In the area to pick up a friend at the train station, narrowed down the list of lunch places to the Tick Tock or Tops. Went to Tops and I am thrilled we did! It was, in a word, FABULOUS. Spotless throughout, friendly and efficient service, and a menu full of amazing choices, including the daily specials that you don't even see when you look at the menu online.
Coffee was hot, fresh, and served in generous sized mugs. My friend got the California omelet and I got the lox benedict, both came with home fries, both portions very plentiful. Home fries crisp on top, perfectly cooked underneath, with green peppers. Omelet loaded with large chunks of fresh vegetables and cheese. Lox benedict unbelievably terrific, with hollandaise on the side, which was nice. Again, lox fresh and portion size was excellent, and the eggs and english muffins were cooked perfectly. We ordered desserts to go, red velvet cheesecake and the 3 cupcakes -- again, wonderful size portions more than worth the price, especially in the NY metro area.
The waitress was excited that we found them online, let me know that there is a whole new -- and apparently expanded (!) -- menu coming in the next few weeks. Here is the bottom line -- if I lived in the area, Tops would be my go-to place, PLUS the place I would bring out-of-town friends and family when I wanted to bring them to a quintessential Jersey diner. Plenty of parking and a convenient location are also benefits. Go to Tops if you're in the area, you will not leave hungry!
We went there last evening for the first time. It was very busy with a waiting time of 15-20 min for a table. So, we sat at the bar and ate there. The bartender was amazing. He actually polished each glass until it sparkled. No water marks here! He kept the bar immaculate and was courteous, efficient and very pleasant. The food was excellent. I had the chicken pot pie and my boyfriend had the burger. Both were great. Of course I have the rest of my pot pie for dinner tonight. It was just too much for one meal. It also came with a choice of salad or soup. I enjoyed a delicious Caesar salad that was enough for us both to share. Really good coffee and we shared a great slice of cheesecake. We'll be back! Wow! A gem! Who Knew?
We used to go to Tops a lot and it was our favorite place even though it was cramped, noisy, and the servings were too big and the staff difficult. Were willing to overlook all that because it was close and we did not know what else was out there. When Tops closed for renovation several years ago they were down too long and we had plenty of time to look around. When they finally came back up again they were still cramped and dark and if possible the wait staff was worse than before. Noisy, dirty restrooms, long waits to get a table and after that a long time to get served. Food for the most part okay but nothing to write home about. They stopped making some dishes that we were going there for.... notably pasta with red clam sauce. They used to do that one really well, then just dumped it. Too much fried stuff too. Now we always drive right past Tops and up to North Arlington to the Arlington Diner which has improved immensely over a few years ago and has top notch everything... good food, nice staff, pretty quick service, clean restrooms, TV and juke boxes that are unobtrusive, both booths and tables, 24 hour service. Arlington is light, bright, spacious whereas Tops is dark with narrow aisles. My friend who used to come from Chinatown NYC to go to Tops also prefers Arlington Diner now. Tops used to have an excellent salmon salad that I would order as take out but last time I went there they did not have that anymore. However if I did want something from Tops I would do a take out order and eat it at home. The atmosphere at Tops just doesn't cut it anymore as far as I am concerned. It is bedlam in there when they are busy. They do have a lot of parking but who cares? Having to wait forever to get severed takes the joy our of having gotten a parking spot. And Arlington Diner also has plenty of parking with a shorter wait most of the time. Both places are popular and draw large crowds but in my experience at least Arlington handles the crowds better and I never feel inconvenienced or uncomfortable or deaf from noise.
As always the food was out of this world, but tonight what made my experience fantastic was my server, Miranda. She was great! Professional and courteous! I wish all my dining experiences where as such!
I think Top's is one of the best diners in the United States. Many of the employees are very nice and make me feel very comfortable. The food is amazing, and the cakes and cheese cakes are out of this world. I've been coming to Tops every week day for about 5 years except when I'm on vacation, and I was so happy when they re-opened after closing for renovations. One specific server I usually ask for I believe her name is Debbie. She is a tall blonde women with beautiful eyes. Debbie helps make my experiences at Tops worth the kind of expensive price everything costs. She always is in a great mood, and never gives me an attitude no matter how many times i call her over to get me something. Not only is she exactly what waitresses are supposed to be, but i feel she's more like a friend having me over for lunch then a waitress at a public diner. She asks about my family, my wife, my children, my job, and how I'm feeling. She basically makes my day better after eating there. One person that needs to re-adjust their attitude is one of the owners i believe. I think his name is John, and I've witnessed him first hand treat many employees like scumbags who did something horribly wrong. I don't know about his business, but i beleive that when workers are treated properly and more comfortable at work, they will work harder and better. I enjoy eating at Tops and i plan to continue going there everyday for lunch. Thanks for making my day better every weekday!
This was my first time at Tops Diner and I am sure it will not be my last. The Diner was beautifully appointed with the best wait staff around. The service was fast and the food was excellent. It's no wonder the line was out the front door on a Sunday morning. If you see a line when you get there, just get in it, it's worth the wait.....trust me.
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