee. Could Legends possibly screw up breakfast?
As possible evidence that New Jersey has a long history of disregard for good pie, we submit verbatim the following item, an article we came across while perusing the archives of the New York Times:
Jersey Pie Shop Robbed
Special to The New York Times
Copyright c. The New York Times
Elizabeth, N.J., Oct. 30, 1958--
Intruders, who apparently worked with a
truck or a car, broke into the Jones Pie Shop
on Route 1 here early today. They carted off
a 200-pound safe, containing $500 in cash,
the police reported. They ignored hundreds
of freshly baked pies.