I love television. I love period dramas like Downton Abbey, fantasy series like Once Upon a Time, and reality shows like The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I watch TV a LOT, and a show that is always on at my house is Diners Drive ins and Dives. Not because I love Guy Fieri (sorry, buddy, you’re just not my type), but because I love the idea that wherever I am in this country, I can eat at a local mom-and-pop joint instead of a generic drive though. As goofy as Guy seems, he has rarely steered me wrong, and I often end up at out-of-the-way places that I would never have known of, had it not been for his TV show.
That’s how I ended up at Tick Tock Diner, on the show for its massive portions of homemade food, where the motto is “eat heavy.” I mean, with a motto like that, how could I pass it up?
At 8 AM on a Tuesday, it wasn’t exactly hopping, but it was clean, servers were courteous, and coffee came fast and hot. Sadly, it wasn’t really the right time for their famous disco fries, I went with my second favorite diner food: an omelette.
I don’t know what I was expecting..maybe an omelette bursting with tangy feta, Jersey tomatoes, and bright green spinach, all blanketed by creamy eggs. Maybe freshly diced potatoes cooked with sweetly caramelized onions until the potatoes were impossibly crispy and salty. Maybe home-baked bread, thick and wheaty next to a pat of melting butter.
This wasn’t that.
It was an ordinary omelette. A fine one, served quickly and to order, but it wasn’t exemplary. The vegetables were fresh but not especially memorable, the omelette was sizable but not gargantuan, and the homefries were more soggy than crunchy. The toast was serviceable but not more than that. This was a fine omelette. One worth getting off the highway? Hardly.
This wasn’t revelatory either, but it didn’t have to be. Ripe, sweet melon and full fat cottage cheese is just as perfect as it comes.
You let me down, Guy. I marked this place off on the map, expected to be dazzled, and was instead disappointed. If my hopes hadn’t been so high, I am sure that this would have been a very fine breakfast. But, as it stands, don’t get off the road for a breakfast at Tick Tock.
And if Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives comes on at the same time as The X-Factor?
Well, Britney still hasn’t let me down.