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Vicki’s Diner (Westfield)

Vicki’s Diner (Westfield)

A few weeks ago, I met Christine at Vicki’s Diner. Christine and I have been to many diners together, including one of my first 30. She was one of the first friends I made when I moved to NJ. We have both moved multiple times since.

Anyway, we arrived to Vicki’s Diner around lunch time. It was busy, but there was still plenty of booths and tables available.

Vicki's Diner Westfield

Atmosphere: A
There are very few diners in the small towns of NJ. It’s fun to see a diner on a Main Street. It’s metallic and shiny and stands out in the storefronts.

The inside is what you imagine in a diner. There are plenty of booths, tables.m, and they fit a lot in a small diner.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and was tasty. They brewed it well and one of the better coffees I’ve had.

Vicki's Diner Westfield coffee

Food: B
Vicki’s Diner has everything a diner typically has. There is plenty of breakfast, lunch, and even dinner too.

I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. Then I saw there was a “jumbo salad” designed for two people. When I see a salad that is designed for two people, I always think it’s a good salad for me. More often than not, I’ve been disappointed with a salad size.

Vicki's Diner Westfield salad

I ordered salmon on it, and I was happy I did. The salad itself was good but could have used more toppings. The only thing that made it a “Greek salad” was the feta cheese and onions. It lacked toppings like pita bread as well as olives. In all, it was good, and the size was perfect for me. Most people would have to take some home.

Vicki's Diner Westfield salad

My issue with the salad was how it was packed. It was stuffed into a tiny bowl that looked pretty but once you attempted to eat it, it made a mess. I wish restaurants would use more practical dishes to plate food. If it barely fits into a bowl, how am I supposed to eat it?

Service: A
The waitress was kind, and the food came out quickly. I couldn’t have asked for a better service.

Cost: $
For my salad and coffee, it was $20.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked Vicki’s Diner, and if I’m in the area, I’ll be back. Westfield is one of my favorite small towns to walk around.

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

You can see all 251 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite salad topping?
What is your favorite walkable town?

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Rudy’s Family Restaurant (Harrington, DE)

Rudy’s Family Restaurant (Harrington, DE)

On the way back to Virginia, I stopped at Rudy’s Family Restaurant in Harrington, De. I’ve wanted to stop there for years, but the timing never works out. It’s right off the road, so it’s an easy stop for anyone passing through.

Rudy's Family Restaurant (Harrington, DE)

Atmosphere: A
Rudy’s Family Restaurant is a lot bigger than it looks. Outside it’s a clean, modern building. Once you walk in the restaurant, it’s shiny, metallic, and every part of a diner that you would expect. There is even a kid’s party room if you want to host a party.

Rudy's Family Restaurant (Harrington, DE)

Coffee:  C
The coffee was ok, not great. There was nothing unique or unusual about it, but it wasn’t terrible either.

Food: B
Rudy’s Family Restaurant has everything a diner would have. There are plenty of breakfast options, lunch, and salad, as well as dinner specials. If you are passing through Harrington and need a spot that will please everyone, Rudy’s Family Restaurant is it.

I always appreciate a good greek appetizer and ordered the Greek Sampler. It was more of a Greek salad and as far as I could tell there was no difference in the Greek salad versus the Greek Sampler minus the Sampler had Gyro meat. It came with lettuce, tomato, feta cheese, gyro meat, pita bread, and grape leaves. The sampler was good but nothing unique or special. I would order it again.

Rudy's Family Restaurant (Harrington, DE)

For my entree, I decided to order the BLT, which was good.

Rudy's Family Restaurant (Harrington, DE)

It wasn’t “great,” but there was nothing terrible about it either. The french fries were crispy, which is how I like them.

Rudy's Family Restaurant (Harrington, DE)

Service: B
The waitress was friendly, but it took a while for our food to come out and then to receive a check.

Price: $
For my appetizer, coffee, and BLT, it was only $17. The BLT meal itself was $4.99.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked Rudy’s Family Restaurant, and it was an easy stop south. I would go back if the opportunity presents itself.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: C
Food: B
Service: B
Price: $5-12
Overall: B

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite appetizer?
Do you stop during road trips? 

 

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.

waffle1

Artsy waffle for you

Lunch:

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

Dinner:

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? 

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