Classic Food With Trip to Decades Past

A Branchburg diner combines standard fare with decade themes.

You could stand on a corner and look around until a restaurant sign draws you in. But we've got a better idea. Each week, Patch picks a great restaurant either in town or nearby that is worth checking out. Here's this week's choice:

Loukas Diner

Overview: Loukas Diner is your standard everyday diner in menu, but it stands out in decoration. From a menu designed as a newspaper with each page featuring tidbits, news and facts from the 1950s and 1960s, to the themed dishes that are named after legends, the restaurant is visually appealing and the food tastes good.

Décor: The diner is decked out just as you would expect a classic 50s, and 60s, diner to be. With lots of lights, bright colors, booths and a checked tiled floor, it is an interesting and very visual place. The restaurant also features several television sets [all tuned to different channels], and it's got a real oldies diner theme.

The Drinks: The diner does serve a variety of alcoholic drinks, such as imported beers, wines and other options.

Entrées: The diner offers your standard fare of sandwiches, salads, omelets, french toast, pastas, chicken, steak ... and everything in between. Some of the dishes are named after 50s or 60s greats, fitting in with the theme. I normally order a boring old Chicken Caesar Wrap, which is always good, but I decided to be different this time and opted for the Hail Caesar Burger—which was grilled chicken breast topped with Caesar salad. Well, I guess I wasn't very different after all, but at least I was eating a roll instead of a wrap this time. Still, the chicken was moist, although it was a little messy and difficult to eat with the Caesar salad piled high on the bread. Nothing extra special, but a good meal, and I pared it with a regular side salad instead of the French fries.

My dining partner ordered the Pork Tips Special, which pared pork with peppers, onions, potatoes and mushrooms in a sherry wine sauce. Although he enjoyed the meal, as he said, "The part I like the least is the actual pork." Not being a regular pork eater, that could be the reason, but he acknowledged that the vegetables and sauce were all delicious and cooked well. His meal also came with a side salad.

Desserts: The offerings are everything you would expect from a regular diner, from ice cream and cookies to pastries and lots of different cakes that are, of course, in a glass case right when you walk into the restaurant. My dining partner and I decided to try two of them, the Black Forest Cake and a Red Velvet Cake, made specially for Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a pink ribbon on the top. The Black Forest Cake was tasty, moist chocolate cake with a delicious cream that mixes in with the cherries. The Red Velvet Cake was also moist with a very thick cream cheese frosting and filling, all dyed pink to match the theme.

The Service: The service is fairly quick, although I have honestly never seen the place crowded. Granted I normally frequent it on weekday evenings, but I have never had to wait for a table [and there are usually plenty of empty tables] and the food always comes out quickly, regardless of what I order.

Address: 3205 Route 22 East, Branchburg
Cost: $
Phone: 908-253-6700




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