Diners occupy a specific place in the Jersey imagination. One’s connection to a diner isn’t just about food, though that’s part of it. Sitting in a pleather booth, attachments are forged in sugar and salt. There are over-easy eggs and short-stack pancakes, served the same way every time. There are Greek omelets, cheese fries and French dips, savory just like you need them to be. Somewhere along the way, those dishes become part of who we are.
More than that, diner love is about a human experience. It’s a welcome greeting from a friendly face. You know each other, but you don’t. It’s the right kind of distance. Diner love is nodding to neighbors as you walk to your table, then making coffee rings on paper placemats at midnight.