Nevada Diner Restaurant

Visited Friday, January 25, 2019
Location: 293 Broad Street, Bloomfield, NJ
Hours: Sun.–Thu., 6 a.m.–2 a.m.; Fri.–Sat., open 24 hours

This week, we make a cross-country trek to the Nevada Diner—which, of course, is located right in the middle of Bloomfield, New Jersey. There undoubtedly is some low-hanging wordplay here about the food being good as gold, or urging our dear readers to take a gamble and try out this delicious eatery, but you come here for the rich diner commentary, not the dry-as-a-desert Nevada puns.



Main Dish

Chicken Philly Fire Melt

Nevada Diner has an excellent menu, which is saying a lot for diners. (We are particularly excited to visit Dumont’s Circle Diner in the near future after browsing their menu online—tell them some of the highlights, Dan.) Some of the options here were especially tempting: a Buffalo chicken sandwich with gorgonzola, pulled pork grilled cheese, a spicy Cajun panini. The choice was a little complicated by some strange editorial choices: there was an icon to indicate certain dishes as a “diner classic,” which allegedly includes such perennial diner mainstays as baby back ribs and a Southwest-style burger. You know, diner classics.

What got me, though, was the chicken Philly fire melt. It’s not my style to order a dish that belongs at some specialty eatery rather than a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none diner (I’m looking at you, baby back ribs), and surely a Philly cheese sandwich is a specialized item that probably isn’t the best diner choice. But everyone knows a proper cheesesteak is made with slimy nuclear-waste fluorescent yellow cheese sauce, not like this: shaved grilled chicken, caramelized onions, mushrooms, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle sauce on a hoagie roll. So I rationalized the choice by deciding this wasn’t designed to be an authentic chicken cheesesteak, just a North Jersey diner version.

I thought everything about it was delicious, starting with the bread. I suspect there’s little difference between Nevada Diner’s sandwiches and paninis, given that this “sandwich” clearly was pressed, and I don’t know what the difference between a sandwich and panini is otherwise. And also, I don’t know how they call this “hoagie” bread. But still it provided an excellent crunch to offset ingredients that were otherwise mostly crunch-less (that jalapenos offered a bit of texture). There was a little bit of heat—at least, enough that one taste was too much for Dan. (In fairness, anything spicier than whipped cream is too much for Dan.) But mostly it was just a well-executed chicken sandwich with some flavorful toppings and a slight bite.

Main Dish

Braised Short Rib Sandwich

I’m usually a “straight-to-the-burger” gal, but this menu was so ridiculous that I wanted to try something new and adventurous, for real this time. I saw “short rib” and knew that I was in for a delicious treat.

It WAS good, don’t get me wrong. But it was severely lacking. It was braised short rib (nice) with chipotle mayo (nice) on panini-pressed ciabatta bread. What could go wrong? Well, it’s nothing they DID, per se; I feel like it was more like what they didn’t do. This sandwich would have benefited greatly by having some addition that would complement the flavor. As it was, the sandwich was very rich. I think some fresh arugula and cheese, or maybe some fried onions would be good…something was needed to cut the immense buttery flavor of the sandwich. It was still a good sandwich (if a bit bland), and Nevada certainly didn’t cheap out on their short rib serving. I just feel like a little bit of SOMETHING could have been added to this sandwich that would have taken it to a whole new level.


I’d be remiss not to mention that Nevada Diner has a small but robust French-fry section on its menu. Dan and I considered choosing one as an appetizer but decided it would compromise our appetites for the main dish and the all-important dessert, so we figured we could return to Nevada and give it a try some other time when we’re off duty. It’s like how you’re not supposed to pet a drug-sniffing dog while he’s working. I urge you to check out the whole menu for yourself, but here are some of the strange and delightful highlights: hummus sweet fries (sweet potato with hummus and paprika), Buffalo fries (with gorgonzola crumbles), Granny Smith’s sweet potato (sweet potato with baked apples), peanut butter cup (sweet potato, peanut butter, Nutella, powdered sugar). Do all those sound appealing? No, not at all. But they’re definitely inventive.

With a sandwich, you’re allowed a choice of classic fries or homemade potato chips (or waffle fries for an upcharge). I asked Dan if potato chips count as “fries” for purposes of this blog and she said yes, so I got the chips and she got the fries and we shared. I give some extra credit just for the boldness of offering scratch-made potato chips, which probably is a lot more work than having just one or two kinds of classic fries always available for order. But also, they were just good chips: cut thicker than your typical Lay’s, and so consequently a bit more chewy and much less crunchy, but still with a good crisp around the edges.


This place had an entry on their fry menu that consisted of sweet potato fries with peanut butter sauce, Nutella, and powdered sugar. Five burgers just for being that brazen.

I, despite my heart’s intent, ordered classic fries. Not waffle, not curly, not slathered in Nutella. I’ll tell you what—they were positively yummy. Long and thinner than usual, they maintained some crunchiness but still had that nice soggy texture that I crave. They had the most optimal textures that you could ask for in a fry, AND their honey mustard was absolutely delicious.

Also, and Bud can back this claim up: not being able to pet working dogs is easily top five of the main stressors in my life.


Brownie Cheesecake

When it comes to dessert, sometimes these diners make the choice for us: it’s a sorry-looking strawberry cheesecake or else we’re settling for cake or pie (god forbid). Not so at Nevada: this time, Dan did me the rare honor of joining me to peruse the dessert case (usually she just sends me alone), and boy did it give us trouble. There were, like, four or five cheesecakes that looked good, plus an unreasonably fudgy brownie. We finally agreed on the brownie cheesecake.

I object a little to that label because the only thing “brownie” about it was the slice of actual brownie embedded in the frosting. Otherwise, it was just one part plain cheesecake, one part heavily frosted chocolate cake. The frosting was, in fact, too generous, but I say that only in retrospect now that I can reflect on the poor choices I have made. At the time, I was happy to eat literal spoonfuls of frosting as Dan looked on in disgust.

The chocolate, all in all, was too much, but it was mitigated nicely by the cheesecake and the generous whipped cream. I enjoyed it, but next time I visit Nevada Diner I’ll try something else.


Brownie Cheesecake

I agree with Bud’s analysis completely. There wasn’t much brownie in this brownie cheesecake. Maybe we should just give up trying any further brownie cheesecakes after experiencing the heavenly Eveready Diner and Stateline Diner versions. What do you think, Bud? You can’t top those two.

I had to scrape off the thick layer of frosting that was on top. First of all, who puts frosting on a cheesecake? Second of all, who is expected to eat that? Well, the answer to the second question is: Buddy, and it was disgusting to witness.

Overall, it was a pretty good cheesecake, but I kinda regret not trying the chocolate mousse cheesecake or oh my god, the tiramisu cheesecake. Oh boy, I also want to try one of their fudgy brownies. If I were rating this off dessert potential, I’d give it five burgs, easy. But based off the dessert I actually had, “brownie” boy gets three burgers.


I can give the usual generic description that our waitress was “friendly” and “attentive” and “prompt,” and that would all be true, but additionally let me give an illustration of her service. At one point, shortly after I’d finished my drink, the waitress stopped by to serve the table nextdoor. I very slyly whispered to Dan that I wanted to observe whether the waitress would notice that my drink was empty. The waitress finished her business at the other table, walked past us, then paused and returned and ask me if I’d like a refill. Sure, you might say, that seems like pretty standard waiter-ing, and you might be right—but it was nice that even though she was busy with several tables, she noticed and then immediately dropped off a refill.

The only demerit, I guess, is that she dropped off our check a little fast—simultaneous with dessert, if I remember right. It didn’t necessarily feel like she was rushing us out the door, but I could see someone drawing that conclusion.


I liked our waitress very much. She was quick and friendly. But most importantly, when I told her to go nuts with whipped cream on our dessert, she obliged in a fantastic way (see pictures above). I will say, though, that she really didn’t talk to us too much, and when she did, I felt like she was very quiet and soft spoken. But I did see her helping out the table next to us take a group photo and that warmed my heart.

Oh, also, Bud and I were witness to the manager(?) serenading the table across from us which we found very cute.


At $11.00, my sandwich with chips was priced averagely. The $5.00 cheesecake was a touch below average, I think. I scoured the menu for some sign of whether refills were free but I didn’t see anything. (I know only that I wasn’t charged for the one refill I got.)


My sandwich was $12.25 and I find that to be more than reasonable. I place short rib right next to skirt steak as “prime meats” when I see them in diner menus. I expect exceptional flavor for an exceptional price. Astoundingly, I saw both of these meats in the sandwich section, both VERY reasonably priced. I felt like Bud and I made out like bandits after our two fancy dinners and beautiful cheesecake. I almost wanted to ask them to charge me more cuz I didn’t feel right. I’m by no means saying this place is CHEAP, but I will definitely say you get a lot of good quality food for a very reasonable price.


My personal theory (that I developed right now, as I was writing this) is that a diner’s ambience has an outsized effect on my impression of a diner overall—more, even, than the food. Ok, I’m not sure if I actually believe that—I’m just trying to incite a debate with Dan. But even if food is still the most important thing about all this, I do find myself recalling the lighting, the seating, the temperature, a long time after I’ve forgotten how crunchy the fries were.

I fell in love with Nevada the moment we entered, and that’s not just a cheesy pun on the fact that they’d already decorated for Valentine’s Day. (But that point does bear special mention: the diner had extensive, tasteful Valentine’s-themed embellishments, which made me wonder aloud how lovely it must be around Christmas or Thanksgiving.) The lighting was soft and comfortable but not dim, the colors were warm browns and reds rather than the frequent harsh white and stainless steel. It felt clean and well-kept.


Disagree, Bud. I will never forget or forgive a diner for giving me fries that are crunchier than they have any right being. Here’s how I’d rate it: Main Dish > Ambience > Dessert. Fight me.

I loved the layout of this diner. It was unlike any diner seating format I’ve ever seen. There was so much seating, and it was so crowded, but you’d never know. The way Nevada spaced out their tables and seats in such a unique way. There were rows here, and circular patterns there. The way I’m describing it may sound sloppy, but it worked exceptionally well visually and pragmatically. On top of all of that, it was quite beautiful. It was nothing like some of the more greasy-spoon-looking diner’s we’ve been to and was still unique enough to not look like a TGI Friday’s wannabe. It was very clean, very classy, and best of all—there’s a beautiful dessert display that was occupied by some of the sexiest looking cakes I’ve ever seen.


When I was in school, I lived maybe ten minutes from Nevada Diner—close enough that it was probably, in fact, my local diner if I’d had known to look. I had heard of it but dismissed it partly because the name is so unhelpful. There’s nothing local- and homey-sounding about Nevada. But hey, we gave it a try and now I regret waiting so long. Hopefully we visit again soon, this time for one of their weird French fry appetizers and another variety of cheesecake.


Bud and I have been hitting such amazing diners lately that we keep finding new ones we love and saying “this is it, this is our diner.” I don’t think it’d be crazy if Bud and I made this our diner. The food selection was enormous but not repetitive. The diner itself is beautiful. the food is fairly priced. I may not have loved my main course but I got such good vibes from this place that I will not hesitate to try something new and different for our next visit. Also—there’s no way I can live the rest of my life without trying that tiramisu cheesecake.


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One Reply to “Nevada Diner Restaurant”

  1. I’ll take the ride for this one.

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