032115 lincroftinn2A pastrami Reuben  at the Lincroft Inn served in the antique dining room, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)


032115 lincroftinn1From outside, the Lincroft Inn, located on Newman Springs Road in the Lincroft section of Middletown, appears a lot like many of the buildings in the strip malls surrounding it: blandly contemporary.

But step inside, and the exposed rafters and wood-paneled walls exude an Old World charm that’s real, because it dates back to 1697, according to the backstory provided in the vast tome of a menu.

As PieHole discovered on a recent What’s For Lunch outing, the inn offers a range of dishes, from elegant Continental fare to a grubby Jersey favorite: a porkroll and cheese sandwich.

032115 lincroftinn3Chicken “Murphy Style” was another lunch special of the day.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.

PieHole was leaning toward an option on the daily special page: a Corned Beef Reuben ($9.95)  served with fries, until waitress and Brookdale Community College  student Gina DeGennaro asked if we would prefer pastrami instead of the corned beef. Added flavor to a sandwich? Well, that was an appreciated surprise. The Reuben, an international meld of Russian dressing, heaped with sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and plenty of meat on rye, was a tasty winner.

Another lunch special,  Chicken “Murphy Style” ($10.95), had the right mix of spicy cherry peppers and sweet yellow (in this case) bell peppers. The roasted potatoes were delicious too, but the cut-into-pieces chicken paillard, a pounded-flat chicken cutlet, was a little tough and didn’t stand up to the zesty garlic pepper sauce.

A complimentary bread basket offered a happy mix of multigrain crackers, fresh, moist banana bread and warm Italian bread served with sweet butter.

The Lincroft Inn on Newman Springs Road in Lincroft is open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.