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Larrys II (Vineland)

I’ve been trying to get to more diners South. Recently, I drove down to the Vineland to try Larrys II.  I heard it was one of the best diners in Salem county, so I wanted to go.

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of Larrys II is modern.  It’s not a big, retro, diner but more of a modern square building. The inside has several rooms, a full-length bar, as well as a salad bar.  Interestingly enough, it’s attached to a coffee bar so you can come in, hang out with friends and get a cup of coffee.  It is unique.

Coffee: A
Since the Larrys II was attached to the coffee bar, the coffee was great.  It was my favorite local brews: Lacas.  One of the best touches was a large, logo coffee mug.  I don’t know why more diners don’t use bigger cups or even logo mugs.  They are also for sale at the front.  Most of my at home coffee mugs come from diners that sell them or races.

Larrys 2 vineland

Service: A
I was there on a Friday evening, and it was definitely busy.  It was evident our waitress was moving around and helping several tables at once.  One of the best aspects was how quickly the food came out.  The appetizer and order were out almost in the blink of an eye.

Food: A
The menu at Larrys II is smaller than most diners.  There is about a page of specials and two pages of food.  What intrigued me most was the salad bar, as many diners don’t have it.Larrys 2 vineland

The salad bar was fresh and refilled often.  There were plenty of salad toppings and unique salads such as three beans, marinated mushrooms and my personal favorite, beets.

I also had heard nothing but great things about the tomato bruschetta, so I decided to order that as well.  It was delicious, and the balsamic topping was great.  I would recommend it.

Larrys 2 vineland

For my entree, I ordered the pork chops off of the specials menu.  The pork chops were marinated with a special blueberry topping and came with a vegetable medley cole slaw and mashed potatoes.

Everything was cooked well, and it was definitely one of the better pork chops I’ve had.  The food was one of the best I’ve had at a diner.Larrys 2 vineland

Cost: $20
For my pork chops and coffee, the cost was $20.  It was a great deal, especially with the salad bar.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food: A
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A

I enjoyed Larrys II and it is definitely one of my favorite diners in Southern New Jersey.  If you’re ever around the Vineland or passing to the shore, I would recommend it.

Closeby Diners I’ve been: Malaga Diner, Maurice River Diner 
Questions for you:
Do you like pork chops?
What is the best restaurant salad bar you’ve been too?

 

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John’s City Diner (Birmingham, Al)

John’s City Diner (Birmingham, Al)

First, did you know it’s International Waffle Day?  It’s the perfect day to celebrate at a diner…

When I relocated to Alabama, I knew I had to go to John’s City Diner (Birmingham). It has been consistently named one of Alabamas best diners. Making the time to get to the diner is tough.

For a diner, it has odd hours including not being open on Sundays and only open for dinner on Saturdays.  So yes, John’s City Diner is not open for breakfast on weekends.  Due to my schedule, I almost thought I wouldn’t be able to make it to Johns City Diner at all.

Johns City Diner is located right in downtown Birmingham.  Since it’s in the downtown, it’s located in a row of buildings and not the usual stand-alone diner you see.

Johns City Diner Birmingham

Atmosphere: B
The outside has a big sign that says, Johns. There isn’t a lot from the outside that screams diner. In fact, it’s easy to miss Johns City Diner unless you’re looking for it.  I ran by it twice during the Drum Run and had no idea.

The inside is painted to match a diner atmosphere. There are several booths and tables. There is an awkward bar in the corner, but it doesn’t appear to be used much. There is a large diner room with plenty of booths and tables.

Coffee: A
The coffee at Johns City Diner was brewed fresh, and the whipped cream was homemade. It was one of the better diner coffee I’ve had recently.Johns City Diner Birmingham

Service: C
The waitress seemed preoccupied or as if she was having a bad day. Even though we got there at opening (5 pm), it took a while for our table to receive food and drinks.

Food: B
The menu at Johns City Diner is limited. Johns City Diner is known for their comfort food and they have everything from garlicky spinach to meatload with all-natural gravy.

There is a single page of food, and they are well known for their mac and cheese as well as chicken and waffles. I had been very excited to try their chicken and waffles, but when we went, they were out of chicken. To be honest, I was disappointed but what can you do.

For an appetizer, we ordered the fancy bacon which was bacon with grits. It was a small portion, but the bacon and grits were delicious.  It was rich and while small, quite filling.  It was some of the best grits I’ve had!

Johns City Diner Birmingham

Because they were out of chicken and waffles, I ordered the pork chops. I was pleasantly surprised because it was a huge portion of pork chops. I was expecting a smaller size. The pork chops at Johns City Diner were delicious and cooked perfectly. It also came with a large portion of sweet potatoes and garlicky spinach. I enjoyed both. Johns City Diner Birmingham

I was disappointed Johns City Diner was out of their signature menu item, but the food was still good.  I was able to go again right before we left and ordered the chicken and waffles.  Johns City Diner is farm to table and they use Natural Creekstone farms beef, Maple Leaf Farms Duck, and Springer Mountain Farms Chicken. It was by far the best chicken and waffles I’ve had to date.  The chicken portion was actually bigger than the waffle! Johns City Diner Birmingham

Dessert: A
We ordered the white chocolate bread pudding which was perfect. I have no complaints.  I prefer bread pudding that is actually a piece of bread so this fit the bill. Johns City Diner Birmingham

Cost: $$
For my coffee, the appetizer, entree, and dessert the cost was $40. It was pricey for a diner, but I’m not sure I would classify Johns City Diner as a diner.

Overall thoughts/ Summary:
I liked Johns City Diner, but I was extremely disappointed they were out of the chicken and waffles.  If I’m in Birmingham, I would like to come back, but with their limited weekend hours, I don’t know if that’s possible.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Service: C
Food: B
Dessert: A
Cost: $20+
Overall: B

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Where is the best place you’ve had chicken and waffles? 
Has a restaurant ever been out of something you were excited to order?

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