|Tomatoes and onions cover bluefish at The Coach House in Hackensack.|
|A plate of salad, included in the price of the entree.|
When I visited The Coach House in Hackensack last May, I made the mistake of ordering the salad bar with a large bowl of soup for $11.50.
I found myself trying to eat more than I had planned to make it pay off.
This time, I ordered an entree of fresh fish for $9.95, and the salad bar was free.
I tried to make a reservation on Saturday for a table at Seafood Gourmet in Maywood, but the small dining area behind the fish market was fully booked.
I still wanted fresh, wild-caught fish, and The Coach House always has several kinds.
Bluefish calls to me
When we walked in, I saw Bluefish Mediterranean listed among the blackboard specials for $9.95.
And I was told the bluefish was prepared to order.
The dish also was listed on the daily printed menu with 1 side dish, but when I ordered, the waitress said I could choose 2.
The fillet was moist and covered with tomato and onion, and I loved my sides of sauteed baby spinach and cooked carrots.
|Two side dishes came with my entree of bluefish.|
|A second plate of free salad.|
|The salad bar, rear, is near one of the dining areas at The Coach House.|
I declined an offer of garlic bread, and no bread basket was placed on the table.
I did order a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, and was pleasantly surprised at the price for the California wine, $5.75.
My wife and mother-in-law ordered Chicken Francaise ($11.95) and Shrimp Francaise ($14.25) over rice, and the salad bar was included in their meals, too.
They took about half of their entrees and rice home.
Four people ordering bluefish or another $9.95 entree, and the free salad bar, could eat for $50, including tip and tax.
The Coach House seats about 220, and it wasn't necessary to make a reservation.
We were seated immediately, and there were a number of empty tables between 6:30 and 7:30 on Saturday evening.
|Chicken Francaise and Shrimp Francaise, below.|
I am not comparing The Coach House to The Restaurant at Seafood Gourmet, a BYO known for its fresh and imaginatively prepared fish.
But the diner, which offers fresh seafood and reasonable prices, is a welcome alternative when the popular Maywood market-restaurant is full.
The Coach House Diner & Restaurant, 55 Route 4 east, Hackensack; 201-488-4999. Open 24 hours.
Seafood Gourmet, 103 W. Pleasant Ave., Maywood; 201-843-8558.