Budd Lake Diner

Recently, I went to the Budd Lake Diner in Mount Olive, New Jersey.  I went on a Monday for lunch, and it was fairly busy.  Luckily, there was plenty of parking.

For some reason, I had it in my mind the Budd Lake Diner was going to be a metallic diner.  It wasn’t, but it was still nice.

Atmosphere: B
The atmosphere of the Budd Lake Diner is different than what I anticipated, but it wasn’t bad.  For some reason, I expected it to be in a big, shiny, metallic building.

The outside is actually a square, cobblestone building while the inside is what you expect in a diner.  There are plenty of booths, several tables, and a full-length bar.  It took a while to locate the dessert case which is hidden in the back.  I would have ordered dessert, but I couldn’t see it well.  I wanted a giant diner cookie to go, but they didn’t seem to have them.

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed fresh, and the waitress refilled it often.  While there was nothing unique or extraordinary, it wasn’t bad either.

Budd Lake Diner Mount Olive

Service: B
The waitress at the Budd Lake Diner seemed a bit standoffish.  She was never rude but wasn’t welcoming either.  She refilled our beverages and brought our food out quickly.   It was one of the faster restaurants we’ve been too!

Food: C
The Budd Lake Diner serves everything 24-7.  You can get a steak at 4 am if you want it.  I always appreciate 24-7 diners because you can usually get any food you want at any time.  Breakfast at 10 pm? Or dinner at 6 am…

I ordered scrambled eggs, with “Taylor ham,” and hash browns as well as buttered rye toast.  I was disappointed with the portion size of the food.  Normally scrambled diner eggs are light and fluffy, but these just tasted packaged.  The Taylor Ham was good, and it’s hard to mess up toast.  Was it the greatest diner meal, I’ve had? No, but it was edible.  It was one of the smallest portions of food I’ve received!

budd lake diner mount olive

Cost: $$
For my meal and coffee, the cost was about $11.  It was expensive for the quality and quantity of the food.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back? 
The Budd Lake Diner wasn’t a bad stop, and it was a typical diner in New Jersey.  There wasn’t anything unique or unusual to draw me back, and I found it more pricey for the quality and quantity of food.

Atmosphere: B
Service: C
Coffee: B
Food: C
Cost: $8-20
Overall: C

Nearby Diners I’ve been: River Star, Randolph, and Jefferson (on of my top 5)

Questions for you: 
What is your favorite way to eat eggs? 
New Jersey friends: Is it, Taylor Ham or Pork Roll? 😉 

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Northfield Diner

Recently I found myself in the Somers Point area.  Since it was around dinner time, I decided to stop at a local diner.  I had already been to the Windjammer which I’m a fan of but drove a little further north to the Northfield Diner.  

When I arrived, there was only one car in the parking lot.  To be honest, I didn’t even know if the diner was open.  Luckily when I walked in, there were about 4 parties dining.  Since it’s a locals area, my guess is they all walked! 

Atmosphere: C

Northfield Diner Somers Point NJ

The Northfield diner atmosphere is everything you hope in for.  It’s a big, open, diner with plenty of booths, tables, and a full sized bar.  They have a few desserts towards the front.  

There were, however, a few small quirks including not having placements and the blender being in the front.  I guess someone was getting a milkshake or smoothie when we arrived because it was in full use.  When they first started using it, I honestly thought something had broken in the diner.

Coffee: B

The coffee at the Northfield Diner is decent.  There is nothing unique or unusual about it, but it’s not bad either.  The waitress added a bowl of whipped cream versus adding it directly on top.  I don’t have any complaints.  Northfield Diner Somers Point NJ

Service: B

The service at the Northfield Diner wasn’t bad, but it was slow for a number of people in the restaurant.  It took over 25 minutes for our food to arrive which was surprising due to how empty it was.  

Food: B

The menu is massive, and they have most anything a diner would typically have.  In fact, it has one of the biggest menus I’ve seen in awhile.  There were over 6 pages of options including breakfast, plenty of salads, specials, and seafood.  

I ordered a Jalapeño Burger.  When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised.  I wasn’t sure what to expect and realistically didn’t have high expectations.  

The bun was perfectly toasted and tasted great.  What really impressed me was the jalapenos weren’t from a jar and were fresh.  The patty itself was juicy.  

Northfield Diner Somers Point NJ

The burger came with fries which were cooked well.  I haven’t had steak fries in awhile.  

Cost: $$

For my burger and coffee, the cost was $11.  I have no complaints.  

Overall summary/thoughts: 

I enjoyed the Northfield Diner.  The atmosphere is a bit outdated but other than that I have no complaints. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first arrived, but the food was good, and I would come back.  I was pleasantly surprised by the entire experience.  There was nothing crazy or unique, but it was a quality stop. 

Summary:

Atmosphere: C

Service: B

Coffee: B

Food: B

Cost: $8-12

Overall: B

Closeby Diners I’ve been too: Phoenix, Windjammer 

Question for you: 

What’s your favorite type of burger? 

Lacey Diner (Lacey Township)

Recently my good friend Cyd who is also the website owner of New Jersey Isn’t Boring, and I met at the Lacey Diner.  We had been planning to go for the last few months, but weather and timing never worked out.

We got to the Lacey Diner for early lunch, and it wasn’t busy.

Atmosphere: C
The atmosphere of Lacey Diner isn’t too interesting.  It’s located in an old shopping center and isn’t a stand-alone diner. Once you get inside, it has a few booths, tables, and a bar.  The only diner I’ve been too that’s smaller, is Angelos in Glassboro, NJ. Lacey Diner is small and cute with nothing unique or unusual.  It is, however, clean and well kept.

Service: A
The waitress at the Lacey Diner was excellent.  She was nice, refilled our beverages and was friendly.  We couldn’t have asked for a more positive experience.

Coffee: A
lacey dinerThe Lacey Diner brews my favorite coffee, Lacas.  It was hot and refilled often.  The waitress also added a lot of whipped cream.  It was definitely one of the better coffees I’ve had recently.

Food: B
The menu at the Lacey Diner is on the smaller side.  It is a small, front and back.  They have several breakfast options, sandwiches, and burgers.  Will you find a very healthy option?  Probably not, but it has a real diner menu.

I decided to order the Greek Omelet with home fries.  The Greek omelet was one of the better omelets I’ve had recently. It came with feta cheese, spinach and tomato. It was big but also had a lot of filling.  The home fries were nothing out of the ordinary but not bad either.

lacey diner

Cost: $
For me omelet and coffee, the cost was $11 which wasn’t bad.

Overall thoughts/Summary:

I liked the Lacey Diner and had a good experience.  It’s a nice, quiet, local, diner with great options.  If you’re looking for the stereotypical diner experience, you won’t go wrong with the Lacey Diner.

Atmosphere: C
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: B
Cost: $7-12
Overall: B

Nearby Diners I’ve been too: Crystal Diner and Four Seasons Diner (Both in Toms River)

Questions for you:
What are your favorite omelets?
Do you like the beach?

 

Cosmic Diner (NYC)

While in New York City, I wanted to try a new diner.  As luck would have if, we ended up at two.  The first we went too was the Cosmic Diner.  One great aspect about the diner is that it’s open 24-7.  Surprisingly, many diners are not!

Image via Cosmic Diner website.


cosmic diner NYC

Atmosphere: A
For a tiny diner, it has everything a diner needs.  There are plenty of booths, tables and a small bar located in the back.

Even though it was a small diner, you had space and weren’t sitting on top of anyone.

Coffee: A 
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh and I have no complaints.   cosmic diner NYC

Service: B
Despite not being terribly busy, our waitress wasn’t present too much.  It wasn’t the best service but she was never rude to us.  We could have definitely used more beverage refills.

Food: C 
The Cosmic Diner has all of the regular diner staples.  There is plenty of breakfast, lunch and dinner options but nothing unique or that sticks out.

I decided to stick with a tried and true diner staple: the gyro.  When it came I noticed, there was a huge mound of salad and minimal French fries.  Normally it’s quite the opposite. I asked for Greek dressing and the waitress said she had no idea was Greek dressing was.

The gyro itself was good.  There wasn’t anything too special about it.  The French fries were the same story.  I appreciated the amount of salad though.  cosmic diner NYC

Cost: $$
For my gyro and coffee, the cost was $18.  The value of the food was a turnoff. That is extremely pricey.  The value is not there.

Summary/Would I come back? 
It wasn’t a terrible stop but I probably won’t be back.  As mentioned, the value of the food was a turnoff. There are plenty of unique and fun restaurants close-by or cheaper restaurants with better quality food.  Was a bad meal?  No.  Was it a life changing, amazing meal?  No.

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

Questions for you:
Do you like gyro?
New York City locals: what is your favorite diner?

The Continental Diner (Burlington)

As you can see, while not running, I’ve been to a heck of a lot more diners.  The Continental Diner recently reopened.  It used to be known as the Dolphin Diner, and I ate there several years ago.

When my mom and I arrived around 6 pm on a weekday, there was only one other party in the restaurant.  There were never more than a few people during our entire experience.

Atmosphere: B
The Continental Diner hasn’t changed much of the environment of the Dolphin Diner.  They added a new highway sign but other than that the inside is very similar.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a half full dessert case.  The desserts inside did look good.  I saw a few that I wanted to try.

The Continental Diner Burlington
Same appearance as the previous “Dolphin Diner”

Coffee: C
While the coffee was brewed hot, they were out of whipped cream.  A diner without whipped cream?  The coffee was good, but being out of whipped cream was disappointing.The Continental Diner Burlington

Service: B
For an extremely undercrowded diner, the waitress didn’t come by often.  I was surprised when it took a while to take our orders and bring drinks.  She was nice, but overall the service was slow.

Food: B
Without running, I’ve been making more of an effort to eat healthier.  The menu at the Continental Diner is typical of most New Jersey diners.  There is nothing that sticks out.

I decided to order the Greek salad was salmon.  It came with soup and I chose the lentil.  The soup was good.  There wasn’t anything unique but I have no complaints.The Continental diner burlington

When the salad arrived, I was surprised with how big it was.  I wasn’t expecting that and definitely in the top percentage of diner salads I’ve had.The Continental diner burlington

Dessert: A
Even though they didn’t have a lot of desserts left, I noticed the chocolate oreo cake and wanted to go with that.  The cake itself was great, it consisted of a large layer of frosting which was almost mousse-like and then a chocolate cake underneath.  It was one of the better diner cakes I’ve had and I have no complaints.  I would order it again…and again.

The Continental Diner Burlington

Cost: $
For my coffee, salad, cake and ice cream the cost was $22.  It was a great price, and I left feeling full.

Overall thoughts/Summary:
I actually like the new Continental Diner better than the Dolphin Diner.  I think they could use more personalization for the name.  I was disappointed they were out of whipped cream.  I’ll be back.

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

Overall: B 
Closeby Diners: Route 130, Jersey Diner, Cinnaminson Diner

Questions for you:
Have you ordered anything and a restaurant was out? 
I find that happens more with farm to table restaurants…

Have you been to a restaurant before and after it was open under new management?

Coach House Diner (North Bergen)

Recently I was at the Coach House Diner and Restaurant in North Bergen.  Before leaving, I googled diners closeby, and the Coach House was only three miles away.  I was driving around I arrived around 4 pm, and it took me over 20 minutes to drive 3 miles!  I should have run.
The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen
Atmosphere: A 
The Coach House plays the theme of a Coach House well.  The outside looks like an old Coach House in the metro of North Bergen.  It definitely sticks out.

The inside is dimly lit with stained glass windows.  It’s large, and there are plenty of windows.  It’s always good to the diner that went with it’s theme.

Service: C
The service at the Coach House was extremely slow.  When I arrived, there were no more than 5 parties in the entire restaurant, but I still waited 5 minutes to be seated.  The server came over a few times, but the food took a lot longer to come out than it should have.

Coffee: C
The coffee was okay. It was boring but at least it was warm, and there were no coffee beans inside.  It was nothing unique or special to write about.

The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen coffee

Food: B
The Coach House Diner has a lot more dinner and pub fare than actual diner fare.  While you can get breakfast all day, the Coach House focuses more on dinner options such as steak, seafood, and burgers.

I ordered the Coach House Grilled Salad as an appetizer.  When it came out, I was surprised to find no actual greens for the “salad.” It was a few ingredients separated on a plate.  There was chicken, grilled zucchini, mushrooms, and broccoli.  On the uncooked side, there were onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives.

The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen Salad

There were far too many uncooked onions that most of them were left uneaten.  It was an odd combination of either everything needed to be cooked or a raw salad.  I enjoyed the grilled vegetables much more.  It lacked bread which could have made it ten times better.   The appetizer wasn’t bad but could have used a few upgrades.

For my entree, I ordered the guacamole burger.  It felt as if they dumped packaged guacamole onto a burger, added a few toppings and called it a day.  It wasn’t a bad burger, but it felt as though they didn’t try at all.  The French fries were good but nothing usual.  My actual entree was underwhelming.

The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen

Cost: $$
For the appetizer, coffee, and burger the cost was $24.  It wasn’t a bad price considering the appetizer was essentially another meal.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 
The Coach House wasn’t a bad stop. My meal was fine, but there are other diners around I prefer.

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

Closeby Diners I’ve Been: Tenafly Diner, Brownstone Diner (one of my favorites)

Questions for you:
Do you like onions? 
Where is the best guacamole you’ve had? 

Point 40 Diner (Monroeville, NJ)

Last month, Angela was back in town after running the Boston Marathon.  As many people know, Angela moved out to Colorado a few months ago.  It’s always tough when one of your good friends moves but I was excited we could catch up after she ran a great Boston in not so ideal weather.

Last year, Angela and I ran a 20 miler together when she was training for the Philadelphia full marathon, and I was contemplating doing another full.  While I ultimately decided that marathoning still wasn’t for me, it was still a fun time.

We decided to go to the Point 40 Diner in Monroeville, NJ.  It has been on my diner to do list for a while, and it was the perfect opportunity.  Plus, the famous Pete G said the Point 40 has “the best Greek salads in the state, ” and you can’t argue with him.  Like the Huck Finn Diner, I was trying to eat healthier before the Atlantic City Half Marathon.

Atmosphere: B
There isn’t anything unique about the environment of the Point 40 diner, but it is clean.  When you walk in, there is a rotating dessert case as well as a giant colorful board with menu specials.  There are several rooms and a full-length bar.  It’s a nice, uncomplicated diner.

Point 40 Diner Monroeville NJ

Coffee: A

The coffee was brewed hot and the waitress brought plenty of refills.  The mug itself was customized with the Point 40 in writing and an ad to a local business.  Custom coffee mugs are always fun and I have to give credit that a coffee mug is good ad space.

Point 40 Diner Monroeville NJ

Service: A
At 7 pm, the diner was actually busy.  The waitress was great and refilled everything as needed.  Plus our food was brought out quickly.  How quickly the food was brought out was definitely a pleasant surprise and I have no complaints.

Food: B
The Point 40 has everything of a traditional diner.  The famous food critique Pete said the Point 40 diner has the best Greek salad he has ever had tried so naturally, I had to try it.

Personally, while it wasn’t a bad salad, it wasn’t my ultimate favorite.  There were plenty of toppings including an overwhelming amount of feta cheese, hard boiled eggs, onions, anchovies, and tomatoes.  The salad itself was drenched in dressing.  It was great but it wasn’t my all time favorite.  Maybe I’m a salad snob though.

Point 40 Diner Monroeville NJ

Cost: $
For my coffee and salad, the cost was $14.  It wasn’t expensive, and I have no complaints.

Summary/Would I Come Back?
The Point 40 Diner is a good stop and I don’t have any issues.  If I’m in the area again, I would stop!

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

Closeby Diners I’ve reviewed: Harrison House Diner, Swedesboro Diner, Elmer Diner, Blue Plate

Questions for you:
Where is the best Greek Salad you’ve had?
What time do you typically eat dinner?