Toms River, NJ 08753
- Cost: $$
- Credit Cards: No
- Alcohol: None
- Parking: Private Lot
June 9, 2017
The notion of a breakfast-centric restaurant where the servers wear pajamas sounds much more Orlando than Jersey. Don’t worry, this popular Ocean County spot, lauded for its breakfasts and nominated as one of New Jersey’s best casual restaurants in the inaugural 2017 Garden State Culinary Arts Awards, is essentially a quirky Jersey diner worth a visit for its extensive menu.
“Shut Up and Eat!” screams the yellow sign just off of the Parkway and Route 37 in Toms River (convenient for a food stop on the way to or from Seaside this summer). Inside the squat, white-brick building, there’s a counter and around a dozen tables. The decor is best described as eccentrically eclectic. Imagine your grandparents’ kitchen if your grandparents were hoarders devoted to mismatched plates and old coffee mugs. The fridge behind the counter is covered in random newspaper clippings and magnets; the walls display all manner of kitsch. The dining room has been decorated for every conceivable holiday. And yes, your servers are wearing pajamas.
Underneath it all, Shut Up and Eat! is at its core a solid Jersey diner, without the stainless steel. Service is quick and very friendly. Coffee flows freely and the creative menu will satisfy your deepest Jersey food cravings, from eggs all ways, french toast, and waffles (50 varieties), to grilled cheese (20 combinations), sandwiches, salads, and burgers (44 versions). The menu includes waffle sandwiches and hot dogs. On a recent mid-morning visit, I sampled the Taylor Ham, egg and cheese on a roll, which hit the spot.