salad

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? 

The Town Diner

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to meet Christine at the Town Diner in East Windsor, NJ.

This diner is not to be confused with the Town and Country diner ten miles south or the Heightstown diner right down the road. We made plans spur of the moment and I found myself with a date the morning of! Christine has been a world traveler this month so it was nice to catch up with her while she was back in the Garden State.

Atmosphere: A
The outside decor is shiny and metallic. It screams diner. Being right down the road with the Americana diner, it has stiff competition to draw in customers.  It is a classic diner and draws you right in.

town diner

 

Image found here

The inside has multiple booths and tables. It is kept well to the upscale diner theme. Even though it was lunchtime, it was really empty. I was surprised! The staff is very friendly and certainly inviting.

Coffee: A
The coffee was good. Something I could appreciate was that it wasn’t in a boring white mug. I know white coffee mugs are cheaper for diners for restaurants but I enjoy diners that choose a different color. As with the life tip,it’s the inside that matters but I could appreciate the change of coffee mug scenery. The actual coffee with whipped cream was great though and I have no complaints.

Town Diner Coffee

Food: A
The menu has a seafood flare. There is just about anything you can imagine a diner to have but in an upscale way. It was clear while its a diner, it’s a very upscale diner. I ordered the Mediterranean salad.  All of the salads come with soup and it was my lucky day because they had lentil!  My two favorite soups are lentil and split pea and I always feel like I hit the lottery when a restaurant has them.

Town Diner lentils

The salad was heavily dressed, chopped and had chicken, onions, olives, artichokes and mixed greens.

It was one of the best salads I’ve had so far. I have complaints. It was really good.   I like when the salad dressing is thicker and not water based.  They did’t skimp out at all which was nice.

Town Diner Salad

Cost:$
For my salad, coffee and side of pita bread it was only 15 dollars. For the amount of food and the quality of food, this is one of the best deals in the state.

Overall thoughts:A
Would I come back?
I have absolutely no complaints about this diner. It was perfect.  The Town Diner is a nice upscale diner and a great restaurant in general.

Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: A
Food: A
Coffee: A
Price: $10-20

This is one of the best diners I’ve been to in New Jersey. It’s very close to exit 8 on the turnpike and one I would recommend.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite coffee mug?
What is your favorite type of soup? 

PBs Diner and Tap Room

Last weekend, Angela and I finally got a chance to catch up.  Angela is a local (fast) runner and coach. We decided to meet up at one of her favorites and a local staple “PB’s Diner and Tap Room”.  PB’s Diner and Tap Room is located in Glassboro, NJ.

A diner and a pub?  I file that under strange but normal New Jersey things…

I’ve been to several New Jersey diners and several NJ bars but never a restaurant claiming to be a combination of both.  I guess there is a first time for everything.

Atmosphere: B

I’m still not sure what to think.  On one half of the restaurant there is the tap room and on the other half there is a “dining room” diner section.  The dining room is set up well.  When Angela and I went there was a football game playing in the bar but the dining room was quiet.

Our server was a unique individual. The overall atmosphere seemed tense between the staff and customers.  I’m not sure if the waiters felt overwhelmed or were having a rough day but it was a tense vibe and I’m not sure why.

Coffee: A
This was one of the strangest coffee combinations I have tried. First, I was unsure if a bar would be able to give me coffee and whipped cream. They were able too and the whipped cream came in a bowl on the side. I have never received a bowl of whipped cream before. The coffee was great though and I had plenty of refills.

PB Diner Coffee

Food: B
The menu has  typical diner and bar fare. It was exactly what you would you assume a diner to have or a bar to have. They had plenty of pancakes, burgers, salads and beer.

I ordered the “large” Greek salad with a side of salmon. The house dressing was really good. It had large chunks of feta cheese in it. It was a fairly large salad and the salmon was good. The salad was smaller than I would have hoped and not that filling.  It was a good salad but I do wish there was more.

Pb Diner Salad

Price: $
The salad and coffee was only 15 dollars which isn’t too expensive. It was one of the cheaper meals I’ve had.

Would I come back?
Overall thoughts: B
The food and coffee were great but something about the overall vibe of the restaurant turned me off. I’m not sure I’ll be back unless someone suggests.  If I’m left to my own I’ll probably stick to other diners.

Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: B
Price: $10-20

Questions for you:
Have you ever gone to a diner bar? (Must be a Nj thing)

Colonial Diner

One of my good friends and I found ourselves hungry and bored last week. Part of the luxury of working retail is that your off days normally fall in the middle of the week. She was coming back from a deployment so had a week off (we aren’t normally randomly bored on weekdays).

After googling diners, we found the Colonial Diner in Woodbury, NJ.  It was only a few miles from my house. After we got there we noticed the entire parking lot was full. It was at that point I knew the diner must be good.

Atmosphere: B
The outside is a cobblestone building. It is nothing too exciting. The Colonial diner itself is located right near train tracks and during our meal several trains went through.

The inside is full of booths and tables. It’s divided into two sections. We sat in a booth in the far section. I was disappointed we didn’t sit in the section with the juit boxes. The diner itself is clean and tidy. The staff was friendly but it was nothing extraordinary.

Coffee: B
The whipped cream was homemade. It was towering over the coffee and really good. I was however, disappointed because I was hoping to get a refill. I guess I’m just a coffee guzzler. If a menu states they give free refills then I always hope for more than one serving.

Black tie affair menu?

Black tie affair menu?

Food: A
The food at the Colonial diner is really good. The menu has everything you could hope for in a diner. Plus in addition to “normal” diner options, they have a lot of gluten free and healthy options. The Colonial diner is a true hidden gem.

I ordered the Greek salad with chicken. Normally Greek salads come with romaine lettuce. This lettuce was much greener than the standard Lettuce. The salad came with olives, feta, peppers, anchovies, onions and the untraditional chick peas. I thought the dressing was a bit light and watery but it was still good. It was in the top third diner salads I’ve had.

colonial diner salad

colonial diner

Cost: $
For my salad with chicken and coffee, it was 16 dollars. One of the cheaper meals I’ve had from a diner in a while.

Overall thoughts: A
Would I come back?
The diner was a lot better than I expected. I do plan to come back at some point soon. They have a lot of different cakes to try. My only real complaint is that I wish I had been able to get more coffee.

Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: B
Coffee:B
Food: A (top third)
Cost: 10-20 per meal
I’ll be back and I hope they are able to refill my coffee this time.

Question for you:  Do you like anchovies? 

 

Westmont Diner

On Wednesday evening, I met Liz at the Westmont Diner.  We had been talking about hanging out for the last 2 months but work has gotten the best of us.  Thank goodness our schedules finally collided because I don’t think I could wait any longer (this is a true fact).  Liz and I met last June at the 10k we both ran.

liz and I

We met at the Westmont Diner around 6:30.  It wasn’t busy but the parking lot was small.

Atmosphere: B

The diner is in a shopping center.  I struggle with giving the diner an A atmosphere because of the location   The inside was super cute though.  It’s small and looks like it was get busy quickly.  It was nicely decorated for the Holidays.

The waitress was one of the nicest I’ve ever had (at a diner).  She really made you feel at home.  It was clear this was not the GloboDiner that you picture NJ to have.  I cannot sing the politeness of the waitress enough songs.  She was so nice and welcoming.

Coffee: A
As you can see from the tower of whipped cream, the coffee did not disappoint.  Both Liz and I decided this was in the top five best diner coffee we have had. I ordered decaf.  Often times (at diners or in general) the decaf coffee is bland. This coffee was not at all bland and was perfect. The waitress even added the large and in charge tower of whipped cream each time.  I think I had more sugar from coffee than I have all week.

Westmont Diner Coffee

Food: B
As far as diners go, the Westmont diner had a smaller menu. There were lots of options (compared to other restaurants) but not too many. The Westmont diner did have more specials then most diners.  You can certainly get a good deal on food there!

I ordered the Greek Salad with chicken as well as pita bread (Sound familiar right?). This particular Greek salad was pretty small. It came with the typical Greek salad fare: lettuce, onions (maybe 2?) olives, tomatoes and feta. I would have liked to see more salad but other then that it was pretty good…just small.  Besides the portion size, the salad was pretty good.

Westmont Diner Salad

Cost:$
It was 15 dollars for the coffee (with chicken and pita) and coffee. That isn’t the most expensive salad I’ve had. I wish for the cost there was more but it wasn’t expensive.  I would say it was a good deal overall.  I have no complaints about the price.

Overall Experience: B
Would I come back?

I think the waitress alone would make me want to go back. She was so polite and friendly. My only complaint is not enough food (per normal diner) but the food was good. I will be back.  Since I live close by, I will be back to see her.

Question of the day:
Liz and I got into a heated discussion: what are the best type of olives?

The Club Diner

Last week Tim’s parents, Tim and I went to the Club Diner just off of exit 3 in Bellmawr.  The Club Diner is located directly off exit 3 on the NJ turnpike.  If you are heading north and hungry, it’s a pretty good stop.

Atmosphere: A

The overall atmosphere is great.  The outside has a huge diner sign plastered on top.  It screams diner and you cannot miss it.  It fits the stereotypical diner outside look.

club diner 1

 

Taken from the Club Diner Website

When we walked in I thought it was a lot smaller than it appeared outside.  I quickly realized there was a whole back room.  We sat in the front and the more traditional diner area.

Coffee: A

The waitress was shocked when I asked for a coffee with whipped cream (I would too, we aren’t in the hipster Starbucks here).  She said she would have to try it.  The coffee mug was extremely tiny but the waitress refilled it and the coffee was good.  I have no complaints.

Club Coffee

Food: B-

The menu was large.  If the diner menu isn’t that large I always question if it is a diner at all. I was surprised that they had such an extensive seafood menu.  Bellmawr isn’t located that close to the shore but the menu made it seem as if we were.  I wanted a salad with salmon but for some reason they couldn’t do it.

I ordered the Greek salad with pita bread.  The Greek dressing was one of my favorites.  It was a bitter balsamic mixed with oil.  If I was just grading salad dressing I would say this was the best dressing I’ve had.  The salad was a little bit smaller but it wasn’t bad…it was just small.  It was very hard boiled egg heavy (the only thing I dislike in Greek salads are hard boiled eggs).  It reminded me of a side salad than an entree salad.

Club Diner Salad

It was a good salad but I do wish it was more salad.

Dessert: A

We ordered a lemon cake and chocolate fudge cake to split.  Tim had already had a milkshake so it ended up being me eating both pieces (I won’t complain).

Lemon cake:

I really enjoyed the frosting of the cake.   I haven’t had lemon cake in a while but this lemon cake takes the cake (ha terrible pun).  It was great and I have no complaints.

Club Diner Lemon Cake

The chocolate fudge cake was even better.  I loved how rich the cake was.  It was a great piece.  The dessert was one of my favorite parts and I didn’t come expecting that.  I actually didn’t think we would get dessert at all so that was a pleasant surprise.

Club Diner Cake

Price: $

The salad, cake and coffee was 18 dollars.  The salad was a little more expensive for the lack of food but overall not a bad price.  They had a ton of specials as well.

Overall Thoughts:  B

Would I come Back?

There are a lot of local diners in South Jersey and in the area.  This is certainly one of the better ones and I will probably be back eventually.  The dessert was good (surprisingly).  The waitress was also one of the friendliest and her politeness alone makes me want to come back.  It was a good diner but there are a few I care for a bit better.  As Tim’s mom said: “eh more of an average diner review right?”.  HA, that is the truth.

Questions for you:

Where was the best waiter/waitress you have ever had?

What is your favorite (nonchocolate) type of cake?

Carrot cake and lemon cake take the cake for me.  (How many times can I use cake in this post?)

Golden Dawn Diner

Golden Dawn Diner

We found ourselves in Burlington a few weeks ago. I had heard nothing but good things about the Golden Dawn Diner.  This particular diner was on my “diner to do list” so when we found ourselves in the Burlington area around a meal time, it wasn’t a question if  we would go.  I don’t know if it’s embarrassing I have a diner to do list but it was at the top. I had extremely high expectations before going, expectations that were met.

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere is really cute. The outside is cobblestone with diner plastered at the top. There is no missing it. While the inside isn’t as festive, it is massive. It was cleanly and I have no complaints.

Coffee: A
The waitress refilled the coffee several times. It was really good. Nothing too interesting, I had coffee with whipped cream (so shocking).

Golden Dawn Diner Coffee

Menu: A
The menu has a lot of different options and specials. The one complaint I have is the specials at the front aren’t  listed anywhere else. The hostess rushed us to the table before we could really look.  The menu is as large as any diner and they have a lot of options for those looking.

The first time I went I ordered the grilled vegetables salad. It consisted of arugula, mozzarella, grilled vegetables. It was a really good salad.  It was actually one of the best salads I’ve had in a diner in a while.  The arugula was extremely fresh as was the mozzarella.  I was able to order a side of pita bread too.

Golden Dawn Diner Salad

We ended up coming back a second time a few weeks later because I liked the restaurant so much.  I was craving lasagna and tried that. I haven’t had lasagna in a very long time and saw someone else order it. It looked good do I went for it. It was good, it had a large amount of cheese as well as actual noodles.  I would recommend either of the meals I had here and they had plenty of other options.

Golden Dawn Diner Lasgana

Dessert: C
We ordered dessert the first time we went. Since they had no red velvet cake, I ordered the “Boston Creme Cake”.  For those who don’t know, donuts are my second favorite dessert behind cake.  My meal was so good I had high expectations for this. The cake was a thin layer of chocolate frosting, whipped cream center and dry crusty cake. The whipped cream was great but honestly not much else of the cake was. I ate the whipped cream and frosting but left the rest. The whipped cream saved this cake from a F to C but I wouldn’t order it again. I will stick to my Boston Creme donuts instead.  I didn’t leave feeling weighed down from cake but I didn’t enjoy the cake.

Golden Dawn Diner Boston Cream cake

Would I come back?
Overall Thoughts: A-
Yes, I really enjoyed the Golden Dawn Diner in Burlington. Both the salad and lasagna were good and I have no complaints. I will be back again eventually (but probably not for dessert).  The service was great and it was a very cute and enjoyable diner.  I’m glad my online reviews didn’t let me down.

Questions for you:
Have you ever had Boston Creme Cake?
What is your favorite lasagna?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,422 other followers

%d bloggers like this: