Starview Diner

Last week, T and I headed to a new diner to try.  I have felt like I’ve been slacking a little bit due to my work schedule being kind of crazy.  Some weeks are like that though.  I have driven by the Starview Diner in Somerdale several times (on my way to Berlin).  Sadly there is no website.

Atmosphere: A

The outside is what originally drew me to the diner in the first place.  It’s a very open and picture perfect diner.  It has giant windows and a very cute and welcoming outside.  The indoor portion is just as nice.  It was festive for Christmas.  The diner itself is almost entirely all booths which is always fun.  I like booths the best, more room to spread out.

via google streetview

via google street view

The hostess and waiter were both inviting.  I have no complaints and the waiter made every special request (which felt like 10 million after I asked for whipped cream on my coffee and a side of pita bread).  He was extremely friendly and polite.

Coffee: B

The coffee had whipped cream.  It was nothing out of the ordinary but nothing bad either.  At least they didn’t charge for refills. This was average coffee.  It met my personal needs but nothing stood out.

Starview Diner Coffee

Food: B
The salad was pretty good. The gem of this diner was their homemade bread. They bread looked like a regular roll on the outside, only to find it was filled with cream cheese on the inside. It was the best surprise ever.

Starview Diner Roll

The menu isn’t available online. This wasn’t a cause of concern for us but we went in wondering what we were getting ourselves into. When we arrived we realized this diner had one of the biggest menus. If you aren’t going to visit this diner because the menu isn’t online, long story short…they have everything.

I ordered their soup of the day which was some sort of bean soup.  I can’t remember exactly and the menu isn’t online.  It was good soup.

Starview Diner Soup

My Greek salad was a standard Greek salad. It had greens, feta, hard boiled egg, grape leaves and I ordered a side of salmon and pita bread. I wish the salmon had the skin on it but other then that it was an average salad. There was nothing terrible but it wasn’t number one (much like the coffee).

Starview Diner Salad

Dessert: B
The dessert was okay. I don’t know what we ordered (some sort of chocolate cake?). I liked the frosting because it was light and fluffy. The cake was pretty dry and the ice cream was low fat and crumbly. It was weird to me to have that sort of ice cream at a diner but each to their own.  The dessert was decent but nothing to write home about (much like the entire vibe of this restaurant?).

Starview Diner cake

Cost: $$
For two drinks, two meals and two desserts it was 40 dollars. That honestly isn’t bad at all for the amount of food we got.

Overall thoughts: B
Would I come back?
It was an average diner. I’ll probably be back. It wasn’t the best diner I’ve been too but it also wasn’t the worst. The staff was friendly and I don’t have any real complaints…it was just an average New Jersey Diner.  I  recommend going to Starview Diner if you are in the area but it’s not anything to drive to far to get too.

Questions for you:

Do you like fish with or without the skin? 

I think the fish skin (and chicken skin) is the best part.

Do you research food menus online first?

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.  The Starview diner doesn’t have a menu, website, or facebook page online (which is pretty odd to me).

Park Nine Diner

This week the owner of the website, NJ isn’t boring and I went to try a new diner. A quick introduction but I found the website after someone mentioned a website that has a complete list of diners in NJ! While I utilize website the most for diners, it’s really opened my eyes to how much we have going on in the state of New Jersey. Our state isn’t just home to 90 in the right lane drivers and people down to GTL. If you live in New Jersey or want to see what’s going on in our state I highly recommend checking her website out.

We decided to meet up at the Park Nine diner in Freehold, NJ. The diner is located in the heart of an intersection that made it complicated to get too. Prime location to see!

Atmosphere: A
The outside atmosphere was cute. It is an irregular shaped building with plenty of room to park. The inside has been redone rather recently. I’m not exactly sure when but it’s modern. It was cute, clean and I have no complaints. There were plenty of booths and tables. It actually wasn’t crowded at all.

Coffee: B
I ordered coffee with whipped cream. It came in a small mug. I never have an issue if it comes in a small mug but a small mug that I can’t get refills with, I do. The coffee was good (nothing to write home about but not bad). I would have given it an A if I had been able to get more. The Park Nine diner had fairly good coffee and my only complaint is that I would have liked more.

IMG_0083-1.JPG

Food: C
The menu wasn’t as big as most diners actually. (I don’t know if I have actually written that about a diner?) It wasn’t a small menu by any means but it didn’t have the biggest selection. It had a few seafood options, a couple of salads, a few (not many) breakfast options and a few other random things.

I ordered the Greek salad with salmon. This wasn’t my favorite Greek salad. It almost felt like they took some greens, added some feta and a few olives and onions and called it a day. The Salmon was good though, I felt like I could have prepared a salad like this in my own house though.

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Price: $$
My salad and coffee was 18. While I felt satisfied, I didn’t feel as if it merited being an 18 dollar meal.

Would I come back? Overall thoughts:
It’s not too far from my house and it’s not bad. I wouldn’t seek it out but it was pretty good and the price wasn’t terrible. It’s a good central Jersey diner.

Questions for you:
Have you ever been to New Jersey?
What is something cool to do in your state?

Seven Star Diner

After a more than eventful few days at work and life Erin asked if I wanted to get dinner last Saturday.  I happily agreed: a new diner and new area…two winning combinations.  After googling diners in South Jersey the Seven Star Diner in Seawell popped up.  I’ve found just googling diners in NJ, I can quickly look at diners close by.  I’m never within a few miles of a good diner. 

Seven Star Erin and I

Atmosphere: A

The entire parking lot was packed.  Immediately we thought we would have to wait for a table…but staying to true diner values, they always have room for one more party.  I think in 95% of diner reviews, I start off saying I have thought the diner would be packed yet I’ve only ever had to wait once at a diner.

We sat in the bar and lounge area which was nice.  They were playing top 40 music which was always fun.  Not quite the diner and Greese theme of old school diners.  They played all of my favorite songs including Taylor Swift’s “Shake it off”.  They had already won me before we got the meal.

Coffee: A-

The coffee was good and 1.99 for unlimited refills.  The whipped cream was good. Not my favorite whipped cream but not bad either.  It was normal coffee with normal whipped cream.  I forgot to take a photo again.  I’ve been failing my diner reviews lately.

Food: A

The menu was huge. The Seven Star Diner had everything from seafood to steak to pancakes…everything.  If a diner doesn’t have everything, then it’s not a true New Jersey diner. The Seven Star diner also had a lot of different specials which is always a plus since not everything was pretty cheap.  The Seven Star diner had more specials than any other diner I’ve been too so far.

I ordered the large house Greek salad with salmon and pita bread.  Together it was probably the most expensive combination I could make ($19) but it was a huge salad and worth it.  I could have ordered a normal salad which were roughly 10-13 dollars…but these are m favorite.  It was worth the price.

Seven Star Salad

Dessert: A

Since I haven’t been working out I haven’t been as hungry.  While I saw a sign that said the desserts were made from Mastori’s bakery (my favorite dessert diner), I wasn’t hungry for one at all.  Somehow my second stomach made room for red velvet cake and Erin and I split one.  I often think I should limit my diner reviews to diner cake and coffee reviews.

Seven Star Red Velvet Cake

The red velvet cake did not disappoint at all.  I’m pretty sure our waitress gave us about ¼ of the entire cake.  I won’t complain though.  Next time I’ll get ice cream to wash it down with.  It was simply amazing.  Certainly one of the top 5 pieces of cake I have ever had.  It was so dense and the cream cheese frosting made it absolutely perfect.

Seven Star Red Velvet Cake 1

Cost: $$

For two people it cost 44 dollars.  That wasn’t really that bad considering I ordered a salad with an extra filet of salmon, pita bread and coffee.  It certainly wasn’t expensive for the amount of food you received.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back?

I definitely plan to come back.  The Seven Star Diner has become one my top five favorite diners.  It’s got an entire open bar and huge menu of more items that I cannot wait to try. So long story short, in my personal opinion this is one of New Jersey’s best diners and I will be back soon (Anyone want to meet there?  No, really).

Question for you: What is the most expensive meal you have ever gotten?

WIAW: Sugarless

As I promised I would do a full day of eating under Swanson’s Sugar Free month long challenge.  In my mind, it made the most sense on Wednesdays because that is when most people post what they ate.   So I can join the foods party for this week and maybe another week.

Posts regarding this topic:

Before.

2 days of Being Sugar Free. 

As much as I loved the 21 detox cook book, I’ve quickly come to realize that I’m still not very good at cooking and have been still trying to make very simple foods, whether that is simple sautéing in coconut oil or a coconut flour waffle.  They are easy and I can do them.

Breakfast I’ve generally been having eggs.  I will say I miss having the option to have carbohydrate waffles.

Since I am a self proclaimed waffle/pancake “expert”I had to try one of the many different recipes they had.  I chose to make pancakes out of almond flour.  While the pancakes were okay they weren’t the greatest.  I have made them a few times now and they have come out pretty flat.  Unlike normal carbohydrate pancakes even with less water they are thin and papery.  If anyone has any suggestions that would be great.  After this challenge I probably won’t eat these again just because I enjoy more dense pancakes.  Some things aren’t for everyone.

Recipe:

2/3 cup almond flour

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 cup coconut milk

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

Mix and pour on griddle or into the waffle iron…

coconutflourwaffle

Dinner is where I’ve had the most variety.  I rarely have a sugar laden dinner to begin with so having a sugar free dinner isn’t challenging.  I’ve gone out to eat and had salmon salads.  I’ve cooked at home and had scallops.  We didn’t realize how expensive scallops were and a pound is 20 dollars!  It was an expensive dinner that night but we just decided not to go out to eat for a while.  Dinner is actually relatively normal.  I’ve found the easiest thing to make are salads and honestly it is helping me get a lot more greens then I usually did.  Not that I avoided vegetables but I would say I got 3 servings daily.

Smoked Salmon Salad

Smoked Salmon Salad

salad

Scallops and sprouts.  It's funny when we saw how many scallops a pound yielded we thought we needed a pound each.  Ha those little guys are a bit more filling then we thought.

Scallops and sprouts. It’s funny when we saw how many scallops a pound yielded we thought we needed a pound each. Ha those little guys are a bit more filling then we thought.

Random side notes:

The easiest meal to stay sugar free is dinner.  I barely ever had sugar filled dinners to begin with (I’m such a straight meat+potatos+vegetable) type of person.  Once I get past around 11am my sugar coffee craving seems to go away.

The hardest section for me is around breakfast time.  I miss having artificial sweetener in my coffee and I know I’ll probably go back after this month.  I think I’ll be able to have less artificial sweetener (instead of 7 maybe 3) but I know I’ll still add that and cream.  I do miss adding stevia into my waffles and having normal carbohydrate rich pancakes.  I don’t apologize but almond flour or coconut flour pancakes are not the same and don’t taste the same to me.  They are an okay substitution but they don’t beat any of my pancake recipes.

Since I shared my weight of 135 since the last post I would update on that too.  I weighed myself this morning and weigh 134.6.  Maybe I’ve lost .4 pounds or maybe it’s just water weight.  I don’t feel any lighter (but I doubt I would feel .4).  As I said in the first post, I gained roughly 5 pounds coming off the marathon in the last few months.  While my primary goal was not to get back to my race weight of 130, I would like to do that before any of my goal races.

Long story short I’m doing great with the challenge (it’s been a whole week now!) and I don’t miss sugar or artificial sweetener all that much.  I’m finding myself feeling a lot more energized and not slugged down.   The hardest part for me is getting past the morning hump but other then that I’m fine.  The challenge isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  It is still difficult but not bad.

Is it just me or is this week going by super slow?

If you have any questions feel free to email me or ask here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever cooked with almond flour or coconut flour?  Do you have any cool recipes to try?

What is your favorite dinner meal? 

WIAW: Eating the Rainbow #Elfforhealth

I’m not sure if I mentioned this but I decided to participate in Lindsay’s Elf for Health Challenge.  I started doing it last year but fell off the bandwagon like I normally do with goals I set.  Yesterday’s challenge was to eat the colors of the rainbow.  I always find these challenges to be interesting and provide a little bit of structure into my life considering right now I don’t have much.

Since the focus of the challenge was to eat the color of the rainbow (which happens to mostly be colors of vegetables) I thought it would be a good day to participate in WIAW and give you a day in the life type of post.  It also gave me an excuse to use up a lot of food in my fridge I haven’t been eating.

*Caution what you are about to read is probably not that exciting of a day.

I woke up yesterday around 6:00am.  I normally go to bed between 9-10 so my body’s natural alarm clock is 6 as of now.  It’s fine though and I went downstairs, prepared coffee and breakfast.  I am always hungry when I wake up.

6:30am Breakfast

Colors:

Black: coffee
White: creamer for coffee
Tan: coffee and creamer
Yellowish orange: Waffle
Blue: Blueberries
White: Greek yogurt
Dark brown: syrup

This is not from yesterday but it is my best foodie picture ever and relevant...so that's that.

This is not from yesterday but it is my best foodie picture ever and relevant…so that’s that.

After breakfast I hung around the house.  I am most alert in the mornings and tend to work on job applications from 6:30-10 or so.  After that I go to the gym or just poke around the internet some more.  Today I just poked around the internet and ran up to the store (by ran I mean drove).

11:00 am lunch Omelet

I know I was feeling eggy yesterday and instead of making a sandwich I ended up really wanting eggs.  It’s funny because people normally associate me with breakfast foods and today I happen to have two meals of breakfast.  Normally I have eggs for breakfast and sandwich for lunch.

Yellow: eggs, butter
Green: spinach
Red: pepperonis
Whitish brown: chicken, goat cheese, mushrooms
Brown: toasted bread

I will cook you omelete.  No prisoners left behind.

I will cook you omelete. No prisoners left behind.

2 pm: 6 mile jog around the lake near my house.  I have now done two 6 mile untimed runs and I haven’t felt injured.  Knock on wood that my knee issue is done with. 

Colors seen on my run: blue (lake), green (trees lining the lake), red (car that nearly ran me off the road) and white (birds.  I hate birds…see here).

lakerunning

3:30pm  Snack:

Violet: grapes

Grapes are my favorite snack ever.  (Frozen grapes give me brain freeze so that isn't my jive)

Grapes are my favorite snack ever. (Frozen grapes give me brain freeze so that isn’t my jive)

6:30pm Dinner

Since I knew the challenge was to eat the rainbow and I really wanted an excuse to eat the local diner my house I made my move to convince Tim we should go.  I think that might be cheating but I justified it with the amount of colors I obtained from dinner. (obtained…ha). He agreed. 

Clear: water
Yellow: lemon in water

Salad:

Green: lettuce, cucumber
Jungle Green: Grape Leaves
Red: Tomatoes and sundried tomatoes (sundried are my favorite)
Yellow: banana peppers, egg yolk (I ended up having 5 eggs yesterday between the waffle, 3 in the omlette and one on the salad…ha)
White: Feta cheese, egg, pita bread
Pinkish orange: salmon
Black: Olives

salmonsalad

After that we just watched quality TV at home for the remainder of the night.

8:30 pm Snack: Plantains

I really enjoy pan frying plantains and have been having them nearly every night lately. 

Yellow: Plantains, cooking oil
White: Greek yogurt
Brown: Cinnamon

friedplantains
So there you have it.  I wish I had more thrilling and exciting days to share with you but maybe I’ll do this again when I am doing more exciting things.

Questions for you:

Do you generally eat a wide variety of colors?

It depends on my day.  I went out of my way (to the diner) to eat all the colors.  I normally get enough vegetables and fruit but normally they are the same ones.  IE: I will go through a few days of my vegetable of choice being Brussel sprouts, spaghetti squash, mushrooms…ect.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

Enjoying My Time

I know my blog is often associated with waffles, pancakes but occasionally….well the majority of meals I like to eat other food too.  This can serve as a life update post too because those have been few and far between.  I’ve been working and going out to eat the majority of time catching up with friends.  It’s somewhat expensive, yes, but I’ve accepted August will not be the month for me to be frugal and since I saved up enough working both jobs and I won’t have the luxury of seeing a lot of people once I move for a while…Not to say I’m going crazy and spending my entire savings account but I’m panicking when I spend more money then usual.

I apologize if some have already appeared on instagram and you feel you feel like you are seeing déjà vu.

This is long overdo but there is another Oiselle athlete in my area Mollie is simply incredible.  I’m not sure anything I could say could give her a proper introduction but she is gorgeous, down to earth, 16 minute 5ker and actually also expecting very soon!  Anyways, I’ve gone out with her a couple of times and people like her make me wish I wasn’t leaving the area right now.

Mollieandi

Not to mention eating with Ashleigh.  Ashleigh is one of my good friends that I’m always so glad to be able to hang out with her.

AshleighandI

I ended up ordering the steak salad which was quite good.  It had all my credentials after all…steak and crumbly blue cheese.

038

In the midst of work, I was able to eat lunch with Stella.  We went to the Yorgo’s Bageldashery in Norfolk.

StellaandI

Although I’m not vegan, they had a lot of great vegan choices.  (Literally half their menu was vegan).  I opted for a bagel with salmon on it which was awesome.  It still doesn’t beat the Baglary in my college down.  Those were the best.

bagel

So that is just a few of my friend adventures in the last week or so.  Outside of a normal 40 hour work week, I’ve been packing like a mad woman and enjoying my last few weeks with my parents and family.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite restaurant ever? Why? 

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).