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West Essex Diner (Fairfield)

West Essex Diner (Fairfield)

Recently I was at the West Essex Diner in Fairfield, NJ. I was in the area and googled diners closeby, and it came up. I’ve been to Fairfield a few times, and I wondered why I hadn’t ever discovered the West Essex Diner. Once I got there, it was abruptly clear. The West Essex Diner takes the place of the Versaille Diner which I went to last year. I didn’t “love” the Versaille Diner, so truthfully I wasn’t surprised it closed. I did laugh, when I got there, and I was like “I’ve been to this location before” and realized it had closed and reopened.

Atmosphere: A
The West Essex Diner is clean and modern. The outside is welcoming. When I was there last, it was under construction, and I remember watching construction workers do work on the outside. The inside is clean, bright, and looks exactly like what you picture in a NJ diner.

West Essex Diner Fairfield nj

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, but there wasn’t anything unique or unusual about it. It was terrible but not surprising either, somewhere in the middle as diner coffee goes.

West Essex Diner Fairfield nj

Food: B
The West Essex Diner has everything you can imagine. There are pages of breakfast options, different lunch and dinner options and a full page of specials too.

West Essex Diner Fairfield nj

I decided to order the “Heart Attack Burger.”  It was two patties with American cheese, grilled onions, and mushrooms. It also came with fries. The burger itself was good. It was a lot of burger, and there was plenty of grease that dripped off. The fries were bland, but they weren’t terrible. I would order it again.

Service: B
When we arrived, the diner was about 1/3 filled. We were sat in an awkward location and waited for a long time for someone to come over. It became clear that none of the servers knew we were in their section. Our waiter was friendly, and our drinks were refilled often. I think I blinked and our food came out, in fact, it came out in less time than it took to take our orders.

Cost: $
For my burger and coffee, the cost was $17.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I think the West Essex Diner is a much improvement of the Versaille Diner and I would go back if I’m in the area. They have a lot of fun breakfast options that I would like to try.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: B
Cost: $12-17

You Can See All 243 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite kind of burger?
Have you ever been to a place that’s reopened under new management? 

 

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Maple Leaf Diner (Maplewood)

Maple Leaf Diner (Maplewood)

After hiking at Watchung Park, I decided to stop at the Maple Leaf Diner. I wasn’t starving, but I did want to check out a new diner. The Maple Leaf Diner looked like a cute stop in downtown Maplewood.

Atmosphere: B
It’s not a huge metallic diner, nor is it big at all. It’s located in the heart of Maplewood. There is plenty of street parking, but like any downtown, you might need to park and walk.

maple leaf diner maplewood

The inside is modest with several booths and a few tables, as well as a small bar.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh. I have no complaints. The waitress refilled it several times.

maple leaf diner maplewood

Food: B
I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. The Maple Leaf Diner has everything from breakfast, to lunch, and dinner options. On the specials, they had split pea soup listed which is one of my favorite soups. When I ordered, they were out.

maple leaf diner maplewood

I ultimately went with a BLT which I have no complaints with.  It was packed full.  I decided to order a side Ceasor salad which green with plenty of dressing.

maple leaf diner maplewood

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, and our food came out fast. It was a positive experience.

Cost: $
For my coffee and BLT, it was $12.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I liked the Maple Leaf Diner, and it was a positive experience. It’s not a large diner, but it’s a great local small town. There is plenty to do in Maplewood, so it’s fun to spend a few hours there.

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

You Can See All 240 Diner Reviews Here

Questions for you:
Are there any cute downtowns near you? NJ is filled with small, local, communities.
What is your favorite kind of soup? 

Hawthorne Diner

While driving back from New York, we stopped at one more diner. The Hawthorne Diner wasn’t the original plan, but we ran into a lot more traffic than anticipated, so we decided to stop earlier.

Hawthorne Diner NJ

Atmosphere: A
The Hawthorne Diner is located at an intersection. At one time it was called the “Triangle Diner” because (I assume) the end does look like a triangle. The inside is small but has plenty of booths as well as a bar. There were a few tables in the back but more booths than anything.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh with plenty of whipped cream. It was good.

Hawthorne Diner NJ

Food: B
The Hawthorne Diner has everything you want or need in a diner. There are plenty of breakfast choices, as well as wraps, sandwiches, and dinner options.

I was hungry, so I decided to order the pikilia house platter to start. It was massive and came with grape leaves, hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, pita bread, tzatziki sauce, olives, and hummus. Everything tasted good, and I liked the hummus a lot. I also appreciated how many olives there were. Olives are one of my favorite foods. It was nothing extraordinary but everything tasted good.

Hawthorne Diner NJ

I was in the Greek mood and decided to order a gyro which came with french fries. The gyro was massive, in fact maybe the biggest gyro I’ve had. In all, good.

Hawthorne Diner NJ

Service: A
Our waitress was friendly and funny. She was one of the best waitresses I’ve had in a while. Our food came out quickly, and I have no complaints. We were in and out in no more than 45 minutes.

Cost: $
For my gyro, appetizer, and coffee the cost was $25.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I liked the Hawthorne Diner, and it’s a nice diner to stop. I would definitely go back.

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

You Can See All 233 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Do you like gyros?
What is your favorite appetizer? 

Halfmoon Diner (Clifton Park, NY)

Halfmoon Diner (Clifton Park, NY)

While in New York, I wanted to go to a new diner. New York State, has plenty of diners throughout the state and I’ve been to a fair share from Long Island to the City, Albany, Syracuse, the North Country, and Buffalo.  It’s funny; when I went to college in Upstate NY, I spent the least amount of time in Albany. Since moving away, I’ve spent more time in Albany than the rest of the area.

When we arrived at the Halfmoon Diner, it wasn’t crowded, but when we left, it was clear it was the place to be.

Atmosphere: A
The Halfmoon Diner is everything you expect in a stereotypical diner. It’s a big shiny, metallic, building, with plenty of mirrors, and windows.halfmoon diner clifton park ny

The inside has plenty of booths, tables, a full-length bar, and a good looking dessert case.

Coffee (and Wine!):
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh. The waitress brought plenty of refills.

halfmoon diner clifton park ny

My meal actually came with a small glass of wine. I choose red, and it was delicious. It was the first diner meal I’ve had that has come with wine, so that was fun.

halfmoon diner clifton park ny

Food: C
The Halfmoon Diner has plenty of specials. There is everything you want in a diner and with plenty of specials. I decided to order the “leg of lamb” special. It came with A LOT of food. Soup, salad, wine, and two sides. On paper, that sounds awesome.

I decided to order the beet salad which was an extra $3 but was worth it. The beets on top were great, but the lettuce was watery and had no green to it.

halfmoon diner clifton park ny

For my soup, I chose the Manhatten clam chowder. This was one of my more favorite parts of the meal. There was plenty of clams and the red sauce was good.

halfmoon diner clifton park ny

My roast leg of lamb was drowning in brown gravy. It was dry and didn’t taste fresh. To me, it felt as though the meal was taken from a bunch of frozen food, reheated and brought out. I expected a leg of lamb, it was a few slices of lamb underneath brown gravy.

halfmoon diner clifton park ny

My two sides broccoli and french fries were both frozen and reheated. The broccoli was good, but the crinkle fries were bland, and I was too full to finish them.

halfmoon diner clifton park ny

In all, the food was decent and right down the middle. It was nothing interesting or fancy but edible.

Service: A
The waitress was one of the best waitresses I’ve had at a diner. Our food came out fast, she gave recommendations for good options, and she was friendly.  She made the visit worth it.

Cost: $
For all of my food, plus the extra $3 for the salad, it was only $18.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
The Halfmoon Diner was good. The food was boring, but there was plenty of food. It’s a stereotypical diner and a decent stop in the greater Albany area.

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

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of wine?
Do you like lamb?

Golden Palace Diner (Millville)

Golden Palace Diner (Millville)

Last week, I went to the Golden Palace Diner in Millville, NJ. It’s one of the few diners I haven’t been too in super south Jersey. In fact, it might be the last one I needed to go too in Cumberland County. Anyway, I arrived around dinner time, and it wasn’t too crowded.

golden palace millville nj

Atmosphere: A
The Golden Palace Diner is a clean and modern diner. There are plenty of booths and tables. There is a full-length bar as well as a large dessert case too. It’s as much as a stereotypical NJ diner as you can get.

golden palace millville nj

Coffee: B
The coffee was given in a tiny mug. It was good coffee, but I felt like I finished a cup in one small sip. The waitress gave refills, but I hate when restaurants give tiny cups for both water or coffee. Give a regular size cup, not 4 ounces.

golden palace millville nj

Food: A
The Golden Palace has everything a typical NJ diner would have. There is all day breakfast, lunch, and plenty of dinner options too.  I noticed the “salmon sizzler” which intrigued me.  The dinner meals came with a bread basket. I must admit, it was one of the better bread baskets I’ve had!

golden palace millville nj

I’ve never seen a salmon sizzler anywhere. I’ve seen poultry and beef sizzler but never seafood. I decided to order it.

golden palace millville nj

When it came out, it was hot and definitely sizzling. There were mixed vegetables on top of two filets of salmon. It was a lot of food.  It was cooked well, and I enjoyed the meal.

golden palace millville nj

Service: A
The waitress was friendly and refilled our beverages often. The food came out quickly, and I have no complaints.

Cost: $
For my sizzling salmon and coffee, it was $19.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come back?
I liked the Golde Palace Diner, and it’s definitely one of my more favorite diners in the area. It’s a great stop if you’re coming home from the shore.

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

You Can See All 230 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Have you tried a sizzling meal?
What is your favorite type of fish? 

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