The Whitman Diner Review

A South Jersey classic gets a new, ultra-cool look

I grew up in South Jersey, so my friends and I spent a fair amount of time hanging out in diners, and the Whitman Diner in Washington Township was one of them. So when I heard about a major renovation — namely, hiring DAS Architects (as in the firm that designed the spectacularly outfitted Union Trust steakhouse) to build a martini lounge addition — I had to cross the bridge and see what was up.

Well, the transformation is remarkable. The futuristic red-and-white room, complete with portholes on one side, floor-to-(high)-ceiling windows on the other, dangling red light fixtures, lots of plasmas, and VIP booths, brings a Stephen Starr kind of cool to an otherwise très uncool South Jersey. The $1 million spent on the addition shows in every physical detail.

Unfortunately, the Whitman did not put as much thought into their food and drink menu as they did into the ambiance. The specialty cocktail list veers too far in the sweet and silly direction, with drinks named Sexploitation, Pearmiscuous, and Aphrodisiac. As for the food, the calamari salad (sound familiar?) was the highlight, but the crab quesadillas were greasy and the chicken wings – “fire roasted” and served, strangely, with a mound of caramelized onion – were a huge disappointment.

Still, a fun room for Jerseyites. God knows they need it.

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  • george

    "God knows they need it"????? "tres uncool south jersey"???? interesting enough the writer of this article grew up in south jersey…philly wannabe writer shouldnt cross the bridge ever to enjoy the beaches, casinos, shore town resorts and splendor of the garden state… and as far as diners go.. the top diners in the U.S. are in New Jersey! The biased opinion of one philly-wannabe-snob should not hold any merit..hypocritical words on paper..just like philly will never be New for the Whitman..kudos to the effort and foresight of tomorrows needs and demographics gastronomically and culinarily of all of us 20 to 50 year olds..thank you Whitman and we love the food and place..even better after 40 years..kudos!

  • tricia

    Whoever wrote the article must be crazy. The place is beautiful and the menu is even better. Good job Whitman wish you much success!!!!!!

  • melanie
  • Anonymous

    We went to the whitman lounge after work one day for apps and drinks and I was quite surprised. Pleasantly surprised. The appetizer selection and martini drink list was awesome. We have been waiting for a long time for a place like this. very similar to a "Continental" diner style. Classy, cool, and somewhere you can go with friends for cocktails. It will definitely be the place to be seen!!!

  • paulette

    my girlfriends and i love the whitman lounge. we met up on thursday night for 80s night and we had a great time. what could be better than going to a place that is a few minutes away from home but yet you feel like your in the city.

  • Linda

    We've been going to the Whitman Diner for years, and felt at home because of their friendliness, cleanliness, and huge choice of delicious dishes. Now they are catering to a new clientelle. They've lessened their choices, yet made everything more expensive. Enjoy your success while you have it , Whitman. Currently you're the in-place , but when the "young professionals" find a new in-spot, you'll wish for your old faithfuls once again.

  • Ty

    George, To bad you dont have email on your site. would rather comment there. While The place is beautiful, and the look is very cool….It just doesnt work.Single set of doors in lounge ? Wind and/or Cold will spell doom for that area, think its not a problem? Talk to your Bartenders.The PLACEMENT of the TV's……? what exactly were you thinking? they are like 20 feet up on the walls, I tried to watch a ball game last night and dammmmm, 3 other people commented on it also, I understand its not a sportsbar, but if you put in 8 Plasmas, and advertize them…make them viewable, I felt like I was stargazing… .Sit by the door when its 20 out and try to watch the Eagles play in November… Then count how quicly your numbers will dwindle. Wish you the best of luck though George.

  • billy

    i was just reading the last comment Ty posted…. are you serious????? we finally have decent place where we can go to around our area and your complaining about TVs…

  • J

    Congrats to the Whitman.. great concept, atmosphere, and food. Have been there 3 times, and just gets better and better. Not your typical bar scene. Love it, and lots of luck.

  • joesph

    After having dinner at this diner we we're so disappointed with the food and prices. We will go back to Peter's in the future where the food is better and you get alot more food for a lesser price.

  • heather

    i was at the whitman with my husband and 2 kids for dinner on saturday night. we were tired of the same old applebees so we decided on the whitman… we were so happy that we did. we loved the food and the kids menu was really nice. finally a place where my son van have a kids steak meal. my husband and i had the specials that they were offering and loved them. for a so called diner the seafood was dish was great and so much we to take it home with us. I didn't really have room for dessert, but how could i say no to tiramisu, by the way that came with my special. the service was outstanding from the minute we entered. we can't wait to try out the lounge.

  • Tony

    Simply the best diner I’ve been to in years. They’ve raised the bar and set the trend for the diners of the future… In years, others will be banking on this concept that is truly ahead of its time. Great job whitman

  • lue

    me and my friends liked it here great food ! our waitress was bangin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and she rocked as a waitress i think it was ashley or alicia..anyway great food great atmosphere !!!