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Ridge Diner (Park Ridge)

Ridge Diner (Park Ridge)

Diner Number 200…

I’ve been waiting to reach this point for a couple of months now.  Once I reached about 175, I became increasingly excited to go with my 200th.  Why like anything it’s just a number.  For 100, I ended up at the Silver Coin Diner in Hammonton.

We were traveling back from Connecticut and the Ridge Diner in Park Ridge, NJ was right on the way.  A few people had mentioned it was a good diner so I decided to stop.  Maybe it was just an off day, but nothing about my experience there was pleasant.

Atmosphere: F
I arrived during the lunch hour, and almost every table, booth, and seat was taken.  Being busy is fine, and I have no issues waiting.  There was one table in the far back, and I was immediately sat there.  The problem was, the tables were far too close to each other, and upon sitting down, a waiter said I would need to “scoot in” for the meal because he couldn’t pass.  I don’t sit exceptionally far from tables, in fact, I sit rather close to things.  In order to be close enough, my body was sitting against the table.  During the entire meal, I felt as though as I was sharing a conversation, a meal, and time, with 3 other parties.

Coffee: B

The coffee was decent.  It wasn’t good or bad, but the waitress didn’t bring until the meal when I asked.

The Ridge Diner park ridge nj

Food: F
The menu for the Ridge Diner is impressive.  They have everything from breakfast to lunch, and dinner.  They have plenty of healthy options including salads and sandwiches.  I decided to order the steak and eggs.  I had a good experience at the previous diner, so had high hopes.

The Ridge Diner park ridge nj

The steak was one of the most rubbery pieces I’ve had.  The meal was small, and it when it came out, it didn’t even look appetizing.  When I went to eat the steak, it tasted as if it had burned residue from other meals and was cooked dirty grill.  It didn’t taste good.  I tried to find the positive, but it just wasn’t a good meal.  The food took so long to come out,  I didn’t have a lot of extra time to wait for a new meal.

The Ridge Diner park ridge nj

Service: D
The waitress was friendly which saved the entire service.  She was so busy, and the food took far too long to come out.

Cost: $
For my steak and eggs as well as coffee, it was $18 which was not worth it at all.  It was the worst restaurant steak I’ve had, and the portion didn’t merit the price either.

Overall thoughts/Would I Come back:
No.  It stinks to have a bad experience, but that is all about the journey.

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

You can see all 200 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:

Tell me about one of your worst dining experiences!

How do you like your steak cooked?

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The Boulevard Diner (North Bergen)

The Boulevard Diner (North Bergen)

After the Irish Festival 5k last month, I found myself hungry in North Bergen.  Going to diners on the weekend can be hit or miss regarding how busy they are, especially in North Bergen.  When I arrived around 11:00, every table but one was taken.  Perfect! By the time I left, around noon it was much less crowded.

Atmosphere: A
The Boulevard Diner is everything you expect in a diner. The outside is modern, while the inside has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  There is also an alcohol bar which is more common in North Jersey than south.

The boulevard diner north bergen nj

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitress brought a few refills.  There was nothing to write home about, but it was good coffee.  Not that I should have drunk as much as I did since I was on a road trip.

The boulevard diner north bergen nj

Food: A
There is everything you can imagine at the Boulevard Diner.  There are plenty of breakfast options, as well as healthy lunch options, and of course dinners such as seafood and steak.  As usual, after a road race, I tend to be somewhat hungry.  I decided to order the steak and eggs.  Sometimes diner steak is awful, and sometimes it’s good.

Luckily this was not only good but the best diner steak I’ve personally had.  The portion for a breakfast steak was also huge!  It was cooked medium rare as requested with two over easy eggs.  It was definitely one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a while.

The boulevard diner north bergen nj

Service: A
For how busy the Boulevard Diner was, our waitress was very attentive and friendly.  Our food came out extremely fast as well.

Price: $
For my steak and eggs and coffee, the cost was $18.

Overall Thoughts/ Would I Come Back?
I enjoyed the Boulevard Diner a lot, and it was definitely one of the better diners I’ve been too.

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

You can see all 199 diners here. 

The 200th NJ review and a look back at diners both come next week! 

Questions for you:
Do you have any questions, topics you would like to see in the Diner Awards post?  (like favorite breakfast, worse food, etc).  Let me know!
What is your favorite way to eat eggs?

 

Westampton Family Diner

Westampton Family Diner

I was back in Burlington County and was able to cross another diner off my checklist.  Longer time readers might know, but I used to live in Burlington.  Then we decided to move east towards Philadelphia.  The Westampton Family Diner was one of the last diners to cross off my Burlington Diner “list”…for now.

Atmosphere:  A
I wasn’t the diner to be so big.  It was a big restaurant building with plenty of booths, a full-length bar, and a dessert case.  For some reason, I had pictured it to be much smaller.westampton family diner mount holly nj

Coffee: B
The waitress brewed hot coffee, and it was good.  There was nothing unusual or unique about it, but it tasted good.

Westampton Family diner nj

Food: A
The Westampton Diner has a lot of choices, and the menu is massive.  To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to have that many choices, and I had no idea what I wanted.  I’ve been back a couple of times since and my favorite was the steak and eggs.  My brother had ordered it the first time we went, and it looked good, so I decided to give it a shot the second time, and I’m happy I did.

Westampton Family diner nj

The portion size is huge.  The steak itself is roughly a pound, and with the over-easy eggs, it’s definitely a lot.  It also came with hashbrown and toast. I had run about 10 miles in the morning and was still full.

Service: A
Both times I’ve been, the service at the Westampton Diner was fast.  The waitress refilled our drinks quickly, and the food came out quickly.  On top of that, the waitress was extremely friendly always had a story to tell us when she returned to our table.

Cost: $
For the steak and eggs, and coffee, the cost was $15.  The portion size was massive.

Overall Summary/Would I Come Back?
I liked the Westampton Diner, and I’ll be back again.  It’s a fast, inexpensive diner.  It’s one of my favorite in that area!

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $7-13
Overall: B

Nearby Diners I’ve been: Vincentown, Route 38, and Pandora

You can see all 168 diners here.

Questions for you:
Have you moved recently?
How do you like your eggs cooked?

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? 😉 

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? 

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