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Budd Lake Diner

Budd Lake Diner

Recently, I went to the Budd Lake Diner in Mount Olive, New Jersey.  I went on a Monday for lunch, and it was fairly busy.  Luckily, there was plenty of parking.

For some reason, I had it in my mind the Budd Lake Diner was going to be a metallic diner.  It wasn’t, but it was still nice.

Atmosphere: B
The atmosphere of the Budd Lake Diner is different than what I anticipated, but it wasn’t bad.  For some reason, I expected it to be in a big, shiny, metallic building.

The outside is actually a square, cobblestone building while the inside is what you expect in a diner.  There are plenty of booths, several tables, and a full-length bar.  It took a while to locate the dessert case which is hidden in the back.  I would have ordered dessert, but I couldn’t see it well.  I wanted a giant diner cookie to go, but they didn’t seem to have them.

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed fresh, and the waitress refilled it often.  While there was nothing unique or extraordinary, it wasn’t bad either.

Budd Lake Diner Mount Olive

Service: B
The waitress at the Budd Lake Diner seemed a bit standoffish.  She was never rude but wasn’t welcoming either.  She refilled our beverages and brought our food out quickly.   It was one of the faster restaurants we’ve been too!

Food: C
The Budd Lake Diner serves everything 24-7.  You can get a steak at 4 am if you want it.  I always appreciate 24-7 diners because you can usually get any food you want at any time.  Breakfast at 10 pm? Or dinner at 6 am…

I ordered scrambled eggs, with “Taylor ham,” and hash browns as well as buttered rye toast.  I was disappointed with the portion size of the food.  Normally scrambled diner eggs are light and fluffy, but these just tasted packaged.  The Taylor Ham was good, and it’s hard to mess up toast.  Was it the greatest diner meal, I’ve had? No, but it was edible.  It was one of the smallest portions of food I’ve received!

budd lake diner mount olive

Cost: $$
For my meal and coffee, the cost was about $11.  It was expensive for the quality and quantity of the food.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back? 
The Budd Lake Diner wasn’t a bad stop, and it was a typical diner in New Jersey.  There wasn’t anything unique or unusual to draw me back, and I found it more pricey for the quality and quantity of food.

Atmosphere: B
Service: C
Coffee: B
Food: C
Cost: $8-20
Overall: C

Nearby Diners I’ve been: River Star, Randolph, and Jefferson (on of my top 5)

Questions for you: 
What is your favorite way to eat eggs? 
New Jersey friends: Is it, Taylor Ham or Pork Roll? 😉 

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Angelo’s Diner (Pitman, NJ)

Angelo’s Diner (Pitman, NJ)

Before Angela moved, we were able to go for one last run and diner together.  Despite Angelos being close and being ranked as one of the best diners in New Jersey, neither of us had been.  It’s a tiny, local diner and only seats about 20 people at one time.

When we arrived around 10:30 am, it was filled with locals.  We sat at the counter but then moved to a booth when one opened up.  

Atmosphere:  A
Angelos is the stereotypical diner.  You feel as though you are walking into a time machine. It’s an old metallic building on the corner of the street.  The inside only has booths and a full-length bar.  You seat yourself, and it’s clear it is a local favorite.

Service: A
Despite being busy, the waitress was friendly and refilled our beverages.  She was one of the nicest waitresses I’ve had, and she made it a point to get to know us a little bit.   For being crowded, the food came out extremely quickly.

Coffee: A
The coffee was often refilled and was always hot.  Like many stereotypical diners, It was strong.  Plus, there was plenty of whipped cream, so it was perfect.Angelos Diner Glassboro Nj

Food: A
The menu at Angelos is extremely small.  There is nothing fancy and it a typical greasy spoon diner.  You won’t find gourmet salads or fancy filet mignon.  There a few different types of omelets, pancakes, eggs and toast.  I decided to order two over easy eggs with fried tomatoes and rye toast.

Angelos Diner Glassboro Nj

Growing up in England, I loved fried tomatoes.  I haven’t seen them at too many diners so it was a rare treat and they were cooked well.  The toast came lathered in butter which tasted great, and the over easy eggs were perfect.  In all, it was a great meal.

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, it was $5.50.  It was literally the cheapest restaurant meal I’ve ever gotten and will probably ever get.  It was excellent.

Summary/Overall Thoughts:
Angelos is a great stop if you’re ever in Pitman.  It’s a fast, inexpensive and great meal.  I wouldn’t go for a fancy date or anything, but it’s a great diner.  I’ll be back again.

Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $3-7
Overall: A

 Closeby diners: PBs Diner and Taproom, Seven Star Diner

Questions for you:
What is the cheapest restaurant meal you’ve had?
Have you tried fried tomatoes?

River Star Diner

Recently I went to the River Star Diner in Hackettstown, NJ.  Before going it was an area of New Jersey I hadn’t been too. I’d heard from a friend, it’s a pretty small town. When driving through, I didn’t realize how hilly and beautiful the area was.  There are several different parks, and plenty of runners and cyclists out.

Trying new diners and hiking has allowed me to see so many different areas of the state.

Atmosphere: A
The River Star Diner is located along a small creek.  If you are lucky enough to get a window seat, you can see birds and small animals frolicking in the water. The inside is typical of a normal small town diner but it’s great you can look outside.

When we arrived, the parking lot was full, however, there was plenty of seating available.  I definitely think they could use a bigger parking lot. Even when every parking spot in a diner is filled, there always seems to be room.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but it was nothing unusual or unique.  I don’t have any complaints or anything unique or interesting about it. River Star Diner

Service: A

Despite the diner being relatively crowded, our waitress was great.  Our food was brought out quickly, and we had plenty of refills and food.

Food: B
River Star Diner The River Star Diner has a huge menu and nothing is left out.  There are about 10 pages of menu.

I ordered the scrambled eggs, bacon, french toast, and a side bagel.  It’s a pretty standard; home cooked diner meal. River Star Diner

The eggs were cooked well.  The bacon was crispy, and I liked the french toast.  I can’t remember the last time I ordered French toast before but River Star used thick bread.  Thin bread might be healthier but thick bread tastes better.

I’ve mentioned before that I think North Jersey bagels are better than South Jersey.  I try to get one whenever I’m up there.  The bagel was delicious and I left feeling both full and satisfied.

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was $12.  It was definitely one of my cheaper diner meals.

Summary/Would I Come Back?
I enjoyed the River Star Diner, and the view was unique and fun. If you can, request to sit by the window!  I don’t have any complaints and it’s one of the better diners I’ve been too.

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

Questions for you:
Which restaurant you’ve been too has the best view?
Where are your favorite bagels from?

Nutley Diner

Last month, we headed back up to North Jersey and New York State to hike at Bear Mountain State Park.  We wanted to have a big breakfast before hiking. You never know what can happen on the trails and the last thing I wanted was to feel exhausted in the middle of the forest.  It’s an excuse to go out for brunch and eat at a new diner.  What more could I want?

Nutley Diner

Atmosphere: A
The Nutley Diner is a big, shiny metallic building.  When we arrived on a Sunday morning, it was crowded. It’s probably a bad sign if a diner isn’t crowded on a Sunday morning.  That’s prime diner time.  Every parking spot was taken, and we parallel parked on the street.  Even though the lot was full, we were sat quickly.  I was pleasantly surprised they sat us so quickly.

IMG_6212

Service: A
As I mentioned, I haven’t been to a diner that crowded in a while.  The waitress refilled our beverages, and the food was brought out within 10 minutes.  That is great speed for an empty restaurant, let alone a restaurant where every table is filled.  The Nutley Diner was the fastest service we’ve ever received.

Coffee: A

I was surprised to see the Nutley Diner brewed local Lacas coffee.  Lacas is local to me in South Jersey and about 80 minutes south of the Nutley Diner.  The coffee was a darker roast and hot. I have no complaints. I like Lacas Coffee and buy it to homebrew at my house too.  One additional thing I like is restaurants that use logo mugs.  It’s not as common but I always think it’s a great touch.

Nutley Diner

Food: A
Like most diners, there were plenty of options.  Since it was breakfast time, I went with a Mederrenean omelette and bagel. While North Jersey bagels are no NYC bagels, they are better than South Jersey bagels.  I’m sorry South Jersey friends, but it’s true.

Nutley Diner

The Mederettean omelet was good. The omelet was baked, and it was large.  It wasn’t overly greasy and the there was plenty of feta cheese and onions.  I liked it a lot.

Nutley Diner

They added plenty of butter to the bagel. By plenty I mean it was drenched in butter but to be honest, I didn’t mind.  As a kid I grew up with butter dripped bagels as a treat.

Nutley Diner

Dessert: B
We ordered a black and white tuxedo cookie to go.  The cookie wasn’t amazing or terrible.  It tasted like a frosted sugar cookie that we split while hiking.

Nutley Diner

Cost: $$
For my coffee, omelet, cookie and bagel the cost was $20. It wasn’t bad considering all of the food I received.

Summary/Would I come back?
I enjoyed the Nutley Diner a lot.  It’s one of my favorite diners in the area, and I’ll be back.

Atmosphere: A

Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
dessert: C
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A

Questions for you:
What’s the fastest service you’ve gotten? 
What’s your favorite type of bagel? 

Suburban Diner

Suburban Diner
A few weeks ago I was in North Jersey around lunch. It was the perfect excuse to try another diner. I browsed the internet to see which diners were the closest and decided upon the Suburban Diner.  Anytime you go to a diner for brunch on a weekend, you know it’s going to be crowded. When we arrived, they said it would be about a ten-minute wait. It the 113 diners I’ve been too, I’ve only had to wait twice. Ten minutes ended up being two and we were quickly seated.

suburban diner

Atmosphere: B
The outside of the diner was modern with plenty of parking. It draws your attention in from the main road. The inside is modern and spacious. The diner is centered around the bar. They have a unique mix if high and low tables as well as booths and counter space. However, the walls of the diner were noticeably dirty with smeared food on the wall.

suburban diner

Coffee: A
The coffee was hot, fresh and constantly refilled. It was good, and I have no complaints.

suburban diner

Service: A
Everything about the service was excellent. We were sat quickly after arriving; our orders were taken quickly, and the food came out quickly too.  Unlike the diner last week, the food came out quickly.  This would even be considered fast service for an empty diner but it was more than impressive since every table was being used.

Food: A
Since we arrived around 11, I was still in breakfast mode. The Suburban Diner has breakfast, lunch, and dinner at any time. I decided to order something I haven’t seen at a restaurant before. “The Orginal bowl.” The bowl contained potatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado and I ordered over hard eggs. All of the ingredients were mixed into one giant bowl.  It reminded me of garbage plates in Rochester.  Everything tasted good and I enjoyed the ingredients blended together.  It was a unique but delicious menu item.

suburban diner

Dessert: A
While walking by the dessert case, the red velvet cookie caught my eye. The cookie was dense and huge. I saved it for my hike later in the day.  Honestly, the cookie by itself was great, but it also gave me energy mid-hike.  My only complaint was it did taste like a giant red sugar cookie versus red velvet.  That being said, it was a good cookie and kept my energized during the hike.

suburban diner

suburban diner

Cost: $
For the coffee, eggs, and cookie the cost was $12.  That’s extremely cheap for the amount of food I received.

Summary/would I come back?
I enjoyed the Suburban Diner, and I would definitely go back.  There wasn’t anything I disliked.  It has great food, quick service and presentable.  In fact, it’s in my top 10 diners in the entire state.

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

Questions for you:
What’s the fastest service you’ve received?
What is your favorite type of cookie?

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.

 

Amy’s Omelet House 

A diner/restaurant I had been dying to go for a while was Amy’s Omelet house.  I have seen signs and read reviews since moving to New Jersey.  Now that we live 2 miles away, it made complete sense to finally get there.  I don’t know why it had been on the back burner for so long because after going it quickly became one of my new favorite restaurants!

Atmosphere: A 
Amy’s omelet house is very well decorated.  The walls are brightly decorated with a nautical theme (from down the shore).  It’s very open and clean.
From website

From website

The staff was extremely friendly.  While I think the waitress might have forgotten our table a few times, I have no real complaints.  We got there on a weekday night and there were only two other parties in the restaurant.  It was nice because it was peaceful and quiet.
Coffee: C
To be honest, for a diner Amy’s omelet house doesn’t have the best coffee.  I was surprised!  I was given two refills and looked at like I was nuts when I asked for a refill.  It wasn’t terrible coffee but it wasn’t great either.  I was left somewhat disappointed.  Luckily it was the only item in the restaurant I thought was sub par.
 Amys Omelet House Coffee
Food: A
They have over 200 different omelet combinations as well as pancakes, dinner entrees and salads!  Obviously the main staple for them is omelets.  It took me over 15 minutes to figure out which omelet I wanted.  Tim literally closed his eyes and pointed to one to make a decision but I looked over each and every combination.  Did I want a lox omelet, crab, lobster or asparagus?  So many choices.
My nova lox and rye toast

My nova lox and rye toast

I ordered the Nova Lox omelet (smoked salmon, cheese, onions and scallions).  It came with a side of toast and I ordered a fresh fruit cup.  This was truly one of the best omelets I have had.  It was filling and perfect.  I am extremely happy with my decision and it was honestly the best omelet I have had in a while.
 Something that also impressed me was the fresh fruit cup.  It came with actual fresh fruit (blackberries, blueberries, fresh pinapple).  It was clear the restaurant was not using canned products for their fresh fruit.
Amys Omelet House Fruit Cup
Dessert: B
We ordered a vanilla milkshake as well.  I thought the milkshake was good.  I really enjoyed how sweet the vanilla ice cream was.  It wasn’t the best milkshake I’ve ever had but it was still good.  My favorite part was it came in a Texas boot…it made me miss Texas (but not really).
Amys Omelet House milkshake
Cost: $$
I ordered the smoked salmon omelet (obviously salmon is more expensive) and subbed in the fresh fruit cup and coffee and milkshake.  My meal was about 18 and Tim’s was 12.  It’s certainly not cheap diner fare but it was worth it.  Together we were about 30 dollars.  I think I have the magic ability to order the most expensive things at restaurants every time…
Overall thoughts: A-
Would I come back?
Yes, Amy’s Omelet house has quickly become one of my favorite restaurants.  I will be back very soon and very often.  I absolutely recommend it.  If you go, let me know and we can go together.
Cliff notes:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: C
Food: A
Dessert: B
Cost: $8-20. 
Overall: A-
Questions for you:
What is your favorite kind of omelet?
Do you tend to order the most expensive thing on the menu or is that a problem only I have? 
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