Fourteen years ago, a burgeoning Food Network show called “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” hosted by Guy Fieri, toured Garden State diners in its second season and went to the Skylark Diner in Edison.
It was a star-struck moment for the then-new restaurant, which opened just a year earlier.
But now the Skylark Diner is an Edison staple and continues to breathe new life into New Jersey’s iconic dining concept with its retro vibe, full bar and chef-led scratch kitchen.
So, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” is back. The show will be taped at the restaurant on Thursday and will air on a date yet to be announced. The Skylark Diner will be closed until 4pm that day
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“For me personally, it’s very humbling,” said Chris Kakos, managing partner of Skylark Diner. “If you can reach such an audience and have someone willing to come and see your operation and show you, it’s very exciting for us, the staff and the chefs.”
“Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” returns to the Skylark Diner as it returns to some of the first restaurants it had to see how they’ve changed over the past decade, the production staff told Kakos. Due to COVID-19 precautions, Fieri will not be there on Thursday.
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During filming, diner plans to showcase his pancetta, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, as well as his turkey burger with bacon-onion jam.
The turkey burgers are freshly made in the house cured turkey restaurant. They’re combinations of sweet and savory flavors, Kakos said. They also include bacon-onion jam, lettuce, mozzarella, and Dijon mustard, and are served each day on a brioche bun delivered to the restaurant.
The pancetta, egg, and cheese is “just a great breakfast sandwich,” Kakos said. “It warms you on a cold day. The pancetta is pickled and smoked, so you get that smoky flavor when you bite into it.”
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Other popular items at the Skylark Diner include pancakes; “fluffy” omelets, made with a milkshake beater; the Skylark salad, which resembles a Waldorf salad; triple-blend burgers made with chuck, brisket, and Angus beef; and wings marinated and served in a buffalo dill sauce.
“It’s a fun, eclectic combination of many different comfort foods that we do at a high level,” Kakos said. “The way we buy our food is different from a typical restaurant. We are very culinary with the way we think about food and how we want to present and serve it to our guests.”
Jenna Intersimone has been a staff member at the USA Today Network New Jersey since 2014, after becoming a blogger turned reporter after founding her award-winning travel blog. To get unlimited access to her stories of food, drink and fun, sign up today or activate your digital account. Contact: JIntersimone@Gannett.com or @JIntersimone.