Park Place Diner (Matawan)

Park Place Diner (Matawan)

After the Sheehan Classic Asbury Park 5k, I decided to stop at the Park Place diner (Matawan). It’s located right across from Aberdeen Shopping Center, and the Town Square Diner.

Park Place Diner Matawan

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of the Park Place Diner in Matawan is typical of a modern diner. It’s not metallic or shiny, but a nice modern building.

The front door is located next to the dessert case as well as a bar. Inside, there are plenty of booths and tables.  Apparently, it’s a great local spot to hold a business meeting.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitress refilled it often.

Park Place Diner Matawan coffee

Food: A

The menu at the Park Place Diner is massive, and they have everything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials. They also serve everything all day long, which is nice.

Park Place Diner Matawan Farmers Omelet

I decided to order the farmers omelet, which came with pancakes. The Farmers Omelet was stuffed with Ham, Onion, Peppers, Potatoes and Cheddar Cheese. It had the most cheese I’ve seen in an omelet.

Park Place Diner Matawan Farmers Omelet

Ordering pancakes at a diner can always be risky. I’ve had good pancakes, but I’ve also had bad, flat, pancakes. The pancakes at the Park Place Diner were light and fluffy and tasted good. I was pleased!

Service: A
The waitress was one of the friendliest waitresses I’ve had recently. Even though the Park Place Diner was busy, she made sure to refill my coffee, and the food came out quickly.

Cost: $
For my omelet and coffee at the Park Place Diner, it was $12.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Park Place Diner?
I liked the Park Place Diner in Matawan, and if I’m in the area, I’ll be back. Some of the lunch and dinner options interested me.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $8-15
Overall: A

You can see all 256 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of omelet?
What is the riskiest item at a diner to order?


Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer vs Collagen Latte

Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer vs Collagen Latte

As most people know, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador, and in exchange for a post a month, Vital Proteins will send me new products to try.

I’ve written about the health benefits of Vital Proteins and Collagen before as well as how Collagen protein has helped me recover from workouts. 

Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer vs Collagen Latte

Vital Proteins just came out with a new product: The Collagen Lattes

There are four different flavors:

  • Madagascar Vanilla
  • Cocoa Caramel
  • Golden Milk
  • Hot Cocoa

I am lucky enough to try The Golden Milk.

The ingredient list of Vital Proteins Golden Milk is small. It’s made with chicken bone broth collagen, coconut milk, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper extract.

Like the Collagen Creamer, the Collagen Latte goes well into coffee, hot cocoa, and other frothy drinks. Since it’s the summer, I prefer something colder so tried my hand at making a cold beverage.

Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer vs Collagen Latte

So What is the difference between the Collagen Lattes and Collagen Creamers?

Both have a creamy consistency as well as collagen. The difference is their purpose and how to use them.

Collagen Creamer:

I’ve written about the collagen creamer before. It’s an excellent creamer. It is free of added sugars, dairy, and gluten. It’s not as creamy as full-fat milk, and I like it in hot cocoa the best. Vital Protein Collagen Creamers contain MCT, a healthy fat, in coconut milk. Each coconut creamer also contains  10 grams of collagen and protein. Finally, one of my favorite parts of any Vital Proteins Collagen product is the ingredients list. Each Vital Protein product is made with real food.  There are no artificial sweeteners or refined sugars.  Plus, the Collagen Creamer is also Dairy and Gluten-Free (it’s not critical for me, but I do know it is for many).

Collagen Lattes:

The Collagen Lattes are all dairy-free and have 10g of bone broth collagen. Like the Collagen Creamers, the Collagen Lattes also contain MCTs and are dairy and gluten-free. There are no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or additives.

Two flavors Madagascar Vanilla and Golden Milk flavors contain no caffeine.  The Cocoa Caramel and Hot Cocoa flavors each have 5 mg of caffeine.

Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer vs Collagen Latte

So which is “better”?

The answer is neither!

Looking strictly at ingredients and nutrition facts both contain coconut milk powder, which means they are dairy-free. I’m not lactose intolerant, but my husband is, and they work well for him.

The creamer is best added to a drink like coffee or smoothie while the latte flavors can be drunk as a stand-alone drink.

The other main difference is the sourcing of the collagen. The creamer is sourced from collagen peptides.  Also known as collagen peptides creamer. What are peptides? Collagen peptides act as building blocks for the body and help build stronger hair, nails, and joints.

The Collagen Lattes contains bone broth collagen. Bone broth is bones and cartilage and is better for bone health.  As a runner, I like the added benefit of bone health.

You won’t go wrong for either, and it comes down to your preference. If you are looking for a healthier alternative for creamer, I would choose the creamer. If you want to substitute your coffee or morning drink altogether, the latte is a good place to start.

Right now I’m drinking Golden Milk which I like and highly recommend.

Thank you to Vital Proteins for sending the new Collagen Latte Golden Milk to try.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Collagen Lattes or Collagen Creamer?

What is your favorite type of creamer? 


Exmore Diner (Exmore, VA)

Exmore Diner (Exmore, VA)

Recently I was visiting my parents, and we decided to finally go to the Exmore Diner in Northampton County, VA. They have a home up there, and we’ve always said we would go, but the timing never seems to work out.

Exmore Diner Virginia

Atmosphere: A
The Exmore Diner is small and is a big, metallic, shiny, diner. It’s a stereotypical diner. Everything you picture in an old school classic diner is true.

Exmore Diner Virginia

The inside of the Exmore Diner has a few booths and a full-length bar. When we arrived, the only seating was the bar. I haven’t sat at the bar in a while, so we decided to. Good thing we did because no tables opened up while we were there.

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitresses refilled it often. While they didn’t have whipped cream, it was good coffee.

Exmore Diner Virginia coffee

Food: A
The Exmore Diner has a full menu of about 20 different breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. You won’t find healthy options but you will find the standard diner fare from eggs, to pancakes, to sandwiches and fried lunch options.  It’s a small-town diner with a small menu. If you’re looking for a diner with a big menu or healthy options, there are very few.

Exmore Diner Virginia omelet

I decided to order the Western Omelet. It came stuffed with cheese, ham, and onions. It came with toast, and I chose rye. The meal was delicious.

Service: A
The Exmore Diner was busy the entire time we were there. There weren’t open tables at all. The waitresses all kept it moving, and our food came out fast.

Price: $
For my omelet and coffee, it was $9.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Exmore Diner, and it’s a great small-town diner. I’ll be back.  If you are ever on the Eastern Shore of VA and looking for a place to stop, the Exmore Diner is a good one.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $5-10
Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite omelet?
What’s the smallest restaurant you’ve been to?

A Recap of 250 NJ Diners

A Recap of 250 NJ Diners

Since starting my NJ Diner quest, I’ve been to just over 250+ diners in New Jersey and about 50 diners in other parts of the world.  There are approximately 600 diners in NJ, but that changes from month to month.  I’ve been to at least ten that have since closed!

You can see reviews here or use the link at the top of the blog.

How did it start? Why do I go to diners?

I get this question a lot. 

My husband and I moved to New Jersey in October 2013.  Before moving to NJ, we didn’t know much about the state.  I had no ties to NJ. Like most people, I assumed it was just a densely populated state with a lot of traffic.

That’s just one misconception of the state. NJ is the most densely populated, but it also has hundreds of small towns, each having its own personality.  New Jersey is known as “the garden state,” and there are miles of fields and gardens.

stairway to heaven nj

We started going to different diners to see different parts of the state.  A diner along the shore of NJ is going to be far different than one on the outskirts of New York City.  It’s been a fun way to explore the state and see all different areas.

Do I only eat at diners?  No, of course not.  Have there been many weeks where I haven’t made it to a new diner?  Of course but it’s been a fun hobby to do. Plus I’ve seen so much of New Jersey!  I’ve traveled the majority of roads in NJ.

I started reviewing diners in March of 2014.  Keep in mind, this just a personal experience.  An experience at any restaurant is different depending on the day, time, or who you go with.  I’m not a diner professional, food critic, or anyone other than a person who likes diners.  I don’t eat the same thing at every diner. I used to think that was a good way to review, but then got tired of that very quickly.

Here are a Few Highlights and Lowlights:

First some of my favorite meals:

Favorite Diner Drink: Coffee, although some diners do have their liquor license
Favorite Breakfast: Omelets or steak and eggs
Favorite Omelet: Nova lox (smoked salmon)
Favorite Appetizer: Appetizers with a greek flair with hummus, pita bread, grape leaves. Many have a Greek flair to begin with.
Favorite Lunch: Gyro
Favorite Salad: Greek salad
Favorite Dinner: Pork chops, salmon, steak, (whatever I’m in the mood for)
The most unusual thing I’ve ordered at a diner: Octopus
Favorite Dessert: Cake followed by bread pudding

All-Time Favorite Diner: Mastoris

Mastoris isn’t a typical diner. It was one of the first 50 diners I went too and still one I frequent. It’s more of a modern and upscale restaurant, but I like their food and cake.   I think the food is excellent at Mastoris. However, I think the service is lackluster.  Is it the best overall? Due to service, maybe not but I like the food.

Mastoris Cake

But which cake to get?

Least Favorite Diner: The Ridge DinerLakehurst Diner, or Garden State Diner

Each diner was a letdown.

Diner review number 200, the Ridge Diner, had burnt crusty steak, poor service, and sitting on top of people.

The Lakehurst Diner outside of the Navy Base, Lakehurst, looked like a meal served right out of a deployment. Luckily, my company was good. Lakehurst Diner lakehurst nj

Diner went to the most times: Vincentown

I used to live closer to Vincentown.  Sadly, the quality of the food and service has gone downhill, so I haven’t been much at all.  I went from going three times a month to maybe once every few months.  Once the wait staff essentially assumed I was too young to afford my meal.  The woman said to me, do you realize how much this will cost? Yes, that is a true story, and yes the meal was less than $20.

Another time, we overheard another waitress talking about her stripping job.  Personally, I don’t care, but when you hear a waitress talking about that to co-workers, it’s a unique experience.

Here are a Few Diners that Stand Out to Me:

I guess many of my favorite diners are due to their cake.


Stateline Diner: Great cake and service

Jefferson Diner: Great food and service

Northeast (NYC area):

Brownstone: Best pancakes in the state

Chit Chat Diner: Fun and unique diner


Mustache Bills: You can’t argue with mustache shaped pancakes

Mustache pancake



Tropicana: Most unique and Carribean themed!

Mastoris: Best all around


Larrys 2: Great food, fast service

Larrys 2 vineland

Monarch Diner:

The Monarch Diner replaces PB Diner and it was a great replacement. The food is fresh and they have a lot of fun options like cauliflower bread.

monarch diner glassboro

Healthiest Diner: Silver Diner

The Silver Diner is a small chain, and there are a few across the east coast.  How many diners have Quinoa pancakes or a roasted vegetable salad?

Best Coffee: 

Any diner that serves the local Lacas coffee and has homemade whipped cream.

Worst Coffee: 

Princetonian: they charge for refills!

Biggest portions: 

Tropicana: For $24, I received all of this food.  I had run 15 miles and still made a full meal out of leftovers. 

Best Pancakes: 

Four Seasons in Toms River.  Any pancakes with red velvet in them are always good to me!Four Seasons Diner Toms River

Best Egg Breakfast: Amys Omelet House (Over 200 omelet choices!)

My nova lox and rye toast

Pauls Family Diner had great steak and eggs

Pauls family diner mountain lakes nj

Best Dinner Option:

The Pork Chops with NJ fresh Blueberries from Larrys 2

Larrys 2 vineland

Cheapest Diner: Angelos (around $5 for a meal)
Most Expensive: Alexis Diner or Vincentown (typically $20+ for a meal)
So cheers to 250 diners. Hopefully, I’ll make it another 100 but who knows what will happen.

Questions for you:

Have you been to a diner before? 

Where is your favorite place to eat? 

DeLuca’s Diner (Pittsburgh)

DeLuca’s Diner (Pittsburgh)

Recently I was in the greater in the Pittsburgh area, and I wanted to try a new diner. A quick google search found the DeLuca’s Diner.

Atmosphere: A
DeLuca’s Diner is located in a large shopping center. The inside is brightly painted with the solar system. There are plenty of booths, tables, and a small bar as well.  It is stereotypical of a diner.

DeLuca's Diner Pittsburgh

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitress refilled it often. In all, I have no complaints.  While the mugs given were not personalized, they have many options for sale.

DeLuca's Diner Pittsburgh coffee

I ended up purchasing a personalized coffee mug (which the proceeds go to a local animal shelter!).  How awesome is that?

Food: A
There are plenty of options from all day breakfast and lunch. All day lunch isn’t something you find everywhere! From the tables around me, everything looked delicious.

DeLuca's Diner Pittsburgh breakfast sandwich

I decided to order a breakfast sandwich. It came with meat, cheese, and an egg, all on a homemade piece of bread. It was a great sandwich, and I have no complaints.

DeLuca's Diner Pittsburgh breakfast sandwic

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, and our food came out quickly. I couldn’t have asked for better service.

Cost: $
For my sandwich and coffee, it was $10.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I enjoyed Deluca’s Diner, and if I’m in Pittsburgh again, I will be back.  The pancakes at a table nearby looked amazing, and I want to try those next.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $7-12
Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite breakfast sandwich?
Have you been to Pittsburgh before? 

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