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Dayton Diner

Dayton Diner

Recently I was in Dayton, NJ.  Not to be confused with Dayton, Ohio! Anyway, I’ve driven by the Dayton Diner a few times but the timing has never worked out to stop.  It’s not too far away, and finally, last month it worked out.

Dayton Diner NJ

Atmosphere: A
When I arrived around 5:30, it wasn’t crowded at all.  In fact, there were only 3 other parties in the restaurant.  I was hungry, so I wasn’t complaining.  The outside is about as “diner” as you can get.  It’s a big, shiny, metallic building.  The inside is the same, and as has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar. The interior is one big open room so it can get noisy, especially with some of the old school songs.

Coffee: B
The coffee wasn’t good or bad.  There was nothing to write home about either.

Dayton Diner NJ

Food: C
The menu isn’t available online which is not a big deal, but you never know what to expect.  Will it be a massive menu with 10 pages of specials or a small 2-page menu?

The Dayton Diner is the first of those, and there isn’t much the menu is missing.  It has everything from breakfast to lunch and dinner.  There is a page of daily specials too.  I was hoping to find a special that spoke to me, but there wasn’t anything I was craving.

I ordered the Taste of Greece appetizer which came with grape leaves, pita bread, cucumbers, and cucumbers. It was a simple but good appetizer.  It did lack anything unique or unusual.

Dayton Diner NJ

I ordered their burger with bleu cheese.  The patty itself was massive, but it wasn’t anything unusual or unique either.  I would be surprised if it wasn’t a frozen and reheated patty.  The french fries were a similar story, and while the food was okay, it wasn’t the best ever. I was disappointed because I really wanted to like the Dayton Diner!

Dayton Diner NJ

It’s unfortunate because based on the atmosphere, I wanted to love the place!

Service: B
Our waitress was friendly and refilled our beverages.  The food itself came out decently fast.  She was friendly, and the manager was friendly as well.

Cost: $
For my appetizer, burger, and coffee, the cost was $20.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
The Dayton Diner was a decent stop.  It wasn’t my favorite, nor least favorite diner.  It’s an easy stop along the turnpike at exit 8A.

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

Overall: B

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite appetizer?  Where is it from?
What is one restaurant near you, you’ve wanted to go?

 

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Jackson Hole Diner (Englewood)

Jackson Hole Diner (Englewood)

Last month, I found myself in Englewood around lunchtime, so I decided to stop at the Jackson Hole Diner. The Jackson Hole actually has a few locations in NYC and one in NJ.

I heard it was a good stop.   I wasn’t starving, but I didn’t want to get stuck in traffic over the George Washington Bridge and be starving.

jackson hole diner englewood nj

Atmosphere: A
The Jackson Hole is a nostalgic diner. The outside is metallic and shiny, and the inside has multiple booths, tables, and a full-length bar. It’s actually much bigger than I thought. I ended up sitting in a back room that I didn’t realize even existed.  To get to the backroom, you cut through the bar.  In the back room, you can see there is actually a downstairs which I think is just a staff room but I’m not sure.

jackson hole diner englewood nj

Coffee: C
The coffee took a long time to come out and I didn’t receive any refills. It was a decent coffee but nothing ordinary. jackson hole englewood nj

Something that did save the Jackson Hole was the orange juice actually had a lot of pulp and looked as if it was fresh squeezed.

jackson hole englewood nj

Food: B
The Jackson Hole has plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I wasn’t starving and decided to default to a Greek Salad. It was cheap and filling. There was plenty of lettuce and toppings, and I have no complaints. It wasn’t massive but good for what I needed for the day. It could have used more toppings as well as pita bread, but other than that, it was good.

jackson hole englewood nj

Service: D
Our waiter disappeared for long periods of times and we never received refills. I wondered if we were forgotten about because we were in the back corner.

Cost: $$
For the salad and coffee, it was $18 which was a bit pricey for the amount of food.  It was one of the cheaper lunch and dinner options though.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Jackson Hole and I thought it was decent food. It was right in the middle of diners as they go. I do wonder how the New York Diners compare and I might try and go to one.  If I come back, I’ll make sure it’s when I’m more hungry and want to try something new.

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

You Can See all 195 Diners I’ve Been Here.

Questions for you:

Do you like orange juice or juice with pulp?

What is the worst traffic you’ve ever sat in?

There was once a fire on the Delaware Memorial Bridge, and they forced everyone to exit the turnpike at exit 4.  Every single person was single filed through the toll booth, and it took over 90 minutes to go 10 miles.

Walking Around Belleplain State Forest

Recently I found myself back down near Maurice River and at the East Creek Trail in the Bellaplain State Forest. Belleplain State Forest is a 20,000+  acres located in both Cape May County and Cumberland.  There are plenty of different trees and animals lurking around, and it’s pretty well maintained.

The trail itself is a very flat, and runnable (if you want, I did not) 4.8-mile.  East  The creek is located in Belleplain State Forest. It’s marshy, swampy, and in the summer has a lot of mosquitos.  If you go in the Spring, Summer, and probably fall you will deal with mosquitos, but it’s like that anywhere in the Pineland area.  Also, check for ticks because I saw plenty of deer ticks of grass blades and picked about 10 off me.  Yes, 10.

Never the less, it was a lot of fun, and it was a nice and relaxing morning.  As most people know, one of my goals this summer is to get outside and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible!

Here are a few photos:

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

 

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

 

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

many fallen trees

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

Extremely long boardwalks that I almost fell a few times

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

Where the bugs harbor

Belleplain State Forest east creek trail new jersey

In all, it was another fun spot to go.  I’ll go back but probably wait until the winter when there are fewer bugs.

Here are other hikes I’ve done this Spring and Summer:

Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Exploring Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking to the Cape May Lighthouse
Hiking Bear Mountain in a Downpour

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite bug spray? 
Do you have any plans for the summer?

Matthews Diner (Waldwick)

Matthews Diner (Waldwick)

Recently I went to Matthews Diner in Waldwick, I’ve wanted to go to the Matthews Diner for the pure reason that my brother’s name is Matthew.  There is no apostrophe in Matthews on the sign, so I’m just going with it.

I arrived around 11:30 am on a weekday. Honestly, it was much more crowded than I anticipated.  It was busier than I’ve seen many diners on weekends.

Atmosphere: A
Matthews Diner is a colonial style building. It’s not a big, metallic, shiny, diner but it does have a very colonial look.  The entire town of Waldwick appears to have the same sort of Colonial look which is neat.

Matthews diner waldwick nj

The inside reminds me of an Irish pub.

Coffee: B
The coffee was decent, and there wasn’t anything unique or unusual. That seems to be the trend lately with diner coffee but normal coffee is never a bad thing.

Matthews diner waldwick nj

Food: C
Matthew’s Diner serves everything all of the time. It’s always nice to be able to order breakfast at 6 pm or lunch at 9 am.

I opted for pancakes, two scrambled eggs, and bacon. I heard the pancakes at Matthew’s Diner were good.  I will say when the pancakes came up they were big. One of my more favorite diner pancakes.

Matthews diner waldwick nj

I was disappointed in the eggs as they were undercooked. I decided not to finish them.  It’s hard to mess up breakfast, but undercooked eggs is one way.

Matthews diner waldwick nj

Service: C
The waitress barely came to our table, and we actually had to ask another server for a drink refill. She was friendly, however, either they were understaffed, or our waitress forgot about our table.

Cost: $

For my coffee and breakfast; the cost was $13.

Overall Thoughts/would I come back?
I liked Matthews Diner, and it’s clearly doing well (as shown by how busy it was on a weekday).   I was disappointed in the eggs as well as our service.

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

You can see all NJ 195 Diners I’ve been too here.

Questions for you:
Where are your favorite pancakes from?
Have you ever been to a restaurant with your name in it?

Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (32:12)

Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (32:12)

Last weekend I ran the Bungalow Beach 5 Miler in Atlantic City.  As I continue to build miles, I’m trying to make it a point to race more whether I feel great or not.  If there is anything I learned from the weekend, it’s how to spell Bungalow (at least I think so).

I didn’t feel great on Saturday.  While I only took a week off, I feel like I’ve distanced myself from the sport since about May.  I’ve been running but training for PRs, no.  I rode out the fitness from the training cycle through both Broad Street and the Newport 10 miler.

I woke up around 5, ate, and arrived to Atlantic City around 7 am.  The race starts in a different area than the April Fools Half. As I walking to pick up my bib, a very intoxicated man asked if I was just getting off from the strip club next door.  What a way to start.

The line to pick up bibs was long, and I had time to warm up about 2 miles.  As I was sprinting towards the start, I realized they were doing the national anthem. I paid my respect and made it to the start with about 30 seconds to spare.

The race went off right at 8 am.  During the first mile, I found myself running with a few men.  I passed one other female around mile 1.  My legs felt stiff and tired, and with 100% humidity, the weather was not ideal. I didn’t feel great or especially terrible and ran a 6:23.

I ran the second mile alone.  There was a cross breeze but nothing crazy. It actually felt good.  We left the boardwalk, and I ran a 6:28.

We turned around mile 2.3 and headed back towards the finish.  I like beach and shore races because usually, you get to see friends and other racers going in the opposite direction.  I saw a lot of local people and high fived a lot of people.

bungalow beach 5 miler atlantic city

Thanks, Meridith for the photo!

Around mile 4, I knew the second place woman was quickly catching me.  I was giving it my all.  We entered the beach, and I was worried I would fall, so I took running on the sand extremely safe.  Even though I was barely above a walk, I would instead not hurt myself versus attempt to sprint to the finish only to roll an ankle.  I could see the finish, but I thought it would never come closer!  I crossed in 32:12 and was able to win.

I am happy to be out there again, and it feels good to be racing. In February I ran a 5 Miler in 30:25 and while I’m not in that shape now I’m enjoying running and able to run.  Usually in June that hasn’t been the case.  I’ll continue looking for races and chipping away.  Right now I didn’t have anything “big” planned out, and I’m just enjoying racing each weekend.

Questions for you;

Have you ever run on sand?

Do you have beach plans this summer?

Majestic Diner (Ramsey)

Majestic Diner (Ramsey)

Recently I was in Ramsey, NJ near New York State.  I’ve been to a lot of the diners near the NY border so finding a diner near the top I haven’t been too has been increasingly difficult.  Even though I live nearly 90 miles from Ramsey, I’m actually very familiar with the area now from road races as well as hiking.

Atmosphere: A
The Majestic Diner looks like many North Jersey Diners.  The outside is clean, modern, and open.  When you walk in, you face the bakery and dessert case.

Majestic diner ramsey nj

Coffee: B
I enjoyed the personalized coffee mug.  The coffee itself wasn’t the best or worst.  It tasted decent.  I do wish I could have more refills.

Majestic diner ramsey nj

Food: A
The Majestic Diner has a lot more upscale options.  While they do have “traditional” diner items, they all have an upscale feel to it. Due to traffic, I got up much later than I wanted so I arrived hungry.  I ordered the Mezze platter which came out quickly.  It had plenty of grape leaves, olives, pita, and hummus.  i ate it all embarssingly fast.

Majestic diner ramsey nj

There are breakfast options like chicken and waffles and dinner options like fish tacos.

Majestic diner ramsey nj

I’ve had a craving for fish tacos lately, so I decided to order those.  It came out with a side salad, which I had hoped would come out beforehand but came with the meal. The tacos themselves were good. They were a lot spicier than I anticipated but I enjoyed them. They satisfied the random taco craving I was having!

Majestic diner ramsey nj

Service: C
Even though it was quiet that particular evening, the service was slow. The food came out quickly, but I could barely understand what our waiter was saying. The manager did seem nice though!

Cost: $$
The Majestic Diner is more expensive than most diners because it is a more upscale restaurant. The cost of my meal was about $20.
The quality of food is good, and I think it’s worth it.

Overall Summary/Would I come Back?
I liked the Majestic Diner and thought it was a good diner. They have a look of unique and upscale “diner: items that I would like to try.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: C
Price: $15-25
Overall: B

You Can See all 194 NJ Diners I’ve Been too Here.

Questions for you:
Do you like fish tacos?
Where has been your favorite taco?

Exploring the Maurice River Bluffs

Recently, I was down in the Vineland area.  I’ve always wanted to check out the Maurice River Bluffs, and it seemed like a good day to do so.  There are a couple of trails down there! Unfortunately, with the weather we’ve had the last couple of months, part of the trails were closed due to flooding.

That is okay, and I still had a relaxing time just exploring.  I stayed on trails and followed the detour route that is currently in place, but it’s not the same route you’ll find online.

I believe I explored about 3 miles worth of the park.  I was able to make it to the actual Maurice River Bluffs, so I felt accomplished.  Tick season is among us, and along with just everyday safety, I like to stay on trails and not make my own.  Most of the path is pine needles and then along the bluffs is a beautiful sandy marsh.

The parking lot is small, and I don’t know how crowded the park can get.  There was plenty of parking when I went, but as mentioned I’m unsure how busy it can be.  When I arrived, I heard loud music playing.  To be honest, for about 5 minutes I thought there was a festival going on inside the park.  I’m not exaggerating at all!  When I walked up to the front, I realized it was coming from someone’s car.

maurice river bluffs nj

Most of the trail is pines.

maurice river bluffs nj

An abandoned building along the trail.  It was pretty cool as most of the building is gone and you can see nearly to the foundation.

maurice river bluffs nj

maurice river bluffs nj

Looking to the bluffs!

maurice river bluffs nj

Gorgeous view along the bluffs that I had no idea existed around there.maurice river bluffs nj

In all, it was a fun little walk in the Vineland. I enjoy exploring new parts of NJ, and this spring and summer have been great for that!

I have been enjoying the peace of hiking and walking through the Spring and now summer.  I’m hopefully looking forward to continuing through the rest of the season.

Other Spring hikes I’ve Done:
Hiking Turkey Swamp in Freehold
Exploring Cattus Island in Toms River
Hartshorne Park in the Highlands
Hiking Cape May Lighthouse

You can see all hikes here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to bluffs?

Do you live in an area with a lot of ticks?

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