Oualichi Restaurant (St. Maartin) 

The last of my diner experiences from our honeymoon was at the Oualichi Restaurant in St. Maartin. Oualichi is located right on the boardwalk of St. Maartin.  The restaurant faces the beach and it’s completely open and airy.  Your choices for seating are to sit in the sun outdoors or in the shade facing the beach.

Cafe view (yes this is real life)

Cafe view (yes this is real life)

We stumbled upon Oualichi after we snorkeled and kayaked earlier in the day.  We were both hungry and the staff was very friendly and welcoming.  We decided it would be a fun place to dine.
Atmosphere: A 
It’s hard not to rank the atmosphere an A.  We were facing the beach, the weather was beautiful and the staff was extremely friendly.  Out of all of the diners and restaurants I’ve been too, this was one of the best atmospheres and views.
Coffee: —
For the first time I’m a very long time I did not order coffee.  It was pretty hot and I wasn’t in a coffee mood.  I was dehydrated and needed water.
Food: A
As with many restaurants in the Caribbean,  Oualichi  features a lot of seafood.  It also has a Caribbean flair.  I had eaten a fair amount all day but wanted to try the Carribean salad.  I’m so glad I did because it did not disappoint.
Carribean Salad
To say this was one of the best salads I’ve ever had would be an understatement.  The Carribean salad consisted of greens, corn, an entire avacado, pineapple, melon, grapefruit and a spicy like dressing.  There was nothing that I didn’t like about the dressing. There was nothing I didn’t care for about the salad. I ended up eating the entire thing pretty easily.
Cost: $$$
The salad and water (they only use bottled water) was 21 dollars.  It was completely worth it though.
Overall thoughts/would I come back? 
Oualichi Restaurant was truly one of my favorite restaurants to date and I wish I could come back every single day.  Sadly my budget and private jet does not allow that…
Atmosphere: A
Food: A
Price: 15-25
Overall rating: A
Questions for you: 
What is the best restaurant atmosphere you have been too? 
Have you ever eaten on the beach? 

Gladys Cafe (St. Thomas) 

While visiting to St. Thomas, we stumbled upon Gladys Cafe.  We decided to deboard and see which restaurants were open on the island.  While touring around the town we stumbled upon Gladys Cafe.  It had a dineresc feel so we thought why not try it?  We were actually very intrigued by the menu and were instantly hooked (and yes we ate in other “nondiner” restaurants too ;)

After we went back to the cruise and had internet we found out that Gladys Cafe was one of the most popular restaurants on the island of St. Thomas.  It’s always fun when you can stumble upon hidden gems like that!

Atmosphere: A 

The restaurant is tucked on a side street of St. Thomas.  You have to walk down an alleyway to physically get there!  I don’t know how we even randomly found our way there.  The building is long and narrow so there is plenty of room in the restaurant. There are three rooms with a bar in the middle.  Gladys cafe is decorated with multiple family photos and portraits.  It is very clear it’s a very family friendly restaurant.  It’s nice to actually see how family friendly themed it is.

 

Leaving the ship.

Leaving the ship.

It was also really interesting and unique to see the owner, Gladys, working and making drinks for customers.  The only other time I’ve seen the restaurant owner working was in Rochester!

Coffee: D 

The waiter forgot I wanted coffee and I did not receive it until halfway through eating my meal.  It was also $3 and for 6 ounces.  For me the coffee was not worth it and I would not order it again.

Food: A

Glady’s Cafe has a lot of local and tropical options.  They have a lot of seafood options as well as poultry and lamb.  There are so many unusual foods that I have never heard of.  I enjoyed browsing the menu and debating what to order.  I hadn’t had Mahi Mahi in a while so I made the decision to order that! Before Glady’s the last time I had Mahi Mahi was probably in 2012.

 

Grilled mahi mahi at Glady's Cafe (the photo does not do it justice)

Grilled mahi mahi at Glady’s Cafe (the photo does not do it justice)

I ordered the grilled Mahi Mahi salad.  The Mahi Mahi was some of the best fish I’ve had.  It wasn’t over cooked and tasted as if they had fished it out themselves.  It was one of my favorite seafood dishes to date.  Most of my food on vacation was so delicious and unique that I want to post about it.  The salad was a normal ceaser salad.  I originally ordered the dressing on the side but they forgot to put it on the side so I just ate the salad anyways.  ‘Honestly, the salad was good and I’m glad it worked out that way.

Price: $$$

For my coffee and Mahi Mahi salad, the price was $22.  For the amount of food and coffee I received it was expensive.  That being said, the food was high quality so it was worth it.  I probably wouldn’t order the coffee again.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 

Gladys cafe is great and I enjoyed the Mahi Mahi.  I would come back but wouldn’t order coffee again.  I found the food extremely delicious and would recommend it if you visit St. Thomas.  The only issue I had was the service was not great (the coffee and salad dressing was forgotten).  Everything worked its way out in the end though.

Cliff notes:

Atmosphere: A

Coffee: D 

Food: A

Price: $15-25 

Overall rating: B

Questions for you: 

Have you tried mahi mahi before? 

Have you ever been to St. Thomas? 

Banana Cafe

In Key West, T and I went to a small café/diner feel called the Banana Café.  Since the Banana Cafe had a “tropical” diner vibe, I thought I would add this one to the collection of diner  reviews.  Plus it was one of the best restaurants that we went too while on our honeymoon.

Atmosphere: A

Unlike New Jersey, you can sit outdoors all year round at the Banana Café.  The restaurant is very open and located on the Main Street (Duval Street).  I really enjoyed being able to watch everyone walk by and getting fresh air.

The inside is very open with many different paintings and decorations.  I like the overall décor and beach theme a lot.  It is certainly different than New Jersey diners and restaurants.

Coffee: A

The coffee of Banana café was one of my favorite restaurant coffees to date (and that is saying a lot).  First the whipped cream was great, the coffee was good and the cups were really unique and interesting.  Clear cups are always fun to me.

Banana Cafe Coffee (1)

The sun and beach are overpowering the background

 

Food: A

Spoiler: The food was also some of the best restaurant food I’ve had.

The Banana has café has many different options.  Since it is located in Key West, most of the food is seafood related. They had many options from the catch of the day to the diner favorites such as omelets and pancakes. I decided to order the famous “La Mer” salad and it came with shrimp, scallops and smoked salmon.  It was one of the best salads I’ve had.  The salad had three different types of seafood as well as goat cheese, pineapple, apples and fresh greens.  As you can see they did not skimp out on goat cheese!  The presentation was also lovely.  The only thing I wish it had had was bread.

Banana Cafe Coffee (2)

Cost: $$

The salad and coffee was 20 dollars.  That is not the most expensive salad I’ve had but it was rather pricey.  The food was worth it though.

Would I go back/Overall Thoughts:

This is one of the best restaurants I’ve been too and I wish I could go back and every weekend.  I would recommend this to anyone vacationing to Key West.

Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Price: $15-20

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Key West?
Are clear coffee mugs acceptable? 

The Spot

Flashback time: One of the first diners I ever went to was in Binghamton, NY. The Spot in Binghampton showed me how great diners could truly be. Every time I drive through Binghamton I make a special effort to stop.  Despite not being in NJ, this is one of my favorite diners to date.

Atmosphere: A
The outside is a very casual vibe and is made out of cobblestone. It can easily be seen from the 81 highway. The inside has plenty of light and booths. I always try and get a booth next to one of the windows.   You walk in next to the bakery so get to sit within view of that most of the time.

One of my favorite parts of this diner is the friendliness of the staff. I have eaten at the diner alone and with family and friends. The staff is always so polite.  I don’t have a problem eating at restaurants alone and have done it a few times.

Coffee: B
Each time I go, the coffee is always refilled quickly. The whipped cream isn’t my favorite but plenty of coffee is always a positive thing.

Super old school coffee shot.  Dates back to LOLZ drinking to 2012.

Super old school coffee shot. Dates back to LOLZ drinking to 2012.

Food: A
The diner has everything you can imagine. The Spot has pancakes, seafood, dinner, sandwhiches…everything.  Keep in mind I’ve been going to this diner for the last 5 years (way before I knew the glory of NJ diners).  I was always overwhelmed with the possibilities!

This diner Greek Salad is one of my favorites. The salad comes with pita bread, anchovies, grape leaves, feta cheese, onions and I always add gyro meat I like that the gyro is cooked in oil so it’s very juicy.  I don’t post a lot about it but I really like Gyro meat, but oddly enough it’s hard to find at diners!

gyrosalad

Cost: $
The cost for the salad (with gyro) and coffee is 12 dollars. It’s a really good deal and I can’t ever complain.

Overall thoughts: A
Would I come back?
Whenever I am traveling through Binghamton, I always try and hit up the Spot. It’s one of my favorite diners and a great stop along I-81. I always recommend it.

Cliffnotes:
The Spot
Binghampton, NY
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Cost: $8-15
Overall thoughts: A

Questions for you:

Do you have a restaurant you like to go to while traveling? 

Have you ever had Gyro meat? 

Westfield Diner

Last week I met Danielle and Christine at the Westfield Diner (careful if you click, a chorus of music will blast your computer).  Easy enough, the Westfield diner is located in Westfield, NJ.  I wanted to see both of them and since I had the day off, I made the trek up North.  I had the day off but honestly with all the wedding planning stuff I needed to accomplish, I was more busy than work LOL.

Atmosphere: B

The outside is cute with a good amount of parking.  We arrived at 5:30 on Friday and it actually wasn’t that crowded.  I was surprised!  The outside is a nice cobblestone building.  It’s nothing too unusual or crazy but it is nice and really cute.

The inside has rows of booths and has a nice small town feel.  It reminds a little bit of the Westmont Diner, nice and cozy.

The staff was friendly and took all of the special requests we had for food and drink (coffee with whipped cream…salad with falafel…).  The food came out pretty quickly once we had ordered too.  There was nothing too unusual or crazy.

Coffee: A

I ordered coffee with whipped cream like I always do.  It was good.   The waiter brought me back several refills and each time with whipped cream.  The coffee was good and the whipped cream was good so it was perfect.

Westfield Diner coffee (1)

Food: B

Like any diner, they had plenty of options.  It looked like they had a whole Greek night in the middle of the week (which is something I would want to come do sometime!).

I ordered the Greek salad with salmon.  Something I thought was strange was if you ordered the Greek salad with salmon (or any other meat), it didn’t come with anchovies (stated on the menu).  If you ordered the greek salad “plain” then it did come with anchoives.  I really like anchovies but I like salmon more.  I could have requested both but I didn’t feel like it.  I’ve never had that happen before.

Westfield Diner coffee (2)

The dressing came in a large container where the oil and vinegar (Greek dressing) had separated.  It made it extremely hard to pour on because I was pouring oil.  It was good dressing though.  I prefer my dressing to already be on the salad but I can see why some people prefer that way.

This is probably the most I’ve written about a single salad but in cliff notes, the portion was smaller than I would have liked but still decent.

Price: $$

For my salmon salad and coffee it was 17.  It was certainly not the cheapest diner meal I’ve had but not the most expensive either.  For the amount of food, however, I would say it was a little bit above average cost.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back?

It’s a little bit of a drive for me but close to Christine.  I would go back if Christine wanted but I would not drive out of my way to go.

Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: B
Price: $10-20
Would I come back?

Probably but only if a friend living close by wanted to go.   It’s a good diner but I’m not sure it’s worth the drive “just to go”.

Questions for you:

Do you like anchovies?

Amy’s Omelet House 

A diner/restaurant I had been dying to go for a while was Amy’s Omelet house.  I have seen signs and read reviews since moving to New Jersey.  Now that we live 2 miles away, it made complete sense to finally get there.  I don’t know why it had been on the back burner for so long because after going it quickly became one of my new favorite restaurants!

Atmosphere: A 
Amy’s omelet house is very well decorated.  The walls are brightly decorated with a nautical theme (from down the shore).  It’s very open and clean.
From website

From website

The staff was extremely friendly.  While I think the waitress might have forgotten our table a few times, I have no real complaints.  We got there on a weekday night and there were only two other parties in the restaurant.  It was nice because it was peaceful and quiet.
Coffee: C
To be honest, for a diner Amy’s omelet house doesn’t have the best coffee.  I was surprised!  I was given two refills and looked at like I was nuts when I asked for a refill.  It wasn’t terrible coffee but it wasn’t great either.  I was left somewhat disappointed.  Luckily it was the only item in the restaurant I thought was sub par.
 Amys Omelet House Coffee
Food: A
They have over 200 different omelet combinations as well as pancakes, dinner entrees and salads!  Obviously the main staple for them is omelets.  It took me over 15 minutes to figure out which omelet I wanted.  Tim literally closed his eyes and pointed to one to make a decision but I looked over each and every combination.  Did I want a lox omelet, crab, lobster or asparagus?  So many choices.
My nova lox and rye toast

My nova lox and rye toast

I ordered the Nova Lox omelet (smoked salmon, cheese, onions and scallions).  It came with a side of toast and I ordered a fresh fruit cup.  This was truly one of the best omelets I have had.  It was filling and perfect.  I am extremely happy with my decision and it was honestly the best omelet I have had in a while.
 Something that also impressed me was the fresh fruit cup.  It came with actual fresh fruit (blackberries, blueberries, fresh pinapple).  It was clear the restaurant was not using canned products for their fresh fruit.
Amys Omelet House Fruit Cup
Dessert: B
We ordered a vanilla milkshake as well.  I thought the milkshake was good.  I really enjoyed how sweet the vanilla ice cream was.  It wasn’t the best milkshake I’ve ever had but it was still good.  My favorite part was it came in a Texas boot…it made me miss Texas (but not really).
Amys Omelet House milkshake
Cost: $$
I ordered the smoked salmon omelet (obviously salmon is more expensive) and subbed in the fresh fruit cup and coffee and milkshake.  My meal was about 18 and Tim’s was 12.  It’s certainly not cheap diner fare but it was worth it.  Together we were about 30 dollars.  I think I have the magic ability to order the most expensive things at restaurants every time…
Overall thoughts: A-
Would I come back?
Yes, Amy’s Omelet house has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants.  I will be back very soon and very often.  I absolutely recommend it.  If you go, let me know and we can go together.
Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: C
Food: A
Dessert: B
Cost: $8-20. 
Overall: A-
Questions for you:
What is your favorite kind of omelet?
Do you tend to order the most expensive thing on the menu or is that a problem only I have? 

Hanger Cafe

One of the best meals after a marathon is a diner meal.  Adam (IE: The Boring Runner) knew of my diner reviews and when in Rome…go to a diner…right?  This was a very unique diner that it was located at the Chandler Airport right outside of Phoenix.  The Chandler airport is a small regional airport. This made for a fun meal as we watched airplanes take off and land.  Adam, T, Matt and I found ourselves at the Hanger Cafe the day after the marathon.

The Hanger Cafe has been rated as the best airport food before!

Atmosphere: B

The atmosphere was one of the most unique restaurants I have been too.  We were able to watch planes land and enjoy our food.  The Hanger diner is a true dive.  Inside the diner is a full bar and open grill.  It’s very festive decorated with various planes and memorabilia from the Chandler airport. It’s exactly what you picture when you think “greasy spoon diner”.

We sat in a table towards the back.  The waitress forgot about us for a while and we waited a long time before being helped (the reason the atmosphere went from an A to a B).

Coffee: B

The coffee was good but nothing to write home about.  I was happy she refilled the coffee quickly.  I don’t have anything to complain about the coffee but there was nothing spectacular either.

Hanger Cafe Coffee

Food:  A

The menu is rather small and they had about 5 different omelets, 5 types of pancakes and a few odds and ends such as oatmeal or French toast.  It was certainly a smaller menu than I was used too.

I ordered the Spinach and Feta omelet with buttered rye toast.  It was good and I can’t cook omelets so it tasted great to me.  The portion was a little smaller than I would have liked, but then again I had run a marathon the day before. Rye toast is my favorite and it was great.  I really enjoyed the omelet a lot and it seemed like everyone else enjoyed their food as well!

Hanger Cafe Omelet

Cost: $

For Tim and I’s two omelets and coffee it was 17 dollars.  That is the cost of one meal in New Jersey. So it’s one of the cheapest diner meals we have had.

Would I come back/Overall Thoughts:

If I’m in Phoenix again, I would probably come back.  The diner is very unique and the food was good. I would recommend going early, when we left there was quite the wait time.

Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: Outdoor: A, Service: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Price: $5-12

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite type of omelet?
What is the best “airport” food you have had?