By Sally Deering –
Maybe it’s the shiny chrome and vinyl-covered stools at the counters that lure us in? It might be the stacks of luscious layer cakes slathered in icing in the pastry cases? Or maybe it’s the bountiful menus that offer flavor-fests of choices that you can mix and match – like chocolate chip pancakes with a side of spaghetti – and the waiter doesn’t question your sanity. I’m talking about the All American Diner. And each one has its own mystique, a noir-esque appeal that draws us in like an Edward Hopper painting.
Diners and Jerseyians go together like a burger with fries and here in Hudson, we have some of the best diners in the state including The Coach House on Kennedy Boulevard in North Bergen which opened in 1939 and stays open 24/7. Coach House Owner Nicholas Pappas and General Manager Constantine “Gus” Tountas don’t even have a key to the front door.
When Clem Pappas opened his diner back then it was a train car-sized eatery where the grill was behind the counter and a cube steak sandwich cost 5 cents. More than 70 years and several renovations and expansions later, the Coach House is a sprawling diner/restaurant and popular go-to destination that features a bar and lounge area that’s a “Happy Hour” hotspot with HD TVs and cozy nooks.
“It’s a neat place to have a drink,” Pappas says.
The diner area features a counter with stools, rows of roomy booths, two pastry cases and a terrific salad bar that’s a customer favorite and an expanded dining room for those who like that restaurant feel. The menu offers old diner standbys like burgers, sandwiches; eggs, omelets. pancakes; steaks, chops, pastas; and for a change of pace, all sorts of daily specials where old recipes sometimes become new again.
Recently Pappas had the idea to go back in time and view older Coach House menus to see what dishes were popular. He remembered a German chef at Coach House who, Pappas says, made “the best sauerbraten” and other traditional German dishes like loin of pork. Customers seem to have nostalgia for these dishes, Pappas says. photo by Sally Deering Continue reading Breakfast at Midnight-You Can Get Anything You Want at the Coach House Diner/Restaurant 24/7