Growing up in New Jersey comes along with a lot of stereotypes–some are welcomed, some are cringeworthy (though not necessarily false). One that I never have a problem with is the assumption that I am a diner snob. You bet I am. If a diner is not open until at least 2 AM or fails to serve mimosas with brunch, I will probably just mentally block out its existence.
If you have ever tuned in to watch Guy Fieri’s Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” then you might have caught an episode featuring a Jersey City dining staple known as The Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory. When I learned this place was within sniffing distance from my home, I started daydreaming of conveyor belts passing pancakes down to me as the widemouth receiver at the end. It didn’t quite pan out that way, but a girl can dream.
What I was happy enough to encounter at the Brownstone was a classically fantastic diner that wants you to know they mean business when it comes to their pancakes. The first page of the menu is a large-and-in-charge list of all their pancake styles, including expected combinations such as banana walnut and not-so-expected options, like peanut butter and jelly. Anything you could ever dream of to mix in or top off your pancakes, you will most likely find on this menu.
The next page of the menu is where things get real and the pancake game advances to a whole other level. This page is where you will find the Brownstone’s famous pancake wraps: gigantic pancakes stuffed with delicious and rather unexpected ingredients. You can keep with the breakfast theme and get something like the Country Breakfast Pancake Wrap (scrambled eggs, pork sausage, potatoes, and American cheese) or get a little brunch flavor from Guy Fieri’s Triple “D” Buffalo Chicken Pancake Wrap (buffalo fried chicken, mozzarella cheese, roasted peppers, and blue cheese).
The Brownstone tacked “Pancake Factory” onto their name for a reason–their pancakes are amazing. Whether you choose to get one of their original wrap creations or keep it basic with a short stack and some eggs, you simply cannot go wrong. And if pancakes aren’t your style, this menu is packed with breakfast, lunch, and dinner alternatives.
So when you decide to indulge in some carbohydrate overload at the Brownstone, here are three important things to keep in mind…
1) If you head into this hotspot on a weekend, be prepared to wait, especially if you have a larger party. Turnover is usually pretty quick though.
2) Please do try to refrain from drooling over other people’s meals when gazing over the divider between waiting area and dining room (I’m working on it).
3) Stretchy pants.
Brownstone Diner & Pancake Factory
426 Jersey Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302