Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Happy Dayz Diner
Morristown, NJ
973-656-9675
A MEMORY LANE REVIEW | CLOSING COMMENTS
Review by Diana & Susu

The municipality of Morristown is a bit deceptive. It's got smalltown feel, but it's got a big city profile, for some reason. Spanish is spoken on the street, prices are very high (like in Epstein's department store) or very low for stuff. People "cruise" around in cars. There seem to be a LOT of stone church buildings as well as wood and brick ones, i.e. wealthy parishes. There also seems to be lots of restaurants that either cater to the family crowd (The Famished Frog was interesting, but it looked like a TGI Friday's inside, so we passed on that one) or to the "Hey, I'm old enough to drink I swear" crowd. There were other places that were more promising but we don't go to places that actually have the audacity to post a sign "must be attired appropriately" when (1) they seem to be empty; (2) they are in a small, pretentious town in New Jersey.

The place obviously collects a huge hunk of tax money, with a nice green and clean streets. Cops even showed up to direct traffic during a minor snarl-up. But it's dining offerings were dismal.

That's how we came across Happy Dayz Diner -- process of elimination. The owners have been in the food industry for about 30 years, and they actually live about 10 minutes from the bridge to NYC. So why here? They wanted a place of their own, and this space became available and they opened just last month.

The waitress was very efficient and good, but she had a very hard look to her for someone so young. A lot of cuts and bruises that were covered by her heavy makeup and pinned back hair. Maybe she was going for that Goth look that was popular a few years ago. Well, this is in the middle of New Jersey, who can blame them for being a more than a bit behind? Or maybe she was trying to make it on the Bling Bus? (I mean, who wouldn't?) Anyway, she was good, taking care of an obnoxious party (including loud landscaper-type boyfriend and little kids) in front with grace and skill. She also got our orders with special requests right, even though my eggplant parmegiana sandwich was only $4.95, plus $1.50 for wonderful french fries. The coleslaw was the kind that comes in industrially sized buckets, but that wasn't her fault.

We paid $14.95 for lunch for three of us, and got back to the car before the meter ran out. The Philly Cheesesteak sandwich was nicely chewy -- not too "moist" -- with slices of American cheese melted on top instead of the ubiquitous CheezWhiz (don't get us wrong, we like that stuff, just not all the time). The eggplant parm was thin and crispy, not soggy and oily like it normally is, and not drowned in sauce. Good call!

Good value in a pretentious town. Gotta like it, eh?

CLOSING COMMENTS — R.I.P.
In a small town, if you're too far out of the "main drag" it's like saying you don't exist, even if you were just around the corner. The entrance wasn't so attractive, either. In addition, this place had a sort of ad hoc feel to it, and was frequented by white trash who refused to tip (forgot about that till now, isn't memory a wondrous thing?). The owner and his brothers kind of stood there at the cash register the whole time ... didn't they haev to uncrate produce or something? In the restaurant biz, if you were bored, you are going to die. And they did. Hope their days are happier now?


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