Hampton Diner (Newton, NJ)

Lately, I’ve been to a lot of North Jersey Diners.  The Hampton Diner has been on my to do list for a while. However, it’s almost 2 hours from my house.  I could drive there and back, but it would be a 4 hour day and between tolls, not my cheapest endeavor.  So finally, when I was already in the area, I stopped by.  Surprisingly, the Hampton Diner is not in “Hampton” but in Newton, NJ.  To my knowledge, there is not actually a “Newton Diner.”

Atmosphere: B

The Hampton Diner is a big, normal, building.  While it’s decorated, it almost feels as though it’s missing a sign at the top.  There is a street sign, but it needs an actual sign inside.  The inside is large with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Coffee: A

The coffee at the Hampton Diner was good.  It wasn’t the best I’ve had, however, it was often refilled. When I needed a refill, no less than 3 servers asked.  How awesome is that? I have no complaints. Hampton Diner Newton NJ

Service: A

The service at the Hampton Diner was at the top.  As mentioned, when I needed more coffee or beverage refills, I was asked by three different people.  The food came out quickly too.  It was in the top 10% of diner services I’ve had.

Food: B

The Hampton Diner has plenty of options.  The Hampton Diner has one of the bigger diner menus I’ve seen.  There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

I’ve heard positive things about their pancakes, so I ordered banana pancakes.  They weren’t terrible, but they weren’t life changing either.  They were light and fluffy and had several bananas chunks mixed in.  Plus they were each about the size of my hand.

Hampton Diner Newton NJ
My apologies for the lighting situation there

Cost: $

For the pancakes and coffee, the cost was $11.  Not a bad price.

Thoughts/Would I Come Back?

I enjoyed the Hampton Diner.  It wasn’t my favorite diner but not a bad stop either.  When I’m back in town, I will go back.  I will say, the service was excellent and it was worth the stop for that alone.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food: B
Price: $8-12
Overall: A

Nearby Diners I’ve been:  I haven’t explored too many around Sussex but the closest is the Jefferson Diner (a top 5 of mine!)

Questions for you:
What is your favorite kind pancakes?

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Four Seasons Diner (Toms River)

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Four Seasons Diner in Toms River. This isn’t to be confused with the All Seasons Diner.

The owner of the website, New Jersey Isn’t Boring, and I met for lunch. Incase you’re interested we’ve been to several diners together including:
Park Nine
Daphne’s 
Sherbans
Fountainbleau
Jersey Diner
Freeway Diner (Now closed)
Broad Sreet Diner (Her 100th review)!

Holy moly, we’ve definitely been to a lot of diners together. One of her goals and jobs is to review all of the diners in the state, so it’s always great to get her perspective as well as learn about fun New Jersey activities going on!  You can see her review here.

Atmosphere: B
The Four Seasons Diner actually used to be an old Wawa. If you look carefully, you can tell but if you just walked by you would never guess. Inside the Four Seasons Diner looks like a typical restaurant, not a diner. It’s not bad, but it’s not an old metallic building. It’s a clean restaurant, but it doesn’t scream diner.

four seasons diner

Service: C
The diner wasn’t crowded, but we waited for a while to be sat. If it were busy, it wouldn’t have a big deal, but we just waited. We went long periods without seeing out waitress. She was nice. However, she left our table for long periods of time.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good. There was nothing unique or special about it, but there was nothing bad either. Four Seasons Diner Toms River

Food: B
The Four Seasons Diner had every time of diner food you can imagine. Toms River is right along the shore, and they have plenty of seafood options!  I’ve heard their red pancakes were good, so that is what I chose to order. The pancakes were extremely thick and came with a cream cheese frosting. Of any red velvet pancakes I’ve had, these were definitely the best.

Four Seasons Diner Toms River

My date ordered the pizza special which was interesting. It was more of a flatbread than pizza which was disappointing considering they have a brick oven.

Cost: $$
For my pancakes and coffee the cost was $12. Not bad!

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?
Even though the service wasn’t the best, I enjoyed the Four Seasons Diner and there were a lot of specials I was interested in trying.  I would love to come back next time I’m in town!

Overall:
Atmosphere: C
Service: B
Coffee: B
Food: B
Cost: $8-12
Overall: B

Nearby diners I’ve tried: New Crystal Diner  (I need to get to more shore diners)

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite type of pancake?
Have you ever had Wawa?

 

The Breakfast Club, Ect.

While in Lake Placid last week, I decided to go to the Breakfast Club, Ect.  While looking at possible places to eat while traveling, many people recommended going.  When I browsed the menu, I noticed how many delicious items they had.  It’s one of the few restaurants/diners, I’ve actually looked at the menu beforehand and based my choice on that.

the-breakfast-club

Image from lakeplacid.com

Atmosphere: A
Breakfast Club is located right on the Main Street of Lake Placid.  Since it’s on the Main Street, it’s attached to many different restaurants and isn’t a stand-alone building.

The inside is cute and has a locale vibe to it.  There is a bar, plenty of booths and tables.  Both times we went, we were lucky to get a booth.  I can only imagine how busy the Breakfast Club, Ect can be!

Service: C 
During our stay in Lake Placid we went twice.  The first time we went, we wanted to get there right at opening because we were hiking afterwards. The website listed opening at both 7:30 and 8 so we called ahead and asked what time they opened.  The employee told us they opened at 8.  When we arrived at 8 on the dot, we noticed other diners.  We asked the waitress when they opened at she said 7:30.  We were somewhat upset but let it go.

Once seated, the service was fine. The waitresses brought out plenty of coffee and our food was brought out quickly.

Coffee: A
The coffee as Breakfast Club, Ect is one of my favorite coffees to date.  The whipped cream is homemade and the coffee itself is bold and hot.  I would go there just for coffee if that was an option!

Breakfast club, etc lake placid

Food: A
The Breakfast Club, Ect has a small menu.  They have a lot of specialty pancakes like bacon, or maple whipped cream.

Interestingly enough, they don’t even start serving lunch until noon.  I typically eat an earlier lunch (between 11-12) so I was disappointed I wasn’t able to try anything around 11:30.

The first time I went, I ordered the maple waffle.  The waffle came out as pancakes! It was confusing but okay.  There was plenty of maple whipped cream as well as pure syrup.  The pancakes were some of the best I’ve had.  I’m glad I don’t live close by because I’m not sure my stomach or wallet needs that daily.  It was incredible.

Breakfast club, etc lake placid

The second time I went, I ordered a nova lox omelet with a side of fruit and rye toast.  The omelet was great and wasn’t messy.  I felt as if it had a lot of ingredients without breaking the omelet itself. They buttered the toast a lot and butter makes everything better.

Breakfast club, etc lake placid

Both meals were equally as good.  As most people know, whipped cream is my favorite so I liked the maple waffle/pancake the best.

Cost: $$
For my coffee and both entrees, the cost was $14.  While it was more expensive the quality, of food made it worth it.

Summary/would I come back? 
I liked the Breakfast Club, Ect a lot and I would go back anytime in Lake Placid.  It’s one of my favorite brunch places (now that I know their hours)

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Service: C
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $12-16
Overall: A

Questions for you:
What time do you typically eat lunch? 
Do you like pancakes or waffles better? 

Springfield Diner

Springfield Diner 

A few weeks ago after coming back from a race, I decided to go to the Springfield Diner.  I could have chosen a New Jersey diner. However, I heard the Springfield Diner was good, and so I decided to go.  Since I live within 15 minutes of PA, there are several PA diners closeby too.  I don’t want to get too predictable and switched states up.

Of course on a Saturday for brunch, everywhere is busy.  There were only a few spots left in the huge parking lot, and I worried it would be a long wait. Luckily it was only 15 minutes.

Atmosphere: A 

The Springfield diner was a busy place.  It was a loud and bustling restaurant.

Springfield Diner

The outside decor is a huge shiny and metallic building.  It’s a very stereotypical diner.  The inside consists of mostly booths and a bar.  It looked like there were a few tables in the back too.

Coffee: A 

The coffee was hot and refilled several times.  There was plenty of whipped cream.  I have no complaints.

Springfield Diner

Service: A 

The waitress was extremely attentive and friendly.  She refilled our coffee, brought refills and made sure we’re doing okay. Although every table in the restaurant was filled, our food was brought out in 10 minutes.  10 minutes!  It was impressive.   So we waited 15 minutes to get seated, 10 for our food and left within 50 minutes.  All of this when the diner was jam packed.  Efficiency is an understatement there!

Food: B 

The Springfield Diner had all of the classic diner options and more.  They had a lot of seafood options that made me want to come back for dinner.

I decided to order the red velvet pancakes.  It came with strawberries and bananas topped with cream cheese, whipped cream and chocolate chips.  The pancakes themselves were just plain.  Don’t get me wrong; they were good pancakes, but they definitely weren’t red velvet.  It was just plain pancakes with chocolate chips on top.  Most people know red velvet is my favorite dessert, so I was disappointed.  The pancakes were good, just not what I was expecting.  To be honest, I thought they had accidently messed up my order but that that their take on red velvet.

Springfield Diner

Cost:$$

For the coffee and pancakes, the cost was $13.  Not bad and I left filled me on a sugar high.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 

I enjoyed the Springfield Diner and would definitely go back.  The food was good, just not what I was expecting. I would love to go back and try dinner.  It was one of the most efficient diners I’ve ever been too.  I can’t imagine what they are like at a slower hour!

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

Overall: B

Despite the food being good, it was not exactly red velvet so I feel as though I have to give it a B.  I’ll definitely be back and I would be interested to try their dinner and dessert options.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite dessert?  Do you like red velvet?

Do you like pancakes? 

Kane’s Diner (Queens, NY)

I love my NJ diners, but I’ve been traveling and tried a few diners along the way.  So when on the road, it’s important to see what diners other states have to offer right?

Recently I went to Kane’s Diner in Queens.  To be honest, we walked by and saw it had the word “diner” and “original pancakes” and decided we were hungry.  I can’t be the only person that has done that right?

Image via Google maps
Image via Google maps

Atmosphere: A 

Kane’s Diner is different from New Jersey Diners.  New York is much more crowded and busy than down in southern New Jersey.  The diner reflects that.  Kane’s Diner tastefully fit as much in one building as possible.  I didn’t feel as if I was sitting on top of other parties but it was jam packed.  I’ve been to bigger restaurants where I felt as if I was sitting too close to other people.  Even though it’s a small space, the layout of the restaurant allows for some breathing room.

Kane's Diner

Coffee: A 
The coffee was extremely strong.  It tasted like diesel fuel but a good diesel fuel.  I guess that’s why people in NY live so fast paced.  (kidding of course).  I forgot to take a photo…

Service: A 
The service was excellent.  The waiter brought plenty of refills, and we never were empty of water or coffee.  The food also came out quickly.

Food: A 
The diner has all of the typical diner fare.  You won’t find the healthy salads or grilled fish, but you will find several omelet options as well as pancakes and steak.  If there is grease, you will find it here. Kane’s Diner is the stereotypical “greasy spoon” deal.

There was a large sign at the front that stated: “Orginal Pancake House”.  That means the pancakes must be good.

I don’t like thin or small pancakes.  I like massive pancakes that are filling.  I ordered the apple cinnamon pancakes.  I expected cinnamon apples to be baked into the actual pancake.  The actual pancakes were silver dollar pancakes rolled up and stuffed with apple cinnamon jam.  While the meal wasn’t what I was expecting it was still good.  It put me on a sugar high to continue exploring the city. The best description I have is they were like a very thick crepe with sugary apple filling.  Were they the world’s best?  To be deterined, but they were good.

Kane's Diner

Cost: $9
For my coffee and pancakes, the cost was $9.  I have no complaints, and it was good.

Overall thoughts: 
I liked Kane’s Diner, and I would go back.  The coffee, food and service were good.  It’s a true greasy spoon!

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

Questions for you:
Do you have any NYC diner recommendations?
What is your favorite pancake flavor?

Candlewyck Diner

After the Newport 10k a few weeks ago, I decided to hit another diner.  I had a few North Jersey Diners in mind, but the Candlewyck Diner was close, so I chose that one.  After racing, I was starving, like I am always am and arrived around 11:30.  Grabbing lunch on a Saturday can either have a wait time of 2 hours or not crowded.  Thankfully, the diner wasn’t too crowded for a Saturday morning.

Atmosphere: A
The Candlewyck Diner is a more modern style building.  It’s not an old metallic trolley car like many diners. However, it does stand out along the road.

candlewyck east rutherford
Image via here

The inside is modern.  Like any of my favorite diners, you walk in next to a huge bakery section. Everything is baked on premise.  There are plenty of booths, tables, and a bar.  It’s not cramped, but they do fit a lot of seating.

Service: B
It wasn’t too busy, and it took over 10 minutes for the waitress to acknowledge we were there.  To be honest, I was worried it might become a meal we wait two hours for.  Luckily once she did come over she was friendly, provided plenty of refills and the food was out in less time than waiting for drinks.

Coffee: A
I haven’t had bad diner coffee in a while, and this was no exception.  The coffee was another great one, and I have no complaints.

Candlewyck Diner coffee

Food: A

The Candlewyck Diner has a huge menu.  There was a page dedicated to everything.  A page of pancakes, eggs, burgers, salads…you name it, there was a page devoted to it.

Candlewyck Diner Pancakes

 

I decided to order a combo that included two eggs, two sausages, hash browns, and toast.  I upgraded to from normal pancakes to chocolate chip.  The chocolate chip pancakes were light and fluffy.  The eggs, sausage, and hashbrowns were cooked well too.  They weren’t oozing in oil which I appreciated it.  The meal was massive, but it was exactly what I was craving after the race.

Candlewyck Diner Hashbrowns

Cost: $
For my coffee and breakfast combo, it was $14.  It wasn’t bad at all because of all of the food I received.

Summary/Would I come back?
I enjoyed the Candlewyck Diner, and there are so many options I would like to try.  I would go back.  I do hope they hire a few more servers, though!

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Service: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $10-15
Overall: A

Questions for you:

What is your favorite flavor of pancake?

What’s the longest you’ve waited for a server to acknowledge you?

Delmar Diner

Delmar Diner

Last week I stopped at the Delmar Diner located on the border of the Delaware and Maryland.  I’ve driven by on the way to college and work in Upstate, NY as well now back home to New Jersey.  It’s a diner I’ve passed a lot and have never paid it much attention.  I was getting hungry, so I stopped at a rest stop, googled diners and found this one.

Atmosphere: C
As I said earlier, it’s easy to drive by the Delmar Diner.  The outside blends into the scenery, and most people are focused on the state line 100 feet away.

Delmar Diner

The inside atmosphere is decent but nothing out of the ordinary.  The restaurant itself is clean, however, nothing unusual.  It’s a small restaurant with a small town feel.

Service: A
The waitress brought several refills to my water and coffee.  It was great service, and I have no complaints.  The food was brought out within 15 minutes, and I was in and out within 45 minutes.

Coffee: A
The coffee was a milder roast.  I liked it, and there were plenty or refills.  Any coffee that doesn’t taste like water is a win for me.  Even though there were plenty of refills, I forgot to take a photo.  You can only take so many photos of coffee without it becoming boring…

Food: A
The Delmar Diner has all of the typical diner options.  They have a lot of breakfast staples such as eggs, pancakes and omelets as well as a few different diner staples such as steak and chicken pot pie.  You won’t find healthier options here!

I decided to order the chocolate chip pancakes.  I’m a pancake snob.  I like big filling pancakes versus small dinky ones. The pancakes at the Delmar Diner were light and fluffy.  There were plenty of chocolate chips, and they were cooked all the way through with no uncooked batter.

They added more powdered sugar and chocolate chips on top.  I liked the pancakes a lot and after all of that sugar, I had plenty of energy to drive back to New Jersey.

pancakes1

Cost: $
For my coffee and pancakes, the cost was $8.  For the amount of food and coffee, it is a good value.

Would I come back?
I thought it was a good stop along the way, and I would stop again.

Summary:
Atmosphere: C
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $8-13
Overall: A-

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite type of pancake?
Do you like to stop and eat while traveling?