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New Jersey Nick’s Pick: Hibernia Diner


In case you haven’t heard of me before, my name is New Jersey Nick, and I’ve been scouring the Garden State looking for all the best Good Food That’s Bad For You. Burgers, Fries, Dogs, Burritos, and anything else that you need to jog off the next day. No fancy places for me. Just burger joints, diners and haunts favored by adventurous eaters and carnivores alike. I find the best places, and I hope you go give them a shot.

Being a self-proclaimed burger expert, I often get suggestions about the burgers I should try across the state. Since its my job to seek out and catalog New Jersey’s best burgers, I kept hearing that the Hibernia Diner in Rockaway was one of the best around. So naturally, I knew I would be going here sooner or later. In fact, I stopped 3 or 4 times for both dinner and breakfast, just to make sure it was good. So how was it? Lets take a look.

Appy’s– The Hibernia Diner has a bunch of different appetizers I wanted to try. There were the battered corn nuggets and broccoli bites. This was a mix of the battered nuggets where some were filled with creamed corn and others had corn and broccoli. Since they’re full of veggies, you can pretend its healthy even though your heart knows its a lie.

The Tres Queso Quesadilla was a treat too. The mix of queso cheese and Monteray Jack combined to make it tastier than the average diner quesadilla, which, lets be honest, normally becomes a mess of cheddar and American cheeses melted between tortillas.

When it comes to jalapeno poppers at diners, there’s two types: the good kind with breaded, fried jalapeno peppers with nacho cheese filling and the confusing, less satisfying version with cream cheese on the inside. If you’re a fan of poppers, you’ll be glad to know that Hibernia diner got it right and went with the nacho cheese version. Very Cool.

But Nick, what about Breakfast?– Just like most respectable diners, Hibernia Diner serves breakfast all day. For egg lovers, there’s a large omelet selection. Each omelet comes with a choice of toast, bagel or English muffin, which is cool because most places give you toast only. The morning sandwiches are made to order with choices of meat, cheese or no cheese and type of bread. Check out the sausage and cheese sandwich I got with a big helping of cut up turkey sausage links on it.

Other breakfast highlights included some big, thick pancakes and diner favorite Taylor ham. Taylor ham never fails. (Also, I must make a point of this: it is not a pork roll, it is Taylor Ham. You call it a pork roll, you’re doing it wrong, PERIOD.)

Appetizers are good, and breakfast is the most important daily meal. I know what you’re here for, though. You want to know about the Hibernia Diner’s burgers.

The Burgers – When it comes to the burger joints and diners, I really value a good selection of burgers, especially burger creations you can’t get anywhere else. The Hibernia Diner’s got a handful of one-of-a-kind Angus Beef Burgers you need to try.

The Papa Louie’s Blue Burger was really unique. Its an Angus patty topped with red onion marmalade and crumbled bleu cheese. The marmalade gave it a jelly-like sweetness, but the bleu cheese keeps it in check so that its not so sweet as to overload the delicious Angus beef. This one was a good burger.

Next, I had to try the strangely alluring Ala Napoli Burger. This was again an Angus patty but its topped with tomato basil sauce, smoked mozzarella and cherry peppers. The mozzarella’s smoky goodness smelled so go as soon as the burger showed up at the table. It was noticeable over all the other food that was ordered. This one was totally different than the other burgers I tried as it had a hearty taste and robust, smoky flavor. This was really a restaurant quality taste and not something I was expecting from a diner burger.

The burger I enjoyed the most was the Texas Campfire Burger. This Angus burger came covered in BBQ sauce, bacon and topped with frazzled onion straws and cheddar. I’ve had a soft spot for barbeque burgers as of late, and I wasn’t disappointed with this one. Frazzled onions make a perfect dry compliment to soak up the sauce so it doesn’t leak all over your shirt. (Yes, this is a big problem for me, as gravity is not my friend) Also, bacon belongs on a burger, and this wasn’t chintzy, thin bacon, either. This was a good burger that I’d recommend every time.

There was also a bunch that I didn’t get to try, like the Big Ben Burger with smokey bacon and cheddar on an English muffin; the Aztec with salsa, guacamole and pepper jack cheese; and the intriguing One Eye’d Jack, which is topped with a Sunny Side Up egg and slice of pepper jack cheese. I’m going back. I need to try these burgers!

And for Desert – You must eat the delicious, amazing, all around awesome PB Blast Pie. Its a peanut butter mousse pie but the mousse has the consistency and sugary sweetness of cookie dough all inside of an Oreo cookie pie crust. It is so rich and sugary that some people (like my wife) can only take one bite. If you are one of those people who thinks that there is such a thing as ‘too sweet’ a piece of pie, ordering this would be a disaster for you. If, on the other hand, you love peanut butter and chocolate desserts, it is a must purchase, but I would advise you to split it with a friend.

So yes, I loved this diner! One of the best in Morris County, and one of the best I’ve been to in the state. Go there if you want a good breakfast or want to get adventurous and try to conquer the PB Blast. If you’re a New Jersey Burger hunter like me, you should definitely hit this place up. Do not miss out on the Angus selections their serving here! What are you waiting for? Start driving to the diner!

Know of some Good Food That’s Bad For You that you think Nick should try? Send your suggestions of New Jersey’s burgers, hot dogs, burritos and more to [email protected]

New Jersey Nick If the Jersey Devil was 6’1″, overweight and bearded, his name would be Nick.  New Jersey Nick can not cook without the aid of a microwave, but, thanks to an iron stomach, he has learned about food by being a fearless and adventurous eater.  A self-proclaimed Burger Expert, Nick forgoes fancy restaurants to get a taste of all the ‘good food that’s bad for you’ from New Jersey’s Diners and Burger Joints.  When he’s not writing about food, Nick spends time on his other hobbies as an Xbox enthusiast, a Horror Movie Savant, a Nascar follower, a Comic Book Reader and a Pro-wrestling fan.  Just like Batman, Nick has a day job in the real world that isn’t as interesting as his alter ego.  You can read more about Nick’s adventures on his site at www.newjerseynick.com, follow @newjerseynick on Twitter  or‘like’ him on Facebook.

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