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Parthenon Diner (Branford, CT)

Parthenon Diner (Branford, CT)

On the way home from Rhode Island last month, we decided to stop at the Parthenon Diner in Branford, CT.  It was an easy stop less than half a mile from the highway, so it made sense.  After eating out all weekend, we wanted something easy, simple, and light.  I didn’t do much of any research and saw the Parthenon Diner was right off the highway.

Atmosphere: B
When we arrived, we saw it was reviewed as one of the top diners in CT.  The atmosphere is big with plenty of space.  There is nothing out of the ordinary, but it does have plenty of room, so you never feel as though you’re sitting on top of anyone.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, and I have no complaints.  It was definitely stereotypical diner coffee and slightly burnt.

parthenon diner branford ct

Food: B
There are plenty of options at the Parthenon Diner.  One thing, I appreciated was the number of specials. When you eat out for several days in a row, saving money at restaurants seems like a bigger deal.  I ordered the beet and goat cheese salad with steak off of the specials menu.  There were plenty of beets and goat cheese, but it could have used a few more greens.  The steak was that of normal diners.  It tasted as if it had been frozen and recooked.  It wasn’t bad though, and I would order it again.parthenon diner branford ct

Service: C
Our waitress took a while to come to our table, and we quickly realized it was because she was on her smoke break.  She was friendly but definitely smelled very strongly of cigarettes.  From what I can gather based on timing, she went on a smoke break a couple of times.

Cost: $
For my salad and coffee, the coast was $15.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Parthenon Diner and would go back.  It’s an easy stop right off of 95.

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

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Do you ever order off of the specials menu?
Do you like beets?

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Dayton Diner

Dayton Diner

Recently I was in Dayton, NJ.  Not to be confused with Dayton, Ohio! Anyway, I’ve driven by the Dayton Diner a few times but the timing has never worked out to stop.  It’s not too far away, and finally, last month it worked out.

Dayton Diner NJ

Atmosphere: A
When I arrived around 5:30, it wasn’t crowded at all.  In fact, there were only 3 other parties in the restaurant.  I was hungry, so I wasn’t complaining.  The outside is about as “diner” as you can get.  It’s a big, shiny, metallic building.  The inside is the same, and as has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar. The interior is one big open room so it can get noisy, especially with some of the old school songs.

Coffee: B
The coffee wasn’t good or bad.  There was nothing to write home about either.

Dayton Diner NJ

Food: C
The menu isn’t available online which is not a big deal, but you never know what to expect.  Will it be a massive menu with 10 pages of specials or a small 2-page menu?

The Dayton Diner is the first of those, and there isn’t much the menu is missing.  It has everything from breakfast to lunch and dinner.  There is a page of daily specials too.  I was hoping to find a special that spoke to me, but there wasn’t anything I was craving.

I ordered the Taste of Greece appetizer which came with grape leaves, pita bread, cucumbers, and cucumbers. It was a simple but good appetizer.  It did lack anything unique or unusual.

Dayton Diner NJ

I ordered their burger with bleu cheese.  The patty itself was massive, but it wasn’t anything unusual or unique either.  I would be surprised if it wasn’t a frozen and reheated patty.  The french fries were a similar story, and while the food was okay, it wasn’t the best ever. I was disappointed because I really wanted to like the Dayton Diner!

Dayton Diner NJ

It’s unfortunate because based on the atmosphere, I wanted to love the place!

Service: B
Our waitress was friendly and refilled our beverages.  The food itself came out decently fast.  She was friendly, and the manager was friendly as well.

Cost: $
For my appetizer, burger, and coffee, the cost was $20.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
The Dayton Diner was a decent stop.  It wasn’t my favorite, nor least favorite diner.  It’s an easy stop along the turnpike at exit 8A.

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

Overall: B

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite appetizer?  Where is it from?
What is one restaurant near you, you’ve wanted to go?

 

Blue Plate Diner (Newport, RI)

Blue Plate Diner (Newport, RI)

Last month while in Newport, RI, we decided to go to the Blue Plate Diner.  On the outside, it looked good.  Plus it was close by the base.  When we arrived on a Saturday for lunch, it wasn’t too busy.  I was actually surprised with how empty it was.

blue plate diner middletown ri

Atmosphere; A

The Blue Plate Diner looks like a diner.  On the outside, it’s big, shiny, and metallic.  It’s exactly what you picture in a diner.  The inside is similar and very picture perfect: diner.  There is a full-length bar, plenty of tables, and plenty of booths.  I enjoyed the phrases and sayings painted on top such as “tho should not worship Golden Arches.

blue plate diner middletown ri

Coffee: B

The coffee was usual diner coffee.  There wasn’t anything unique or exciting about it.

blue plate diner middletown ri

Food: C

When we arrived, I wasn’t starving, so I ordered the Greek Salad.  I was disappointed.  Even though I wasn’t hungry, the salad itself was small, and it came with an odd dressing.  Was it ranch? Was it mayo?

Although by the time I was able to switch a vingerette, the rest of my party had finished their meals. The salad itself was boring and not something I would order again.  Was it edible? Yes.  Was it great? No.

blue plate diner middletown ri

Service: C

Even though it wasn’t that busy, the service was extremely slow.  We didn’t receive many refills, and by the time the waitress came back with a new dressing my family had finished their meal.  I waited because I didn’t care to eat a dry salad.

Cost: $

For my salad and coffee, the cost was $15 which was more expensive than it was worth.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:

The Blue Plate Diner wasn’t the worst diner, I’ve been too but not the best either.  It’s an ok stop.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: C
Service: C
Cost: $$
Overall: C

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is the funniest restaurant sign you’ve seen?
What is your favorite salad dressing?

Jackson Hole Diner (Englewood)

Jackson Hole Diner (Englewood)

Last month, I found myself in Englewood around lunchtime, so I decided to stop at the Jackson Hole Diner. The Jackson Hole actually has a few locations in NYC and one in NJ.

I heard it was a good stop.   I wasn’t starving, but I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic over the George Washington Bridge and be starving.

jackson hole diner englewood nj

Atmosphere: A
The Jackson Hole is a nostalgic diner. The outside is metallic and shiny, and the inside has multiple booths, tables, and a full-length bar. It’s actually much bigger than I thought. I ended up sitting in a back room that I didn’t realize even existed.  To get to the backroom, you cut through the bar.  In the back room, you can see there is actually a downstairs which I think is just a staff room but I’m not sure.

jackson hole diner englewood nj

Coffee: C
The coffee took a long time to come out and I didn’t receive any refills. It was a decent coffee but nothing ordinary. jackson hole englewood nj

Something that did save the Jackson Hole was the orange juice actually had a lot of pulp and looked as if it was fresh squeezed.

jackson hole englewood nj

Food: B
The Jackson Hole has plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I wasn’t starving and decided to default to a Greek Salad. It was cheap and filling. There was plenty of lettuce and toppings, and I have no complaints. It wasn’t massive but good for what I needed for the day. It could have used more toppings as well as pita bread, but other than that, it was good.

jackson hole englewood nj

Service: D
Our waiter disappeared for long periods of times and we never received refills. I wondered if we were forgotten about because we were in the back corner.

Cost: $$
For the salad and coffee, it was $18 which was a bit pricey for the amount of food.  It was one of the cheaper lunch and dinner options though.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Jackson Hole and I thought it was decent food. It was right in the middle of diners as they go. I do wonder how the New York Diners compare and I might try and go to one.  If I come back, I’ll make sure it’s when I’m more hungry and want to try something new.

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

You Can See all 195 Diners I’ve Been Here.

Questions for you:

Do you like orange juice or juice with pulp?

What is the worst traffic you’ve ever sat in?

There was once a fire on the Delaware Memorial Bridge, and they forced everyone to exit the turnpike at exit 4.  Every single person was single filed through the toll booth, and it took over 90 minutes to go 10 miles.

Orangetown Classic Diner (Orangetown, NY)

Orangetown Classic Diner (Orangetown, NY)

Last month I had the opportunity to go to the Orangetown Classic Diner in Orangetown, NY.  I know, occasionally I make it to the other states for diners too.  In fact, for the next few Sundays, I have several out of state diners.  We were up that way for the weekend, and I heard that the Orangetown Classic Diner was a good stop.  It definitely did not disappoint.

Atmosphere: A
The Orangetown Classic Diner is everything you expect in a classic diner.  The outside is large, metallic, and shiny.  The inside has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  There is a massive dessert case and dessert bar that I stared at for my entire meal.

Orangetown Classic Diner NY

Coffee: B
The coffee was good but not great.  With all of the homemade desserts, I expected homemade whipped cream.  Other then that, it was good coffee.

Orangetown Classic Diner NY

Food: B
The menu at the Orangetown Classic Diner is relatively standard for many diners. There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for and ultimately decided to order a Reuben. I can’t remember ever ordering one at a diner, so it seemed like a good idea.

Orangetown Classic Diner NY

When it came out, it had plenty of meat. It wasn’t the best or the worst Rueban, but it was filling.

Service: C
Our waitress was friendly, but she was loud, and she was having issues with another employee.  We could hear across the restaurant.  She was always friendly to us. However, it was just a strange situation.

Dessert: A
Orangetown Classic Diner is well known for their desserts, so I wanted to get something. Ultimately I chose the rainbow cake with ice cream.  I do not have any regrets.  The cake was one of the best diner cakes I’ve had in a while.

Orangetown Classic Diner NY

There was a fruity topping underneath which tasted great.

Orangetown Classic Diner NY

Cost: $
For my sandwich, coffee, and dessert the cost was about $25.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Orangetown Classic Diner, and if I’m ever in the area again, I would definitely go back.

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

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of sandwich?
What is your favorite type of cake?

 

Matthews Diner (Waldwick)

Matthews Diner (Waldwick)

Recently I went to Matthews Diner in Waldwick, I’ve wanted to go to the Matthews Diner for the pure reason that my brother’s name is Matthew.  There is no apostrophe in Matthews on the sign, so I’m just going with it.

I arrived around 11:30 am on a weekday. Honestly, it was much more crowded than I anticipated.  It was busier than I’ve seen many diners on weekends.

Atmosphere: A
Matthews Diner is a colonial style building. It’s not a big, metallic, shiny, diner but it does have a very colonial look.  The entire town of Waldwick appears to have the same sort of Colonial look which is neat.

Matthews diner waldwick nj

The inside reminds me of an Irish pub.

Coffee: B
The coffee was decent, and there wasn’t anything unique or unusual. That seems to be the trend lately with diner coffee but normal coffee is never a bad thing.

Matthews diner waldwick nj

Food: C
Matthew’s Diner serves everything all of the time. It’s always nice to be able to order breakfast at 6 pm or lunch at 9 am.

I opted for pancakes, two scrambled eggs, and bacon. I heard the pancakes at Matthew’s Diner were good.  I will say when the pancakes came up they were big. One of my more favorite diner pancakes.

Matthews diner waldwick nj

I was disappointed in the eggs as they were undercooked. I decided not to finish them.  It’s hard to mess up breakfast, but undercooked eggs is one way.

Matthews diner waldwick nj

Service: C
The waitress barely came to our table, and we actually had to ask another server for a drink refill. She was friendly, however, either they were understaffed, or our waitress forgot about our table.

Cost: $

For my coffee and breakfast; the cost was $13.

Overall Thoughts/would I come back?
I liked Matthews Diner, and it’s clearly doing well (as shown by how busy it was on a weekday).   I was disappointed in the eggs as well as our service.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: C
Service: C
Price: $8-15
Overall: B

You can see all NJ 195 Diners I’ve been too here.

Questions for you:
Where are your favorite pancakes from?
Have you ever been to a restaurant with your name in it?

Park Ave Grille (Freehold, NJ)

Park Ave Grille (Freehold, NJ)

Recently I found myself at the Park Ave Grille in Freehold, NJ. Freehold is an area I haven’t been to a lot of diners. I’ve wanted to go to the Park Ave Grille for a while, but it’s only open until 4, so the timing hasn’t worked out.

Park ave grille freehold

Atmosphere: B
The Park Ave Grille looks like you stepped into a time machine to the 80s. It’s located in a large shopping center and attached to a laundry mat.

The inside is small and seats about 30 people. There are plenty of booths, tables, and a bar. Most of the Park Ave Grille is covered in vintage wallpaper, booths, and an assortment of tea kettles.  It was much more unique than many diners!

Park ave grille freehold

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh each time. I appreciated that the mugs were sturdy.  The coffee was often refilled, and I have no complaints.

Park ave grille freehold

Food: A
The Park Ave Diner has most anything you could want for breakfast or lunch.  The menu is low key and not many “fancy” items, but diners don’t need to be.  There were all sorts of wraps, sandwiches, salads, and breakfast items.  I decided to order the Monte Cristo sandwich which came with fries.

Park ave grille freehold

I’ve never had a Monte Cristo sandwich and what better time to try one than a diner.  The bread was french toast and stuffed with turkey, ham, and cheddar cheese.  I feel like I’ve been missing out because the sandwich was excellent.  The french fries were some of the best I’ve had in a while.  To say the meal was surprisingly good, is an understatement.

Service: A
The waitress was extremely friendly, and the food was brought out quickly.  In fact, I was in and out of the restaurant within 30 minutes.  Beating that is hard!

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was around $12.  Important to note, this is a cash-only business!

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I was pleasantly surprised with the Park Ave Grille.  I have never had a Monte Cristo sandwich, and it was great.  The service, food, coffee, and overall experience was excellent, and I’ll be back.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $8-15 (cash only)
Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever had a Monte Cristo sandwich?
Where are your favorite french fries from?

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