Sunday, July 19, 2009

French Fry Diary 32: Olga’s Diner 1949-2009

Originally it was located in Camden NJ and first opened in 1949. In 1960 they opened the location most people know it by on the circle where Route 73 and Route 70 meet. For sixty years Olga’s Diner was a South Jersey icon and landmark.

Whether you were on your way to Philadelphia or down the shore, Olga’s was the place you met and got together – though if you were local it was not necessarily the place you ate. Being open twenty-four hours it was sometimes where you ended up at four in the morning.

At one time the food must have been good. Supposedly the bakery was legendary. But for as long as I’ve been aware of Olga’s it was not the place to eat. Maybe get coffee or a Coke (although I think they gave you Pepsi no matter what you asked for) but nothing else.

For those wondering about the favorite fried food, they were typical diner fare. Regular straight cuts, probably frozen and then deep fried, and they were replaced by those awful Invisicoat things when that came into style. Bad fries to match the rest of the place.

It has been in serious decline the last decade. Closed due to health violations, pest problems (when it snowed you could clearly see the rats running in the parking lot), seriously defeated by the vastly superior Medport Diner down the road in Medford and the recent Marlton Diner right up the street, for sale several times, seized due to backtaxes, and now, possibly, finally dealt the deathblow of the Circle being demolished to facilitate a cloverleaf.

It looks as if now it will soon be torn down, and South Jersey will lose a friendly and familiar if tarnished landmark. I don’t know if there really ever was an Olga, but we’ll miss her and her Diner. Rest in peace.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: