MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The 10 finalists were announced in NJ.com's "best diner showdown," and Maplewood's Park Wood Diner is one of them.
The field of contestants was first created in October, when NJ.com invited readers to nominate, and vote, for their favorite diners.
The Park Wood Diner took the top spot for North Jersey in the first round of the competition, which was based on online votes, receiving 3,268 votes, for a little over 7 percent of the total vote in their category.
The field of diners was then narrowed to 40 semi-finalists, a combination of diners receiving the most online votes, and picks made by food critic Peter Genovese of NJ.com.
The 40 semi-finalists have been narrowed now to 10 finalists. Genovese will visit each of the ten finalists from Dec. 10 to Dec. 15, and then pick the overall winner and recipient of the title of Best Diner in New Jersey.
Genovese's first stop will be the Park Wood Diner tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Full schedule of his diner visits is here.) On Genovese's prior visit to the Park Wood Diner in the semi-finals round, he tried the "warm goat cheese salad; chicken pot pie; George's Benedict; rack of lamb; and, for dessert, chocolate cake. Good soups here, especially the thick, satisfying black bean." Genovese liked the warm goat cheese salad best, writing that it is "one of the top 2 or 3 salads tried so far, and I've tried plenty."
In addition to choosing a Best Diner in New Jersey winner, there will also be a Readers' Choice winner, based on online votes received. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16. Readers can vote once per day here. However, unlike the previous round, the ongoing tally of votes will not be shown.
According to NJ.com, "the overall winner will be announced by live stream at high noon, Thursday, Dec. 17," and the Readers' Choice winner will also be announced Thursday, Dec. 17.