Monday, May 18, 2015

You're stuck in traffic in Fort Lee? Take a break at the Plaza Diner

A Tuscany Salad at the Plaza Diner on Lemoine Avenue in Fort Lee.


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

On Friday, a friend wanted to have lunch at the Plaza Diner, but you can no longer self-park your car in the small lot.

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

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