SF Tony Avatar

RestaurantThe Phily Diner

Address:  31 S Black Horse Pike, Runnemede, NJ 08078

Price:  Average

Portions:  Decent

Taste:  Very Good

Service:  Excellent

Atmosphere:  Diner/Sports Bar

I have a long history with the Phily Diner.  (And it’s pronounce Fie-Lee, not Philly because of the one “L”.)  It’s always been one of my regular stops for a late night nosh and over the years it’s changed quite a bit.  When it first opened, it was your standard NJ diner covered in chrome.  The food was good and the 50’s nostalgia was standard for a place that size.  Then a while back (I’m guess more than five, but less than ten years ago?) they expanded the place and added a Sports bar/nightclub.  I’ve never seen a place like that.  You could, potentially, go out drinking with your friends and party and then hit a diner afterwards all in the same building.  This has made (at times) the atmosphere a bit loud for a diner.  Between the occasional live band, sporting event or Jersey Shore extra rejects, this old man avoids the place on Friday and Saturday nights.

But in the last few years, the Phily has really upped its food game.  (Although, for a while a few years ago, they did have those battered French Fries which I detest.)  The menus seems to be constantly evolving.  Case in point, soup comes with just about every meal or sandwich.  I ordered the Italian Club.  It was basically an Italian hoagie in triple decker form with pesto mayo.  Fries and a pickle on the side.  Pretty good, although I couldn’t really taste the pesto.  The Missus had a BLT and one of their custom shakes.  If you’re a milkshake person, this is one of the menu highlights.  They’ve got about eight custom ones and other standards you can order.  The soup was Minestrone or Chicken Vegetable.  I had the latter and it was fine.

Our waiter was super extra friendly.  He brought me a steady stream of iced teas and delivered service with a smile, despite the fact that they were very busy.  You gotta appreciate that.  They also have various bakery goods because they have a bakery on the premises, plus a complimentary cookie on the way out the door.  To me, the Phily is the perfect place for a late night nosh because you can also order the long list of bar foods from the sports bar next door.  The parking lot gets a little cramped at times, but the diner is a South Jersey favorite.  You should stop by.

I give the Phily Diner 9 out of 10 keggers.