Normally, one would think that you really can’t go wrong with simple American food. After reading good reviews on Yelp!, I decided to go check out The Waiting Room, located right by the train station in Rahway, NJ.
The Waiting Room is as much a sports bar as it is a restaurant. Around the restaurant’s interior, you’ll see large screens playing sports of various kinds. As I went there at noon, the restaurant wasn’t that busy; ostensibly, the restaurant gets most of its business serving people coming home from work in New York City and getting off their train at the nearby station.
Furthermore, I could see the bar was pretty massive with a large selection of hard liquors as well as a sizable number of beers on tap. Again, as it was in the middle of the day, hardly anybody was there, but I can imagine it would be busier tonight on a Friday night.
I went to the restaurant with a friend, and I should have taken the fact the water she ordered tasted a bit off as a bad omen.
For lunch, I decided to go with the turkey club sandwich on toasted white. As you can expect, it contained sliced turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. My first impression was surprise that the turkey was cold and not grilled. Also, it was the first time I actually felt like someone who made my sandwich overdid it on the meat. I personally would have liked more of a turkey/bacon balance, but the sandwich had a very massive amount of turkey in it. That didn’t bother me as much as the fact that I felt like they completely overdid it on the mayonnaise.
I have no complaints against the french fries. They were comparable to what I found in the better American food places I have been to. However, my friend ordered sweet potato fries on the side of her grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, which she wasn’t particularly happy with. Those sweet potato fries wound up tasting like normal french fries.
As the restaurant was not very busy at all, I had no complaints with the service either. What actually happened was that we had a second waitress approach our table asking us if we wanted drinks; she didn’t know we were already being helped. It was clear that my friend and I came at a time during a lull in the restaurant’s business as it was overstaffed at the time. Also, I spent a total of $12 including tip, so the price wasn’t bad.
Still, this actually was the most disappointing experience I had with a turkey club sandwich. I have actually eaten far better turkey club sandwiches in locations on Cornell University’s campus. Normally one would think that restaurants that are not school dining places would be better, but this was an exception. Honestly, I think even I can make a better turkey club sandwich. For that reason, I have a hard time recommending The Waiting Room. You probably would be better off going to a chain location like Champps.
The verdict: The disappointing-est disappointing turkey club I have eaten so far.