Clinton Station Diner

Recently I went to the Clinton Station Diner in Clinton.  The Clinton Station Diner was actually on the Food Network a few years ago.  They also have a hamburger challenge that you and several friends can eat 50-100 pounds of hamburger and win a few thousand dollars.

Clinton Station Diner burgers

Because it was on TV and I’ve heard the Clinton Station Diner is good, it’s been on my bucket list for awhile.  It’s only about an hour from my house but the timing never works out.  When I finally went a few weeks ago, I was glad I did.

Atmosphere: A
You can see the Clinton Station Diner from the highway.  It is a remodeled train station which is definitely unique.

The diner itself has two sections: the main dining area as well as an old train car.  We sat in the main dining area which was well kept and clean.  The trolley car area can be seen from the highway.  I hope we get to sit there next time!

Service: A
The server at the Clinton Station Diner was friendly and refilled our beverages often. The food also came out quickly.  In all, the service was great and I have no complaints.

Coffee: B
My coffee was brewed hot each time and the whipped cream was fine.  There was nothing unique about it but it was good.

Clinton Station Diner

Food: A
Since the Clinton Station Diner has been on the Food Network for their burgers, I wanted to order one.  Although they have plenty of different options from breakfast to dinner, I opted for a burger.  I finally decided on the German burger which came with sauerkraut cheese as well as a homemade sauce.  I also ordered a side of their famous beets.

The burger was definitely one of the better burgers I’ve had.  To be fair, I went through a period of my life (maybe 15 years?), that I wasn’t a fan of the consistency and texture of burgers.  In the last few months, I’ve had a change of tune.Clinton Station Diner

The Clinton Station Diner also prides themselves on their homemade beets and I must admit, they were ideal.  It was clear they were fresh and well seasoned.  They are my favorite restaurant beets to date.

Clinton Station Diner
Not my best photo but still great.

Dessert: C
We got a milkshake to split and I was surprised that the milkshake didn’t come with whipped cream or cherry.  It tasted fine but it definitely wasn’t anything unique or special.  Even the presentation wasn’t great!  It wasn’t to the same standards of the rest of the meal.   It wasn’t a bad milkshake, just extremely boring.Clinton Station Diner

Cost: $
For my coffee, milkshake, beets, and the burger the cost was $23.  I was actually pleasantly surprised with how cheap it was!

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Clinton Station Diner a lot and I’ll be back.  Next time, I’ll probably get a different dessert.  (Mom, I think you would really like this one 😉

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

Diners Closeby I’ve been:
Flemington-Raritan
Spinning Wheel
Readington Diner

 Questions for you:
Do you like beets?
Are there any restaurants on your to do list?

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Coach House Diner (North Bergen)

Recently I was at the Coach House Diner and Restaurant in North Bergen.  Before leaving, I googled diners closeby, and the Coach House was only three miles away.  I was driving around I arrived around 4 pm, and it took me over 20 minutes to drive 3 miles!  I should have run.
The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen
Atmosphere: A 
The Coach House plays the theme of a Coach House well.  The outside looks like an old Coach House in the metro of North Bergen.  It definitely sticks out.

The inside is dimly lit with stained glass windows.  It’s large, and there are plenty of windows.  It’s always good to the diner that went with it’s theme.

Service: C
The service at the Coach House was extremely slow.  When I arrived, there were no more than 5 parties in the entire restaurant, but I still waited 5 minutes to be seated.  The server came over a few times, but the food took a lot longer to come out than it should have.

Coffee: C
The coffee was okay. It was boring but at least it was warm, and there were no coffee beans inside.  It was nothing unique or special to write about.

The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen coffee

Food: B
The Coach House Diner has a lot more dinner and pub fare than actual diner fare.  While you can get breakfast all day, the Coach House focuses more on dinner options such as steak, seafood, and burgers.

I ordered the Coach House Grilled Salad as an appetizer.  When it came out, I was surprised to find no actual greens for the “salad.” It was a few ingredients separated on a plate.  There was chicken, grilled zucchini, mushrooms, and broccoli.  On the uncooked side, there were onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives.

The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen Salad

There were far too many uncooked onions that most of them were left uneaten.  It was an odd combination of either everything needed to be cooked or a raw salad.  I enjoyed the grilled vegetables much more.  It lacked bread which could have made it ten times better.   The appetizer wasn’t bad but could have used a few upgrades.

For my entree, I ordered the guacamole burger.  It felt as if they dumped packaged guacamole onto a burger, added a few toppings and called it a day.  It wasn’t a bad burger, but it felt as though they didn’t try at all.  The French fries were good but nothing usual.  My actual entree was underwhelming.

The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen

Cost: $$
For the appetizer, coffee, and burger the cost was $24.  It wasn’t a bad price considering the appetizer was essentially another meal.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 
The Coach House wasn’t a bad stop. My meal was fine, but there are other diners around I prefer.

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

Closeby Diners I’ve Been: Tenafly Diner, Brownstone Diner (one of my favorites)

Questions for you:
Do you like onions? 
Where is the best guacamole you’ve had? 

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?

Golden Eagle Diner (Levittown, PA)

A few weeks ago, I went to the Golden Eagle Diner in Levittown, PA.  It’s only about a half an hour away and while it doesn’t count towards my New Jersey Diner total, it’s still local to me.  I had heard the Golden Eagle Diner was a good diner.  I had a free evening so I thought, why not head up there?

In summary, I wish I hadn’t. 

Atmosphere: A 

The Golden Eagle Diner does have one thing going for it and that’s the atmosphere.  The diner has huge windows, plenty of parking and the inside has interesting and unique tables. We sat in a cute booth.

Coffee: C 

There was nothing or unique about the coffee and it was room temperature.  It wasn’t the worst coffee I’ve had but it was closer to the bottom.Golden Eagle Diner

Service: B 

The waitress was nice.  She took our orders but it felt as if she was avoiding our table.  There were only two other parties in the restaurant so it wasn’t crowded.  She only came over to our table to bring the drinks and then the food.

Food: D 

The Golden Eagle diner has all of the typical “diner” options.  I ordered a burger.  The waitress asked if I wanted Cole slaw and a pickle.  I said yes, little did I know the Cole slaw and pickle would be an extra $2 charge.  I don’t love cole slaw enough to order it as an extra side. I’ve never been to a restaurant that charged for Cole slaw.  The burger itself was clearly a frozen patty that they overcooked. Nothing from anyone’s meal looked fresh.  It was fairly obvious everything was frozen and then cooked in the microwave.  It’s hard to truly mess up a burger but they came close.  It was edible but it wasn’t great.  Golden Eagle Diner

The food was in the worst five restaurants I’ve been too. 

Cost: $$

For my coffee, burger and extra Cole slaw it was $20.  It wasn’t worth it at all.

Overall thoughts/Would I come Back? 

This was one of the worst diners I’ve been too and I probably won’t be back.  I never say never but there would have to be a very good reason for me to go…

Questions for you: 

What was the last restaurant you’ve been disappointed in? 

Do you like Cole Slaw? 

The Six Brothers Diner

About two months ago I drove by The Six Brothers Diner in Little Falls, NJ.  When I drove by, I thought it was a fancy restaurant, but quickly realized it was a diner.  I moved it to my to-do list, but since I have about 100 diners on the immediate list, that doesn’t mean a lot.  Plus the Six Brothers Diner is about 90 minutes from my house.  I don’t mind driving around the state, but I generally save those diners for when I’m already up North.

Six Brothers Diner
Incase there was any question, they are open

In this case, my husband and I were hiking at Hemlock Falls, and since we were close by, we opted to finally try the Six Brothers Diner.

Atmosphere: A 
The Six Brothers Diner is huge. It looks like it could easily sit 500 people and host a banquet.  It’s got large windows, and it’s open and spacious.  The inside has multiple rooms, a bar, and a dessert case.  The inside is one of my favorite modern diners because there is so much room.  I don’t feel like I’m violating anyone’s personal space.

Service: C
Six Brothers Diner wasn’t crowded. However, our waitress was barely at our table.  When we asked for drink refills, it felt as if we were bothering her.  Maybe she was doing something in the back, but there were about 15 other people in the entire restaurant and she never appeared to be busy.  Appearances are deceiving, though.

Coffee: C
The coffee wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t bad either. It was simply average. I wish the cup was larger, or I had more refills, but it wasn’t bad. I have nothing interesting to write about it.  The table backdrop is unique.

Six Brothers Diner

Food: A
After a less than stellar, start to our meal the Six Brothers Diner shines at food.  The menu is huge and has plenty of different options. They have all day breakfast, multiple burgers and an entire page dedicated to salads.  Recently I’ve gone to a few diners that do have all day breakfast.  Isn’t that a traditional diner staple?

After six miles of hiking, I was starving and ordered: “The Brooklyn Burger” with sweet potato fries. It was a cheeseburger with an entire layer of mozzarella cheese.  The burger was cooked perfectly.  I enjoyed the crunchiness of the sweet potato fries as well.  I’ve never had a mozzarella cheeseburger before, but it was good.  The sweet potato fries were good.

Six Brothers Diner

Cost: $
For the burger and coffee, the cost was $15 which wasn’t inexpensive, but it also wasn’t expensive either.

Summary/Would I come back? 
The Six Brothers Diner was good.  The quality of food was high too, and if I were in the area again, I would come back.  Based on the service when it was empty, I would try and come on quiet days, or you might be there for hours.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Service: C
Coffee: C
Food: A
Cost: $12-20
Overall: B 

Questions for you: 
What is your favorite type of French fry?
Have you ever been to a restaurant with its own wine cellar? 

Tom Sawyer Diner

I’ve been extremely lucky with diners lately.  For the most part, I’ve been happy with everything.  Sadly, that streak came to an end when I went to the Tom Sawyer Diner.

Last weekend, My husband and I went hiking at Bear Mountain. We had gotten lost so by the time we got to the diner I was starving.  Just like eating after a long run, everything should taste good.  Should, being key.

Tom Sawyer Diner

Atmosphere: A
The Tom Sawyer Diner is clean.  The outside is a modern building.  The inside has a bar, multiple booths, and a small bakery case.  We were sat in a booth.  The diner itself is well kept and nice.

Coffee: F
The coffee that came out was luke warm at best. It had clearly sat for a long time and definitely tasted like it. The whipped cream stayed intact the entire time and didn’t melt at all. The waiter never brought out or asked if we wanted a refill, but it was so terrible I didn’t want anymore.

Tom Sawyer Diner
This was 20 minutes into having my coffee…

Service: F
The service at the Tom Sawyer Diner ranks as possibly the worst restaurant service of any restaurant (diner or not) that I have been too.  The waiter never asked if we wanted refills, came over twice and every time we asked for anything, it felt as if we were bothering him.  There were only a five other parties in the restaurant yet for some reason it took close to an hour to receive our food.

Food: C
Like the majority of diners, breakfast is served daily, and there were plenty of specials.  I was starving and craving red meat.

We ordered the Mediterranean appetizer. It came with hummus, pita bread, Greek salad, olive, and vegetables. While it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great either. It tasted like something I could have prepared at home myself.  I did like the hummus, though.  The Tom Sawyer made a lot of use of their tortilla chips.  They added them to everything.  They were decent tortilla chips, but I’ve never been to a diner well known for their tortilla chips.

Tom Sawyer Diner

For my entree, I ordered the California Burger. It was a disappointment as well.  It was topped with avocado, bacon and cheddar cheese.  The patty itself was overcooked and dry, and the French fries were okay.  It’s extremely hard not to love food after a long run or hike, so I was surprised.

Tom Sawyer Diner

Tom Sawyer Diner

Price: $$$
The Tom Sawyer Diner is expensive and not worth the price.  For my burger, appetizer, and coffee the prize was $30.  Was it worth it? Absolutely not.

Overall thoughts/would I come back?
The Tom Sawyer isn’t my least favorite diner, but it is very close.  There wasn’t anything I enjoyed about the diner so I won’t be back.  The food was edible, but there are plenty of less expensive and better quality diners close by such as the State Line Diner. 

I had planned to get dessert, but nothing looked great either, so we left.  When the manager asked how our meal was: I told him it wasn’t great, and the service wasn’t great either (something I almost never do). He responded with a shrug. He didn’t care in the slightest which is what upset me the most.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Service: F
Coffee: F
Food: C
Price: $15-30
Overall: F

Questions for you:
What was the last bad dining experience you’ve had?
What’s your favorite long run/workout meal?

Pompton Queen Diner

Last month, my husband and I decided to fly the Pompton Queen Diner.  It’s about the 2-hour drive, but we hadn’t flown for a while, so we decided to do it.  I wrote about the fight here.

The Pompton Queen Diner has been on my to do list for a while, ever since it was ranked as the one of the top diners in New Jersey.  I’ve been enjoying my experiences lately at several North Jersey diners so I was excited to try this.

Atmosphere: A 
The Pompton Queen Diner is modern and clean but also is the first diner I’ve seen with an outdoor patio.  You don’t see that often! Pompton Queen Diner

Instead of having shiny, metallic booths, the Pompton Queen Diner had wooden booths centered around a bar.

Pompton Queen Diner

Coffee: A 
The coffee was brewed well. There was plenty of whipped cream, and I have no complaints. It tasted great.

Pompton Queen Diner

Service: A
The waitress was friendly and refilled our drinks when necessary. The food was brought out quickly, and I have no complaints.

Food: A
The menu at the Pompton Queen Diner is huge. They have everything from breakfasts to burgers and fries. They do have a lot of healthy options including a page of salads. I didn’t know what I wanted from the Pompton Queen Diner but settled on a burger.

We saw an unusual appetizer: the roasted vegetable salad with chicken, quinoa, and pita bread. I’ve never seen that a diner and I’m glad we ordered it. The vegetables were roasted well and the balsamic dressing was one of the best I’ve had. I’ve been enjoying eggplant and squash lately, and there were plenty of those!  Even though it was an appetizer, I would have been happy to order it for my meal too.

Pompton Queen Diner

If you go to the Pompton Queen Diner, I highly recommend ordering it.

Pompton Queen Diner

I ordered the Avocado Crunch Burger.  I like medium rare burgers, and this was cooked as asked. It also had avocado and to add the “crunch,” they included chips on the actual burger. It was such an interesting combination, and I liked it. The bun was toasted perfectly and tasted homemade.

Pompton Queen Diner

Pompton Queen Diner

Cost: $$$
For my burger, the appetizer and coffee the cost was $26. The appetizer was $13, which is a little bit more expensive but worth it. The ingredients are all fresh.

Summary/Would I come back? 
I liked the Pompton Queen Diner. Everything was cooked perfectly, and I enjoyed everything about the diner, it’s definitely in my top 10 as well.

Summary: 
Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Overall: A

Questions for you: 
What’s your favorite in-season produce? 
Do you prefer to eat inside or outside?