Sunday, May 13, 2012

Coach House salad bar isn't a good value

One of the three plates of salad I had last weekend at the Coach House Diner.
Unlimited salad and a large bowl of soup are $11.50.
From left, potato salad, pickles, beets, stuffed grape leaves and feta cheese.

I've long been a fan of the salad bar at the Coach House Diner in Hackensack, but on a visit last weekend, it no longer seemed to be a good value. 

The salad bar is free with any entree, so choosing it as a meal for $10.95 or with a large bowl of soup for $11.50 puts you in the position of trying to eat more than you had planned to make it pay off.

And although there are probably 20 to 25 items to choose from, you won't find any hard-boiled eggs, tuna, olives or a lot of other items.

I ordered soup and salad bar. The lobster bisque was filling, but it was nothing special.

No to pasta salads

I'm on a diet, so at the salad bar, I avoided the pasta salads, bread and muffins, and the lettuce was mostly iceberg.

I managed to eat three plates of salad (see photos).

Seafood selection

However, I was impressed by the Coach House's selection of fresh seafood, including red snapper, soft-shell crabs and baby flounder.

My wife ordered the soft-shell crabs with rice ($18.50), and liked the two small crustaceans.

My mother-in-law hesitated ordering the red snapper, recalling the tough, sinewy fillet she got in November 2011 at Amici Family Restaurant in Bergenfield, marking the last time we patronized the place.

But she liked the Lemon-Pepper Red Snapper with two side dishes ($18.95) at the Coach House. 

Two glasses of lemonade were $2.40 each. 

Coach House Diner & Restaurant, 55 Route 4 east (at Hackensack Avenue), Hackensack; 201-488-4999. Open 7 days. Full bar.

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