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Park Place Diner (Matawan)

Park Place Diner (Matawan)

After the Sheehan Classic Asbury Park 5k, I decided to stop at the Park Place diner (Matawan). It’s located right across from Aberdeen Shopping Center, and the Town Square Diner.

Park Place Diner Matawan

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of the Park Place Diner in Matawan is typical of a modern diner. It’s not metallic or shiny, but a nice modern building.

The front door is located next to the dessert case as well as a bar. Inside, there are plenty of booths and tables.  Apparently, it’s a great local spot to hold a business meeting.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitress refilled it often.

Park Place Diner Matawan coffee

Food: A

The menu at the Park Place Diner is massive, and they have everything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner specials. They also serve everything all day long, which is nice.

Park Place Diner Matawan Farmers Omelet

I decided to order the farmers omelet, which came with pancakes. The Farmers Omelet was stuffed with Ham, Onion, Peppers, Potatoes and Cheddar Cheese. It had the most cheese I’ve seen in an omelet.

Park Place Diner Matawan Farmers Omelet

Ordering pancakes at a diner can always be risky. I’ve had good pancakes, but I’ve also had bad, flat, pancakes. The pancakes at the Park Place Diner were light and fluffy and tasted good. I was pleased!

Service: A
The waitress was one of the friendliest waitresses I’ve had recently. Even though the Park Place Diner was busy, she made sure to refill my coffee, and the food came out quickly.

Cost: $
For my omelet and coffee at the Park Place Diner, it was $12.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Park Place Diner?
I liked the Park Place Diner in Matawan, and if I’m in the area, I’ll be back. Some of the lunch and dinner options interested me.

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

You can see all 256 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of omelet?
What is the riskiest item at a diner to order?

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Hiking Cheesequake State Park

Hiking Cheesequake State Park

A few weeks ago, I decided to take a trip to Cheesequake State Park. I’ve seen Cheesequake Park from the Garden State Parkway, and it even has it’s own Parkway exit. A dirt road runs underneath the Garden State Parkway to connect the northern and southern sides of Cheesequake Park.

Despite being that close to the Parkway, you don’t hear the cars rolling by. Cheesequake State Park has always been on my “to-do list,” but the timing or weather neer worked out. Cheesequake State Park is located in Old Bridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey.

After doing research, I learned the name Cheesequake comes from the following Native American Lenape words:

Cheseh-oh-ke, which means “upland.”

Chiskhakink, which means the “at the land that has been cleared.”

Here are a Few Things Cheesequake Park Has:

  • Camping, Tent and Trailer Sites with flushable toilets and shower facilities (facilities within walking distance of campsites)
  • Picnic Areas with Fire Rings
  • Swimming with Lifeguards
  • Fishing for trout, largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish
  • Interpretive Center with History of the Park and Colonization History
  • Roughly 8 miles of easy to navigate hiking

 

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJCheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Part of the trails were almost flooded over. I was wearing my Hoka Speedgoat Midi Boot which prevented any water in my shoes.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

Cheesequake State Park offers some beautiful views. There are no mountains to climb, but you do get some glimpses of the North Jersey shore.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

This might be the most unique thing I’ve noticed on a hike. I looked down to see a “swarm of caterpillars” all climbing over them. I’ve never seen anything like it. After talking with someone in the nature center, she mentioned the caterpillers do this for safety with numbers. It’s known as “as a rolling swarm of caterpillars.”

The caterpillers were harmless but a group of caterpillers bunched together is not something you see every day.

Cheesequake State Park Middlesex NJ

In all, I had a fun couple of hours at Cheesequake State Park. If you’re looking for an easy to navigate state park with trailer sites, fire rings, and picnic tables, Cheesequake Park is a good stop.

You Can See All Hikes Here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever seen a swarm of caterpillars?

Where is somewhere you’ve wanted to hike around you? 

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k (20:04)

Asbury Park Sheehan Classic 5k (20:04)

The morning of the Sheehan Classic Asbury 5k was chaotic. At 6, I was debating going to the race but decided I would go. I was tired and hadn’t got much sleep, and I’m not someone who functions on little sleep.

Asbury Park is around an hour from me, and I arrived around 7:30. The pickup line was long, so I only had time for about 10 minutes of warmup. Usually, I like to do about 2-3 miles before a 5k, but that wasn’t an option.

When we lined up, I was delighted to find out Governor Murphy was standing right near me. He gave a quick speech, and we were off. Our Governor is a runner, but I never seem to line up at the same races (For those curious, Governor Murphy ran around 28 minutes). I’m still working on trying to get him to come to a south jersey race.

Anyway, the first mile went out fast. The Asbury Park Sheehan Classic (and Belmar 5) races are notoriously competitive and fast. The last time I ran, it was a different course, but I knew the competition wouldn’t be much different.

We went up a small hill, and I hit the first mile in 6:17. I thought I could maybe break 20 minutes. My legs didn’t feel great, but I was moving fast enough; I thought it could be a possibility.

During the second mile; I realized how much my legs don’t have the turnover. My breathing didn’t feel difficult, but my legs just couldn’t move faster. We went up a small hill, and I hit the second mile in 6:26.

During the third mile, I knew it would be close to 20 minutes. I tried to move my legs faster, but they weren’t doing it. When we entered the boardwalk, I saw my watch at 19:20, but I hadn’t quite reached the third mile.

The finish line felt like it wasn’t getting any closer. They told women to stay left and men to stay right. I thought it was unusual for finishing. I crossed in 20:04. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to break 20 but happy for my effort the day, considering I almost didn’t go.

After crossing, they gave me a number, number 18, which I realized meant 18th female. I didn’t understand why but then they gave the top 50 finishers a cool mug.  In all, I’m happy with my race and performance at the Sheehan Classic Asbury Park 5k. From almost not going to running my fastest 5k in a while, I don’t have any complaints.

Questions for you:

Have you ever gotten a coffee mug at a race?

Have you seen your Governor before? (Let’s say the last Governor wasn’t doing road races LOL)

Town Square Diner (Matawan)

Town Square Diner (Matawan)

Recently I went to the Town Square Diner in Matawan. One of my goals is to go to a few more diners in that general area.  Previously the Aberdeen Diner, a few years ago, it was reopened under the name Town Square Diner.

Town Square Diner Matawan

Atmosphere: B
The Town Squire Diner is located in the Aberdeen Shopping Center. It’s not a standalone diner and just blends in with the rest of the shopping center.

Town Square Diner Matawan

Once you get inside, it looks like a diner. It’s dimly lit with plenty of booths, tables, and a bar.

Coffee: B
The coffee at the Town Squire Diner was brewed hot and fresh. It wasn’t anything unique or unusual but it was good. I could have used more refills but other than that, it was good.

Town Square Diner Matawan coffee

Food: B
The menu and food at the Town Squire Diner has everything you would expect in a diner. There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Plus there were several different menu specials.  In fact, the specials are what spoke to me.

Town Square Diner Matawan

I arrived around lunchtime and didn’t know what I was craving. One of their specials: The Shrimp Salad caught my eye. It came with arugula, shrimp, avocado, and artichoke hearts. The salad was good but I do wish it was bigger.

Town Square Diner Matawan

It also came with soup and I chose lentil. The lentil soup was delicious but it was hot, so hot in fact, that I burned out my tongue. That was my fault though.

Town Square Diner Matawan

Cost: $$
For my salad and coffee, it was $18.

Service: A
Our waitress at the Town Square Diner was friendly and our food came out fast. Without rushing, I was in and out within 45 minutes.

Overall Thoughts:
I liked the Town Square Diner. The meal was fresh and the food came out fast. I would go back.

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Diners don’t make me happy, why do you ask?

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

You can see all 255 diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Do you ever order from the specials menu?
Do you like shrimp?

Marlboro Diner

Marlboro Diner

Recently I wanted to get out of town, so I decided to take a drive. I wasn’t sure where but I decided Marlboro would be a fun town to visit. It’s just south of the Garden State Parkway which means I avoided summer traffic.

Marlboro Diner

Atmosphere: A
The Marlboro Diner is modern and clean. There is a large diner sign. It isn’t metallic or shiny, but a modern building.

The inside is massive and has plenty of seating from booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but there wasn’t anything unique or unusual about it.

Marlboro Diner coffee

Food: B
The Marlboro Diner has everything you can imagine in a diner. There is all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I decided to order the hummus appetizer and the broiled pork chop special, which came with soup, salad, and two sides.

The hummus appetizer was one of their specials, and you can never go wrong with that. It was one of the better hummus specials I’ve had. There were also carrots, which is unique.

Marlboro Diner hummus

The Broiled Pork Chops came with a lot of sides.

Since it was an option, I decided to change my side salad to a Greek side salad, and I was disappointed. The Greek salad was watery. It tasted like the greens were sitting for a while, which is why they were soggy.

Marlboro Diner greek salad

For my soup, I ordered the chicken noodle. It was good but nothing out of the ordinary. There wasn’t much chicken.

Marlboro Diner soup

The pork chops themselves were excellent. They were a bit overcooked, but they were still good.  For my sides, I ordered sweet potato and broccoli, and both tasted good as well.

Marlboro Diner pork chops

In all, it was a decent meal. I wished the salad was fresher and the pork chops weren’t as overdone.

Cost:
For the hummus appetizer, coffee, and meal, it was $30.

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, and my food came out quickly. In all, I have no complaints.

Overall Summary:
The Malboro Diner was good. The food was a little bit bland, but the service was excellent.  I would go back if I’m in the area again.

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

You can see all 254 Diner Reviews here.

Questions for you:
Do you like pork chops?
Do you typically order soup or salad?

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