101 Route 1 South
Edison, NJ 08817
Cherry Pie: $3.45
When we started this blog about a year ago we had no idea where it would take us. Seemed simple enough: find some local eateries, try out their cherry pie and report. We didn't know we would end up touring Northern New Jersey's diners. But, apart from some road trips to local farmer's markets, that's pretty much what happened. We like diners. We find the kitsch, nostalgia and food comforting. You know what you're going to get but have to be prepared for surprises - good and bad.
Followers of Jersey Pie are already well aware that one of our surprises was how bad a slice of diner cherry pie could be. But that didn't phase us anywhere near as much as the more recent surprise dished up by the Tick Tock Diner: really good cherry pie. The Tick Tock pie was good enough to totally throw us off our game. Had we finally found the best? All we knew is we simply could not face another plate of coagulated goo knowing a good piece of pie was just down route 3. Now what?
So, we came up with this idea. Troll the web for Jersey's best, and limit our expeditions to 5 star diners. That's how we ended up at the Edison Diner. It was on someone's top 5 list, and the website played the theme song from the Andy Griffith Show. It had to be good. Thirty minutes after leaving home we took exit 10 off the Turnpike and headed south on route 1.
Finally, we found ourselves at a nondescript diner-restaurant, seated near the restroom, with a basket of warm buns. Mmmmm. The Edison Diner makes their own bread every day, and it is tasty. We each had a classic Blue Plate (with some adjustments). The meal was good, but no better than our local Coach House, just 10 minutes from home. When the pie was served, we observed all over again the heavy shortbread crust, the gooey egg glazed top, and the paltry filling. To their credit, the crust was tasty. It was fresh, and perfectly sweetened. But the cherries were flavorless. Alas. Tick Tock. Tick Tock.
We spent the 40 minute drive home coming up with a new strategy. Here it is. In an entire year we have only had three good pieces of diner cherry pie. It is time to declare a winner. In order to win, a diner must deliver a second equally good piece of pie. The contenders for the top Jersey Pie prize--which in fairness we must specify is really North-eastern Jersey Pie--are The Tom Sawyer Diner, The Tick Tock Diner, and The Jubilee Park Diner. We will return to each diner, eat pie, and tell you the results over the next month or so.