Fast Break Diner (Toms River)

Recently I went to the Fast Break Diner in Toms River with Cyd of New Jersey Isn’t Boring.  We have been to around 20 diners together, and it’s becoming increasingly more challenging to find diners neither of us has been too.

As many long-time followers know, in a distant life I used to live much closer to Toms River.  My regret is not going to more shore diners.  Now it’s about 75 minutes to get out there.

We met at the Fast Break Diner around 11 am on a weekday, and it was crowded.  When we asked the host about it, they said it actually wasn’t as crowded as usual.

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of the Fast Break Diner is more intriguing than anything.  The outside is one large open window, and you can see everything inside.  The inside is a bright seashore blue.  It reminds me a lot of the Papermoon Diner in Baltimore.  There are a lot of odds and ends trinkets around, but it fits the atmosphere.

Fast Break Diner Toms River

Service: A
Our waiter was great.  He refilled our beverages, and our food was out within minutes.  Definitely one of the better services I’ve had at a diner.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot every time, and the waiter gave me a giant cup of whipped cream, so it’s hard to argue with that.

Fast Break Diner Toms River

Food: B
The menu at the Fast Break Diner is more limited than most diners.  They have a few pancakes, omelets, sandwiches, and a few salads.  There wasn’t a lot of unique or exciting options minus the fried cheddar cheese balls.  Cyd and I opted to split them which we quickly realized we ordered a lot of food.

Fast Break Diner Toms River

At the time, I’m not exactly sure what I was craving.  We went at off time, so they were also out of a lot more food items including pumpkin pancakes.  Nothing on the menu spoke to me, so I decided to order a roasted red pepper and artichoke omelet and an Indian summer salad.

Fast Break Diner Toms River

I ended up taking most of the omelet home.  It was great and had a lot of artichokes, roasted red pepper, as well as melted cheese.  It wasn’t greasy and one of the better diner omelets I’ve had.

I’ve never had an “Indian Summer Salad,” but it had lettuce, dried cranberries, pears, walnuts, and feta cheese.  It was a good diner salad, and I’ve had much worse.   Despite ordering a bit of everything, I was happy with my choice.

Fast Break Diner Toms River

In all, my food was good, but I do wish they had a few more options.

Cost: $
For my salad, omelet, coffee and the fried cheese balls, the cost was $20 which isn’t bad considering I had almost an entire second meal.

Overall Summary/Would I come back?

I liked the Fast Break Diner and would go back.  I do wish the menu was bigger or had more of the specials in stock but other than that, I have no complaints.

Overall:
Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: B
Price: $6-12
Overall: A

Closeby Diners I’ve Been: New Crystal Diner, Four Seasons Diner

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite type of omelet?

 

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Redz Restaurant (Mount Laurel)

Recently I went to Redz Restaurant in Mount Laurel.  I’ve driven by Redz a thousand times on the way to work but had never been.  For those not local, it’s also walkable distance to exit 4 on the NJ Turnpike, and one of the most accessible restaurant stops you can make.  While certainly not an NJ diner, Redz quickly became one of my favorite local restaurants.  

Redz invited me to try their bread pudding, as most readers know is one of my favorite desserts.  Sadly, my husband had a last minute trip, but I was able to go with one of my close friends who is also a pilot.  Funny enough, her flight was also delayed and it made her able to go because 2 days before, I thought I was going solo.  Which bread pudding is always worth it.  Planning anything these days has become laughable, but it all worked out.  

As mentioned, Redz is easy to find, as it’s directly off of exit 4 on the turnpike and attached to a hotel.  The inside is modern, clean, and with a full-length bar.  I would bring my husband for a nice meal, meet friends, or even bring my parents. 

While they do have a full-length bar,  I stayed sober since I was racing in the morning.  I didn’t pass up an opportunity to try their coffee.  Not that that is different from a typical restaurant!.  Their coffee was definitely one of the better coffees I’ve had in the area, which says a lot for an upscale restaurant.  

The meal started off with complimentary bread with butter as well as a oil dipping sauce.  I always appreciate unique bread baskets.  

In addition to looking forward to the bread pudding, I’m a big seafood fan, so I was looking forward to their newer healthy menu.  For an appetizer, we ordered the shrimp and scallops to split.  I will say the scallops were by far the biggest scallops I’ve had at any restaurant.  The entire appetizer was fresh with a ginger dressing.  Immediately I knew if we were starting there, it would be tough to beat.  

Red Restaurant Mount Laurel

I ordered the ahi tuna as my entree.  I haven’t had tuna in awhile, but I appreciated how well seasoned it was.  I had it cooked as recommended and I’m glad I did.  I would order it again.  

Red Restaurant Mount Laurel

The waitress still brought out the dessert tray, which to be honest I wanted everything.  Red Restaurant Mount Laurel

I had made my mind up days ago to get the bread pudding, and I’m glad I did.  She also included vanilla ice cream too.  

Red Restaurant Mount Laurel

The bread pudding changes weekly, so there is always something new and different.  Last Tweek was cranberry and rumor is next week its pumpkin.  The bread pudding was everything I dreamed of.  It was extremely rich with a caramel topping.  It was definitely one of the best I’ve had (even as someone who grew up in the south).  The waitress commented I was “the first person ever” to finish the entire thing.  I guess that is a runner’s problem…but it was that good. 

Everything from the service to coffee, to dessert, was top notch and both my date and I agreed our only regret was not coming sooner.  In case you wondered, I did well at the Dragon Run the next day so I would come here before races too (something I’m more picky about…). 

Will I be back?

Well, I promised my husband (since he already saw the bread pudding on Instagram) that we could go again…so I will be back in the next month.  Even if you’re traveling through NJ and need a quick stop off the turnpike; it’s a good option.   

I had a great experience and I cannot thank Redz enough for inviting me to try their menu!  While my meal was paid for, all thoughts are my own.

The Diner (Jamesburg)

With a name like “The Diner,” it must be good right?

A few weeks ago, my good friend Christine and I met at “The Diner” in Jamesburg.  It just so happened to be Christine’s birthday too!

Atmosphere: A
The Diner is very different than any other NJ diner I’ve been too.  It’s located on the main street of Jamesburg, and you feel as though you’re entering grandmas kitchen.  It even has a front door resembling a house. The inside is all hardwood floors with wooden chairs and tables.  While it’s not a stereotypical, diner, it’s nice, and I appreciated it.

Service: B
Our waitress was friendly. However, it took her a while to come back to our table for refills and a couple of requests.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good.  There was nothing unique about it, but it was decent diner coffee.

The Diner Jamesburg NJ

Food: A
The diner has most everything you want in a diner.  They have plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  They even have fajitas.  I did, notice, they were missing a large selection of seafood (which is usually common in diners).

There was also a handwritten page specials.  When I saw a Greek Salad with soup and a dessert for $11.50, I knew I couldn’t beat that price. Originally I wanted something else that would have cost $20+.

The Diner Jamesburg NJ

When the waitress mentioned split pea soup, I knew it was the soup for me.  Split pea soup is one of my favorite soups (next to lentil), and when it’s offered, I take advantage.  The soup was good, and I have no complaints.

Both Christine and I ordered the same Greek Salad and were pleasantly surprised by the size.  Normally on the specials menu, meals are smaller, but the salad was one of the bigger ones I’ve had.  Plus it had both chicken and sardines.  The salad was one of the better Greek diner salads I’ve had.  Special or not, the salad was good and one of the cheapest diner salads I’ve had to date.  It is definitely hard to beat.  Plus the garlic bread was delicious.  Typically greek salads come with pita, and while I missed I like pita bread, the garlic bread was a great substitute.

The Diner Jamesburg NJ

Dessert: A
For dessert, I opted for bread pudding and I must say it’s in the top diner bread puddings I’ve had too.  The Diner Jamesburg NJ

It wasn’t extremely mushy or soggy and still had the texture of bread. I was surprised by that too, especially, for it on the specials menu.

The Diner Jamesburg NJ

Cost: $
For my meals and coffee, it was $13.  That was extremely cheap for the amount of food I got.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?
I really enjoyed The Diner, the food, price, and atmosphere is great.  I would go back.

Atmosphere: A
Service: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Dessert: A
Cost: $8-14
Overall: A

Questions for you:
Do you like sardines?
What is your favorite soup? 

Dragon Run (19:06)

One of my favorite races of the fall is the Dragon Run in Swedesboro, NJ.  It’s put on by a local high school, and the money goes to a great cause.  Last year, I had a great race and was the first I was under 19 for the fall.  This year I did not break 19 but my legs were fatigued, and it was windy.  I had an enjoyable time though.

dragon run kingsway swedesboro nj finish me running

I got to the race, warmed up and by the time I knew it we were off.  It’s a big race, with a lot of high schoolers.  This means the start is crowded.  I was not bullying my way to the start with local high schoolers, so I found a good spot.  Once we were off, the first mile was packed, and I found myself running with local soccer players and a couple of cross country kids.  One kid was determined not to let a female beat him (because he told me that).  We crossed the first mile in 6:11.  To be honest, I was disappointed, but at the same time, my legs didn’t feel fresh at all.

I knew the course well and figured breaking 19 wouldn’t be in the cards.  I stayed along the two kids who helped keep me stay focused and not zoned out.  The second mile went around a 180 turn and over a few rolling hills.  I’ve had great training lately, but it means I’m not entering local 5ks “fresh.”  When you race as frequently as I do, you know that, and you ask yourself: are you going to taper for every race.  No, and use them as workouts.  The next mile went with little note, and we ran a 6:10.

During the last mile, I was tired, but the pack of guys I was running with started pushing so I did too.  We were two miles in so I was just holding on for dear life.  My friend that didn’t want a female to outkick him surged and I couldn’t keep up with that but kept pushing as much as I could. The third mile was a lot windier than the first two.  Around 2.75, we were joined by the walkers towards the finishers shoot.  You can see the finish from about .25 away and I always think the race will be short, but it never is. I ran the last mile in 6:03 and crossed in 19:06.

dragon run kingsway swedesboro nj finish me running

I was happy with my time, and while it wasn’t my fastest, I was happy with my effort level.  Last year I won, and this year I was second but enjoyed myself.  The overall winners won cupcakes from a bakery which I always enjoy.

Here I was telling the facility: I’ve been waiting for this cupcake since last year.

dragon run kingsway swedesboro nj me cupcake

This ends my progression of getting faster each 5k but this time would come.  It has to end somewhere!

dragon run kingsway swedesboro nj me cupcake

8/20 Run the Runway 5k (20:54)
8/27 Philadelphia Airport 5k (19:45)
9/10 Flying Fish 5k (19:17)
9/23 Cherry Hill Book It 5k (18:59.8)
9/30 Dragon Run (19:06)
10/1 Run for Recovery (19:12)

Questions for you:
Do you have a favorite race award? 
Would you rather run a small race or big race?

Eagle Diner (Clementon)

While browsing through my local paper, I noticed coupons for the Eagle Diner.  It’s a south jersey local diner I hadn’t been or heard of before which is actually shocking!

Since going with Amelia and Danielle, I have actually been a second time since I keep getting coupons in the mail and it’s close to my chiropractor.  Both times have been great and it’s one I’ll keep going back too.

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of the Eagle Diner is a big metallic, shiny diner.  You can’t get more picture perfect NJ diner if you tried.  The inside has all of the booths, tables, and full-length bars.  I believe this diner is relatively new, so it’s also quiet (something I can’t say I mind).

Coffee: A
The Eagle Diner serves local Lacas diner which I’m a fan of.  The waitress brought multiple refills and even plenty of whipped cream.

Route 1 Diner restaurant Lawrenceville

Service: A
The waitress as the Eagle Diner was friendly and gave plenty of recommendations.  She was one of best waitresses I’ve had in my diner quest.

Food: B
After seeing the omelets the first time, I decided to order an omelet the second time.  I settled upon the Mexican Omelet since it sounded good.  It had cheddar cheese, X.  I ordered rye toast, and it came with home fries.

Eagle Diner Clementon

The Omelet was good, it wasn’t the best Omelet I’ve had, but it wasn’t bad either.  It was a typical diner Omelet and could have used a couple more fillings.

The home fries were good, and I preferred the crunchy and slightly burnt ones over the soggy.  It’s hard to mess up toast, and the rye was good too.  Although marbled rye is always the best.

Price: $
For my coffee and omelet, the cost was $10 which is cheaper than most diner meals I get.

Summary/Overall Thoughts:
I like the Eagle Diner and think it’s a hidden gem in South Jersey.  I’ll definitely be back a third and fourth time…maybe even fifth. 😉

Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: B
Price: $
Overall: A
Nearby Diners I’ve been: Lamp Post Diner, Meadows DinerStratford Diner, Starview Diner

Questions for you:
What is your favorite omelet?
What is your favorite toast?

Cherry Hill Book It 5k (18:59.8)

Last weekend, where there were several local 5ks I contemplated doing. With my work schedule, the Cherry Hill Library Book It 5k seemed to be the best choice.  Plus, I use the Cherry Hill library, so it made even better.  The night before, one of my friends posted a photo of the bib which was just numbers (no ads, no anything, just big bold numbers) and that sealed the deal.

I got to the race around 7:30, warmed up and by the time I knew it, it was time to start.  The race began in an open field, similar to a cross-country race.  I wasn’t quite expecting that.  At the end of the field, I noticed there were a bunch of geese.

cherry hill book it 5kAnyone that knows me knows I’m petrified of geese, so I wasn’t excited for that.  Secretly, I hoped the young kids would scare them away beforehand.

cherry hill book it 5k

We were off.  As we approached the end of the field, the faster runners cleared them away, and I was left with a nice clear path onto the cement.  I would add at least a tenth of a mile with no shame to avoid geese.

By the first half of a mile, I found myself in fourth overall.  My body didn’t feel great (why would, I just raced a half marathon the week before).  I hit the first mile in 6:17 and found myself as the third person, about 15 seconds behind two young kids.

It felt as though I was slowly catching them, but it’s always hard to tell when you’re running.  The course went through a series of turns, bends, and forks, but the policeman cyclist kept us going in the right direction. During the second mile, I passed both and began leading the race.  That’s always a good feeling.  I hit the second mile in 6:07. cherry hill book it 5k

The third mile was a blur.  I was running by myself, just trying to power to the finish line.  I could feel some acid from the previous week, and I didn’t feel the greatest.  I just wanted to get the race done, and it felt like it wasn’t getting any closer.  We headed back towards the library and finished back onto the geeseless, open field (I’m not complaining).  I crossed as the first place person in 18:59.8.

cherry hill book it 5k

A nice .2 buffer right under 19.  As someone who has lost a couple of swim races by .1 (including a mile), those .2 seconds felt spectacular.

So now my progression is:
8/20 Run the Runway 5k (20:54)
8/27 Philadelphia Airport 5k (19:45)
9/10 Flying Fish 5k (19:17)
9/23 Cherry Hill Book It 5k (18:59.8)

I know, of course, soon I will break the streak of continuing to progress smoothly in the 5k as nothing is linear but for today I’m happy with my progress as I continue to build back fitness.

Questions for you:
Are there any animals you’re terrified of?
For me, it’s both geese and turkeys.
Do you work on weekends?

Route 1 Diner-Restaurant (Lawrenceville)

Early in the month, I went up to the Route 1 diner in Lawrenceville, NJ.  I actually didn’t know this diner existed until recently, which is unfortunate because it’s only 30 minutes from me and 30 minutes from the base!

I got there on a Friday night, and they were packed.  The owner had me sit at the bar until a table cleared up.

Atmosphere: B
The Route 1 Diner appears like a cross between a diner and restaurant (as the name indicates).  The exterior is a typical building (versus a big metallic, shiny one) but the interior is all diner with a full-length bar, multiple booths, and table.  We sat near the drink fill-up station for servers, and I didn’t quite appreciate servers always reaching around us to fill up drinks.  Oh well!

Coffee: A
The coffee was piping hot, and the owner refilled it often.  I have no complaints.

Route 1 Diner restaurant Lawrenceville

Service: C
I believe the service should be categorized into two parts.  The owner seemed to play a role in our experience because if it was just the waitress, the score would have been lower.  It took over 20 minutes to just take our order.  I watched our server go to almost every other table except ours taking orders, refilling drinks, and bringing food.  Once we did order, our food was our quickly, and for that I was happy.

Food: B
The Route 1 Diner has almost everything you can imagine from breakfast, lunch, specials and most dinner options.  I opted to order the stuffed shells.

The meal came with a bread basket which included cheesy bread.  Normal bread baskets are boring but including cheesy and cinnamon bread is a win in my books.

Route 1 Diner restaurant Lawrenceville

My meal also came with a salad which was relatively green as far as diner salads go.

Route 1 Diner restaurant Lawrenceville

I am not a huge pasta fan but stuffed shells or lasagna or two I do like.  The food at the Route 1 Diner was good.  The dish was a bit smaller than anticipated, but it wasn’t bad.  It was definitely hot, and I nearly burnt my tongue eating it.

Route 1 Diner restaurant Lawrenceville

Dessert: D
I decided to order a cupcake.  The waitress asked if I wanted a “minion cupcake” or “Elmo”…I said Elmo because why not.  She came back with a minion cupcake, plopped it on the table and said it was all they had.  To be honest, nothing about the cupcake was pleasing.

Route 1 Diner restaurant Lawrenceville

The presentation looked sad, the cupcake itself wasn’t that great, and the waitress didn’t even come back beforehand saying “well all we had is this”.  I didn’t even finish the dessert which is rare for me (in fact it’s only happened at the Red Lion Diner and Sage Diner).

Cost: $
For my coffee, shells, and cupcake the cost was $18.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:

While I didn’t have the worst experience at the Route 1 Diner, I didn’t have the best either.  The owner was friendly and probably the only reason I would come back.

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

Nearby Diners I’ve Been: Micheal’s Restaurant, New Ewing Diner

Questions for you:
Have you ever had the owner of the restaurant wait on you?
What’s your favorite type of dessert?