Huck Finn Diner (Union)

A couple of weeks ago, the owner of the website, New Jersey Isn’t Boring, and I went to the Huck Finn Diner in Union.  I thought I had been already but turns out I was thinking of the Tom Sawyer Diner or Mark Twain Diner.  As you can see, there are a lot of literary diners around Union.

Long time readers know, but Cyd and I try and hang out at least once a month.  She reviews diners as well as everything else in New Jersey so she is the pro…If you ever find yourself in New Jersey check out her website and you won’t have any trouble finding something to do.

We arrived on a dreary weekday, and the diner wasn’t terribly crowded.  While I’ve wanted to go out to various diners as well as seeing friends, I also want to eat healthy during my lead up to the Atlantic City Half Marathon.  Even though I didn’t run well, at least I ate healthy…I guess.

Atmosphere: B
There isn’t anything too unique or unusual about the Huck Finn Diner.  It’s clean, and there is both a salad bar as well as full bar.  It would be interesting if they added a Huck Finn painting or centered more of the atmosphere around the book.  The building itself was clean, open and had plenty of seating so I can’t complain about that.

Service: B
The waitress was kind and refilled our beverages, but it did take awhile. We waited a few times for drink refills.  The food itself took about 15 minutes to come out which wasn’t bad.

Coffee: A
The coffee was from Lacas and was piping hot.  My only complaint was needing a bigger mug!  Other than that, it was great.Huck Finn Diner

Food: A
The menu at the Huck Finn Diner is huge, and they have everything you want or need in a diner.  Plus they have plenty of specials as well.

I was hungry, so I decided to order the split pea soup.  It came with a bowl of croutons to add to my soup at my leisure.

Huck Finn Diner union

For my entree, I ordered the Huck Finn salad which came with arugula, blue cheese, apples and walnuts topped with balsamic dressing.  They used red delicious apples which are my favorite apple.  Like any salad, I prefer to add protein so I also added salmon.  My salad itself was great, and I have no complaints.  The salmon portion was one of the biggest of any diners I’ve been too.  The salmon and salad were both extremely fresh.  Huck Finn Diner union

Cost: $$
For my soup, salad, salmon and coffee the cost was $21.  It was on the pricier side but worth it.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 
I enjoyed the Huck Finn Diner and would definitely come back.  It’s one of my favorites in the area.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Service: B
Food: A
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A

Closeby Diners I’ve Reviewed: Mark Twain, Kenilworth

Questions for you: 

What is your favorite salad base? 

Do you prefer salad bars or ordering a salad?

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Woodstown Diner

A few weeks ago I found myself in Woodstown, NJ.  I had driven by the Woodstown Diner a few times and heard it was good.  Since it was around lunchtime, I wanted to stop.

Atmosphere: B
The outside of the Woodstown Diner is a normal but lengthy building.  It looks like a regular restaurant versus a metallic, shiny diner.  I was shocked to see how long the Woodstown Diner is.  From the road, it looks like it might seat 50 people but once you pull into the parking lot, you realize it can probably sit close to 200!

Woodstown Diner
With a possible apartment on top?

The inside of the diner itself has several rooms including a bar and banquet hall.  It was definitely surprising.  Many people don’t realize this, but liquor laws in New Jersey are strict, and it’s rare to find a diner in South Jersey that serves alcohol.  In fact, New Jersey is one of the few states with dry towns that don’t serve alcohol at all.

Even though it wasn’t crowded, we were sat in the second room next to the dirty dish cart.  Out of all the tables, I wasn’t sure why the manager sat me there.   It was loud, and our meal was constantly interrupted by staff bussing tables and clinking of dishes.

Service: B
The manager seemed to be having a difficult day when he sat us.  He threw the menus on the table and walked away.  The waitress of the Woodstown Diner was friendly, and I have no complaints.  She refilled our beverages often, and the food was brought out fairly quick.  

Coffee: B
Even though the coffee mug was small, the coffee itself was good.  The Woodstown Diner uses the local Lacas coffee which as many readers know is my favorite! Woodstown Diner

Food: B
The menu at the Woodstown Diner is that of a typical diner.  They have everything from eggs to lunch and plenty of specials. Everything about the menu is traditional, and there wasn’t anything that grabbed my eye as being unique or extraordinary. I decided to order a gyro wrap with French fries.  A classic diner favorite but not something I’ve ordered in a while!

The gyro itself was huge. It was packed well with plenty of lettuce, gyro meat, onions, and tomato.  It was packaged well and one of the least messy gyro wraps I’ve had.  It came with steak fries which weren’t bad. Woodstown Diner

Cost: $
For my gyro and coffee, the cost was $10.  One of my cheaper diner meals.

Overall summary/Would I come back? 
I enjoyed the Woodstown Diner, and it was definitely a hidden gem in Southern New Jersey.  While the manager was somewhat rude, our service, in general, was decent and I would go back.

Summary: 
Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Service: B
Food: B
Cost: $8-15
Overall: B

Close by Diners I’ve been too: Swedesboro Diner, Deepwater Diner, Hollywood Cafe

Questions for you:
What’s the best coffee you’ve had recently?
Where was the last place you ate? 

Harley Dawn Diner

Earlier in the month, I stopped by the Harley Dawn Diner in Folsom, New Jersey. A few years ago the Harley Dawn closed for construction. They remodeled and rebuilt the entire diner. The new version of the Harley Dawn is more modern than a diner. In fact, if it didn’t have the name finer, you would probably think of it more as a bistro.

Atmosphere: A
The Harley Dawn is modern, with huge windows spanning the entire restaurant. Is a retro metallic, shiny diner? No, but is it a clean, nice looking modern restaurant? Yes.

Harley Dawn Diner

Coffee: A
The Harley Dawn Diner serves locally brewed Lacas coffee. The coffee itself was brewed hot every single time, and the waitress brought plenty of refills. I have no complaints.Harley Dawn Diner

Service: A
When we arrived, we were the only people in the entire diner. I haven’t been the only party in a long time. The waitress was great and refilled our drinks and brought out the food quickly.

Food: C
The unique aspect of the Harley Dawn Diner is everything is locally sourced. Not many diners are like that, and the only other local that comes to mind is the VincentownHarley Dawn Diner

Because of that, they don’t have a huge menu. I wanted to take advantage of locally grown vegetables and ordered the Salmon salad which came on a bed of kale. I asked for a side of pita bread, and she said they didn’t serve pita bread.

Even though the menu was small, it amazed me that there is a diner without pita bread and gyros. I asked for bread, and later the waitress came back and said they were out of homemade bread and offered me a different type. The meal itself was excellent. However, I was disappointed they were out of so many options!

Cost: $
For my local sourced salad and coffee, the cost was $15. That is extremely inexpensive for the quality of food.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back?
I enjoyed the Harley Dawn Diner, and they have a lot of intriguing options I’m interested in, including homemade gelato. I’ll be back again soon. While it’s not a typical New Jersey Diner, it is a good restaurant.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food: C
Cost: $10-15
Overall: B

Closeby Diners I’ve reviewed: Silver Coin Diner, Shore Diner, Palace Diner, Vorhees Diner

Questions for you:
Do you like kale?

Tenafly Classic Diner

Recently, I found myself in Northern New Jersey. I was hungry and have heard nothing but positive things about the Tenafly diner so I decided to stop.

It finally worked out that I was able to stop by.  When I arrived around 5 pm on a weekday, it wasn’t too crowded, but by 6 pm, it was packed and there was a wait.

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of the Tenafly Diner is a picture perfect diner.  The outside is a big, shiny metallic building and the inside has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Coffee: A
The Tenafly Diner brews Lacas coffee which has been a common theme of diners I’ve been too.  Lacas Coffee is a located in Pennsauken, NJ.  I always enjoy the coffee, and it’s hard to make it badly.  Tenafly Diners coffee was great, and I have nothing but positive things to say.  Unforatenly, I forgot to take a photo!  I know, crazy!

Service: C
The service at Tenafly Diner was kind of strange.  Midway through our meal, the server changed.  There must have been miscommunication because it took a long time for the milkshake to come out and then all of the food came out together.  Both servers were friendly, and I don’t have anything negative to say about them, it was just awkward.

Food: A
The Tenafly Diner has all of the classic diner entrees plus more.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted, but their meats are from the “Montana Meat Company”, so I decided to order a burger and fries.

Being indecisive, I decided I wanted seafood as well and ordered fish tacos as an appetizer. Honestly, it was enough for an entire meal.  The tacos themselves were stuffed with avocado and cod.  They were delicious.  It was by far one of my favorite diner appetizers!

Tenafly Classic Diner

The burger came topped with cheese and onion ring.  It was one of the biggest and most messy burgers to date.  It was next to impossible to eat, and I felt like it was flying off onto other people’s plates.  The French fries were topped with gravy and melted cheddar cheese.  I joked it was probably one of the most unhealthy ways to eat fries, but they were good. By the time I got to the fries, I was so full, though.

Tenafly Classic Diner

Dessert: B
At the start of the meal, I ordered a brownie milkshake.  Interestingly enough, the milkshake didn’t come with one of my favorite toppings: a cherry.  That being said, it was a good milkshake.  I like super sweet hard ice cream milkshakes, and that is exactly what it was.

Tenafly Classic Diner

Cost: $$
For the burger, appetizer, coffee and milkshake it was $30.  The quality of food was there, and it was definitely worth it.  In fact, it was a lot of food for that price.

Overall thoughts/Would I come Back?
I really liked the Tenafly Diner, and I would go back whenever I was in the area.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: C
Food: A
Dessert: B
Cost: $15-20
Overall: A

Questions for you:
Do you like fish tacos?
What is your favorite type of milkshake?

Silk City Diner and Lounge (Philadelphia)

Right off the bat, the Silk City Diner in Philadelphia is one of the biggest letdown restaurants I’ve had in awhile. It was on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives so it must be good right?

Sadly, not quite

Atmosphere: A
The Silk City Diner and lLunge are both a nightclub and a train car diner in one.  Except for PBs Diner and Tap Room in New Jersey, you don’t see that combination often.

silk city diner philadelphia

On one side you have the diner, which is an old school trolley car diner.

On the other side is a full out night club. Apparently, they have live DJ, and it draws a huge crowd. I went for dinner around 5 pm, but by the time we left at 6 pm, they were seating people in the nightclub too. Perhaps next time, I’ll come for the dance party and relive good old college.

Service: D
The waitress was friendly, but she only came over to bring our food and drinks. Not once more and then we waited over 20 minutes for a check. We never received refills for any of our drinks.

Coffee: D
The coffee was drinkable, but it was nothing unique or unusual. Even though they had a full bar as well as plenty of desserts, the waitress informed me they don’t have whipped cream. What kind of diner doesn’t have whipped cream? 

Silk City Diner Philadelphia

Food: B
The menu at the Silk City is limited, and they don’t serve breakfast all day. You can only order a few choices for dinner including fish and chips, pork chops, steak, and salads.

I ordered the fish and chips with fries from their specials menu. It was good, and I don’t have any complaints about the meal itself. The French fries were fresh and one of the better diner french fries I’ve had recently.

Silk City Diner Philadelphia

Cost: $
For my fish and chips and coffee, the cost was $15. It was one of the cheaper diner meals I’ve had.

Summary/Would I come back?
I’m disappointed with the Silk City Diner. The service, lack of menu items as well as lack of good coffee left me underwhelmed.  The meal itself wasn’t bad, but it’s not somewhere I would seek out to go.  I doubt I’ll come back.

Atmosphere: A
Service: D
Coffee: D
Food: B
Cost: $10-15
Overall: C

Close by diners I prefer (basically anything): Oregon, Trolley Car, Green Eggs or Marathon Grill

Questions for you:
Have you ever been disappointed with a restaurant on TV?
Do you have any good night club stories?
I spent my fair share in bars and night clubs in college. The Silk City Diner let me reminisce about it.

Papermoon Diner (Baltimore, Md)

Recently I finally made it to the Papermoon Diner in Baltimore, Md.  Personal friend Sarah (and once blogger), recommended it to me and I’ve been dying to go since.

I knew they had good red velvet cake, so I was already excited about that.

Atmosphere: A
The Papermoon Diner is one of the quirkiest and unique diners I’ve ever been too.  It looks like something right out of a movie.

Papermoon diner baltimore

The outside is filled with unique items ranging from a bike in a tree or garden gnomes.  It’s not a traditional big metal diner, but it definitely stands out.

The inside looks like it’s right out of the movies.  There are random mannequins, army men and dozens of odds and ends dangling from the wall.

The atmosphere is definitely one of the best and most unique of any diner I’ve been too.

Service: A
The waitress was extremely friendly and refilled everything as needed.  I couldn’t ask for a better experience.  Our food was brought out quickly and overall it was a positive experience.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed fresh, and the whipped cream was homemade.  It’s hard to top that except they used personalized coffee mugs.  It can’t get any better than that.  It was definitely one of the best diner coffees I have had in a while. Papermoon diner baltimore

Food: A
I was hungry when I arrived, so I ordered the hummus appetizer.  I’ve been enjoying hummus lately. It came with the largest portion of hummus I’ve received as well.  Also included were onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and a unique olive dip.  Everything tasted great and I would order it again. Papermoon diner baltimore

For my entree, I decided to order off the specials.  I had never heard of a lamb hash at a diner, so I decided to order that.  The lamb hash came with two eggs over easy, lamb and hash browns.  The meal itself was delicious! I could have used some bread, but other then that I have no complaints.Papermoon diner baltimore

Dessert: A
I knew the dessert at Papermoon was delicious so I planned to order red velvet cake.  I am so glad I did!  When I say this was in the top 5 cakes I’ve had, it was.  There was a lot of frosting, the cake itself was dense, and there was plenty of ice cream.  It’s definitely one of the best diner cakes I’ve had except Mastoris and the Jefferson Diner.Papermoon diner baltimore

Cost: $$
For my appetizer, entree, coffee, and dessert that cost was $33.  Definitely more pricey but the quality of food was high and I have no complaints.

Overall/Would I come back?
The Papermoon Diner is one of my favorite diners to date.  I don’t have any complaints, and every part was perfect.  It’s such a quirky and unique diner that I would recommend it to anyone!  In fact, I’m looking at races in the Baltimore area just so I can go back.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food: A
Dessert: A
Cost: $15-25
Overall: A

Questions for you:
What’s the best cake you’ve had?
Do you like lamb?

John’s City Diner (Birmingham, Al)

First, did you know it’s International Waffle Day?  It’s the perfect day to celebrate at a diner…

When I relocated to Alabama, I knew I had to go John’s City Diner. It has been consistently named one of Alabamas best diners. Making the time to get to the diner is tough.

For a diner, it has odd hours including not being open on Sundays and only open for dinner on Saturdays.  So yes, John’s City Diner is not open for breakfast on weekends.  Due to my schedule, I almost thought I wouldn’t be able to make it there at all.

Johns City Diner is located right in downtown Birmingham.  Since it’s in the downtown, it’s located in a row of buildings and not the usual stand-alone diner you see.

Johns City Diner Birmingham

Atmosphere: B
The outside has a big sign that says, Johns. There isn’t a lot from the outside that screams diner. In fact, it’s easy to miss the restaurant unless you’re looking for it.  I ran by it twice during the Drum Run and had no idea.

The inside is painted to match a diner atmosphere. There are several booths and tables. There is an awkward bar in the corner, but it doesn’t appear to be used much.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed fresh, and the whipped cream was homemade. It was one of the better diner coffee I’ve had recently.Johns City Diner Birmingham

Service: C
The waitress seemed preoccupied or as if she was having a bad day. Even though we got there at opening (5 pm), it took a while for our table to receive food and drinks.

Food: B
The menu at Johns City Diner is limited. There is a single page of food, and they are well known for their mac and cheese as well as chicken and waffles. I had been very excited to try their chicken and waffles, but when we went, they were out of chicken. To be honest, I was disappointed but what can you do.

For an appetizer, we ordered the fancy bacon which was bacon with grits. It was a small portion, but the bacon and grits were delicious.  It was rich and while small, quite filling.  It was some of the best grits I’ve had!

Johns City Diner Birmingham

Because they were out of chicken and waffles, I ordered the pork chops. I was pleasantly surprised because it was a huge portion of pork chops. I was expecting a smaller size. The pork chops were delicious and cooked perfectly. It also came with a large portion of sweet potatoes and garlic spinach. I enjoyed both. Johns City Diner Birmingham

I was disappointed Johns City Diner was out of their signature menu item, but the food was still good.  I was able to go again right before we left and ordered the chicken and waffles.  It was by far the best chicken and waffles I’ve had to date.  The chicken portion was actually bigger than the waffle! Johns City Diner Birmingham

Dessert: A
We ordered the white chocolate bread pudding which was perfect. I have no complaints.  I prefer bread pudding that is actually a peice of bread so this fit the bill. Johns City Diner Birmingham

Cost: $$
For my coffee, the appetizer, entree, and dessert the cost was $40. It was pricey for a diner, but I’m not sure I would classify Johns City Diner as a diner.

Overall thoughts/ Summary:
I liked Johns City Diner, but I was extremely disappointed they were out of the chicken and waffles.  If I’m in the area, I would like to come back, but with their limited weekend hours, I don’t know if that’s possible.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Service: C
Food: B
Dessert: A
Cost: $20+
Overall: B

Similar Diners: Vincentown, Mastoris

Questions for you:
Were is the best place you’ve had chicken and waffles? 
Has a restaurant ever been out of something you were excited to order?