Stafford Diner

Recently my husband and I decided to try the Stafford Diner.  A few friends live around there, and I drove by on my way to Mustache Bills Diner.  The outside is retro, and it definitely fits the “diner look”.

Image via Stafford Diner Website
Image via Stafford Diner Website

Atmosphere: A
The outside of the Stafford Diner is attractive.  It’s a shiny metallic building.  The reason I added the Stafford Diner to my list was because the outside was so appealing.

stafford diner 1

The inside is typical of a diner.  It is a long building with a bar, plenty of booths and plush seating.  It meets the stereotype of a diner.

Service: F
The service was a turn off for me.  The waitress brought drinks than disappeared for extended periods of time.  It took 15 minutes just to order food.  Our food took 40 minutes to come out and when the order was mistaken, another 15 for new food.  It was disappointing.  Sometimes people have bad days. However, the service at the Stafford Diner was one of the worst I’ve had.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good but nothing unusual or unique. It wasn’t good or bad, and I’m indifferent about it.

Stafford diner coffee

Food: B
The menu at the Stafford Diner is huge.  The menu is about ten pages long and serves everything.  They seem to focus more on seafood which makes sense since it’s located near the shore. I did notice, however, limited options on appetizers as well as desserts.  They had plenty of entrees, but not a lot of appetizers, and I was hungry.

stafford diner appetizer

I ordered the trio appetizer because I was starving.  It came with two mushrooms, two shrimp and two clams all stuffed with crab meat.  I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was a big pile of fried crab meat.  It tasted and appeared as if it came from the frozen food aisle. The butter made it decent, but it wasn’t what I was expecting.  For nearly $10, I would not order it again.

I ordered the stuffed shells.  After 45 minutes of waiting for the food, they originally brought the wrong dish over. After a total of an hour waiting to eat, I finally chowed down.  I was pleasantly surprised with how well the marinara sauce was seasoned.  The shells were good, and the sauce was tasty too.  It was filling as well.

stafford diner baked shells

Cost: $$
The meal itself was only $10 but the app was $9.50.  My meal with the coffee cost was $22.50.  It was pricy for the appetizer, but the entree was inexpensive.  Next time I just won’t order the app.

Summary/Would I come back?
The Stafford Diner is an easy stop before getting on the Garden State Parkway, but it’s not my favorite diner.  I would probably go down the road to Mustache Bills.

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

Questions for you:
What’s the longest you’ve waited for food?
Do you like marinara sauce or white sauce with pasta?

Voorhees Diner

The Voorhees Diner opened a few years ago. Before last week, I had never seen the diner and none of my local friends had even heard of it! A couple of people had mentioned the diner but I I didn’t pay it a lot of attention. Last week, I finally bit the bullet and went. I met a friend for dinner and when we arrived at 7, the diner was empty.

Atmosphere: A

The outside is large and welcoming.  The Voorhees diner is right on the main road and near the hotel so it sticks out.

Image from their website
Image from their website

The inside is spacious.  There is a bar as well as two main dining rooms filled with booths and tables.  It’s a combination of metallic retro and modern.

Service: C

The service at the Vorhees diner wasn’t great.  It wasn’t busy, but the waiter didn’t come back often.  We had to ask if he would take away several plates and mugs.  There was a point that we had two empty plates, two soup bowls, and three empty mugs on our table.  He brought out our food and there wasn’t any room to put it.

Coffee: A

The Vorhees diner has its own espresso machine, and the coffee was brewed perfectly.  I can appreciate a restaurant with their own logo mugs.  Many diners use plain coffee mugs so using a unique mug is a great touch. 

Voorhees Diner coffee

Food: B

The menu is huge.  The Vorhees Diner has everything from breakfast and lunch to seafood and dinner.

We ordered the grape leave appetizer to start.  It came with all the Greek staples of grape leaves, seasoned tomatoes, big bricks of feta cheese, hard boiled eggs, olives and lettuce.  It didn’t taste as fresh as I anticipated but we were at a diner.  It wasn’t my favorite appetizer or my least favorite.  It was okay.

Voorhees diner greek appetizer

I decided to try their “specialty” burger which was a pretzel bun burger.  Philadelphia is well known for their pretzels, so pretzel buns are a big deal.  The bun itself was dense and great.  I enjoyed the fried onion rings stacked on top of the tomato and lettuce too. I also appreciated it came with steak fries too.  Steak fries are my favorite type of fry!  The entree was better than the appetizer and I was happy.

vorhees diner pretzel burger

It also came with soup.  I chose minestrone, and it was good.  It was nothing out of the ordinary.

voorhees diner minestrone soup

Cost: $$

For the coffee, burger, fries and appetizer the cost of the meal was $23.  I thought the appetizer was overpriced, but the rest of the food was a good value.

Overall thoughts:

I liked the Vorhees diner, and I would come back.  There are plenty of options I want to tr from their seafood to breakfast but I don’t think I would get the appetizer again.

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

Questions for you:
Have you had a pretzel bun before?
What is your favorite type of soup?

Hollywood Diner (Dover, De)

I have been to the Hollywood diner before. When my family and I were driving up to college over eight years ago, we stopped there! I honestly don’t remember many details, but I knew I had been there! This time period was far before I knew how awesome diners were. We decided to stop at the Hollywood Diner because who doesn’t like a trip to Hollywood?

Atmosphere: A

The diner is an old train car. As I’ve said many times before, it’s hard to beat the diner atmosphere of a train car. The restaurant was clean, and the car was adorable. We arrived on Saturday around 11:15. It was crowded but nothing unreasonable. We received a table quickly.

Metallic background for the win
Metallic background for the win

Service: A

The Hollywood diner’s waitress one of the best I’ve ever had. She was polite, friendly and refilled our coffee. Despite being busy, she made sure we were happy. Honestly, she was one of the best waitresses I’ve had at any restaurant!

Coffee: A

The coffee was a local brew to me in New Jersey. Lacas Coffee has become well known in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. In fact, they sponsored the Scott Coffee 8k in Moorestown last May. The coffee was delicious, and the whipped cream was perfect.

Hollywood Diner Coffee

They also gave plenty of creams.  Never enough I guess?

More cream?
More cream?

Food: A

The Hollywood Diner has a smaller menu. While it doesn’t have ten pages of food, there are plenty of options. I ordered one of their specials that included: pancakes, eggs, bacon sausage and unpictured rye toast.  Everything was home cooked and tasted great.  I like soft fatty bacon versus crispy.  The pancakes were light and fluffy as well.  It satisfied my diner craving.

pancakes eggs toast bacon

Cost: $

For both Tim and I’s meal and coffee, the cost was $20. It was an inexpensive stop, and I have no complaints. Honestly 20 dollars is usually the cost of a meal for just me.

Would I come back?

Overall: A

The Hollywood Diner was a smart stop. I am glad we stopped, and we will be back. It’s a cute stop for anyone nearby or traveling.

Cliffs Notes:
Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Overall: A 
Not many diners get all “A”s.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite themed restaurant?
What is your favorite kind of coffee?

National Coffee Day

There are only a few foodie holidays I like to celebrate or even point out.  Every day is a different food day if you google it.

But seriously: Here is a list of “National Foodie Days” incase you ever wondered.

Anyways National Coffee Day is a “Holiday” I will celebrate proudly.  Most people know I drink a lot of coffee but what they don’t realize is a lot of it is decaf.  I truly enjoy the taste of coffee but honestly don’t need or want that much caffeine every day.

Personally I love the taste of coffee.  Whether it’s decaf, flavored, with lots of cream or minimal…I enjoy coffee a lot! I don’t discriminate. 

The coffee life
The coffee life

My current favorite coffee is obviously the seasonal pumpkin spice with whipped cream.

Why the whipped cream?  As you drink the coffee, it gets more creamy (since the whipped cream melts).  It’s more bitter at first and then creamy towards the end.  It’s the perfect combination in my opinion.

Blue Swan Coffee

Here is a list of deals you can score today.  **Plus my favorite gas station Wawa is giving out free coffee all day too!  

Articles about Coffee: 
Why You Should Be Drinking Coffee Right Now
Buzzfeed: 22 Facts About Coffee
The Oatmeal: Infographic About Coffee

In summary by writing this post I learned the following:

  • Coffee was first discovered by research in Goats
  • Coffee was originally eaten in the form of berries.  Hashtag coffeeberries

And of course no National Holiday would be complete without the memes.

coffee meme 1

coffee meme 2

drink coffee 1

drink coffee meme

Do you drink coffee?  What is your favorite kind?

The Blue Swan Diner

The Blue Swan Diner

After the Belmar Chase last month, we decided to head to the Blue Swan Diner.  I realized I had never entered Ocean Township until going there.  We arrived around 11:30 on a Saturday and it actually wasn’t that busy.  We immediately found a seat.  That was a nice surprise because I assumed Saturday at brunch might be crowded.

Atmosphere: A 

The diner is cute.  They have their swan emblem on everything.  It looks modern, clean and nice.  There is a big salad bar in the center as well as a bakery in the back. I haven’t been to a diner with an all you can eat salad bar so it was a unique addition.  It was cute and I can appreciate a diner that runs with their theme.

Service: D 

The waitress was not the greatest.  She forgot our drink orders and only came back once o bring us the food.  She seemed upset that she was at work and gave off a sour vibe.  I felt as if we were annoying her by dining at the Blue Swan.

Coffee: B

The coffee was okay but not great.  There was nothing unique about it, in fact I forgot to take a photo until later.  Luckily I received one refill for the entire meal so I could double back and take a photo.   The coffee wasn’t good or bad but I do wish I received more than one refill.

Me Blue Swan Coffee

Food: A 

The food at Blue Swan saved them from a negative experience.  Everything looked fresh and it was delicious.  They had everything from breakfast staples to lunch and dinner.  The Blue Swan Diner has all of your modern diner staples.

After the race, the eggs, sausage, hash brown and toast special sounded good to me.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I had breakfast sausage.  It was really good.  I have been in an “over hard” egg mood lately.  The only thing that could have made it better would have been marbled rye toast.  The food was great and I have no complaints.

Blue Swan Eggs

Cost: $

For the coffee and meal it was $13.  Something I found interesting was the restaurant charged an extra dollar for each coffee with whipped cream.  I’ve never come across that before but it makes sense.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back:

I’m disappointed with the service of the restaurant but the food was good. I would probably come back in hopes the waitress was having a better day.

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

Questions for you:
What do you crave after races?
How many drink refills do you normally have?
For me normally 3 coffee refills but one million water refills.

 

Marathon Grill

After Kevin and I’s long run last weekend we got brunch.  I’m an avid user of foursquare and a quick search of  restaurants brought us to the Marathon Grill.  It made sense to go with a name like marathon. It’s technically classified as an upscale diner, so I thought why not review it?

The Marathon Grill has several locations in Philadelphia. There is no parking but I had already found a garage for the run.

We arrived at the Marathon Grill around 9:30am.  For a Sunday the restaurant wasn’t as crowded as I anticipated.

Atmosphere: A 

The inside is clean and modern.  The walls are decorated with bright colors and bird cut outs.  It reminds me more of a hip and trendy restaurant.

From their website
From their website

The waitress was extremely nice and refilled my coffee and water a lot.  After running I was extremely thirsty for both coffee and water.

Coffee: A 

The coffee was a local Philadelphia brew called Chestnut Coffee. After doing research, I realized Chestnut Coffee is not far away and I’ll be visiting their coffee store soon.  The coffee itself is slightly nutty.  Personally I like flavored coffees the best so I drank a lot. The whipped cream was good as well!

marathon grill coffee

Food: A 

The Marathon Grill has multiple options from omelets to cookie dough pancakes to lunch items.  The problem was I wanted everything.

I ordered the smoked salmon omelet, which came with smoked salmon, tomatoes and goat cheese.  I ordered a side of fruit and their multigrain bread!

marathon grill omelet

As you can see from the photo they did not limit the goat cheese!  It was oozing out of the omelet. The omelet was a three-egg omelet and was probably 50% cheese. It was definitely one of the best omelets I’ve had in a while.

Cost: $

The cost of the omelet was $12.50.  The quality of the food and the ingredients they used made it 100% worth it.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 

Yes I will definitely be back.  The food was great and you could tell they use high quality ingredients.  I want to try the cookie dough pancakes as well as the design your own salad.  (This is basically me inviting anyone close by to go right now! Ha ha)

Cliff notes: 
Atmosphere: A 
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $10-20
Overall score: A

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of cheese?
What do you like to eat after a run?

The Palace Diner

Last week Liz and I had an impromptu date at the Palace Diner.  It was one of the last diners I had not tried in Gloucester County.  I used to drive by the Palace Diner on the way to Berlin but have not been in a while.

Incase you missed it Liz and I have also reviewed:
The Legacy Diner
The Marlton Diner

We got there on Sunday around 5:45. Last Sunday was the least crowded I had ever seen the parking lot  Normally the parking lot is packed but on Sunday there were only 15 cars in the lot.

Atmosphere: B 

For the name “The Palace Diner” you would expect a much more “Palace like” atmosphere.  The atmosphere was average and nothing really stood out.

Photo credit NJ Isn't Boring
Photo credit NJ Isn’t Boring

The inside was the standard diner layout.  There were lots of booths and tables as well as a bar.  You walked in next to a small bakery. The cake was advertised as coming from the famous Mastoris.  The diner itself was but not the Palace I was expecting!

Coffee: A 

At the Palace Diner they use the local made Laucus Coffee.  I must say it is one of my favorite coffee brews and I have several bags at home.  It was delicious coffee. The waitress always made sure we had refills. I really like Laucus coffee so I was extremely happy.  The coffee was probably the highlight of the entire diner.

Palace Coffee Whipped Cream

Food: B 

The menu isn’t as large as most diners. They specialized more in seafood, greek and sandwiches.  I was surprised it wasn’t huge because when I think of a palace, I think of many options.

I ordered the large Greek salad with salmon.  To be honest, the salad was decent but not great. The lettuce was rather watery and it lacked very many toppings.  There was only one olive!  I didn’t hate the salad but it wasn’t my favorite.  They did provide a lot of salmon and cheese so I was excited by that.  Salmon and cheese is the best part anyways!

Palace Diner Salad

Dessert: B 

Since I was still hungry, I ordered “The King Cake”.

Palace Diner King Cake

The King Cake is three layered cake with whipped cream frosting, cheesecake and a small layer of chocolate cake.  It was good but not the best cake I’ve had.  I had such high expectations because of the amount of whipped cream!

I would probably not order it again.  I was actually shocked because Mastoris bakery is very well known in NJ.  The cake was not on the same level as other cake I’ve had from Mastoris.

Cost: $

The diner was relatively inexpensive and for my coffee, salad and cake it was 20 dollars.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 

Honestly I’m not sure if I had higher expectations for the diner but it was a bit of a letdown.  There was nothing bad but it didn’t stand out as I expected it too.  When I think of a Palace,I think of something grand!

I will say, however, the service and coffee was really good.  There are plenty of other diners I enjoy much more that are closer to my house.

Cliff notes: 
Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: B
Dessert: B
Cost: $10-15
Overall: B 

Questions for you: 

When you think of a Palace restaurant, what do you think of? 

Are there any local coffees you like?