Majestic Diner

Visited Friday, October 25, 2019
Location: 1045 Route 17 South, Ramsey, New Jersey
Hours: Sun.–Thu., 6 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 6 a.m.–midnight

Ramsey is a bit out of reach for many of our readers,* but if you make the trip, it’s hard to miss the big sign for Majestic Diner on the southbound side of Route 17. It’s in a challenging location, just a few minutes from the superb State Line Diner, but if you’re traveling south and can’t be bothered to make a trivial U-turn, it’s actually worth the trip!

* “Our readers” mostly includes just Bud as he proofreads a review before posting it online.



Main Dish

Majestic Chicken Reuben

An initial caution: Majestic’s website menu seems not to match its on-site menu. Case in point, I went with the Majestic Chicken Reuben, absent online but featured in the awfully colorful hard-copy menu. (It’s in the style of a TGI Friday’s, I’d say.) When I go down the list of standard Reuben ingredients, I find that Majestic’s version does virtually everything differently: chicken breast in place of pastrami or corned beef, coleslaw in place of sauerkraut, “Majestic sauce” in place of Russian dressing. About the only traditional ingredients are the Swiss cheese and the rye bread.

If you can forgive that this is a Reuben in name only, you’ll be well rewarded. My first impression was that it evoked one of my favorite sandwiches I’ve reviewed, over at Candlewyck Diner. Their fried chicken sandwich had a jalapeño slaw topping, which added a crunchiness dimension that I’ve come to believe belongs in every sandwich. You need that crunch somewhere…maybe the bread, maybe a pickle slice. Oh, potato chips are great, too. Even though I hate coleslaw on its own, I’ve come to love it as a sandwich topper.

The other ingredients performed just as well. The chicken, while cut pretty thin, wasn’t dry at all. The bread was just excellent—look at that brown crust. It looks like they deep fried it in butter. I still have no idea what Majestic sauce is, and I honestly had trouble detecting any discrete sauce at all because it just mixed into the coleslaw, but the wet part of the sandwich (that’s an awfully appetizing phrase) was tasty.

The only deduction here is for what I believe was a misstep with the presentation. You can see in the picture, which was taken just after service, that the sauce is already pooling on the plate. The result was that the bottom slice of bread was waterlogged. Miraculously, it was still crispy—thanks to that deep-fry butter bath, I’m sure—but it complicated the eating process. I almost want to give bonus points for this, some kind of perverse recognition that this sandwich left my fingers coated in Majestic sauce and coleslaw juice, but in the moment I found it unappetizing, so I’ll stick with a deduction.

Main Dish

Banana Bread French Toast

I have very few regrets in life. Never learning piano. Pulling a boy’s pants down in first grade gym (sorry, Paolo). Not giving my father one last hug the last time I would unknowingly see him alive. Ordering the banana bread French toast at Majestic Diner. You know, a pretty standard set of regrets for someone my age.

Just have a read at the menu entry and tell me how anyone (that doesn’t hate bananas like Bud) wouldn’t start salivating at the thought of this dish in front of them: “Housemade banana bread, topped with fresh bananas & blueberries.” All this, done in the style of French toast! What could go wrong?! Well, the banana bread itself could go wrong, my friends.

Here is my problem: I’m spoiled. Besides that, though, I have also had the benefit of many many years of eating my sister’s homemade banana bread, which has the texture of a moist cake and has chocolate chips and banana chunks in it. And it. Is. Heavenly. This banana bread, though, was…grainy? I think that would be the best word to describe it. Imagine eating a loaf of banana-flavored crushed oats. Or like banana grits. It was bad. I can’t even imagine how dry this dish would be if I DIDN’T drown it in syrup. As it was, the bread-apparatus soaked up the syrup the way a sad dried sponge would inhale a drop of water. The fresh banana slices and blueberries that topped off the dish couldn’t even save this abomination.

I’m sure that this idea, executed differently, could work and be an amazing dish. Majestic Diner just doesn’t have the chops to make it work.


I’ve surrendered my coveted five-burger rating only a few times, and maybe just once(?) for French fries (looking at you again, Candlewyck), but I immediately knew that these were gonna be five-burger fries. I’m pretty sure Dan regrets ordering a breakfast dish, because she loves fries that still have the potato skin attached. I generously gave her a few.

The interesting thing about the fries, at least to the extent that anything about French fries can legitimately be called “interesting,” is that they managed a nice crunch despite being the dimensions of the typical grainy soft diner fry. I’ve had much more luck getting a good crunch from shoestrings, which are exceedingly rare. Majestic’s fries were not quite crunchy, but they had an appropriate crisp.


Bud gave a 5 burg rating to this!? He NEVER rates ANYTHNG a five. Not even his fiancée! AND THAT’S OUT OF TEN.

Since my dish didn’t come with fries, or any potato-related side, I had no choice but to nab some of Bud’s well-protected fries. It was like trying to steal a prized jewel from a dragon’s hoard. Fortunately, I was able to have enough to concur that these fries were indeed delicious. Because I only had a few, I wasn’t able to truly relish the few soggy gems you can find, or fully grasp the wondrous texture these are said to have had. Another sad note: I wasn’t able to see how their honey mustard would fare compared to the local competition.

Anyway, what I did eat, I liked very much. An excellent diner fry without the nasty greasy crisp some fries have that always weirds me out.


Marble Cheesecake

You’ll notice, observant reader, that there’s nothing marbled about this cheesecake. Somebody must think that “marbled” just means “this thing has both white and dark parts.” FYI, I’m looking forward to eating a marbled Oreo later this evening, petting my marbled cat, and watching my favorite marbled movie.

But, naming errors aside, this was delicious cheesecake. It was almost too creamy, to the point where it didn’t have much structure, like it was barely cake and mostly [cream]cheese. I can see a situation where that would be unappetizing, where you want something to actually bite down on, but this did not quite cross that line. The creaminess, in the end, was perfect.

The “marbling”—which is to say, apparently, a thick layer of fudgy chocolate—was superb too. It had the firm substance of fudge, right in the sweet spot between soft frosting (cloying) and firm fondant (bland). Add a maraschino cherry (Dan let me have it) and some whipped cream, and this cheesecake was just killer.


Marble Cheesecake

I won’t belabor the point Buddy made about this cheesecake having absolutely zero “marbled” anything about it. It was just so strange. I keep wanting to make some sort of joke about it having as much in common with a marble countertop, but the punchline just isn’t finding its way to me. Don’t worry, I’ll get there eventually (edit coming soon).

This cheesecake was perfect. It was incredibly creamy and had some sort of ganache frosting. Long-time readers of our blog should WELL know how much I love ganache. Also—it came with whipped cream! And we didn’t even ask for it!! My only complaint was that the slice was much smaller than I’d have preferred, and smaller than the usual diner slice that we’re used to. If it were maybe…50 percent bigger, this dessert would’ve earned a well-deserved 5 burger rating. Alas…


I usually like to preface with a few words about a waiter’s personality or sense of humor, but there’s not much to say here. Our waiter must’ve been a librarian for Halloween, because he barely spoke at more than a whisper, when he spoke at all. But hey, he gave excellent service, so that’s all that matters. (My alternative theory is that his waiter friends at other diners have told him about Bud and Dan and warned that he shouldn’t engage us in any kind of banter.)


I like your theory, Bud, but if anyone tipped him off about us, he’d be MORE likely to want to talk to us for our famous jokes and jovial banter. My theory is that he signed a contract that, in exchange for his voice, he can live above water, and lose his accursed mermaid tail for legs of man. “What is a fire and how does it—what’s the word—burn (hamburgers)?”

This waiter…he was something else. He was perfectly sufficient at his job. If I had to rate him, I’d circle the “Meets Expectations.” He certainly did not exceed in…well, anything. I don’t remember him coming by to ask the obligatory “everything ok?” question during our dinner. Didn’t stop by to see if we needed anything else. I don’t even remember the drink refill situation. I’ll be honest, I’m starting to question if our waiter was even a man at all, or instead some ghoul cursed to an eternity of whispering a greeting and delivering burgers to diner patrons.

I almost always give servers the benefit of the doubt because I know their job is HARD. But this guy…it’s almost as if he was going out of his way to be standoffish.


I don’t think we’ve ever formally agreed on a conversion scale for our burger ratings, but I think this 3.5 rating is, like, a B+. Better than average, but not outstanding. My sandwich was $8.75, which is actually a terrific price, except for the bizarre practice that fries cost an extra $2.50. In what universe are fries not a standard side dish with any selection from the sandwich menu? Anyway, for a total of $11.25, it’s still a good deal. The cheesecake gets a similar result: $5.75 for the slice, which was a little on the small side but still a pretty good value.


I can’t complain about the prices here, but I WILL say that they were slightly higher than I expected considering the way the diner looks. Not that the prices were what I’d call unreasonable at all…it’s just that the diner was super no-frills, very what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Those kinda places, I usually have come to learn, offer almost suspiciously cheap food. Majestic Diner was priced about the same as some of the more run-of-the-mill diners. Allwood, Saddle Brook, Nevada. I don’t know…again, the prices weren’t expensive…I was just expecting CHEAP.

My Banana Bread French Toast was a reasonable $8.25. Even though I didn’t care for it, it was still a hefty serving size. I do think almost $6 for a relatively small piece of cheesecake (though it was delicious) was a little much. Also, what’s up with the fries costing extra???? I’M SORRY. I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA.


Majestic Diner’s ambience leans toward the modern, which makes sense because this place can’t be more than maybe ten years old. I used to know it as the Tiffany Diner. (I don’t know if I ever ate there, but a big bright sign is tough to miss on Route 17). As far as it goes, Majestic was clean and well-maintained and blah blah all the usual remarks.

The point I believe is worth highlighting is the size. Majestic Diner is on the smaller side, which isn’t a problem unto itself except that apparently the entire clientele was seated in the same section. Every booth adjacent to us was occupied. The booths themselves are a bit cramped, so the result is it feels like there are ten people in earshot even if you’re just chatting at regular volume. This is particularly troublesome in our case, where really nobody should be subjected to hearing me and Dan talk. Including, probably, our dining companions (hi mom and dad).


I feel like I use this word too often when rating ambience, but here goes: cozy. You know how a lot of diners have the same shape, but then expand to like two separate dining rooms? Majestic really wanted to stick to their roots and keep the typical diner layout. In case you guys don’t read the Wikipedia page on “Diner” three-to-four times a week like we do, please take a look at this interesting tidbit regarding the stereotypical diner layout: “…[diners] were usually prefabricated in factories, like modern mobile homes, and delivered on site with only the utilities needing to be connected. As a result, many early diners were typically small and narrow in order to fit onto a rail car or truck.” I’m not citing this quote. It’s from Wikipedia.

Anyway, Majestic had that classic “small and narrow” layout and I think it worked. Bud is right, the booths were a bit cramped (made worse that I sit cross-legged in booths, so my foot was touching Bud’s tooshy). Once the diner rush hit, though, every booth surrounding us in every direction got taken up, and the tables were so close I literally coulda reached over and stuck my finger in our neighbor’s mashed potatoes.

Aside from that, everything was warm and cozy, and had nice warm and dim lighting. The fact that it was adorably decorated for Halloween was just chocolate ganache icing on top of the creamy cheesecake.


My expectations for Majestic were poor, probably because I had State Line Diner on the mind, which is just a minute away. It remains our gold standard. I’m not ready to declare Majestic a worthy adversary, but that’s not a fair comparison. On its own merits, Majestic is a really solid diner in every category. I really loved the food, and the service was quick and…well, quick and very quiet, which is fine. I wish we had a bit more room to spread out, so we could really achieve that diner coziness, but otherwise I consider this a successful visit.


I’m a big enough person to admit that I had low expectations for Majestic Diner going in. I used to pass this diner up all the time when it was Tiffany Diner on my way to and from Ramapo College (GO ROADRUNNERS), and I used to think to myself “yikes, that’s ugly.” And as my mother always said to me, “ugly on the outside, ugly on the inside.”

Well, to say I was pleasantly surprised with my diner experience would be an understatement. I felt like one of those beautiful girls that reluctantly goes out on a date with the school’s biggest nerd but then comes to learn he’s actually a wonderful man with a big heart. It certainly will not win any awards for being the sexiest diner in town, but Majestic Diner is an excellent diner and I’d definitely go back (when State Line Diner has no seats left).


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