Sparta Classic Diner milkshake

Sparta Classic Diner (Sparta)

Recently I ordered takeout from the Sparta Classic Diner in Sparta, New Jersey. The same people own the Sparta Classic Diner as the Orangetown Classic Diner in Orangetown, NY (seriously a must go), Northvale Classic Diner and the Tenafly Classic Diner.  All of these “classic diners” have been good and I had high hopes for the Sparta Classic Diner.

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Villas Diner and Pizzeria pizza

Villas Diner and Pizzeria

Villas Diner and Pizzeria

It’s been two months since I went to my last New Jersey diner. Truthfully, I’ve worried how many can withstand the pandemic, as the majority are small businesses.  Anyway, recently I had the opportunity to order takeout from the Villas Diner and Pizzeria.  I didn’t know the Villas Diner and Pizzeria existed until a random search in the area yielded it.

Villas Diner and Pizzeria

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Atmosphere: A

Right now, nowhere in New Jersey is allowing you to eat in. The Villas Diner and Pizzeria had picnic tables outside you could sit at.  Plus, they offered curbside takeout and delivery.  When picking up the curbside, everything was handled safely.  The employees at the Villas Diner and Pizzeria were wearing masks, the inside appeared clean, and the picnic tables were also clean. It was a beautiful, but slightly windy day.  Luckily none of the food blew away.

Villas Diner and Pizzeria

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Coffee: —

One of the few times I didn’t order coffee at a diner. I wasn’t sure they had curbside coffee to go (I didn’t ask).

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Food: A

How many diners are also pizzerias? Not many. In fact, I cannot recall another New Jersey diner that doubles as a pizzeria. So naturally, even though the Villas Diner menu has everything from salads, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, pizza was a must. I decided to order the “white pizza,” which had oil and garlic mozzarella cheese.

Since New Jersey is known as the pizza state, I wasn’t sure what to expect with a diner pizza. I will say, the Villas Diner and Pizzeria pizza was one of the best pizzas I’ve had in the state.  It was honestly surprising.  It was perfectly cooked with plenty of dough in the crust.

Villas Diner and Pizzeria pizza

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Service: A

The woman who took my order over the phone was friendly and the food was ready when I arrived. In all, it was great service and I have no complaints.

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Cost: $$

For the Villas Diner and Pizzeria pizza and water, the cost was $15.  Not bad for an entire pizza.

Villas Diner and Pizzeria Overall Thoughts:

I was happy with the Villas Diner and Pizzeria.  While I’m not able to go to many new diners right now, I’m happy I’m able to support a local diner. If you’re in the area of Cape May and Villas, I highly suggest ordering from the Villas Diner and Pizzeria. (Even if you’re in Cape May for a race!)

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: —
Food: A
Price: $10-20
Service: A

You can see all 301 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Where is your favorite pizza from?
Have you been able to support a local business? 


New Jersey Diners

A Look Back at 300 NJ Diners

300 New Jersey Diners!

Holy smokes, when we moved to New Jersey in 2013, I had no idea a diner quest was in my future. I had been to a few diners like a normal person, but I certainly didn’t go out of my way to go to diners…but now here I am 300 New Jersey Diners later. I’ve been to diners about 100 diners in other states as well.

New Jersey Diners

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Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) rice pudding

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin)

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin)

While in West Berlin, NJ, I decided to check out Oceanos Restaurant. While it’s in the grey area of diners, I decided to classify it as one. It serves diner food, looks and acts like a diner.

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin)

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) Atmosphere: C

Oceanos Restaurant is in a large building with plenty of parking. The inside has a long but handicap friendly ramp to get in. Inside, Oceanos Restaurant needs a definite makeover. The inside is dirty and part of the wall was falling down.

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) Coffee: A

Possibly the best part of Oceanos Restaurant was the coffee. It was brewed hot and fresh and the waitress added an absurd amount of whipped cream.

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) coffee

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) Food: D

Oceanos Restaurant menu had plenty of options, including all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There weren’t a lot of specials, but there were plenty of options. It looked like Oceanos Restaurant was more dinner based with a lot of chicken breast, roast beef, and pasta options.

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) greek platter

I was hungry so I decided to order the Greek Sampler. The pita bread was dry and the olives looked like they had been sitting around for a long time. It was edible but it wasn’t great. It was pathetic.

I decided to order the stuffed salmon. It came with stuffed salmon with crab meat as well as two sides. I chose beets and mixed vegetables. It also came with soup or salad so opted for a starter salad.

The starter salad was decent, but nothing unusual.

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) side salad

Both sides tasted frozen and reheated.  It was clear the mixed vegetables were frozen and then reheated.

The stuffed salmon tasted precisely as you would think frozen fish and reheated to taste. I was disappointed because I thought it would be good.  It was edible, but I wouldn’t order it again.

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin)  salmon

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) Dessert: C

Since my meal at Oceanos Restaurant came with dessert, (either pudding or ice cream), I ordered the rice pudding. I wanted bread pudding, but they didn’t have it. What kind of diner doesn’t have bread pudding?

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin)  rice pudding

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) Service: C

The service at Oceanos Restaurant could use help.  Our waitress was friendly, but the food took a while to come out. When we got there, the hostess was on his cell phone, so it took a while for us even to sit down.

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) Cost: $$

For my coffee and meal, it was $20, which was too expensive for the quality of food.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin)?

I wouldn’t go back to Oceanos Restaurant. It was edible diner food, but it was expensive for the quality of food. Plus, Oceanos Restaurant needs a considerable makeover.

Atmosphere: C

Coffee: A

Food: D

Dessert: C

Overall: C

Cost: $15-20

Oceanos Restaurant (West Berlin) Overall: C

You can see all 293 Diners Here.

Questions for you:

Have you been to any meh restaurants lately?

Do you like rice pudding? 

Arlington Diner (North Arlington)

Arlington Diner (North Arlington)

Arlington Diner (North Arlington)

The Arlington Diner in North Arlington, NJ, has been on my diner “to do” list for a while. In New Jersey, it’s known as one of the best with one of the most iconic lights out there. I’ve wanted to go for years! Wow, time flies that I can say I’ve reviewing NJ diners for “years.”

Arlington Diner (North Arlington)

Anyway, when I was in North Arlington, the time finally worked out and we decided to go.

Arlington Diner (North Arlington) Atmosphere: A

The Arlington Diner has one of the best atmospheres of any NJ diner. The exterior has all chrome with a huge: “Arlington Diner” sign. The inside is everything you expect in a diner; there are plenty of booths, tables, a full-length bar and even several jukeboxes at various tables.

Arlington Diner (North Arlington) Coffee: A
The coffee at the Arlington Diner was good. The waitress brought out a few refills and it tasted good.

Arlington Diner (North Arlington) coffee

Arlington Diner (North Arlington) Food: B
The Arlington Diner menu has everything you picture in a diner. There are all plenty of breakfast, lunch and dinner specials. Plus there are several pages of salads and healthier options too.

Arlington Diner (North Arlington) greek platter

I decided to split the Greek Sampler platter with the table and it was something. The greek platter came with olives, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese, anchovies, and pita bread. It felt as though the cook just slapped some things together, and added hunks of feta cheese. It was okay, not great and I wouldn’t order it again.

I was craving a salad and decided to order the grilled mushroom salad with salmon. The grilled mushroom salad came with portabella mushrooms, mixed greens, mozzarella, sundried tomatoes. After the Greek Sampler platter, it wasn’t sure what to expect, but the salad was good. It was actually one of the better diner salads I’ve had recently.

Arlington Diner (North Arlington) salad

Arlington Diner (North Arlington) Service: C
The waitress at the Arlington Diner seemed as though she wasn’t having the best day and she was ready to leave. Our food came out relatively fast, but it wasn’t the best diner service I’ve received.

Arlington Diner (North Arlington) Cost: $$
The Arlington Diner is expensive. For the salad, Greek Sampler, and coffee, it was $30. The Greek Sampler alone was $11, which was expensive for the amount of food and quality of food.

Would I Come Back to the Arlington Diner (North Arlington)?

I liked my salad at the Arlington Diner and I thought that component of the meal was decent. Did I think it was one of the best NJ diners? No, but I would come back to give it a second chance.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: C
Service: C
Cost: $15-20
Overall: B

You can see all 290 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of salad
What is the coolest exterior restaurant lighting you’ve seen?