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Malibu Diner (Hoboken)

Malibu Diner (Hoboken)

A few weeks ago, I ended up in Hoboken at the Malibu Diner. I’ve heard the diner itself is good and have wanted to get up there for a while. It seemed to work out well.  When I arrived around noon, it wasn’t crowded at all. I was shocked! There isn’t a lot of parking so it was a nice surprise!

Atmosphere: A
The Malibu Diner is typical of any North Jersey Diner.  There is a bar and plenty of tables and booths.  I sat in the corner booth which was quiet.

Malibu Diner Hoboken

Coffee: A

The coffee at the Malibu Diner was good. I was pleasantly surprised to see they served Lacas coffee. It was hot and the waitress brought plenty of refills. Hard to argue with that!

Malibu Diner Hoboken
Food: A
The Malibu Diner has every option you need in a diner. I wasn’t sure what I was craving!

For those who don’t know, North Jersey has far better bagels than South Jersey so I decided to order a bagel.  I’m sure it wasn’t the best ever (according to my good friend Amelia’s view) but it was much better than anything in South Jersey.

Malibu Diner Hoboken

I decided to order a protein wrap which had every kind of breakfast meat you might want.  It was extremely packed. I was happy with it.

Malibu Diner Hoboken

Service: B

The waitress left for long periods but after a while she warmed up.  The food came out quickly and the manager checked on us a few times.

Cost: $14
For my wrap, bagel, and coffee the cost was $14.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?

The Malibu Diner is definitely one of my more favorite diners in the area and I would go back.  I was definitely happy with my experience.

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


To see all 202 diners click here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of bagel?
Do you have a favorite breakfast?

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201: Chobani’s Diner and Restaurant (Pennsville)

201: Chobani’s Diner and Restaurant (Pennsville)

I know what you’re thinking, and the diner was not named after Chobani yogurt!  Just kidding.  While driving down to Charlottesville, VA last month I opted to go to Chobani’s Diner and Restaurant in Pennsville, NJ.  It’s about 10 minutes from the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  I hadn’t heard of Chobani’s until I made a stop at the Salem Oak Diner and saw it on my way.  All I thought was, YES another easy stop when going south (either to my hometown of Chesapeake, VA) or just south.

Atmosphere: B
Chobani’s is a well-maintained diner.  When you arrive, there are plenty of booths and tables.  They have plenty of desserts and do serve alcohol.  When I arrived, I was seated quickly.  There weren’t that many people in the restaurant.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but there was nothing unique or unusual.  The waitress refilled it once.  I could have used more, but it was probably better since I was on the road.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

Food: A
I wasn’t sure what to expect for Chobani’s because there isn’t a lot of information online.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they had 5 options to choose from or 10,000.  Chobani’s has a massive menu, and you won’t find anything missing.  Chobani’s has plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  There are specials too.  There about 15 different salads to choose from if you want a healthier route.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

I decided to order a cheesesteak which came with fries and soup.  The cheesesteak was massive and had plenty of meat.  The french fries were excellent.  They weren’t great but not bad either.  Even though it was 95 degrees out, my chicken noodle soup was good as well.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

In all the food was good, and I would order it again.

Service: B

The waitress was extremely nice but the food took a lot longer to come to out than anticipated.  Since there weren’t many people in the restaurant, I expected it be a little faster.  Other than that, the waitress was friendly.

Cost: $
For my coffee and meal, the cost was $12.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I was pleasantly surprised with Chobani’s and liked it a lot.  If you’re looking for a quick stop near the Delaware Memorial Bridge, Chobani’s is a good one.

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

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Overall: A

Questions for you:
Have you been surprised by a restaurant?
Do you typically look up restaurants online?
I wanted to know more about the diner, beforehand but I couldn’t find anything online.

 

200 Diner Reviews

200 Diner Reviews

It’s now been over four years since I started reviewing diners.  You can see the full map here.

NJ Diner Map

Since starting my NJ Diner quest, I’ve been to just over 200 diners in New Jersey and about 50 diners in other parts of the world.  There are about 600 diners in NJ, but that changes from month to month.  I’ve been to at least 4 that have since closed!  :O

You can see reviews here or use the link at the top of the blog.

How did it start?  I get this question a lot.  Why do I go to diners?

My husband and I moved to New Jersey in October 2013.  I can’t believe it’s nearly been five years.  Before moving to NJ, we didn’t know much about the state.  I had driven the turnpike many times to college in upstate NY but other than that I didn’t know anything.  Like most people, I assumed it was just a densely populated state with a lot of traffic.

That is definitely isn’t the case.  New Jersey has hundreds of small towns, each having their own personality.  New Jersey is known as “the garden state,” and there are miles of fields and gardens.  We started going to different diners to see different parts of the state.  A diner along the shore of NJ is going to be far different than one on the outskirts of New York City.  It’s been a fun way to explore the state and see all different areas.

Do I only eat at diners?  No, of course not.  Have there been many weeks where I haven’t made it to a new diner?  Of course but it’s been a fun hobby to do, and I’ve seen so much of New Jersey!

I started reviewing diners in March of 2014.  Keep in mind, this just a personal experience.  An experience at any restaurant is different depending on the day, time, or who you go with.  I’m not a diner professional, food critic, or anyone other than a blogger who likes diners.

Here are a few of the highlights and lowlights:

All-Time Favorite Diner: Mastoris

Mastoris isn’t a typical diner.  It’s more of a modern and upscale restaurant, but I like their food and cake.  This was one of the first diners I went too, and I still continue to go back.  I think the food is excellent at Mastoris. However, I think the service is lackluster.  I’ve been about 20 times in the last 4 years.

Mastoris Cake

But which cake to get?

Least Favorite Diner: The Ridge Diner or Garden State Diner,

Each diner was a definite letdown.  Garden State was just all around bad.

Unforatrenly diner review number 200, the Ridge Diner, was as well.  Burnt crusty steak, poor service, and sitting on top of people.

The Ridge Diner park ridge nj

Diner went to the most times: Vincentown

I used to live closer to Vincentown.  Sadly, the quality of the food and service has gone downhill, so I haven’t been much at all.  I went from going three times a month to maybe once every few months.  Once the wait staff essentially assumed I was too young to afford.  The woman said to me, do you realize how much this will cost? Yes, that is a true story, and yes the meal was less than $20.

Another time, we overheard another waitress talking about her stripping job.  Personally, I don’t care, but when you hear a waitress talking about that to co-workers, it’s definitely a unique experience.   In four years, I’ve been 30+ times, but I haven’t been back recently.

Here are a Few Diners that Stand Out to Me:

I guess many of my favorite diners are due to their cake.

North:

Stateline Diner: Great Cake and Service

Jefferson Diner: Great food and service

Northeast (NYC area):

Brownstone: Best pancakes in the state

Chit Chat Diner: Fun and unique diner

Shore:

Mustache Bills: You can’t argue with mustache shaped pancakes

Mustache pancake

Central:

Tropicana: Most unique and Carribean themed!

Mastoris: Best all around

 

South:

Larrys 2: Great food, fast service

Larrys 2 vineland

Healthiest Diner: Silver Diner

The Silver Diner is a small chain, and there are a few across the east coast.  How many diners have Quinoa pancakes or a roasted vegetable salad?

Best Coffee: Any diner that serves the local Lacas coffee and has homemade whipped cream.
Worst Coffee: Princetonian: they charge for refills!
Biggest portions: Tropicana: For $24, I received all of this food.  I had run 15 miles and still made a full meal out of leftovers. 
Best Pancakes: Four Seasons in Toms River.  Any pancakes with red velvet in them are always good to me!Four Seasons Diner Toms River
Best Egg Breakfast: Amys Omelet House (Over 200 omelet choices!)

My nova lox and rye toast

Best Dinner Option: The Pork Chops with NJ fresh Blueberries from Larrys 2

Larrys 2 vineland

Cheapest Diner: Angelos (around $5 for a meal)
Most Expensive: Vincentown (typically $20+ for a meal)

So cheers to 200 diners. Hopefully, I’ll make it another 100 but who knows what will happen.

Questions for you:

Have you been to a diner before? 

Where is your favorite place to eat? 

 

 

Ridge Diner (Park Ridge)

Ridge Diner (Park Ridge)

Diner Number 200…

I’ve been waiting to reach this point for a couple of months now.  Once I reached about 175, I became increasingly excited to go with my 200th.  Why like anything it’s just a number.  For 100, I ended up at the Silver Coin Diner in Hammonton.

We were traveling back from Connecticut and the Ridge Diner in Park Ridge, NJ was right on the way.  A few people had mentioned it was a good diner so I decided to stop.  Maybe it was just an off day, but nothing about my experience there was pleasant.

Atmosphere: F
I arrived during the lunch hour, and almost every table, booth, and seat was taken.  Being busy is fine, and I have no issues waiting.  There was one table in the far back, and I was immediately sat there.  The problem was, the tables were far too close to each other, and upon sitting down, a waiter said I would need to “scoot in” for the meal because he couldn’t pass.  I don’t sit exceptionally far from tables, in fact, I sit rather close to things.  In order to be close enough, my body was sitting against the table.  During the entire meal, I felt as though as I was sharing a conversation, a meal, and time, with 3 other parties.

Coffee: B

The coffee was decent.  It wasn’t good or bad, but the waitress didn’t bring until the meal when I asked.

The Ridge Diner park ridge nj

Food: F
The menu for the Ridge Diner is impressive.  They have everything from breakfast to lunch, and dinner.  They have plenty of healthy options including salads and sandwiches.  I decided to order the steak and eggs.  I had a good experience at the previous diner, so had high hopes.

The Ridge Diner park ridge nj

The steak was one of the most rubbery pieces I’ve had.  The meal was small, and it when it came out, it didn’t even look appetizing.  When I went to eat the steak, it tasted as if it had burned residue from other meals and was cooked dirty grill.  It didn’t taste good.  I tried to find the positive, but it just wasn’t a good meal.  The food took so long to come out,  I didn’t have a lot of extra time to wait for a new meal.

The Ridge Diner park ridge nj

Service: D
The waitress was friendly which saved the entire service.  She was so busy, and the food took far too long to come out.

Cost: $
For my steak and eggs as well as coffee, it was $18 which was not worth it at all.  It was the worst restaurant steak I’ve had, and the portion didn’t merit the price either.

Overall thoughts/Would I Come back:
No.  It stinks to have a bad experience, but that is all about the journey.

Atmosphere: F
Coffee: B
Food: F
Service: D
Cost: $10-20
Overall: F

You can see all 200 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:

Tell me about one of your worst dining experiences!

How do you like your steak cooked?

The Boulevard Diner (North Bergen)

The Boulevard Diner (North Bergen)

After the Irish Festival 5k last month, I found myself hungry in North Bergen.  Going to diners on the weekend can be hit or miss regarding how busy they are, especially in North Bergen.  When I arrived around 11:00, every table but one was taken.  Perfect! By the time I left, around noon it was much less crowded.

Atmosphere: A
The Boulevard Diner is everything you expect in a diner. The outside is modern, while the inside has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  There is also an alcohol bar which is more common in North Jersey than south.

The boulevard diner north bergen nj

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitress brought a few refills.  There was nothing to write home about, but it was good coffee.  Not that I should have drunk as much as I did since I was on a road trip.

The boulevard diner north bergen nj

Food: A
There is everything you can imagine at the Boulevard Diner.  There are plenty of breakfast options, as well as healthy lunch options, and of course dinners such as seafood and steak.  As usual, after a road race, I tend to be somewhat hungry.  I decided to order the steak and eggs.  Sometimes diner steak is awful, and sometimes it’s good.

Luckily this was not only good but the best diner steak I’ve personally had.  The portion for a breakfast steak was also huge!  It was cooked medium rare as requested with two over easy eggs.  It was definitely one of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a while.

The boulevard diner north bergen nj

Service: A
For how busy the Boulevard Diner was, our waitress was very attentive and friendly.  Our food came out extremely fast as well.

Price: $
For my steak and eggs and coffee, the cost was $18.

Overall Thoughts/ Would I Come Back?
I enjoyed the Boulevard Diner a lot, and it was definitely one of the better diners I’ve been too.

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

You can see all 199 diners here. 

The 200th NJ review and a look back at diners both come next week! 

Questions for you:
Do you have any questions, topics you would like to see in the Diner Awards post?  (like favorite breakfast, worse food, etc).  Let me know!
What is your favorite way to eat eggs?

 

Parthenon Diner (Branford, CT)

Parthenon Diner (Branford, CT)

On the way home from Rhode Island last month, we decided to stop at the Parthenon Diner in Branford, CT.  It was an easy stop less than half a mile from the highway, so it made sense.  After eating out all weekend, we wanted something easy, simple, and light.  I didn’t do much of any research and saw the Parthenon Diner was right off the highway.

Atmosphere: B
When we arrived, we saw it was reviewed as one of the top diners in CT.  The atmosphere is big with plenty of space.  There is nothing out of the ordinary, but it does have plenty of room, so you never feel as though you’re sitting on top of anyone.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, and I have no complaints.  It was definitely stereotypical diner coffee and slightly burnt.

parthenon diner branford ct

Food: B
There are plenty of options at the Parthenon Diner.  One thing, I appreciated was the number of specials. When you eat out for several days in a row, saving money at restaurants seems like a bigger deal.  I ordered the beet and goat cheese salad with steak off of the specials menu.  There were plenty of beets and goat cheese, but it could have used a few more greens.  The steak was that of normal diners.  It tasted as if it had been frozen and recooked.  It wasn’t bad though, and I would order it again.parthenon diner branford ct

Service: C
Our waitress took a while to come to our table, and we quickly realized it was because she was on her smoke break.  She was friendly but definitely smelled very strongly of cigarettes.  From what I can gather based on timing, she went on a smoke break a couple of times.

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

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Parthenon Diner and would go back.  It’s an easy stop right off of 95.

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

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Do you ever order off of the specials menu?
Do you like beets?

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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