THE BEACON DINER - FAIRVIEW, NJ
This was not my first visit to The Beacon Diner. The Beacon has that classic New Jersey diner feel to it that you can only really find in the Garden State. Just like last time, my family and I met with my Uncle for dinner. It was early in the evening and not very busy at the time.
Upon entering, the staff was friendly and quick to seat us. There was no real conversation with the host due to the proximity of our table, it was a quick walk. we had my children with us and there was no offer for a children’s menu. We had actually assumed that it was a part of the main menu because he was very aware that we had children with us. Once we realized that this was not the case, I had to get up and go back to the host stand to get them. They did not have crayons. If you have children, be ready to bring your own crayons for your children to doodle while they wait for their food. This just made me question how kid friendly they actually were. I did not have this experience the first time around.
Our server was a nice man who seemed friendly but did not do much such as ask if we wanted a beverage or anything extra for that matter. We were immediately served water by the busser upon sitting. I’m not sure if the server felt that was enough for us or not but I ended up ordering my beverage through someone else. My children ordered from the children’s menu of course and they were entitled to dessert with their meals. Once the end of the meal came along, our server did not ask us about what they wanted but instead just handed us the check. Again the server was a nice guy but did not have the steps of service down at all. The Diner may want to look into their training methods. I will not put the blame on staffing here because it was slow at the time.
For the sake of the review I will only speak on the food that I ordered. My meal came with a soup. I order the Beef Barley. The soup itself had a thick broth as you can see in the photo above which I liked. It gave the soup a great texture with each bite. The soup however was very bland. I found myself adding a bunch of salt and pepper to give it some flavor. There were nicely sized tender pieces of beef in the soup which I liked. My entree was the typical diner classic Roasted Turkey with stuffing. Personally I feel you can rate a diner by it’s Turkey Dinner. There are certain diner foods that should just be safe to order and Turkey is definitely one of those foods. I loved the Turkey Dinner. It had standard Turkey gravy. The mashed potatoes had a slight garlic flavor that I appreciated. No one likes garlic breath. The corn was sweet. The stuffing was one of my favorite parts. It was your usual stuffing but what stood out were the raisins. They were large and juicy. It truly complimented the dish.
As a parent I need to rate kid friendliness pretty heavily. They were all very nice people in this diner but come off as not being kid friendly due to the lack of attention they give. Ask if the party needs kids menus before seating. Know that the kids meal comes with dessert. Simple small things like this would have greatly changed my rating. Then simply giving thought to beverages for the table is just another piece of attention to detail. I know this is a typical New Jersey Diner, there is a ton of them as we know. Personally I hate that mentality. I have been to some pretty great diners that have a great understanding in the details. I loved my Turkey but felt iffy about my soup. My family enjoyed their food. I do recommend The Beacon because I had a better experience during my first visit but enjoyed the food just the same. However this is more of a probationary recommendation due to my second visit. I do plan to head back one day and I truly hope that this good Jersey Diner puts more attention into the details and becomes a great Jersey Diner. It has all of the means to do so, they just have to find out how to be consistent.
The Beacon Diner is located:
160 Bergen Blvd
Fairview, NJ 07022
(201) 943 6719
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