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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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Caldwell Diner

Caldwell Diner

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I flew to Essex County and went to the Caldwell Diner. It was fun to make 250 unique.
Caldwell Diner NJ

Atmosphere: A
The Caldwell Diner is located in downtown Caldwell. It’s located on the corner with plenty of parking (which can be challenging with diners in the downtown).

The inside has plenty of booth, tables, a full-length bar, and even a salad bar. It’s a cute, modern, diner.

Coffee: A
The waiter brewed a brand new pot of coffee, which was nice. He also added plenty of whipped cream which I appreciated. It was good coffee, and I couldn’t have asked for better coffee.
Caldwell Diner NJ coffee

Food: A
The Caldwell Diner has everything a diner has typically. There is all day breakfast, plenty of lunch, and dinner options, as well as specials. It even had a unique salad bar, which is something you don’t see in a lot of diners.
Caldwell Diner NJ salad bar

I decided to order the pork chops. Pork chops are one of my favorite dinner meals. It was a “complete meal” and came with the salad bar, soup, the meal, and even dessert.

The salad bar was good but could have used more dressing. The only options were ranch, oil and vinegar, Italian, and something else creamy. It had plenty of options, including two different kinds of greens, tomatoes, onions, beets, and mixed bean salad.  In all, it was one of the better salad bars I’ve seen.

For my soup, I chose the barley. It was hot and creamy, and I have no complaints.Caldwell Diner NJ soup

My pork chops were cooked well and were meaty. They weren’t overcooked but just the right amount. I chose broccoli and a baked potato. The entire meal was great, and I can’t complain.
Caldwell Diner NJ pork chops

Dessert: B
Since my meal came with dessert, I chose rice pudding to go. They packed it in a coffee mug, and I ate it in our airport while my husband filed the flight plan. I’ve never tried rice pudding before, so I have nothing to compare it too. It wasn’t overly sweet but good.
Caldwell Diner NJ rice pudding

Service: B

Our service started slow, but the waiter got better as time went on. The food came out quickly, which was nice because we were on a time crunch.

Price: $
For my entire meal and coffee, the coffee was $17.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:

I liked my meal, and the diner was good. I would go back.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Dessert: B
Service: B
Cost: $8-16
Overall: A

You can see all 250 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Do you like pork chops?
What’s your favorite dinner meal?

Flying to Essex County

Flying to Essex County

Before joining the Air Force, my husband got his privates pilot license. Then a few years ago, he became an instructor so he is able to teach people how to fly (yes, even you!).

While we didn’t fly as much last year, we do privately fly together from time to time. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to fly to my 250th diner. It wasn’t because the diner was special or even that we couldn’t just drive there, but it’s fun to fly.

Like running, sometimes private flying is more about the journey than the destination. When we flew, it was windy and turbulent. In fact, when we made the approach into Essex County Airport, we had to change runways because it was too turbulant to land from the direction we were coming. Unlike commercial flying, private flying isn’t quiet. You hear a lot of things.

This was one of our shorter flights and it was nice to get a scenic view of all of western NJ.

Flying to Essex County Airport

Flying to Essex County Airport

NJ Turnpike

Flying to Essex County Airport nyc

NYC Skyline

Flying to Essex County Airport morristown airport

Morristown Airport. You can see an expensive jet is parked there.

Flying to Essex County Airport

Mining

Flying to Essex County Airport me selfie

Accidental glamor shot captured inflight when we hit turbulence

Flying to Essex County Airport Philadelphia

Philadelphia in the background

Flying to Essex County Airport

Pa across the water

Flying to Essex County Airport tim and i

It was a lot of fun. It will be a while until we get to fly again but I can’t wait. I always tell people, that the plane we fly in can fit four people so if you are local and interested, you’re always welcome (no one seems to take me up on it!).

Other Flying Posts:

Flying to Bridgeport, CT

Flying through the Hudson Exclusion and NYC

Flying to North Jersey

Questions for you:

Do you like flying?

Have you ever been private flying before?

Red Bank Classic 5k Recap

Red Bank Classic 5k Recap

Last weekend I headed up to Red Bank to run the Red Bank Classic 5k. I’ve heard it’s fun and Red Bank is one of my favorite NJ shore towns. Ultimately the race ended as my slowest 5k in many years and slower per mile then the half marathon I ran alone last week.

The morning of my body didn’t feel great. I contemplated just not running, but I had already signed up. I was tired the morning of, and since I was so slow getting there, I only had time for about a mile warm up (usually for a 5k, I like 2-3 miles).

We lined up at 8:25. The race was supposed to start at 8:30, but we delayed until 8:40.

Red bank Classic 5k time and i

Photo from Red Bank Pulse

When we finally took off, I collided with another racer. Not just collided, both of us fell to the ground. While we didn’t injure ourselves, we were both on the ground. When you fall on the ground during the first quarter of a mile, it’s tough to get back up. All I could think was “gee great. My race felt done before it had begun.”

I tried to reevaluate my situation. I was thankful to be running, and I wasn’t injured. I already knew my body didn’t feel great that morning, so it wasn’t like I was going to magically run a PR. I picked myself up and got back into the race. The first mile was spent weaving through runners.

During the second mile, there was a considerable hill. I should have looked at the course map beforehand because I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t know Red Bank had any hills, but it was there. While running up the hill, my legs and quads burned. I wanted to give up right there. I started running with another woman, and it motivated me to keep going.

By the third mile, I was looking to finish. It’s comical how tired I felt, because I was running slower than my half last weekend as well as five miles, but I was more exhausted. My body didn’t have it for the day.

We made the turn, and I finally saw the finish line in around 21 minutes. I’m happy with my effort, and I gave it what I had for the day. If I hadn’t fallen, I would have probably run low 20s, but I fell, and I can’t change that. I am happy it didn’t happen at a goal race.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. This weeks newsletter is how to get the most out of your local running store!

Questions for you:

Have you fallen at a race before?

What is the hardest 5k you’ve done? 

 

The Yellow Rose Diner (Keyport)

The Yellow Rose Diner (Keyport)

Recently I met Jess at the Yellow arose Diner in Keyport, NJ. There are a bunch of diners up that way that I haven’t been to yet.

We met around 5 pm at dinner time, and it was empty.

Atmosphere: B
The Yellow Rose Diner is a small building on the main road. It’s not a big, shiny, diner but a more modest building.

Yellow Rose Diner Keyport NJ

The inside looks like most other diners, and there is plenty of seating with both booths and tables. There is a full-length bar and a big TV as well.

Yellow Rose Diner Keyport NJ

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, but there wasn’t anything unique or exciting about it. It wasn’t bad or good.

Yellow Rose Diner Keyport NJ

Food: B
The Yellow Rose Diner has all of the regular diner meals. There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. There is even a “Del Rio” special, which long term readers know before living in NJ, I lived in the middle of nowhere, Texas (Del Rio).

I’ve been in a Manhattan Clam Chowder mood and ordered a cup of that. It was hot, and I almost burned my tongue. It was good, but I found there wasn’t that many clams and a little too much potato.

Yellow Rose Diner Keyport NJ

For my entree, I ordered one of their special salads which came with spinach, cranberries, raisins, bleu cheese, cucumbers, walnuts, onions, and salmon. The dressing was balsamic. The salad itself was small, but it was good. I firmly believe any salad should come with bread, so I was disappointed it didn’t have that. Other than being small and a lack of bread, it was an overall good salad.

Yellow Rose Diner Keyport NJ salad

Service: A
The waiter was nice, and our food came out in a relatively fast time. The manager or owner also came over to check on us. I always appreciate when a business owner does that!

Cost: $
For my soup, salad, and coffee, the cost was $15.

Overall Summary/Thoughts:
I liked the Yellow Rose Diner and thought it was a good stop. Was it my favorite diner ever? No, but it wasn’t bad.

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

You Can See all 247 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Do you like Manhatten or New England Clam Chowder?
What is your favorite soup?

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