greek

Red Lion Diner

I had heard nothing but good things about the Red Lion Diner in Medford, NJ.  It has been around for a while and is always right on my way to Atlantic City.  A few of my neighbors told me it was good so I had to see for myself.  When the opportunity presented itself, I met one of my friends out there.

I had passed it a few times driving and my initial thought was “what a cute diner, I’ll add it to my to do list”.

Atmosphere: A

It’s a typical old school diner.  It has been there for years and you can tell.  It’s got the old school diner booth flair as well as just overall diner atmosphere.  It was the old school diner outdoor atmosphere that drew me in to begin with.  I should have taken a picture but there is a giant lion stationed right outside.  I guess it lives up to it’s name the Red Lion Diner.

Coffee: A

Since we went at night I ordered a decaf coffee.  I was actually pleasently surprised they had it on tap and she refilled it very quickly.  I never had an end to my coffee and it was actually some of the best decaf I have had.  It’s very rare you find a diner that has brewed decaf coffee on hand and refilled it as quickly as I drink it.  Great coffee but boring to take a photo of.

coffee

Food: A

The menu itself at the Red Lion Diner is pretty big.  There are roughly 10 pages of food.  There is everything and anything from steak to breakfast to Greek delites.  I ordered the Special house Greek salad with chicken.

It consisted of large block feta, lettuce, tomatoes, olives and a few roasted peppers. The dressing was essentally oil.  I liked the dressing a lot. The salad came with giant pieces of garlic bread (versus pita bread).  I enjoyed the raw peppers a lot in the salad.  It was moderately sized as well.

redlionsalad

If it were up to me I would have subbed the garlic bread for pita and this salad would have been perfect.

Dessert: F

This has never been a point I have not eaten or finished a dessert.  I love cake.  Everyone knows I survive partially off of coffee and partially off of cake.  For me to order a piece of cake then pass after a few bites…that has happened once (This was that time).  I was pretty bummed.  I ordered the German Chocolate cake.  It tasted as if it had sat out for several days.  It was somewhat hard and crusty (even the frosting was hard and crusty!).  I can normally find a reason for a D rating but solid F for this one.  I’m sad because it does look pretty nice in the photos but as they say…looks are deceiving.

redlioncake

My friend ordered the tiramasu.  He said it was good cake but not tiramasu as it was lacking the coffee taste.  It looked good to me so maybe if I go back, I’ll order that instead.  The middle was stuffed with a whipped cream type of frosting so that is up my alley.

redlioncake

Price: $$

For two meals, two drinks and two pieces of cake it was 55.  Overall not the worst value (except for the cake).

Overall Impression/Would I go back?

The salad was good and the Red Lion Diner seems to have a lot of options.  There are a lot closer (better) options so I would probably go back there instead.  It was a decent salad and they had good options.  It was just overly average with a terrible crusty cake.

Questions for you:

Have you ever passed on dessert?

What is your favorite dessert?

Princetonian Diner Review

I have been to a lot of new diners lately.  It’s nice to update my Diner page with some more reviews.  Last weekend I was able to meet a fellow Oiselle teammate, Greta, for dinner at the Princetonian diner.  I had heard that the diner was “life changing” so we had to go.  I had driven by a few times to and it looked pretty nice.

I am awkward.

I am awkward.

When we met there, it was nearly empty. It was Mothers day at dinner time and the diner was empty.  My guess is that it was crowded for lunch.  Then again, I’m not sure too many would be as excited to take their moms to a diner for Mothers Day.

Atmosphere: A

The outside is really nice and inviting.  It’s a big white building (which reminds me of a Greek palace).  The inside was a large room.  You walked into their bakery where they had giant “elephant ears” or sugar cookies.  I was already hungry.  I love (but also hate) walking into the bakery because I want to go straight to dessert.

Coffee: C

The lady was able to bring me coffee and whipped cream.  The issue was for 1.69, you received a cup of coffee and no more.  A cup of coffee with no free refills.  So while I enjoyed having my coffee with whipped cream, I enjoyed it for about 1 minute since it was over before I knew it.  I’m sorry Princetonian diner but not having free refills for coffee is weird.

All o this coffee for 1.69..such a deal...no.

All o this coffee for 1.69..such a deal…no.

Food: A

The menu was really big.  They had all the typical diner options: breakfast, salads, seafood, steak…lots of specials.  There were so many different choices.  I ended up having the Greek salad (with Salmon) which came with a side of pita bread and Baklava.

The salad was excellent.  It was really big and had all of the following things I like.  The feta cheese was actually perfect because it wasn’t big lumpy pieces of cheese but lots of cheese that mixed in.  It had grape leaves, pita bread, feta, lettuce (oh yummy) and of course the salmon.

Princetonian Diner salad

What made this diner and salad unique was that the salad also came with baklava.  It was like “hey you are eating (somewhat) healthy with a salad, have some dessert!  (Diner salads are not that healthy haha).  I couldn’t decide if I liked the baklava but after trying a few bites, I decided yes and it was delicious. (The leafy looking item on the right is a grape leaf…they are my favorite parts of greek salad).

Princetonian Diner Baklava

Price: $$

The meal itself was 8.99 for the salad and 6.99 for the extra salmon.  Not the cheapest and not the most expensive meal I’ve had.  The coffee was 1.69 but no free refills that is expensive.  For about 6 ounce (maybe) of coffee, that is a terrible deal.

Would I come back?

The food was really good and the service was great at the Princetonian Diner.  I can let the coffee price slide but I will say that this is a huge knock off for me.  I will probably be back (especially if Greta, Jen or Meghan want to go) but I probably won’t get coffee (insert shocked emoji here).  For me to go to the Princetonian diner without getting coffee is unusual but I can’t justify spending 1.69 for 6  ounces of coffee that last me a minute.

Questions for you:

Am I being too ridiculous about the coffee?  Is it normal to not have free refills for coffee?

Have you ever tried Baklava?

Three Brothers Diner Review

The Three Brother’s Diner in Browns Mills, NJ is in my top three favorite diners in NJ.  Since moving to NJ, I’ve been to this diner a total of 11 times.  (I only know because I checked foursquare).  I know most of the friendly waitresses and hostesses.  So essentially if you ever come visit me we are going to go.  Since it’s not far from my house it’s a restaurant that Tim and I are known as regulars.

Atmosphere: B

It’s honestly one big restaurant room.  It’s not a train car diner, it’s not a fancy diner and there is no special lighting.  It doesn’t receive any high marks for that.  In the back there is a mini bar but it reminds me of a small local diner.  It’s probably one of those places you would drive right by if you were doing through town.  That’s fine though, you can all drive by because then there is more food for me.

Coffee: B

The coffee is good.  It’s a typical off burnt taste of diner coffee.  The smaller cups are fine as long as they bring you refills.  In the 11 times I’ve been here so far, I’ve only had a refill problem once (but it was busy too).   The coffee is good though.

coffee

Food: A

This is where the diner makes up for anything and everything.  First, since it’s in a small town it’s almost never crowded and the food is generally brought to you within 15 minutes of ordering.  It lives up to the diner greasy spoon mentality.

greeksalad

I normally get the Greek salad that with standard Greek toppings (feta cheese, peppers, tomatoes, chicken, cucumbers, sundried tomatoes) as well as homemade Greek dressing.  Also included are grape leaves, pita bread, hard boiled eggs in the salad and soup on the side.  Not to mention it’s massive.  If I were to guess I would say this “salad” has probably over 1000 calories.  I don’t even care because it’s worth it.

Split pea soup

Split pea soup

pitabread

Price: $

Tim and I both get full and filling meals for around 22-25 dollars (FOR BOTH OF US!).  For both of us to eat meals that are completely filling for that low of a price is rare.  In fact I think it only happens at a handful of restaurants (mainly diners).  So if you are looking for an inexpensive, filling diner meal…come visit me.  I think this food actually cost less then sometimes when we cook at home…and it’s better.  Why am I even cooking at home anymore?

Overall Impression:

This is one of my favorite diners.  It’s a “hole in the wall” type of small town diner which are truly my favorite.   If you are looking for an adorable, inexpensive, quick, inexpensive diner here is your place.  It could be because I’m an ultimate regular but this place gets two thumbs up.

On a side note, I think I have narrowed down who the “three brother” owners are but I have yet to ask…yet.

Questions for you:

Are you a regular at a restaurant?

Favorite hole in the wall type of restaurant?

Azurs and Shannon

Last Saturday night I decided to have plans.  (that once a month time Shannon comes into town and therefore I have plans).  Shannon and I couldn’t decide where we wanted to go in Norfolk but eventually decided on a Greek Restaurant called Azurs.  I had been once before and it was good so thought why not go a second time and write a review on it.

shannonandi

When getting there around six, I promptly ordered a decaf coffee.  I was just craving one so that was the start of my meal.  The waiter was probably the best (maybe even too good) at refilling it because I had quite a few cups and decided after a few that I should slow it down.  I was essentially inhaling it LOL.

We got an appetizer to split: Grape Leaves.  These guys are probably my favorite part of Greek cuisine (sans Gyro Meat).  I think I could order a platter of just Grape leaves, actually that is what I do when I go to Harris Teeter and get on their Mediterranean Bar.

grapeleaves

For my meal, I got the Greek salad with a skewer of salmon.  I was a bit disappointed with the size of the skewer of salmon.  The salmon skewer was 5 dollars but less than 4 ounces of salmon.  It was good but it wasn’t a huge skewer.  The salad and dressing was good though.  The pita bread was a bit more thin and I prefer mine thicker but other than that, everything was good.

greeksaladsalmon

For me personally the restaurant was a little bit pricey and I was left a little bit hungry afterwords (I spent around 20 dollars overall) but everything was good.   It is a nice “foodie” restaurant too as they have a lot of salads, glueten free options and if you like Greek Cuisine (it’s my personal favorite) you would certainly enjoy this restaurant in downtown Norfolk.  Of course, hanging out with Shannon is always enjoyable too and I felt like we caught up on the world in the short two hours we chatted.

So would I recommend it?

Yes, they have a lot of great options and I haven’t found any more Greek restaurants yet that have peaked my interest.

Questions for you:

Do you like Greek Food?  If so, what is your favorite food choice?

Are you good with picking restaurants?

For me, I hate chosing but I can pretty much find something anywhere I go (as long as it’s not thai).

Majestic Diner Review (Long Island area)

While visiting my brother Matt in the New York City area last week, we discovered a little gem of a diner.  Diners are one of my favorite types of restaurants because they are barely ever crowded (if they are then the food is out pretty quick), they normally have huge portions and I’ve honestly never had a bad experience with a diner.  Greasy spoons are kinda my thing. 

 

That being said, we saw the Majestic Diner and I knew we had to give it a try.

The first time we had gone to Sunken Meadow Park to run a nice (and quite hilly) 10 miler and then came back to where we saw this diner.  I immediately honed in on the Greek salad and it had all my favorite credentials (2 huge pieces of pita bread, double dressing, grape leaves, salmon and duh feta cheese…I think everything I like about salads…are the actual not salads).  It did not disappoint and we were stuffed afterwords.  We literally waddled onto the train.

salmonsaladnewyorkcity1

Matt wanted to pose with his Cheese steak sub which was also great.

mattcheesesub

We had scoped out the breakfast options too (none of us were in the mood for breakfast the day before) and decided we had to stop back in the morning before dropping Matt off.  It was honestly the best decision we made.

I got the lox (salmon) omelet with rye toast and also pancakes.  I had nothing bad to critique the restaurant on food wise.  The food was amazing, the portions were huge and kept me full for an entire 8 hour drive home and well…  I don’t often eat pancakes at restaurants as well (because I enjoy to make my own) but these were extremely good too. It was a little bit expensive but it was worth it.  The only negative response I had was that I went periods without coffee but I can’t complain too loudly about that.

loxomelet

 

dinerfullbreakfast

 

So would I recommend the Magestic Diner?

Um, well my budget is very lucky that I do not live near there because I would be at this restaurant every day trying everything.  They have so much options.  It is a little bit pricey but well worth it.

Questions for you: What is your favorite greasy spoon?  

Empire Brewery Review

There are a few highest honors you can have in my life.  A very important one is meeting my dad.  My dad isn’t scary and I don’t really know why people are intimidated by him…actually he downright hilarious.  Last week I begged Laura to come to dinner with dad and I before she left for the Cleveland marathon and I left for VA(which she rocked…you can read about it here).

empire

We settled on a local brewery at Empire Brewery in downtown Syracuse.   They make their own beer and have some of the best and most delicious bar type of food I’ve had to date.  I’ve been a few times (as to why I can write a proper LOLZ review) and gotten the Mediterranean platter, Greek salad, and feta chicken flatbread…

The reason I like their salads so much as not only do they add a ton of actual food (I’m actually not still hungry after eating), there is pita bread (+1 point), I can get multiple dressings (+1 point) and they have couscous in the salad (+1)…Not sure what these points are adding up too but it’s my review and I’ll add points if I want.

empiregrilledchickensalad

The main thing is the food filled me up and tasted good.  Oh and wasn’t expensive.  It might be a little bit of a lie if Laura and I hadn’t discussed the dessert options beforehand so that is that.  We settled upon each getting a sundae made from a special dark beer (similar to Guinness).  Wow, this was probably one of my favorite ice creams to date.  It wasn’t like beer overload but it had all the deliciousness of beer and ice cream combined.

laurandidessert

Then dad shocked the world and ordered a cheesecake.  He said it was “for the blog” (my dad routinely makes fun of my blog) and he also has absolutely not sweet tooth at all.  The cheesecake was also deliscous but left to my own I would (and next time I come to Syracuse) will get the sundae again.

dad

So would I recommend Empire Brewery?  Well if you can’t tell I don’t generally write restaurant reviews unless they have become a LOLZ staple.  (Though I know eventually I’ll write a snarky one) I think I should make a review tab at this point.  Oh and yes I would recommend Empire and I would say go big and get the sundae too.

Questions for you: Favorite flavor of ice cream?  Favorite beer? 

King Davids Restaurant Review

I am a very spot orientated person.  Certain restaurants for me just jive and I could be a regular there forever.  That being said, I don’t do many restaurant reviews or recommendations but when I do (insert meme here) you know I’ve probably been there a lot and absolutely love it.

In Syracuse, NY there is such a place, a Greek Restaurant called King Davids.  First and foremost, I love Greek food (if you want to know the key to my heart outside of pancakes…there you go).  I think it’s especially delicious…I like gyro meat, I like dolmades and grape leaves as well as pita bread and that could be why I’m a bit biased.  Although it’s about an hour from my house, it’s always worth the drive.  I consider myself a restaurant foodie.  I’ll drive hours on hours for good food because I can’t cook.  Considering I go to Syracuse a lot anyways…I normally just stop there.

You would never suspect how good it is and honestly the first time I walked in I was like erm…okay then.  The food, however, has never disappointed me.   The service is always extremely quick.  I’ve been served my food within 15 minutes of arriving there several times and it’s never crowded.

Remember when I got this Greek salad?

Oh and the portions are huge too.

Oh and the portions are huge too.

Pita and Feta Cheese?

pitabreadfetacheese

And these dolmades?

dolmades

Gyro wrap…yes please?

Ignore this this terrible photo.  But do enjoy the gyro wrap with french fries.

Ignore this this terrible photo. But do enjoy the gyro wrap with french fries.

Oh and the Red Velvet cake that several bloggers lusted over came from there too…

We also split Red Velvet Cake

So if you ever come to the Syracuse area, know that is restaurant is the LOLZ approved.  Also know if you want to drive me there…well I will never complain.

Questions for you:

Do you like Greek Food?

Are you a regular anywhere?

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