A Tuscany Salad at the Plaza Diner on Lemoine Avenue in Fort Lee.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Even when Governor Christie isn't messing with traffic on the George Washington Bridge, Fort Lee can be a tough place to drive.
Construction on Main Street, a major thoroughfare with only two lanes, goes on and on, guaranteeing lots of police overtime, and several major highways terminate in the small borough.
If you need a break from watching brake lights, the Plaza Diner on Lemoine Avenue has reopened after a renovation and expansion, including a new kitchen.
In the last few years, I've become partial to the Suburban Diner on Route 17 in Paramus, where I like to order a delicious soup-salad combo when I meet friends for lunch there.
The Coach House on Route 4 in Hackenack is even closer to my home, and there, the soup and salad bar with a glass of wine is a terrific meal.
Parking a problem
The valet parking is free, according to a sign, but if you don't want to entrust your car to a valet, you might have a tough time finding one of the spaces in a large municipal lot behind the diner.
I gave up trying to find one of those spaces for my new car, and was headed back to the diner's lot when a woman got into her car at a Lemoine Avenue meter and pulled out.
Two quarters gets you an hour in a space at the curb.
Salad, pasta, dessert
I was happy with the Tuscany Salad -- grilled portobello mushroom, mozzarella cheese and roasted peppers over greens ($9.95), and a cup of coffee ($2.50 with free refills).
I dressed the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar the server brought to our table.
My friend ordered Chicken Pasta Primavera ($20.35), and the portion was large enough for two.
He took home about half. He also ordered Cheesecake ($4.50), and couldn't finish that either.
Plaza Diner's standard Cheesecake.
|The back room at the Plaza Diner is filled with booths.|
|More booths and a counter can be found in the main room, above.|
Prices at the Plaza Diner are what you'd find at a white-tablecloth restaurant, and so are some of the menu selections, such as Blackened Ahi Tuna Sushi Quality, served rare with Oriental vegetables ($25.15).
Plaza Diner, 2045 Lemoine Ave., Fort Lee; 201-944-8681.
Web site: Good in a Christie traffic jam