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Key City Diner (Phillipsburg)

Key City Diner (Phillipsburg)

Recently I went to the Key City Diner in Phillipsburg.  It came highly recommended so when the opportunity presented itself, I drove a bit out of my way to go.

I arrived around 5 pm.  It wasn’t too crowded, and there was plenty of seating.

Atmosphere: A
You can’t miss the Key City Diner.  When driving by, there is a giant Key Sign, and it looks like a stereotypical diner.  It’s a big metallic, shiny, diner and is definitely everything you picture in a diner.  If you’re looking to bring friends to a picture perfect NJ diner, this is your spot.

Key City diner phillipsburg

The inside feels as if you stepped into a time machine when diners were created.  Interestingly enough, there was also a decently sized salad bar too which is something many now lack.

Service: B
The waitress was a bit awkward and either new or not comfortable.  She did refill our beverages, and the food came out quickly, but every interaction was awkward.

For instance, I ordered a beef gyro, and she miscorrected me of how to pronounce gyro.  Then later, she pronounced it a different way.  Not a big deal, just many small awkward interactions.

Coffee: B
There was nothing unusual or unique about the coffee but it wasn’t bad either.  The waitress brewed it hot and kept it refilled.

Key City diner phillipsburg

Food: B
The Key City Diner has everything you could picture in a diner.  There is breakfast all day, multiple dinner meals, salads, and seafood.  As I mentioned, it also has a salad bar too.

Key City diner phillipsburg

I opted for a beef Gyro with a Caesar salad. The gyro itself was good and had plenty of beef.  It came with fries which they gave me an entire plate.  The Caesar salad was filled, and I appreciated they already added the dressing.

Cost: $
For my gyro, salad, and coffee, the cost was $12.

Overall Summary/Would I come back?
I enjoyed the Key City Diner, and if I’m back in the area, I would come back.  It’s above average, and in the middle of diners, I’ve been too

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

Nearby Diners I’ve Been: Red Rose Diner (Review to come)

PA Local Diners: Diner 248, Trivet, Jumbars

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite type of salad?
What is the coolest restaurant sign you’ve seen?

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Cosmic Diner (NYC)

While in New York City, I wanted to try a new diner.  As luck would have if, we ended up at two.  The first we went too was the Cosmic Diner.  One great aspect about the diner is that it’s open 24-7.  Surprisingly, many diners are not!

Image via Cosmic Diner website.


cosmic diner NYC

Atmosphere: A
For a tiny diner, it has everything a diner needs.  There are plenty of booths, tables and a small bar located in the back.

Even though it was a small diner, you had space and weren’t sitting on top of anyone.

Coffee: A 
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh and I have no complaints.   cosmic diner NYC

Service: B
Despite not being terribly busy, our waitress wasn’t present too much.  It wasn’t the best service but she was never rude to us.  We could have definitely used more beverage refills.

Food: C 
The Cosmic Diner has all of the regular diner staples.  There is plenty of breakfast, lunch and dinner options but nothing unique or that sticks out.

I decided to stick with a tried and true diner staple: the gyro.  When it came I noticed, there was a huge mound of salad and minimal French fries.  Normally it’s quite the opposite. I asked for Greek dressing and the waitress said she had no idea was Greek dressing was.

The gyro itself was good.  There wasn’t anything too special about it.  The French fries were the same story.  I appreciated the amount of salad though.  cosmic diner NYC

Cost: $$
For my gyro and coffee, the cost was $18.  The value of the food was a turnoff. That is extremely pricey.  The value is not there.

Summary/Would I come back? 
It wasn’t a terrible stop but I probably won’t be back.  As mentioned, the value of the food was a turnoff. There are plenty of unique and fun restaurants close-by or cheaper restaurants with better quality food.  Was a bad meal?  No.  Was it a life changing, amazing meal?  No.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: C
Service: C
Price: $12-20
Overall: B 

Questions for you:
Do you like gyro?
New York City locals: what is your favorite diner?

Woodstown Diner

Woodstown Diner

A few weeks ago I found myself in Woodstown, NJ.  I had driven by the Woodstown Diner a few times and heard it was good.  Since it was around lunchtime, I wanted to stop.

Atmosphere: B
The outside of the Woodstown Diner is a normal but lengthy building.  It looks like a regular restaurant versus a metallic, shiny diner.  I was shocked to see how long the Woodstown Diner is.  From the road, it looks like it might seat 50 people but once you pull into the parking lot, you realize it can probably sit close to 200!

Woodstown Diner

With a possible apartment on top?

The inside of the diner itself has several rooms including a bar and banquet hall.  It was definitely surprising.  Many people don’t realize this, but liquor laws in New Jersey are strict, and it’s rare to find a diner in South Jersey that serves alcohol.  In fact, New Jersey is one of the few states with dry towns that don’t serve alcohol at all.

Even though it wasn’t crowded, we were sat in the second room next to the dirty dish cart.  Out of all the tables, I wasn’t sure why the manager sat me there.   It was loud, and our meal was constantly interrupted by staff bussing tables and clinking of dishes.

Service: B
The manager seemed to be having a difficult day when he sat us.  He threw the menus on the table and walked away.  The waitress of the Woodstown Diner was friendly, and I have no complaints.  She refilled our beverages often, and the food was brought out fairly quick.  

Coffee: B
Even though the coffee mug was small, the coffee itself was good.  The Woodstown Diner uses the local Lacas coffee which as many readers know is my favorite! Woodstown Diner

Food: B
The menu at the Woodstown Diner is that of a typical diner.  They have everything from eggs to lunch and plenty of specials. Everything about the menu is traditional, and there wasn’t anything that grabbed my eye as being unique or extraordinary. I decided to order a gyro wrap with French fries.  A classic diner favorite but not something I’ve ordered in a while!

The gyro itself was huge. It was packed well with plenty of lettuce, gyro meat, onions, and tomato.  It was packaged well and one of the least messy gyro wraps I’ve had.  It came with steak fries which weren’t bad. Woodstown Diner

Cost: $
For my gyro and coffee, the cost was $10.  One of my cheaper diner meals.

Overall summary/Would I come back? 
I enjoyed the Woodstown Diner, and it was definitely a hidden gem in Southern New Jersey.  While the manager was somewhat rude, our service, in general, was decent and I would go back.

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

Close by Diners I’ve been too: Swedesboro Diner, Deepwater Diner, Hollywood Cafe

Questions for you:
What’s the best coffee you’ve had recently?
Where was the last place you ate? 

Randolph Diner

Recently I stopped at the Randolph Diner in Randolph, New Jersey.  The Randolph Diner has been towards the top of my to-do list because the diner serves both Octopus and squid.  For those who don’t know, Octopus is one of my favorite foods.  A diner that serves that is unique.  I wasn’t sure whether I should trust diner octopus but I was willing to try.

I arrived at the diner for diner on a weekday.  The outside was confusing, and I parked on the completely wrong side.  After walking around the entire restaurant, I made it inside.  There was a lot of construction both inside and out.  It’s the second diner I’ve been too with construction lately (Gus’s was the first).

Atmosphere: B
As I mentioned, the diner was going through a lot of construction.  A lot of the restaurant was boarded up.  The area that wasn’t boarded up was fine and open and spacious.

Randolph Diner

Where is the front…nobody knows…

It used a brown and green color blocked color scheme.  Randolph Diner

Other than the construction, it was a big open and clean diner.

Coffee: C
The coffee was okay.  It wasn’t good or bad, but there was nothing unique or exciting about it.  To be honest, I’ve had a lot of boring diner coffee lately!

Randolph Diner

Service: B
The waitress was friendly.  I wish we had more refills or napkins, but she was nice and got us most of what we needed.

Food: A
As I mentioned, I wanted to go to the Randolph Diner because of the unique and interesting menu.

I ordered the grilled octopus appetizer.  It was grilled and topped with butter.  I wasn’t sure what or how much to expect.  When I received it, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of octopus on the dish.  The octopus itself was some of the best I’ve had in a restaurant period and worth it.  It was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  It was even better than a lot of seafood restaurants I’ve been too.Randolph Diner octopus

For my entree, I ordered the Gyro special.  I didn’t read the menu clearly, but I assumed the plate had all of the Greek specialties.  When I received it, it had a few pieces of gyro meat, a single grape leaf, a side salad and pita bread.  Honestly, I was disappointed it didn’t have anything else.

The gyro was more sausage like and wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t bad.  The side salad was good, and it’s hard to mess up pita bread. Randolph Diner

To be honest, the octopus appetizer saved the food.  My entree wasn’t great, but the app was phenomenal.

Cost: $$
For my coffee, appetizer, and meal the cost was $30.  The appetizer alone was $14.  I do realize Octopus is expensive, but I think the gyro special was overcharged.  Most diner specials are cheaper or have more food.

Overall thoughts/would I come back:
I enjoyed the Randolph Diner.  The octopus was by far my favorite and I would go for that alone.  Next time I will order a different entrée, but I do look forward to seeing what kind of construction they are doing.

Summary:
Atmosphere: C
Coffee: C
Service: B
Food: A-
Price: $15-25
Overall: B
Questions for you:
Do you like octopus?

Peters Diner

Last month, Angela and I met at the Peters Diner in Williamstown, NJ. (This is not to be confused with “Two Peters Diner” up north ha), Angela and I have been friends for a long time and hadn’t been able to grab lunch for a while, so it was nice to catch up before she left for the summer.

Old Photo of Angela and I

Old Photo of Angela and I

Atmosphere: A
The outside of the diner is a picture perfect metallic diner.  It’s everything you imagine from a stereotypical diner.

peters diner

Image via here

The inside is just a stereotypical diner. It’s one of the biggest diners I’ve been too, and there were dozens of tables.

Service: B 
The service at Peter’s Diner was decent.  It wasn’t terribly busy, and the food came out quickly, but we could have used more water and beverages.

Coffee: A
Peters diner serves Lacas brewed coffee.  For those not in the northeast region, Lacas is brewed Pennsauken, NJ.  It’s a great local brew and the coffee at Peters was perfect.  The waitress also added lots of whipped cream too.  Diners with Lacas coffee typically can’t go wrong.

Peters Diner Coffee

Food: B
Peters Diner has one of the biggest menus of any diners I’ve been too.  There weren’t a lot of healthy options, but there were plenty of different options.

I ordered the Greek Gyro.  It came with soup too.  I ordered chicken and orzo which was good.  There was definitely more orzo than chicken, but it was good soup.

Peters Diner Soup

When the Gyro came out, it was oozing tzatziki sauce, and it might have been the messiest meal I’ve ever had.  I think half of my gyro ended up on Angela’s plate as I attempted to eat it.  I don’t mind, though. To be honest, I like a lot of dressing on my foods.  Even though it was difficult to eat, my gyro was good, and I was glad I ordered it.

Peters Diner Gryo

I enjoyed the meal, but I wish it were a little easier to eat.  I guess there is no easy way to eat a gyro.

Price: $
For the coffee and gyro, the price was $11 which was a pretty good price.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 
Out of the few diners in the area, Peters Diner is my favorite and I would come back.  It was a good gyro for a diner.  There are hundreds of different menu items so you would never get bored eating.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: B
Food: B 
Price: $5-15
Overall: B 

Questions for you:
What’s the messiest meal you’ve ever eaten?
What’s your favorite lunch item? 

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