No, that’s not a typo. The Web site for the Peter Pank Diner in Sayreville, NJ tells a story about how “Peter Pan” was already taken when they were naming the place. I’m not sure why “Peter Pank” was the next best thing, but at least it’s memorable. The diner is on Route 9 North, not exactly convenient for most New Yorkers. But they’re open 24 hours, so if you’ve got a car, you might want to go for a road trip some late night and try it out for yourself. I first heard about it on a chef’s Facebook page — I can’t remember who now, but it piqued my curiosity.
The appetizers all sound pretty good, and the long list of choices is complicated by the Super Sampler Platter offer. For $12.95, you get two of almost every app on the menu. I knew that would be too much food for just me and Jen, but I thought about it. I really thought about it.
We opted for just the Broccoli Cheddar Bites, with no regrets. These things are insanely crispy, and of course hot and cheese-y on the inside. I wouldn’t have minded another plate of these, but a lot more food was coming.
I’d never heard the term “Fat Cat” before, but maybe it’s a Jersey thing. You might glance at the Fat Cat menu and think it’s just a bunch of burgers. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find that Fat Cats are served with things like French fries and mozzarella sticks. But wait, could this be right? Yes, the French fries and mozzarella sticks go inside the sandwich, which is stuffed with the burger of your choice, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard as well. Basically, this sandwich is a monster. This sandwich ate your lunch from yesterday and the day before that, and now you’re gonna eat it for dinner. My choice was called the Fat Albert, and I loved every sloppy bite.
Desserts are serious business here too. If you don’t feel like you’re going to explode from the main course, take the suggestion of the kind waitstaff and go for a walk over to the dessert case. The peanut butter-chocolate pie above is apparently not always on the menu, so I had to opt for that. It was a gooey slice of perfection.
But the whole diner experience wouldn’t be complete without a tall slice of pie, and that’s where this chocolate pudding cream pie came in. It was just right. I could have inhaled it in one bite. Now it’s got me thinking that I want to make a chocolate cream pie at home.