Park Ave Diner

A few weeks ago, my friend Devon and I met at the Park Ave Diner in South Plainfield, NJ.  I hadn’t heard of the diner until recently, but it was the perfect time to meet up.  It just so happened we met up on Halloween weekend, so they were dressed and festive for that as well.

park ave diner South Plainfield
It was pouring rain when we arrived, so I borrowed this photo from their website

Atmosphere: A
The Park Ave Diner is a hidden gem in South Plainfield.  It’s modern, well kept and clean.  The inside has plenty of seating and booths as well as a full bar.  I was surprised!

Service: A
We had several different waiters help us at the Park Ave Diner and check on is.  It is actually one of the best teams of service I’ve received at a diner and even a restaurant.  They brought plenty of refills and made sure everything tasted great.  When Devon and I went the first time on Halloween weekend, each staff member was dressed up.  Our primary waiter was dressed as a banana.

Coffee: A
The coffee was extremely hot.  Since it was pouring rain outside, all I wanted was piping hot coffee.  There was plenty of whipped cream as well.  It tasted great and I have no complaints.

Park Ave Diner South Plainfield

Food: A
The Park Ave Diner has everything you can imagine: Seafood, steak and everything else.  The first time I went, Devon got the “50 Shades of Green” salad.  Honestly, I regretted not getting that.  I ended up driving through the area last week and decided to get the “50 shades of green salad”.  How unique and fun!

Park Ave Diner South Plainfield

I added cheese and salmon but the salad came with several mixed different mixed greens as well as walnuts.  It was one of the best salads I’ve had in a while.

Cost: $$
For my coffee and salad, the cost was $22.  Not bad, considering the quality of food was extremely high.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come Back?
I liked the Park Ave Diner enough that I’ve already been back a second time for the “50 Shades of Green Salad”.  It’s definitely one of the better diners I’ve been too.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Price: $15-20
Overall: A

Questions for you:
What is the most uniquely named food item you’ve ordered?
Did you dress up for Halloween this year? 

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? 

Ivy Stone Diner, Bar and Grill

The Ivy Stone Diner in Iselin has been on my to-do list for a while.  As most people know, I like seafood a lot.  Growing up in Virginia Beach, you’re never far from seafood.  The Ivy Stone Diner and Lounge, claims to have the “the best seafood” around.

I met my friend, Christine, for lunch.  We arrived around noon, and there were only two other parties in the restaurant.

Atmosphere: B
The Ivy Stone Diner is having a major identity crisis.  Is it a diner? A nightclub? A bar? It’s a very fancy restaurant with minimal features that make it a diner.  It’s nice, but the ritzy chandelier or moonlit bathroom sink hardly classify it as a diner.

Ivy Stone Diner and Lounge
The moonlit bathroom sink

Service: C
It was clear the server was extremely new.  He was nice and refilled our beverages when we asked.  For only two other parties in the restaurant, the food came out very slowly. I felt like I’ve been to many other diners, much more crowded that the food came out quickly.  It was borderline slow for a buddy restaurant let alone a diner with three parties.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good.  It was brought out hot and fresh.  We had plenty of refills as well.Ivy Stone Diner and Lounge

Food: C
The Ivy Stone Diner has a small menu.  It more resembles a bar than a diner.  There aren’t a lot if breakfast options.  Since they are well known for their seafood, I ordered salmon and a Greek salad.  I was shocked when I tasted the salmon.

It was apparently frozen and reheated. It wasn’t terrible but the hardly quality I would label as “the best.”  The Greek salad was good, and I enjoyed the dressing.Ivy Stone Diner and Lounge

Price: $$
For my salmon, salad, coffee the cost was $21.  It was more on the pricy side for the quality of food and size.

Summary/Would I come back?
The Ivy Stone Diner is interesting and not the usual “diner.”  It’s not a bad stop, just a very ok restaurant.

Atmosphere: B
Service: C
Coffee: B
Food: C
Price: $12-20

Overall: C
Questions for you:
Do you like seafood?
Is your area known for anything?

Route 130 Diner

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Eric and I visited the Route 130 Diner in Delran.  Eric is a fast local runner who is a good friend.  We originally met through work, and he trains with some of my faster coworkers.

I’m always skeptical of diners that are within 20 minutes of my house that I haven’t been too.  At this point, I’ve been to most, if not all of the diners that have been recommended by friends.  I’ve steered clear of local diners that people have told me are not great.  I hadn’t heard much about the Route 130 Diner in Delran, so I didn’t know what to expect.

We arrived around 6 pm on a Friday, and it was packed.  It was one of the few diners that we even had to wait for a table.

Atmosphere: B
The Route 130 Diner layout reminds me of an Old Golden Corral.  It uses wooden side paneling as well as similar booths.  There is a bar and bakery case.  The bakery case caught my eye.

There are actually two entry doors to the restaurant, and it’s extremely confusing.  People come and go from both sides and then you don’t know where the line to be seated starts or ends.

Service: B
We waited for about 5 minutes for our waitress to acknowledge us but once she did, she brought over drinks and took our food.  I felt as though as I was always asking her for refills, but she was friendly.

Coffee: A
The coffee at the Route 130 Diner was great.  The waitress added lots of whipped cream (let’s be honest more whipped cream always wins).  Plus it was hot.  I have no complaints and it one of the better diner coffees I’ve had.

Route 130 diner Delran

Food: A
The menu for the Route 130 Diner isn’t posted online anywhere, so I had no idea what to expect.  They do have everything from breakfast to lunch to dinner.  I saw a table order a salad next to me and decided to go with the same one.

Route 130 diner Delran

Their house salad resembled a Greek Salad with a lot of cheese.  There was an entire layer of cheese, but I didn’t mind.  I think all entree salads should come with meat, cheese, and bread.  If not I will probably order some.

I ordered salmon, and it was extremely fresh.  I was pleasantly surprised with how large the portion was as well as the quality of the food.  Honestly, it was one of the best salad I’ve had at a restaurant in a while.

Dessert: C
I decided to order the German Chocolate Cake to take home.  The frosting of the cake was good. However, it tasted as if the cake had been sitting for quite some time.  The pieces of layer cake were hard and somewhat crusty.  It wasn’t the worst cake I’ve had but not the best either.  If I came back, I probably wouldn’t have ordered the cake.

Cost: $
For my coffee, salad, and cake the cost was $22.  That’s not too bad for the amount of food as well as the quality of the entree.

Summary/Would I come back?
I was pleasantly surprised with the Route 130 Diner in Delran.  It’s a great stop if you are heading North from Philadelphia or around the area.  It’s one of the better diners I’ve been too locally.

Closeby Diners: Jersey Diner, Golden Dawn Diner, and Dolphin Diner

Summary:
Atmosphere: C
Coffee: A
Service: B
Food: A
Dessert: C
Cost: $12-20
Overall: B

Questions for you:
Have you ever ordered something because you saw another table order it?
When was the last time you were pleasantly surprised at a restaurant? 

The Continental (Philadelphia)

Recently I went to the Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar in Philadelphia.

While it’s always 5 pm somewhere, it was a little early for a martini.  I’ve heard the restaurant and diner is delicious and in fact, it was ranked as having the biggest and best salads in Philadelphia.  So why not?

Atmosphere: A 
The Continental is a lot bigger than anticipated.  When looking inward, it looks like a 10 table restaurant.  However, when you get into the restaurant, you realize there are 3-4 rooms and two full bars.  It was surprising!  I love the inside, and it’s very classic diner.

The Continental Philadelphia

Service: B
The waitress was nice and made helpful recommendations.  She refilled our drinks when we asked.  It was strange because 3/4 of the meals came out at the same time, but my husband’s food came out 10 minutes later.  It would have been better if they had waited for all four meals.

Coffee: D
Sadly, this was some of the worst coffee I’ve had at a restaurant or diner.  The coffee was luke warm at best.  Honestly, I didn’t want a refill because it wasn’t great.

The Continental Philadelphia

Food: A
The menu at the Continental is small, but they focus on fancier food dishes.  As I mentioned, they are well known for their salads, so I decided to order the Continental salad which contained chicken.  The salad was one of the biggest portioned salads I’ve had, and all of the ingredients were fresh.

The Continental Philadelphia salad

I also ordered the octopus since I like octopus.  The octopus was cooked in olive oil and came with pita bread.  Octopus and pita bread…I couldn’t ask for a better combination.

The Continental Philadelphia

Cost: $$$

For my salad, octopus and coffee the cost was $33.  It’s pricer, but the food was fresh and worth it.

Overall summary/would I come back? 

I really enjoyed the Continental, and I’ll be back.  Next time I’ll skip the coffee but other than that, it’s a great diner/restaurant.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: D
Service: B
Food: A
Price: $20-30
Overall: B

Questions for you:
Have you ever been to a martini bar? 
Do you like octopus? 

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? 

Fountainbleau Diner

Fountainbleau Diner
Last week, the owner of New Jersey Isn’t Boring, and I met up at the Fountainbleau Diner in Piscataway Township, NJ. It was one that neither of us had been too, so it made sense.  She is also going to every diner in New Jersey, but been to quite a few more.  We got to the FountainBleau Diner on a weekday for lunch and it was moderately busy but not overwhelming.

We got to the FountainBleau Diner on a weekday for lunch and it was moderately busy but not overwhelming.

Atmosphere: A
The diner itself has a cobblestone exterior and the interior is old school with plenty of mirrors.  There were a lot of mirors and it made the space appear bigger.  It felt like the “What Not to Wear 360 Mirror” but it was cool.

It was clean and nice.

Fountainbleau diner

Service: A
The waitress was friendly and funny.  Any waitress that cracks a few jokes is a winner in my books.  You can’t beat that and she brought plenty of refills.  Our food came out quickly and I have no complaints.

Coffee: B
There was nothing unusual or unique about it but it wasn’t bad either.  I haven’t had any amazing coffee lately but I haven’t had bad coffee either. I enjoyed the coffee and there was a good amount of whipped cream.

Fountainbleau diner

Food: A
The Fountainbleau diner has several options but it’s not overwhelming.  The diner actually has a smaller menu with “only” 4 pages.  I’ve been to some diners with 10-15 filled pages.

What is overwhelming is the amount of lunch specials they have for $8.51.  It took me a few minutes to decide what I wanted.  I decided to go for the Chicken Souvlaki.  I had ordered it a few weeks Sage Diner and I liked it.  It might be one of my new favorite lunch staples.

The special came with soup and I decided to order a salad instead of fries.  Lentil soup is one of my favorite soups and it was thick and full of lentils.  It had huge chunks of celery and I liked it.

Fountainbleau diner

The chicken Souvlaki was much different than the previous diner.  It was stuffed with tzatziki sauce, lettuce, grilled chicken and onions. It wasn’t too greasy and I enjoyed it.  While I forgot to

While I forgot to photo of the salad, it was a typical side salad.  There was nothing unusual.  Next time I think I’ll just order a greek salad too.  Even ordering a full Greek salad, two meals would be cheaper than a single meal at several other diners.

Fountainbleau diner

Cost: $
This was one of my cheapest meals to date.  For my entire meal including the coffee and side salad upgrade, it was $10.

Overall/Would I come back?
I really enjoyed the Fountainbleau diner. The food as very inexpensive as well as large portions. I would go back.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Service: A
Food: A
Price: $7-10
Overall: B

Questions for you:
What’s the cheapest meal you’ve had?
What is your favorite soup?