Chit Chat. Ho hum.

This formerly run-of-the-mill Jersey diner now looks like a friggin’ spec house for Mackenzie-Childs, the slightly off-kilter interior design and home furnishings manufacturer whose stuff is part incredibly fun and funky and part, well, weird.

(Full disclosure: The wife and I were on a bit of a Mackie-C tear several years ago and, as I recall, mortgaged one or more of the kids to score a few drawer pulls and piece together shards of fabric into what we lovingly regard as drapes.)

The diner—improbably situated in Hackensack, of all places—is, truth be told, tastefully done. And everything (no, really, everything) is tarted up in M-C’s trademark circus stripes, black-and-white checks and purple-gold combos. I know, it sounds odd, but somehow it works. Mostly. Problem is, it’s woefully redundant and lacking any of the mix-and-match whimsy that defines Mackenzie-Childs’ decorating style.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the bathroom, where the decorator either decided s/he’d had enough, or the owner’s wife ran out of money. Either way, the result is an uninspired ode to bland, combining checkerboard tiles (and green glass ones) with stainless steel and faux wood finishes. I’ll say this for it: It was clean.

And that’s all I’ll say.

As for the food, it seems infected with the same blandiosity as the decor. Save your money and, while in NJ, hit a real diner or, better yet, one of the hundreds of fine hot dog vending establishments that define my fair home state.

Rating of chew: 1.5 out of 5

Rating of loo: 3 out of 5


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