Monday, January 07, 2013
French Fry Diary 452: Ponzio's Diner, Cherry Hill NJ
Ponzio's Diner-Bakery-Bar has been a landmark in Cherry Hill, in one form or another, for decades, located at the Ellisburg Circle, and now the convoluted intersection that used to be the Ellisburg Circle. A family business since 1964 when the owners of Ponzio's Brooklawn purchased this location, and it went from being the Ellisburg Diner to Ponzio's Cherry Hill. There have been numerous renovations since then, most notably the latest in 2005.
I talked about the fries she brought home. Now here's the in-restaurant review, as we had chosen the new Ponzio's as our meeting place for our annual holiday get-together with friends.
Back in the 1980s when I was in college I had been here a few times. What I remember most is that it was very dark, and the bar was small and dark as well. It might have just been that decade that was dark. On this day, it was very bright. There was a diner section that looked very diner-y, a bar where I remembered it, but bigger and brighter.
Mastoris actually in that way. After a bit of a wait, even though we called ahead for a large group of eight, we ended up in the Barclay Room. Continuing the comparison to Mastoris was the selection of cheese breads we were served before the meal. They were not as good however.
As far as my dinner goes, I went traditional. Regular readers know what I ordered - a plain burger and fries. This of course seemed to confuse our waitress. I wanted the Johnny & Feef's Famous Bay Fries that The Bride had brought home a few months back. They only come in a giant-sized portion separate from the meal. Hoping not to confuse her any more I just ordered onion rings as my side, and got the Bay Fries too.
There were also Eggplant Fries and Green Bean Fries on the menu, but I wasn't feeling that adventurous that night. I did not see the rumored Asparagus Fries that I had been told about here on the menu however. Maybe they are a myth, or on a secret menu, a la In-N-Out Burger.
The Bay Fries were quite a disappointment in restaurant sadly. They were hot (in places) and spicy, but a bit limp. My friend and fellow Disney Cruiser Dom sat across from me and sampled these fries. His response was to ask if they were supposed to be cold. I didn't get what he meant until I myself popped a cold fry into my mouth. This was not good. The ramekin of cheese near Dom had cheese so stiff and cold he couldn't even push a fry into it. As a whole, the fries got worse as they got even colder.
All in all, it was a great dinner with much missed friends. Conversation was fun, if a bit overloaded with Doctor Who and the question of whether an éclair is a donut or not (I still say it's not), but great company. We really should see each other more often than once a year.
As far as the food and service at Ponzio's goes however, we probably won't be going back. I think we've decided on the tried and true Medport for next year's holiday gathering. I already can't wait.