Saturday morning my brunch buddy and I were catching up on Top Chef Texas reruns, one of our favorite shows. Their quick fire challenge was to make a whimsical pancake for Pee-wee Herman. As we watched the chefs prepare delicious ricotta pancakes and crazy sprinkle filled pancakes, we both decided a pancake brunch needed to be in our immediate future.
After scanning the menus of a few brunch places in search of a delicious pancake selection, my brunch buddy suggested that we try the Malibu Diner.
The Malibu Diner is located at 257 14th Street, right on the corner of 14th and Park. Believe it or not, after living so close to it, I have never actually been there – not even for a late night post-bar snack. He promised great pancakes, so I was sold!
Here is my recap.
Parking Right out Front. My brunch buddy called his friend Chris to come join us for brunch. We hopped in my car and drove over to the Malibu Diner. At first I was concerned about trying to park, but then remembered the parking lot in the front and side of the diner. To be able to drive and park (without having to pay) right in front of a restaurant is a huge bonus for a place in Hoboken. So even though the walk is quick, it was great to be a little lazy and just jump in the car and not have to deal with finding a spot.
Not So Great Service. After we met Chris, we sat down and read through our menus (obviously turning straight to the pancake section). We decided on our meals, closed our menus and waited…and waited and waited, but our waitress did not come. After about ten minutes, she finally arrived and took our order. Luckily, our food came out pretty quickly, because by then we were starving.
After we were done eating we again waited quite awhile for our plates to be cleared and the check to arrive. As Chris pointed out, we were at a diner, so we should not expect amazing service. Although it was slow, our waitress was friendly enough. We weren’t in a rush to leave breakfast, so it just gave us extra time to sit and relax.
Plenty of Menu Choices. One of the things that always deters me from going to a diner is their incredibly large selection of meals. I always think that if a menu has that many items, they can’t possibly make them taste great. But if you are looking for a quick, cheap breakfast, diners are the way to go.
In addition to a large selection of pancakes (I’ll get to them in a minute), they have eggs any way you could possibly dream; omelets, skillets and benedicts. They also have Belgian waffles, French toast and even bagels. Regardless of what you are in the mood for, they most likely have it on their menu.
My brunch buddy was toying with the idea of ordering a side of bacon, but at the last minute decided on a halved cantaloupe. He loved it. He thought it was very fresh and a great healthy snack to hold him over until our meal arrived.
Lots of Pancakes. Just as my brunch buddy said, the Malibu Diner has a ton of pancake varieties. They have fresh fruit, cinnamon raisin, peach n’ cream, peanut butter and chocolate chip and apple walnut pancakes.
My brunch buddy made a healthy substitution and ordered whole wheat pancakes with blueberries. Expecting fresh blueberries, he was very disappointed to see the blueberry compote on his pancakes. He hoped that fresh blueberries would be mixed in with the batter. He ended up wiping off the syrupy blueberry compote with his fork and eating them semi plain.
Chris ordered banana peanut butter pancakes. Unlike my brunch buddy, he loved his, commenting that they were definitely a four spoon pancake. He also ordered a side of bacon, which was placed right on top of his pancakes.
Chocolate Chip Pancakes. After debating between banana walnut or chocolate chip pancakes, I decided on chocolate chip. They are usually my all-time favorite and I was definitely in the mood for something chocolate-y. I was served three large pancakes, with mini chocolate chips mixed right into the batter.
They were a little dry and the chocolate chips on one side of the pancakes were burnt. The only syrup option was in a small plastic container, which did not taste that great – I am a big fan of real Vermont maple syrup.
Out of five spoons, I give the Malibu Diner three. With such a large and diverse menu, there is sure to be something to please everyone in your brunch party. Sadly though, the taste definitely does not compete with the many great brunch spots in Hoboken.
The pancakes were good and since all three of us got them, maybe something else on the menu would have tasted a bit better. Since it is one of the only true diners in Hoboken, it’s clean, large and a great place to stop for any meal of the day or even a late night snack since the Malibu is open 24/7.