Villas Diner and Pizzeria pizza

Villas Diner and Pizzeria

Villas Diner and Pizzeria

It’s been two months since I went to my last New Jersey diner. Truthfully, I’ve worried how many can withstand the pandemic, as the majority are small businesses.  Anyway, recently I had the opportunity to order takeout from the Villas Diner and Pizzeria.  I didn’t know the Villas Diner and Pizzeria existed until a random search in the area yielded it.

Villas Diner and Pizzeria

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Atmosphere: A

Right now, nowhere in New Jersey is allowing you to eat in. The Villas Diner and Pizzeria had picnic tables outside you could sit at.  Plus, they offered curbside takeout and delivery.  When picking up the curbside, everything was handled safely.  The employees at the Villas Diner and Pizzeria were wearing masks, the inside appeared clean, and the picnic tables were also clean. It was a beautiful, but slightly windy day.  Luckily none of the food blew away.

Villas Diner and Pizzeria

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Coffee: —

One of the few times I didn’t order coffee at a diner. I wasn’t sure they had curbside coffee to go (I didn’t ask).

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Food: A

How many diners are also pizzerias? Not many. In fact, I cannot recall another New Jersey diner that doubles as a pizzeria. So naturally, even though the Villas Diner menu has everything from salads, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, pizza was a must. I decided to order the “white pizza,” which had oil and garlic mozzarella cheese.

Since New Jersey is known as the pizza state, I wasn’t sure what to expect with a diner pizza. I will say, the Villas Diner and Pizzeria pizza was one of the best pizzas I’ve had in the state.  It was honestly surprising.  It was perfectly cooked with plenty of dough in the crust.

Villas Diner and Pizzeria pizza

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Service: A

The woman who took my order over the phone was friendly and the food was ready when I arrived. In all, it was great service and I have no complaints.

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Cost: $$

For the Villas Diner and Pizzeria pizza and water, the cost was $15.  Not bad for an entire pizza.

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Overall Thoughts:

I was happy with the Villas Diner and Pizzeria.  While I’m not able to go to many new diners right now, I’m happy I’m able to support a local diner. If you’re in the area of Cape May and Villas, I highly suggest ordering from the Villas Diner and Pizzeria. (Even if you’re in Cape May for a race!)

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: —
Food: A
Price: $10-20
Service: A

You can see all 301 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Where is your favorite pizza from?
Have you been able to support a local business? 


Georges Place

George’s Place (Cape May Court House)

George’s Place (Cape May Court House)

Recently, I was down in Cape May.  Several years ago, I went to George’s Place Cape May. It was awesome and remained one of my favorite diners to date. Although, I do know there is some “controversy” of whether it is a diner or not. Regardless, I have been back multiple times and it’s one of my favorite restaurants down the shore.Georges Place

It wasn’t until recently; I knew there was a second location in Cape May Court House. The best part is the George’s Place in Cape May Court House opens an hour earlier for dinner.

I arrived on a dreary day and it was quiet. Cape May is an excellent spot for day trip, but it’s quiet in the late fall and winter months.  Many restaurants close, but luckily George’s Place doesn’t.

George’s Place (Cape May Court House) Atmosphere: A
George’s Place is modern and upscale. There are about 15 booths and tables. The inside is bright and open.  I appreciate it’s located in an older house, so you feel as though you’re dining in someone’s home.

Georges Place

George’s Place (Cape May Court House) Coffee: B
The coffee at George’s Place was hot and fresh, but there was nothing unique or unusual about it. It tasted good and it was a nice, warm addition on a dreary day.

George’s Place (Cape May Court House) Food: A

George’s Place is a modern greek diner.  George’s Place menu reflects that it’s almost all Greek food. There are a few different salads, as well as entrees.  For breakfast, George’s Place is well known for its waffles.

I decided to order the picnic for an appetizer. If order the picnic, the entire table must order it. It comes with pita bread, lamb chops, sausage, hummus, cheese, salad, spanakopita, and chickpeas. It is delicious and I highly recommend it. My favorite was the lamb chop.

Georges place

For an entree, I decided to order the Bronzino. I was going to order lamb chop but got that with the appetizer. The waiter cut and prepared the Bronzino for me. It was interesting because I’ve never had it before, but it was delicious. It also came with cooked spinach, which was cooked perfectly. I was happy with my selection.

Georges Place

George’s Place (Cape May Court House) Service: A
The waiter at George’s Place was awesome and our food came out quickly. I could not have asked for a better service.

George’s Place (Cape May Court House) Price: $$$
For my appetizer, coffee, and entree, the cost was $40.

Overall Thoughts/Will I Go Back to George’s Place (Cape May Court House)?
It’s more expensive than most diners and restaurants, but the quality of food is worth it. I will continue to go to George’s Place. I’ve always had a positive experience and if you are down the shore, I highly recommend either location.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Serice: A
Cost: $25-50
George’s Place (Cape May Court House) Overall: A

You can see all the diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Do you like Greek Food?
What is your favorite restaurant? 






Cape May 10k me running
Running, Training

Cape May 10k (42:35)

The Cape May 10k begins my racing to get back into shape.  It’s been mentally tough to start at one of my slower points in many years, but it is what it is.

After going to a college roommates wedding on Friday in Baltimore, we got home late Friday. Cape May is about 90 minutes from my house, which means between the 2 hours to Baltimore, 2 hours home, then 90 minutes to Cape May, my car got a workout before the race. Did all of this play a role in how I raced the day after, probably.

I like Cape May a lot. It’s a small town and one of the most beautiful in NJ. I take any opportunity to get down there. I got there around 7:20, ran a couple of miles and got to the start around 7:55. After talking with a new friend, Sandy, we were off.Cape May 10k me running

During the first mile, I felt pretty good. I thought: maybe this will be the unicorn day that surprises me with how I feel. I logged a 6:36 mile and was pleased.

The second mile looped around the shore, and we got a little breeze. It was lonely, and I found myself running alone the entire time. It felt like a time trial. I ran a 6:43 and I couldn’t get a groove or find a new, faster gear.

Between the 2nd and 3rd mile, the 5ks headed toward the finish line and truthfully I was jealous. I was over the race already. I hit the third mile in 6:48.

Cape May 10k me running

I tried everything to get back into a better headspace — just three more miles. Already halfway done. I couldn’t get back there. I didn’t give up, but my legs felt like they hit a wall. I ran the 4th mile in 6:59.  I was running alone and it just felt like I couldn’t find a faster groove.

The next two miles were just focused on the finish line. I got to run with my good friend Skip, who I run with regularly back home and training. We tried to keep each other motivated.

Cape May 10k me running

I hit mile 5 in 7:01 and just kept going. We ran up on the boardwalk, and I nearly slipped and fell on the sand. At 5.5, you can see the finish line, and it does not feel like it’s getting closer. I weaved around a few 5kers and crossed in 42:35.


I would be lying if I was particularly pleased with a 42:35 10k, but it gives me room to improve. The next day, I ran 12 miles and ran my last 3 miles at 7:08, 7:01, 6:56 and felt better than the 10k. I’m actually racing several 10ks this summer. I plan to keep racing and hopefully race my way back into shape.

Also thank you to my good friend, Lindsay, for the photos.

Questions for you:

Have you run a 10k?

What’s your favorite town in your state?


Walking Around Belleplain State Forest

Belleplain State Forest (Cape May County, Cumberland)

Recently I found myself back down near Maurice River and at the East Creek Trail in the Belleplain State Forest. Belleplain State Forest is a 20,000+  acres located in both Cape May County and Cumberland.  There are plenty of different trees like pine oak and Atlantic, and animals lurking around, and it’s pretty well maintained.

Belleplain State Forest was established in 1928.

The trail itself at Belleplain State Forest is a very flat, and runnable (if you want, I did not) 4.8-mile.  The creek is located in Belleplain State Forest. It’s marshy, swampy, and in the summer has a lot of mosquitos.  If you go to Belleplain State Forest in the Spring, Summer, and probably fall you will deal with mosquitos, but it’s like that anywhere in the Pineland area.

Also, check for ticks because I saw plenty of deer ticks of grass blades and picked about 10 off me.  Yes, 10.

Never the less, hiking at Belleplain State Forest was a lot of fun, and it was a nice and relaxing morning.  As most people know, one of my goals this summer is to get outside and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible!

Here are a few photos from Belleplain State Forest:

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey


Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey


Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey
many fallen trees
Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey
Extremely long boardwalks that I almost fell a few times
Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey
Where the bugs harbor

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

In all, Belleplain State Forest was another fun spot to go.  I’ll go back but probably wait until the winter when there are fewer bugs.

Here are other hikes I’ve done this Spring and Summer:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite bug spray? 
Do you have any plans for the summer?

Rio grande diner nj

Rio Grande Diner

Rio Grande Diner (Rio Grande, NJ)

After running the Cape May 10k, I was hungry and ready to eat.  I arrived at the Rio Grande Diner around 10 am on a Saturday.  A quick google search led me to the Rio Grande Diner.

Rio grande diner nj

Rio Grande Diner Atmosphere: B
The Rio Grande Diner looks like a typical NJ diner.  There are several booths, tables, and a full-length bar. The hostess sat me next to the door which I wasn’t ecstatic about.  The Rio Grande Diner could use interior updates. My booth had part of the booth duct taped up and needed a bit of a makeover.

Rio Grande Diner Coffee: A
The coffee was the locally brewed Lacas coffee, and I have no complaints. Our waiter refilled it often, and it tasted great.

Rio grande diner nj

Rio Grande Diner Food: A
I had no idea what I wanted. I had woken up early (4:30 am) so by 10 am I was starving for lunch.  The Rio Grande Diner menu has everything you would want in a diner. There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

Rio grande diner nj

I decided to order the Rio Grande Slam, which came with pancakes, bacon, eggs, and toast.  I also ordered a cinnamon bun because I was craving one.  Everything tasted good, and the cinnamon bun was extremely sweet.  I have a big sweet tooth, so I don’t find a lot of things “too sweet.”  In all, the food was excellent.

Rio grande diner nj

Service: A
Our waiter was hilarious, and the food came out quickly. It was one of the better experiences I’ve had.Cost: $
For the Grande Slam, coffee, and cinnamon bun, the cost was $12.

Overall Summary/Would I come back to the Rio Grande Diner?
I liked the Rio Grande Diner and would go back.  It was inexpensive, quick, and the service was great.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Price: $10-15
Overall: A

See all Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What do you like to eat after a race?
What is your favorite breakfast food?