Route 248 “Diner” (Easton, PA)

A while ago, I visited the Route 248 diner in Easton, PA.  Right before I moved to Alabama, I went to several out of state diners (like yesterday’s review at the Gateway Diner).  While my primary goal is to go every NJ diner, PA diners are often closer to me.  Plus I drive through PA frequently.

I arrived at the 248 Diner around 4 pm on a Saturday, and they were packed.  A packed diner is always a good sign that people like it.  The waitress informed me they had several large parties.

Atmosphere: B
The Route 248 Diner is clean, and it’s a nice atmosphere, but it reminds me more of a steakhouse, not a diner.  In fact, with the exception of the name, nothing even screams diner. There are plenty of big screen TVs, tables and a lounge with a bar.

Coffee: B
The coffee was fresh, but there was nothing unusual or unique.  It was boring and I forgot to take a photo.

Service: B
It was clear the bigger tables took precedence and everything about the service was slow. The waitress was very friendly but barely came to the table. When I went to pay at the front, there was a line of 8 people!  It actually took me about 15 minutes to stand in line and pay.

Food: B
The food at the Route 248 Diner is catered more towards a steakhouse as well.  They had several new dishes and I opted for their brand new salmon avocado salad.  It had avocado, bleu cheese, pico de gallo, feta and onions.

It was a good combination, and it was delicious.  There were plenty of greens, and the lettuce wasn’t white as many lettuce based salads are. Route 248 Diner

The salad, thankfully, came with dinner rolls with cinnamon butter. Personally, I prefer bread with my salads.  The cinnamon butter was unique and I liked it.Route 248 Diner

Cost: $
For my coffee and salad, the cost was $20.  I’ve had more and less expensive dishes so I can’t complain.

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

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?
The Route 248 Diner wasn’t bad, but it isn’t a diner.  In fact, I honestly don’t know that it had any qualities that make it a diner.  That being said, it’s a good restaurant and the food is good.

Other Recent PA Diners:

Trivet Diner (Allentown)

Jumbars (Bethlehem)

Questions for you:
Do you generally like restaurant dinner rolls?
Is butter a carb?

The Gateway Diner (Albany, NY)

A few weeks ago, I was driving through Albany, New York.  While driving through, we were hungry so a quick google search led us to the Gateway Diner.

Atmosphere: B
The outside of the Gateway Diner has lots of lights.  It resembles a space ship or disco club.

The inside looks like it could be updated and it honestly seems like it’s right out of the 90s. It wasn’t bad; it just needed an update.  It’s an unusual combination from the outside to the inside.  Disco club outside and very 1990s inside.

Coffee: C 
The coffee was luke warm at best.  The whipped cream stayed intact on top of the beverage and didn’t melt.  I like hot coffee.  One of the biggest ways for me to dislike coffee is if it’s not hot.  Coffee is made to be either hot or cold.The Gateway Diner

Service: C 
The hostess took our drink orders and then forgot to bring them back.  After asking the waitress for coffee twice, she brought the coffee out.  Most of the staff was very nice, just forgetful.  We also went extended periods without seeing anyone, which was surprising because there weren’t many parties in the diner. Throughout our entire meal, there was never more than three parties in the Gateway Diner.

Food: B
The Gateway Diner has several options but surprisingly, not a lot of breakfast options.  I decided to order the sirloin off the specials menu.  It was a thin steak that came with three sides.  I chose a soup, french fries, and beets.

I ordered the cream of corn chowder.  I’m not sure if I have ever had cream of corn chowder before then.  There was plenty of corn plus it was hot.  I wish my coffee had been that hot.The Gateway Diner

The steak was tough, but the broth made it good.  I hate to say the steak relied on the broth but I think without it, I would be dousing my meal with ketchup.  The beets were great.  I enjoyed the French fries as well.  They were crispy and not overly greasy.The Gateway Diner

Gateway Diner

Overall my meal was pretty typical of a diner.  It wasn’t a fancy 5-star restaurant but it was a good meal.

Price: $
For my entree and coffee, the cost was $15 which was a great deal for the amount of food I received.  It wasn’t the freshest, but there was a lot of food.

Summary/Would I come back? 
I liked the Gateway Diner, and it was a good meal.  The service was slow as well as lukewarm coffee but it was inexpensive, and there was plenty of food.  If I’m in the area again, I will go back.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: C
Service: C
Food: B
Cost: $10-15
Overall: B
Questions for you:
Do you like beets? 
What temperature do you like your coffee?

Trivet Diner (Allentown, PA)

A while ago, I was in Allentown, PA and decided to stop at the Trivet Diner.

Atmosphere: A
The Trivet Diner is everything you picture with a diner.  The outside is retro, shiny and metallic.  It almost looks out of place, as if someone dropped the diner right there in the modern shopping complex.

The inside is decorated and has a large bar, plenty of booths as well as plenty of tables.

Service: B
The service by the waitress at the Trivet Diner was great.  She was extremely friendly, refilled drinks and the food came out extremely quickly.  It was odd because one of the managers stood in the corner and stared the entire time.  It was at the point, it was somewhat uncomfortable for the diners (at least for my table).

Coffee: C
The coffee at the Trivet Diner was decent.  It wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t my least favorite either.  I don’t have anything interesting about it.

Trivet Diner coffee

Food: C
The diner had plenty of options, but I had had a large lunch earlier in the day.  I decided to order the Greek salad with salmon.  Very rarely do diners have the actual option “Greek salad with salmon” so I went with it.

Trivet Diner salad

I was looking forward to trying it, and it was definitely interesting. When the salad arrived, I noticed the salmon had several lemons cooked inside. I have never had lemons cooked into the actual salmon before. To be honest, it was odd but it tasted fine.  There were also several lemons alongside the salad too.  It was like I ordered lemons with a side of salad.

The salad itself was typical of most diner salads.  There was minimal lettuce and toppings.  It wasn’t great but not awful either.  If I had been starving, I would have been disappointed.

Trivet Diner salad

Cost: $$
For salad and coffee, the cost was $16 which was expensive considering the amount of food and quality I received.  At least it came out quickly.

Overall/Would I Come Back?
It wasn’t a bad stop, but not amazing either.  If I’m back in the area, I’ll probably stop at a new place. I wouldn’t advise against it though.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Service: B
Coffee: C
Food: C
Cost: $18-20

Closeby Diners I’ve been too:
Jumbars (Bethlehem)
Whitehall Diner (my personal local favorite)
Golden Gate Diner

Questions for you:
Have you ever cooked lemons into your salmon?

Wayne Hills Diner and Restaurant

Last month, I was up in Wayne, Nj and decided to make a stop at the Wayne Hills Diner and Restaurant.  I heard it was a good diner and I was eager to try it.  I arrived for lunch around noon, and they were busy which is always a good sign.

Atmosphere: B
The outside of the Wayne Hills Diner is nothing to write home about.  It’s well kept but looks like a typical restaurant.  It’s a regular building versus a shiny, metallic one!

The inside, however, is a very stereotypical diner.  There is a huge bar with plenty of seating as well as a lot of shiny booths and tables.  It fits the stereotypical diner bill.

Coffee: B

Wayne Hills DinerThe coffee was good but nothing to write home about either.  They brewed Lacas coffee which is based in Pennsauken, NJ.  The coffee tasted as if it had been sitting for a while, which was surprising because the diner itself was crowded.  Was I only one who wanted coffee at the diner? Lacas Coffee is a South Jersey specialty, so it was disappointing they didn’t take care of it.

Service: F
The service was not great, in fact, it was terrible (Something I’ve only said in maybe 5 out of 130 diner reviews).  It took over 10 minutes for the waitress to acknowledge us, then she forgot our order and came back 20 minutes to ask us what we ordered.  That signaled to us: “I haven’t put your order in yet.”

Several tables who ordered later received their food well before. The waitress also didn’t refill our beverages until we begged her.  Honestly, it was one of the worst diner services I’ve ever had.

Food: B
Food wise, the Wayne Hills Diner has every option a diner should have. You would struggle not to find something you would like there.  There was an entire page dedicated to over 25 different salads.  They have plenty of specials as well.  Long story short, the menu is huge and can accommodate anyone.

Since I was hungry, I ordered the Greek Antipasto appetizer.  It came with grape leaves, olives, hummus, and spanakopita.  I was surprised it didn’t come with pita bread.  Are you supposed to eat the hummus with a spoon?  My favorite part was the spanakopita.Wayne Hills Diner

I also ordered the California Club which came stacked with grilled chicken, avocado, lettuce and tomato.  The sandwich was huge.  The club was great, but it was odd that a club sandwich didn’t come with fries.Wayne Hills Diner

Cost: $
For my coffee, sandwich, and appetizer, the cost was $22.  To be honest, I probably wouldn’t order the appetizer again because it wasn’t great.

Overall/would I come back?
I was turned off by the service, so I probably won’t be back.  The food wasn’t anything to write home about, and nothing sticks out to me.

Close by diners:
Pompton Queen Diner (one of my top 5 favorites)
Gotham City Diner
The Six Brothers Diner

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

Overall: C

Questions for you:
Have you had extremely poor service lately?

JumBars (Bethleham, PA)

While visiting for the Runners World Festival, my friends at the Super Secret Meeting recommended going to the JumBars in Bethlehem, PA.  On another note, if you haven’t watched any of the videos, Hannah and Ali are hilarious.

Atmosphere:
Jumbars is tiny but cute.  It’s not exactly a diner but more of a mom and pop shop in downtown Bethlehem.  Each of the tables has a slightly different tablecloth and different design.  It’s one of my favorite restaurant atmospheres because it’s quirky and fun.  It reminds me more of a coffee shop or cafe but shares a lot of characteristics of a diner too.

Coffee: F
I hate to give any restaurant or diner, a bad coffee review but the coffee was cold.  I actually didn’t finish the cup because it was cold and did nothing for me.

Jumbars coffee

Service: C
The service at the Jumbar wasn’t great either.  It wasn’t the worst, but the food took quite a long time to come out.  I think about 30 minutes the first time.  When I asked for something, the waitress forgot about it, so we had to ask someone else.  The waitress rarely came over…otherwise I would have asked for a different coffee.

Food: C
The menu is small. Jumbars is actually only open until 2 pm, so they don’t serve dinner.

I ordered the hummus appetizer as well as the beet salad with salmon.  I’ve been craving beets a lot more lately and the beet salad sounded good. Jumbars app

They forgot the salmon, and when I asked about it the waitress mentioned: “just don’t touch it and we can take it back”.  The salmon took another 15-20 minutes to come back.

Jumbars Salad

The food portion itself was small.  I liked the food a lot, but I wish I had more of it.  I was glad I ordered the hummus appetizer because it had a lot of flatbread and made it into a full meal.  The beet salad was more of the size of an appetizer than an entrée salad.  In summary, the food was good, however, the portions were tiny.

Cost: $$
For my salad, coffee, and hummus appetizer, the cost was $22.  The cost was high, and while the food was good, I wish I had more of it.

Overall/Would I come back?
I want to give the Jumbars a second chance because it does appear to be a local favorite.  I know now that the food portion isn’t big, so I’ll definitely keep that in mind.  I’m hoping I might have had a bad experience and I do hope to eventually go back and see.

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

Question for you: What is your favorite local restaurant?

 

Randolph Diner

Recently I stopped at the Randolph Diner in Randolph, New Jersey.  The Randolph Diner has been towards the top of my to-do list because the diner serves both Octopus and squid.  For those who don’t know, Octopus is one of my favorite foods.  A diner that serves that is unique.  I wasn’t sure whether I should trust diner octopus but I was willing to try.

I arrived at the diner for diner on a weekday.  The outside was confusing, and I parked on the completely wrong side.  After walking around the entire restaurant, I made it inside.  There was a lot of construction both inside and out.  It’s the second diner I’ve been too with construction lately (Gus’s was the first).

Atmosphere: B
As I mentioned, the diner was going through a lot of construction.  A lot of the restaurant was boarded up.  The area that wasn’t boarded up was fine and open and spacious.

Randolph Diner
Where is the front…nobody knows…

It used a brown and green color blocked color scheme.  Randolph Diner

Other than the construction, it was a big open and clean diner.

Coffee: C
The coffee was okay.  It wasn’t good or bad, but there was nothing unique or exciting about it.  To be honest, I’ve had a lot of boring diner coffee lately!

Randolph Diner

Service: B
The waitress was friendly.  I wish we had more refills or napkins, but she was nice and got us most of what we needed.

Food: A
As I mentioned, I wanted to go to the Randolph Diner because of the unique and interesting menu.

I ordered the grilled octopus appetizer.  It was grilled and topped with butter.  I wasn’t sure what or how much to expect.  When I received it, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of octopus on the dish.  The octopus itself was some of the best I’ve had in a restaurant period and worth it.  It was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.  It was even better than a lot of seafood restaurants I’ve been too.Randolph Diner octopus

For my entree, I ordered the Gyro special.  I didn’t read the menu clearly, but I assumed the plate had all of the Greek specialties.  When I received it, it had a few pieces of gyro meat, a single grape leaf, a side salad and pita bread.  Honestly, I was disappointed it didn’t have anything else.

The gyro was more sausage like and wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t bad.  The side salad was good, and it’s hard to mess up pita bread. Randolph Diner

To be honest, the octopus appetizer saved the food.  My entree wasn’t great, but the app was phenomenal.

Cost: $$
For my coffee, appetizer, and meal the cost was $30.  The appetizer alone was $14.  I do realize Octopus is expensive, but I think the gyro special was overcharged.  Most diner specials are cheaper or have more food.

Overall thoughts/would I come back:
I enjoyed the Randolph Diner.  The octopus was by far my favorite and I would go for that alone.  Next time I will order a different entrée, but I do look forward to seeing what kind of construction they are doing.

Summary:
Atmosphere: C
Coffee: C
Service: B
Food: A-
Price: $15-25
Overall: B
Questions for you:
Do you like octopus?

Oddfellows (Dallas, Tx)

It wouldn’t be a vacation without going to a new Diner right?

The rest of my Dallas trip is here and the Dallas Half Marathon Race Recap (1:23.44) here.

While in Dallas, my husband and I decided to go to Oddfellows.  It’s one of the gray area restaurants that same may consider it a diner while others may consider it a cafe.  Life is rarely black and white anyways…

Atmosphere: A
The outside o Oddfellows is neat and clean.  It’s painted bright yellow, and they have an outdoor patio with seating as well.

The inside is all wooden seats, and it’s centered around a giant bar which serves coffee too.  The giant silver espresso machine is almost like the centerpiece of the restaurant.

Coffee: A
The coffee itself is home brewed.  You can order any sort of fancy espresso, latte or anything else coffee-related.  They would probably do a decent business as just a coffee shop. img_2257-1

I ordered my staple coffee with whipped cream.  The whipped cream is homemade, and it was great.  Not surprisingly, Oddfellows has some of the best coffee I’ve had to date.  If I lived locally,
it would become a staple for me.

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, comical and refilled out beverages.  I have no complaints.

Food: A
Oddfellows has a small menu.  They serve their entire menu all day which was great.  We got there around brunch, and I had no idea what I wanted.  Breakfast? Lunch?

The Pork Belly Benedict caught my interest.  I enjoy pork belly, and it seemed like a unique choice I hadn’t had before.  It came with homefries and on a bed of arugula.  The pork belly was delicious, and the poached eggs made a great combination.  It also had a small kick with siracha sauce.  I enjoyed the cubed homefries as well. The portion size was a little smaller than usual diners, but it was fresh.

oddfellows Dallas Texas

Cost: $
For the pork belly and coffee, the cost was $15. It’s one of the cheaper diner meals I’ve had.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back?
I enjoyed Oddfellows, and if I lived locally, I would be back.  In fact, I would be back a lot.  I don’t have any complaints.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food A
Cost: $10-15
Overall: A

Questions for you:
Do you like pork belly?
Where is the best coffee you’ve had?