Bennett: Battle of the Restaurants — “Monarch Diner” and “IHOP”

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In this week’s “Battle of the Restaurants” duel, we are scrambling things up in the kitchen with breakfast foods. If you’re in Gloucester County, then you’ve already heard of the Monarch Diner located in Glassboro. They are taking on the national breakfast diner phenomenon, IHOP. 

First off, Monarch Diner has many amazing selections to choose from including an amazing breakfast menu. My favorite meal is a classic, simple, chicken and waffles. However, what’s unique about their chicken and waffles is the piece of chicken they plate is significantly larger than a common tender. When you top it with some syrup and honey mustard, it’s amazing.

The only thing to note is that the chicken is a little bit dry, but nothing too discouraging, especially if you put syrup or honey mustard with it. To make things even better, they have a brunch menu so you can top it off with mimosas, which just so happens to be one of my favorite drinks to have in the morning.

If you are not into chicken and waffles, one selection they do have that I would highly recommend is their “Oreo Blast.” The best way I could describe it is it tastes like a peanut butter Oreo topped with whip cream. However, if you want a side of bacon, sausage or home fries it’s an additional cost. The price ranges from $11 to $30 depending on what you order.

IHOP is a national phenomenon for breakfast as they break the barrier for creative breakfast. If you’re in the mood for some pancakes, then I highly recommend the Mexican Tres Leches pancakes. They’re buttermilk pancakes, layered with creamy vanilla sauce, and coated with a caramel sauce.

Unfortunately, like Monarch Diner, if you want any sides such as home fries and turkey bacon you will have to order them separately for an additional charge. If you’re in the mood for something sweet and salty but want your wallet to stretch further, then you will enjoy their chicken and pancakes.

The unique thing about IHOP is that its pancakes are customizable. So you can get the Mexican Tres Leches pancakes with chicken tenders for approximately $15.  Overall, depending on what you order, a single customer will typically spend $15 to $23 on a meal and the portions are large enough that you can share it with the person dining with you. If you’re looking to dine in, IHOP does usually have a longer wait time and I would recommend calling ahead or placing an order through their website.

After seeing things heat up in the kitchen, I have to say the winner of this battle is Monarch Diner, simply because they take the extra mile in your dining experience by offering brunch, which is perfect for a girl’s luncheon, business meeting, or any occasion.

Not only that, but the food is also exquisite and very creative, especially with the Oreo blast. Finally, the atmosphere is very calming, and the pricing is very affordable. Even though Monarch Diner won, both establishments are amazing and restaurants I highly recommend.

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