Yesterday my wife and I got a little bit lost in southern New Jersey which turned out to be a good thing. It was a little late for lunch and as we were looking for some kind of fast food place we came across this diner on Black Horse Pike in Runnemede. What a fine bit of luck that turned out to be. This is an old style chrome, neon and glass diner with several expansions. At 2:30 in the afternoon it was very busy but the place is really big so seating was immediately available. The menu, like many diners, was long and heavy on heavy foods. But there were also dozens of dishes that had some healthy aspects to offer. But when we're at a diner we tend to disregard those items. My wife ordered the Gyro Platter and I got the Chicken Cheese Steak. What was really surprising was the fact that each of our lunches included soup, cole slaw and fries. The soups were not tiny portions either and they were really very good. My wife selected a Roasted Red Pepper Bisque and I had Chicken Vegetable. These were not "out of a can" soups. They were fresh and hearty and delicious. My wife Gyro was excellent as well, full of the traditional lamb-beef mixture, fresh lettuce and a fine cucumer yogurt sauce. The pita was also fresh and not at all like a supermarket offering. The Chicken Cheese Steak was lightly seasoned, plentiful and served on an excellent twelve inch roll. The fries were also fresh and hot and not at all greasy. Our only disappointment was the cole slaw which was under-dressed and rather tasteless. But a nice dill pickle spear made up for that. Service at the diner was friendly, efficient and very quick. We didn't indulge in the desserts that were offered but if they taste anywhere close to as good as they look then they're worth sampling. But here's the kicker folks. Each of our meals cost only $8.50 each. Yes that's soup, sandwich, fries, coleslaw and a pickle for less than $9.00. My soda was only $1.50 and included refills. Fast food places should take a lesson from the Phily Diner because these people know how to create success. As I looked over the menu I saw steak dinners with lots of fine features for $13.00 to $16.00. And the meals that I saw coming out of the kitchen looked wonderful. If you're in South Jersey make the trip to Runnemede and give this diner a try. It's worth the detour.
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