Tony’s Freehold Grill (Freehold)

Tony’s Freehold Grill (Freehold)

Recently I went to Tony’s Freehold Grill in Freehold, NJ. My good friend, Alexis and I wanted a diner stop before heading to Manasquan Reservoir. Tony’s Freehold Grill has been on my “to do” list for quite some time, and this worked out.

Tonys Freehold Grill Freehold nj

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of Tony’s Freehold Grill is as diner as you can get. It’s a small, shiny, metallic building in downtown Freehold. The inside has a small bar as well as plenty of booths. It’s a picturesque old school diner.

Tonys Freehold Grill Freehold nj

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh. It didn’t taste of old burned diner coffee. Bonus, Tony’s Freehold Grill has personalized coffee mugs. I always appreciate a personalized mug.

Tonys Freehold Grill Freehold nj

Food: B
Tony’s Freehold Grill has everything an old school; the picturesc diner would have. There are dozens of breakfast options including an entire page dedicated to omelets. There are just as many lunch options. After quite some deliberation, we both opted for wraps. I don’t know the last time I had a wrap at a diner. The Mediterranean wrap sounded good, and it was stuffed with grilled chicken, feta, lettuce, tomato, and onion.

Tonys Freehold Grill Freehold nj

I chose a side salad instead of fries. The salad was good, but there was nothing too unique about it.

Tonys Freehold Grill Freehold nj

Service: B
The waitress was friendly, but we could have used more refills on drinks. She didn’t come around too much. Other than that, the experience was excellent.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I liked Tony’s Freehold Grill, and it was a nice stop in Freehold. I would go back. There are plenty of options, and it’s a great diner in central Jersey.

You can see all 241 Diner Reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is the last old school restaurant you’ve been too?
What is the best wrap you’ve had?


Park Ave Grille (Freehold, NJ)

Park Ave Grille (Freehold, NJ)

Recently I found myself at the Park Ave Grille in Freehold, NJ. Freehold is an area I haven’t been to a lot of diners. I’ve wanted to go to the Park Ave Grille for a while, but it’s only open until 4, so the timing hasn’t worked out.

Park ave grille freehold

Atmosphere: B
The Park Ave Grille looks like you stepped into a time machine to the 80s. It’s located in a large shopping center and attached to a laundry mat.

The inside is small and seats about 30 people. There are plenty of booths, tables, and a bar. Most of the Park Ave Grille is covered in vintage wallpaper, booths, and an assortment of tea kettles.  It was much more unique than many diners!

Park ave grille freehold

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh each time. I appreciated that the mugs were sturdy.  The coffee was often refilled, and I have no complaints.

Park ave grille freehold

Food: A
The Park Ave Diner has most anything you could want for breakfast or lunch.  The menu is low key and not many “fancy” items, but diners don’t need to be.  There were all sorts of wraps, sandwiches, salads, and breakfast items.  I decided to order the Monte Cristo sandwich which came with fries.

Park ave grille freehold

I’ve never had a Monte Cristo sandwich and what better time to try one than a diner.  The bread was french toast and stuffed with turkey, ham, and cheddar cheese.  I feel like I’ve been missing out because the sandwich was excellent.  The french fries were some of the best I’ve had in a while.  To say the meal was surprisingly good, is an understatement.

Service: A
The waitress was extremely friendly, and the food was brought out quickly.  In fact, I was in and out of the restaurant within 30 minutes.  Beating that is hard!

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was around $12.  Important to note, this is a cash-only business!

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I was pleasantly surprised with the Park Ave Grille.  I have never had a Monte Cristo sandwich, and it was great.  The service, food, coffee, and overall experience was excellent, and I’ll be back.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $8-15 (cash only)
Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever had a Monte Cristo sandwich?
Where are your favorite french fries from?

Meal Favorites

When I wrote my last post about food, I had no idea how the post would be perceived.  Since I no longer write much about food, you never know how readers might respond.  Everyone needs to eat, and food and nutrition are an important part of running and working out.

I thought it would be interesting to showcase some of my favorite foods and meal staples.  I’m not great at cooking, and I don’t shop at a lot of specialty stores.  Most of my shopping comes from the three closest grocery stores to me: Wegmans, Shoprite and Whole Foods. 

I shop at Wegmans and Shoprite for most of my groceries and Whole Foods for fish, steak, and some produce.

When someone asks your favorite food, I feel like it’s a weird question.  You can’t compare items like steak to donuts, both are delicious but it’s hard to compare.  I have a lot of favorite foods.  I like sugary treats, but I also like a big juicy steak too.

Favorite breakfast item:

Breakfast is easy for me.  I have a waffle with peanut butter.  I’ve been doing this for years, and it’s always worked for me.  I eat a waffle every morning, whether I’m running, racing or just resting.  I’ve never had a stomach issue.  I use Bisquick and just add water.  I also use flour, egg, baking powder and milk if I don’t have the mix.  I can usually run between 1-2 hours after eating.  I don’t like to run on an empty stomach.  I generally eat within 20 minutes of waking up, relax and then go for a run 1-2 hours later.


Artsy waffle for you


Lunch depends on if I’m at home or if I’m at work.  Most people know I work at a local running store.  It’s hard to predict a day in a retail store and no two days are the same.  I can’t plan to bring a big meal because I might not have time to eat it.  I could have plenty of time, or I could be snacking the entire day.  I’ve become used to it, though, and I honestly don’t mind either way.

I usually pack easy to eat sandwiches or bars so that if we get slammed, I can still eat.  It’s not like I can tell a customer “Go away I’ve got to get my lunch on”.  I’ve been looking for an easy “bar” recipe if anyone has any.

Some quick and easy staples.  Sometimes quick and easy means I order down the road from work:

Power bars are one of my favorites, especially the cookie dough

Power bars are one of my favorites, especially the cookie dough

French toast bagels from Panera make their appearence often.

French toast bagels from Panera make their appearance often

Quick and easy salads

Quick and easy salads

I crave soup in the winter. My two favorites are split pea and lentil

I crave soup in the winter. My two favorite kinds of soup are split pea and lentil

I recently got a take out pita bead sandwich which has become one of my favorite lunch buys.

I recently got a takeout pita bread sandwich which has become one of my favorite lunch buys. It has pesto, chicken, and melted feta


I’ve said this more times than I can remember, but I am a very simple dinner person.  I like meat, potato and vegetable.  I rotate through all of them, but both my husband and I aren’t fancy cooks.  Our meals tend to take between 15-30 minutes to cook.  Luckily my husband is the same way.  He cooks the meat, and I prepare everything else.

Some of our favorite meats:

  • steak
  • salmon or any pink fish (we aren’t fans of too many white fish)
  • chicken
  • Squid (yes, one of my favorite, if not favorite meats is squid)
Steak and kale

Steak and kale (I love T-bone steaks because they are so fatty, anyone else?)

Another T-bone

Another T-bone

Sea Bass and Squid from the other night

Sea Bass and Squid from the other night

The usual suspects

We frequently cook some vegetable or have a salad.  My current favorite vegetables are eggplant and squash, but it varies.

Vegetables of (current) choice:

  • eggplant and squash
  • asparagus
Eggplant sauteed in oil and garlic is the easiest and most deliscious vegeatble

Eggplant sauteed in oil and garlic is the easiest and most delicious vegetable

Then, of course, there is the grain/potato portion of dinner.  Current favorites include

  • Pasta or rice (because it takes 5 minutes!)  I went through a phase with pasta where I didn’t eat it much and always chose other items over it.  Now I can’t get enough.
  • Sweet or normal potatoes
  • Bread from Panera. If you recall, my husband won a year supply of Panera bread from a race last year, and we use it to buy a loaf.  Panera bread goes well with everything in my life.
Pasta with spinach and cheese

Pasta with spinach and cheese

As you can see, my husband and I are simple eaters.  We don’t spend hours creating perfect food dishes.  Spending a few hours is some people’s hobby, but we know we like fast, simple and easy food!  We save fancy eating for going out.

Questions for you:

Do you prefer cooking simple food or fancier recipes?

Does anyone have any “bar” recipes? 

Americana Diner Review

It’s time to kick off my diner review session on LOLZ.  For now I’ll be backtracking with diners I’ve been too and then I can begin to venture to new diners.  Though I imagine having gone to several different diners already in NJ, I’ll take forward steps before finishing. 


I have been to the Americana diner a few different times with a few different people.  I was first introduced when not living in the area.  The Americana diner is located close to the NJ turnpike and 295, so while driving back from the New York City Marathon dad and I stopped at the Americana Diner.

The day after running a marathon pretty much anything tastes really good.  I must admit everytime I’ve gone to the Americana Diner I haven’t had a bad meal.  So it wasn’t just post racing goggles reviewing.

Atmosphere: A

It’s a very high end looking diner.  There are three different rooms to be seated in, the “typical diner scene”, a banquet area and dimly lit bar.  I’ve sat in all three and all three are nice.

Coffee: A+  

My standard comparison is getting coffee and whip cream to put into the coffee.  They provided me with both.  One thing I love about this diner is they provide a pitcher to stay at your table so you never run out.  The coffee is great.  The whip cream is homemade and served in a pitcher.  This diner received the best whip cream award.



I would come back multiple times just for whip cream.

I would come back multiple times just for whip cream.

Food: I’ve had:  A

Brushetta Appetizer

I would order it again.  There are four different peices of bread with four different topics (hummus, grapes, goat cheese and mozzarella).

New York Omelet (with lox)

The omelet and toast was delicious.  They also served a fried tomato (something I haven’t had since living in England).


Skylark Salad (with salmon)

Without a meat addon I would have found myself hungry.  I would recommend getting some sort of meat.  I do wish the salad came with actual bread.  Otherwise the salad was good.

Mediterranean Salad

This was my favorite of the two salads I’ve had.  The only thing it lacked is a roll.  I love when salads come with bread.


Carrot cake

Their desserts are a bit confusing and you choose one (for $3).  They bring out an entire tray of different choices and you choose one or several.  They are bite size and perfect for sampling, if I wanted to go big or go home I would get the whole tray.  With spring I’ve been enjoy carrot cake and with the ice cream it was perfect.

Ice cream

The vanilla ice cream was creamy and served in a milkshake glass.  I was actually surprised by the amount (gladly surprised) they gave us.

Price:  $$$$

For the amount of food you receive the price isn’t great.  It’s relatively small portions and as someone who eats a lot more I could use bigger portions.  The food, however, is very high quality and probably the overall best diner food I’ve been to so far.  I would order everything I’ve had again.

Overall impression: A

I would definitely go back.  It’s one of the high end diners that you would bring your parents too or go for a nice dinner or brunch.  Although it’s a little bit expensive for portion size, the food is definitely delicious, well prepared and tasty.

Overall I give it 8 out of 10. 

It’s hard to start with one of your top five favorite diners because then you compare everything else to a very high set bar.  Either way if you are stopping on the turnpike near East Windsor, I would 100% recommend the Americana Diner.

I do recommend they add bread to their salads.  I’ve never had a bad meal and no one I’ve eaten there with has had a bad meal.  On another note they are also the most social media active diner I’ve come across.  I often find myself interacting with them on twitter (which deserves bonus points in my book).

**All thoughts are my own and I payed for my own meals in full.  No compensation was given.

Questions for you:

What is the best whip cream you have ever had? 

Sugar Free Detox Wrap Up

I cannot believe January is over and the Swanson challenge is over.  It doesn’t seem like a month ago I chose to partake in the challenge essentially giving up sugar and artificial sweetener for an entire month. 

Here are some of the other posts I did relating to the challenge.


Sugar free for two days

Question and Answers

Part 2


Hashtag that all the links!

Without further ado I thought I would share my overall experience and if I would recommend it, ect.

When I first started January 1st, I was nervous that I would not be able to last a solid month without sugar and artificial sweetener.  I am someone who added 7 splenda to their wawa coffee each morning.  I like things sweet.  I don’t mind using half a carton of splenda.  Though I don’t eat dessert daily, I do like it.  There were so many things I felt like I was giving up?  And why?  Because Swanson vitamins asked me if I wanted to and I jumped the gun and said yes.  I didn’t have a reason other then “it sounded good at the time”.

So the first day I was nervous and struggled.  For about two weeks I struggled and missed my added splenda coffee.  Although I don’t mind black coffee I didn’t want to drink it black every single day.  I eventually landed on having coconut milk in it which wasn’t bad.  A month later I’m not craving splenda but I will still go back to sweetened coffee.

After exactly two weeks I stopped craving sweet foods.  I found myself craving savory foods for breakfast like eggs and omelets.  While I am associated with eating a plethora of pancakes and waffles, it may surprise you to know that I ate eggs for breakfast before the challenge too.  During this challenge I did stay away from sweet pancakes and waffles for breakfast though. I found myself not missing sweetened coffee as much.  It was certainly a change and we started going through eggs rather quickly.

4 eggs and mixed vegetables

4 eggs and mixed vegetables

The final week I honestly didn’t feel like I was doing a challenge anymore.  I just ate and didn’t miss anything sweet (with the exception of the coffee).   It was like the honeymoon period ended.

Oh wawa you never fail me

Oh wawa you never fail me

Would I recommend this to others?

I won’t lie that the first two weeks are moderately difficult if you enjoy sugar or sweet foods.  This isn’t easy and although I didn’t post and whine every single day, there were times that I really wanted to stop.   I thought “no one in the blogging world will know, I don’t post it online it never happened”.  Right?

I don’t feel like the challenge changed my life either.  I do feel less cravings for sugar and I do feel like my skin has gotten a little better.  I think everyone can benefit from it because you never know how it would affect you.  Some people might be effected more and it might feel great for them!’


As far as the challenge, when I started I weighed 135 pounds and now I weigh 133 pounds.  To the naked eye it looks like I lost two pounds in a month but I honestly can’t feel a difference nor do I feel like I did.  (Can you really feel two pounds?  No, probably not)

Did I enjoy the challenge?

I didn’t unenjoy it but I won’t go out of my way to avoid sugar.  I won’t say it was the best thing ever or I didn’t have several moments where I nearly gave up…but it was okay.

What was the hardest part of the challenge?

This goes without discussion that the hardest part was not having seven splenda in my coffee every morning.  At first I didn’t go to wawa at all to get coffee because I thought I would cave but I started going and getting black coffee and it was okay.  I ended up getting black coffee and adding my own coconut milk in.  It ended up being not so bad.  I will say I did get the recommended serving of vegetables daily which is something I’ve always struggled with.

So many salads.

So many salads.

What was the easiest part of the challenge?

I never really had a lot of sugar for dinner so it wasn’t hard to make sugar free dinners at all.  Occasionally I would miss dessert but not often.


Do I plan to stay sugar free forever?

Absolutely not.  As of February 1st, I will continue going to wawa and getting my splenda enriched, irish cream coffee daily.  I regret nothing.  I will probably try and keep my sugar and artificial sweetener lower since I’m not craving it but I will not go out of my way to stay sugar and artificial sweetener free.


I don’t regret anything and it was an enjoyable month.  I’m not going to maintain a sugar or artificial sweetener free lifestyle forever.  I’m going to enjoy a giant piece of red velvet cake at the diner tonight as a reward.

Finally please vote and share #LOLZforNapa!

Questions for you:

Have you ever done a sugar free challenge or the 21 day detox?

What is your favorite dessert?

Red velvet cake or bread budding for me.

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