Learning to make The Iron Horse's signature stuffed burger is a right of passage for many chefs. Since 1972, chef after chef has mastered the art of taking ground beef and stuffing it with a diner's choice of cheese, perhaps fresh mozzarella, cheddar, or swiss. To date, the restaurant has welcomed about 5,000 employees into the family—40 of whom have gone on to culinary school. Others have become doctors, lawyers, superheroes, or other professionals. Yet there's a good chance they still remember how to grill a perfect burger and cook the requisite railroad-tie fries.
Indeed, tradition defines The Iron Horse. Just ask one of friendly staffers, who might tell a story about an old coworker or the time they had Bruce Springsteen as a customer. Or ask one of the many regulars, who have passed the years over beer, burgers, and other house specialties, such as barbecue ribs and welsh rarebit. Seats at the long wood bar or near the dining room's exposed brick walls aren't exclusive to veteran diners, however—The Iron Horse always welcomes new faces.
At The Melting Pot, groups gather around bubbling cauldrons and dip chunks of bread and produce into molten cheese blended with sherry, lager, or dijon mustard. The cheese pairs well with a wine list, which was recognized by Wine Spectator with an Award of Excellence for the years 2008–2010. For heartier meals, diners cook meat and seafood in pots of hot oil or burgundy before tackling the chocolate fondue. They dunk morsels of cake or brownies into chocolate blended with peanut butter or sweet liqueurs for an ending to a meal that’s more decadent than riding home in a limousine lined with mink.
Whether it's a hot tea, fresh juice, or a sinful cupcake you seek, you'll find it all at Your Way Cafe—just as the name suggests. Breakfast is served all day, so stop in any time for a fluffy custom-made omelet, pancake stack, or a roasted veggie panini layered with crispy melted cheese. The bakery offers a whole range of gluten-free desserts baked fresh daily alongside homemade gelato available in more than a dozen flavors.
Nestled within the clubhouse at Old Tappan Golf Course, The Bouwerie Restaurant surrounds diners with old country charm. Inside, candlelight flickers across crisp white tablecloths in the wood-accented dining room, while outside, tables dotting the veranda look out onto rolling green hills. The chefs complement this cozy vibe by crafting upscale dishes from fresh, local ingredients. Baby arugula and sliced beets come dressed in a chianti vinaigrette, while the heartier 16-ounce superior Angus strip appears alongside potato gratin and sautéed broccoli florets. For lighter appetites, chefs serve shell-on littleneck clams over a bed of linguini and dust red snapper with parmesan.
On select nights, the restaurant opens up a full dance floor for live music, DJ sets, and short-distance speed walking. Bartenders add to the jovial atmosphere by filling up glasses with frothy draft beer and specialty drinks.
A whimsical sculpture of chefs tossing a 3-D pie sits above Old Tappan Pizza's range and pizza ovens, which bake its signature Rothlisberger pie, topped with sausage, cheesesteak, lettuce, tomato, and a secret-recipe dressing. The pizza factory also prepares ready-to-go slices, and a pasta station lets customers top linguini, rigatoni, and other noodles with tomato sauce and garlic. From the café's green-checkered tables, one can dine while keeping an eye on the large wall-mounted television, ideal for watching the big game or an Azerbaijani reality show.