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Toast City Diner (Red Bank)

Toast City Diner (Red Bank)

Recently I went to the Toast City Diner in Red Bank, NJ.  They have a few locations along the Jersey shore, and the menu looked good. Before recently, I hadn’t heard of Toast, but I believe it’s only a couple of years old.

I got there around 11 am and it wasn’t too crowded.  I’ve heard on weekends it’s hard to even get a table.

Atmosphere: A
Toast is located in the downtown of Red Bank.  It’s a cute, metallic, shiny building.  It stood out in a good way.

The inside is metallic interior, with a full-length bar, plenty of booths and tables.  One of my favorite diner features is built in table jukeboxes which toast had.

Toast City Diner Red Bank

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed fresh and hot each time.  There was nothing unique or unusual, but it was still good.

toast city diner red bank nj

Service: A
Our waitress was one of the best I’ve had in awhile.  She was extremely friendly, brought plenty of refills, and our food came out quickly.  Granted we were in Toast at a quiet time, but everything came out fast, and it was a great experience.

Food: A
Toast isn’t open all day and only serves breakfast and lunch.  They have several different unique breakfast options such as carrot cake pancakes and vegetarian wraps.

I was intrigued by the carrot cake pancakes as well as the grilled cinnamon rolls, so I ordered both.

The grilled cinnamon buns were delicious.  It came with three with melted frosting.

The carrot cake pancakes were some of the best pancakes I’ve had.  Often times when you order a flavored pancake like carrot cake or red velvet, it rates artificial or it doesn’t taste any different than a regular pancake.  This was not the case with toast.  The carrot cake pancakes had coconut and actually shredded carrot in them.  They were some of the best pancakes I’ve had in a restaurant.

toast city diner red bank nj

In all, my food was in the top percentage of diners I’ve been too.

Cost: $
For my coffee, pancakes and cinnamon cubs, the cost was $20.  For the amount of food as well as the quality, it was worth it.

Overall Summary/Would I Come Back?

I enjoyed Toast, and it was one of the better diners I’ve been too.  I highly recommend it.

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

Nearby Diners I’ve been:

See More Diners Here.

Questions for you:
Where are the best pancakes you’ve had? Do you like carrot cake?

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Golden Eagle Diner (Levittown, PA)

Golden Eagle Diner (Levittown, PA)

A few weeks ago, I went to the Golden Eagle Diner in Levittown, PA.  It’s only about a half an hour away and while it doesn’t count towards my New Jersey Diner total, it’s still local to me.  I had heard the Golden Eagle Diner was a good diner.  I had a free evening so I thought, why not head up there?

In summary, I wish I hadn’t. 

Atmosphere: A 

The Golden Eagle Diner does have one thing going for it and that’s the atmosphere.  The diner has huge windows, plenty of parking and the inside has interesting and unique tables. We sat in a cute booth.

Coffee: C 

There was nothing or unique about the coffee and it was room temperature.  It wasn’t the worst coffee I’ve had but it was closer to the bottom.Golden Eagle Diner

Service: B 

The waitress was nice.  She took our orders but it felt as if she was avoiding our table.  There were only two other parties in the restaurant so it wasn’t crowded.  She only came over to our table to bring the drinks and then the food.

Food: D 

The Golden Eagle diner has all of the typical “diner” options.  I ordered a burger.  The waitress asked if I wanted Cole slaw and a pickle.  I said yes, little did I know the Cole slaw and pickle would be an extra $2 charge.  I don’t love cole slaw enough to order it as an extra side. I’ve never been to a restaurant that charged for Cole slaw.  The burger itself was clearly a frozen patty that they overcooked. Nothing from anyone’s meal looked fresh.  It was fairly obvious everything was frozen and then cooked in the microwave.  It’s hard to truly mess up a burger but they came close.  It was edible but it wasn’t great.  Golden Eagle Diner

The food was in the worst five restaurants I’ve been too. 

Cost: $$

For my coffee, burger and extra Cole slaw it was $20.  It wasn’t worth it at all.

Overall thoughts/Would I come Back? 

This was one of the worst diners I’ve been too and I probably won’t be back.  I never say never but there would have to be a very good reason for me to go…

Questions for you: 

What was the last restaurant you’ve been disappointed in? 

Do you like Cole Slaw? 

Food

One of the most common questions I receive is about what I eat.  I post a diner review every Saturday, but I don’t eat at a restaurant for every meal.  The diner meal only shows one out of 21ish meals I eat weekly.

For the first few years of blogging, I blogged a lot more about food.  Truth be told, everyone has their own opinion on what to eat and what not to eat.  I took several nutrition college courses for my major of public health, but I have no credentials to give food advice.  One direction I could have gone with the public health degree is getting masters in that field, but I learned quickly that I have no interest in giving people food advice.

I’m not a dietician or nutritionist, so I don’t feel comfortable giving out advice to people about nutrition. 

My personal blog only shows a glimpse of my life, and if I wanted just to talk about the cake I eat weekly, you might be under the impression all I eat is cake.  Similarly, if I wanted just to talk about my love for Greek salads, you might think I just eat Greek salads with salmon.  While both items are staples in my diet, I do eat other things. I’m not strict with my diet, and I enjoy life, food and everything as it comes my way.  I’m 5’7 and 130 pounds.  Height and weight are just numbers, so it doesn’t offend me to write them on the internet.  I seem to run well at this weight, so I have no interest in losing or gaining weight.

I feel like I just wrote a novel to share some of the foods I’ve been enjoying.  Sharing food on the internet is a tricky subject because bloggers normally don’t have credentials to give out advice about food.

My recent vacation, however, is the perfect excuse to show you more food and different the varieties of things I enjoy.  Since I was on vacation, I didn’t worry too much about eating that well.  I did have vegetables, but I also enjoyed dessert.  I don’t usually eat at a restaurant for 2-3 meals a day, but it was great to try new things.  For those who are catching up, we went to both San Diego and Los Angeles.

During vacation, I didn’t have any food I didn’t like.  Both my husband and I tried plenty of new things, but there was nothing I thought “wish we had gone somewhere else.”

Here are some of the things I tried: 

Ahi poke

Ahi pokes with avocado and sweet potato chips. The tuna was quite spicy and reminded me of sashimi.

maple bacon

The Bacon might be the gem of the weekend. “Man Candy” maple bacon from Fig Tree Cafe

ahi poke

Ahi tuna with a spicy sauce as well as avocado and cucumber

ghiradelli ice cream

Ice Cream from Ghirardelli Chocolate

salmon salad

One of my favorite salads of the week. The salmon was cooked perfectly, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were caught the same day

Design your own custom cookie sandwich. Mine was red velvet cookie, cake batter ice cream and chocolate chip cookie

Design your custom cookie sandwich. Mine was red velvet cookie, cake batter ice cream and chocolate chip cookie

Classic post race burger and fries

Classic post race burger and fries

Salmon and Cous Cous

Salmon and Cous Cous

Studio Diner Pancakes

Studio Diner Pancakes

As you can see, my eating was all over the place.  I ate salads, but I also enjoyed dessert and different treats.  My opinion of food is truly like running…your overall health does not consist of one meal or one day of food.  Similarly, your overall fitness of running does not consist of one workout or race.  Both are the collection of consistent habits.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite post race meal?
What is your absolute favorite food?
Mine is either salmon, steak or eel

Deepwater Diner

The Deepwater Diner (Deepwater, NJ)

Last month we decided to stop on the border of NJ and Delaware.  Deepwater, NJ is located off of exit 1 and you can see the Delaware Memorial Bridge from the diner.  We hungry and and found this one.  Despite the internet having limited information about the Deepwater Diner we decided to stop.

Atmosphere: A 

The Deepwater Diner definitely has the trucker and family atmosphere to it.  The diner itself is cute and has a very hometown feel to it.  It’s also open 24 hours!

Something I found unique was the specials menu was handwritten on a notepad.

Deepwater Diner Specials

Service: A 

It’s clear every staff member knows each other and enjoys working there.  Our waitress was extremely friendly.  It was clear she had a lot of parties in her section but she always made time for us.  We had a great experience with with the service there.

Coffee: B

I really enjoyed the coffee.  It was brewed well and the whipped cream was delicious too but the cup was abnormally small.  I wish they had larger coffee mugs but the coffee itself was perfect.

Deepwater Diner Coffee

Food: A 

There is no menu or even website for the diner so we had no idea what to expect!  We assumed we could find something though.  The menu is huge and they have everything from breakfast, to lunch specials and dinner.  The Deepwater Diner has a lot of seafood specials (typing that out makes sense…Deepwater Diner and seafood).

The vegetable soup sounded good so I ordered that as an appetizer.  It was really good and came out quickly.  I think I blinked and it was out! It was as if they had dumped every type of vegetable into the soup.  There were even Brussel sprouts.  It was a unique vegetable soup but I really liked it.

Deepwater Diner Vegetable Soup

I ordered a burger with bacon, provolone cheese and mushrooms.  It was cooked perfectly.  The steak fries were also excellent.  After the RnR half marathon, I was craving red meat.

Deepwater Diner Burger

Honestly the food was great and I have no complaints.

Dessert: A 

After walking by the dessert case several times, I knew I wanted a piece of carrot cake.  Tim and I decided to split a piece with vanilla ice cream.  Despite being already full, I had no regrets.  The cake was very dense as was the frosting.

Deepwater Diner Carrot Cake

Cost: $

For the burger, coffee and dessert the cost was 18.

Would I come back/Overall thoughts: 

This was one of the best diners I’ve been too and I highly recommend it for anyone who is traveling through.  Since it is within a mile of the start of the NJ turnpike and 295, it’s along the the way for anyone traveling up and town the east coast!

Cliffs notes:
Atmosphere: A 
Service: A 
Coffee: B 
Food: A 
Dessert: A 
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A 

Question for you: 

What was the last hidden gem restaurant you’ve found? 

The Lamp Post Diner

First Happy July Fourth!

“This was one of the biggest and most open diners.  The menu was equally as large. We wondered if the diner could live up to the expectations of the outside atmosphere.  The portions were huge and the food was delicious”.

-DadLOLZ

A few weeks ago, my parents, brother Steven and I went down to the Lamp Post Diner in Gloucester Township.  I have been wanting to go to the Lamp Post Diner for a while but never made it down there. My parents visiting were the perfect excuse to finally get down there!

Atmosphere: A 

As dad said the Lamp Post Diner was the biggest diners, I’ve been too.  It can seat at least 200 people.  We were not expecting that at all.  It was well designed and we sat at a round table in the back.

Image found here

Image found here

The inside layout had several rooms with dozens of tables.  It was crowded but our waitress was one of the best we have had and very quick.

Coffee: A

The coffee and whipped cream was on point.  I have hit a lucky streak with how good the coffee has been.  I have absolutely no complaints.

Lamp Post Diner Coffee

Food: B

The menu was as large as the restaurant. They had everything from lamb chops to seafood to breakfast.  My mom ordered the lamb chop, dad ordered the Philly Cheese steak and I ordered the Greek Salad with salmon.

All of our food was delicious.  I ended up eating half of mom’s lamb chop the next day for dinner.

My greek salad was huge and really good.  It was one of the better salads I’ve had in a while.  The Lamp Post Diner Salad had greens, feta, anchovies, tomato, onions and olives.

Lamp Post Diner Salad

Despite the majority of the food being great, there was one thing I cannot overlook. The reason I gave the food a B was because the piece of salmon was tiny and clearly frozen and reheated. I was surprised at the low quality piece of salmon but the rest of the food was good.

Dessert: A 

I ordered the German Chocolate cake and mom ordered the Strawberry Shortcake.  Both were extremely good and I was a huge fan.  I haven’t had German Chocolate Cake for a while but it was definitely worth it.

Lamp Post Diner Strawberry Shortcake

Lamp Post Diner German Chocolate

Cost: $$

For my salad, coffee and German Chocolate cake it was 26.  I don’t believe the extra 6 dollars for the salmon was worth it but the rest of the food was worth the price!

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 

I would definitely come back.  There are a lot of different menu items I want to try (not the salmon again HA).

Cliff notes: 
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: B
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A  

Questions for you: 

Do you like German Chocolate cake? 
What is the biggest restaurant you’ve been too? 

Thanksgiving Festivities

For Thanksgiving we ended up going back down to see my family in VA.  Although the drive from NJ to VA is only 6-7 hours I can tell that this drive is already going to be a pain when I have to make it.  Knock on wood, I’ll be driving back on Thursday though. (If I can run there is a road race that I really want to do).  I hope so at least.

For me to do the race depends on whether or not I feel comfortable with my knee.  I’m certainly not in good running shape after a solid month off and a few awkward runs in between. (I need to just gain momentum and test it out).  I really want to see some friends more than actually run (I’m looking at you Kris, Theresa and Kristy) so hopefully it all works out.  I wrote about my future training plans yesterday.

Thanksgiving-

Virginia was nice and relaxing.   We always have a relatively small Thanksgiving and it’s normally just my immediate family since most of my relatives live far away (California, northern Canada and Scotland). In unproper blogging technique I forgot to take photos of our Thanksgiving meal.  By forgot I mean I didn’t feel like it. My mom did a great job cooking and we had turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing (my favorite), some vegetables for good measure and pumpkin and oreo pie.  I think it was a relatively standard meal.

This is from 2 years ago but it was similar.

This is from 2 years ago but it was similar.

On Friday night I was able to schedule a 90 minute deep tissue massage (only on my legs).  It was one of the most painful massages I’ve ever gotten but it was worth it.  Today I’m going to try and run (my first time since) so we will see how that goes.

After a stop at one of my favorite restaurants in my area JoJacks, we left for NJ.  Nothing exciting on the road trip back…I was driving so I needed to focus on not speeding.  The police were everywhere (Holiday weekend) and with my little firebird plus the fact I have a tendency to speed is like a little beacon of speeding.  That being said I stayed in the right lane and made it home without being pulled over.

Here is my car.

Here is my car.

On a side note I have come to realize that in NJ everyone speeds.  I was going 70 (in a 60) in the right hand lane and being passed like I was standing still.  I knew the moment I tried to floor it to 80-90 and hang with the left hand crew my blog would become LOLZinJail so I swallowed my pride of school buses and tractor trailers passing me.

In cliff notes my Thanksgiving was:

Relaxing (family)

Adorable (my cat)

I like to sit on car hoods.

I like to sit on car hoods.

Delicious (food)

painful (deep tissue massage)

 grandma style (driving home)

And now back to the grind of looking for more jobs.

Questions for you:

How was your Thanksgiving?

How many speeding tickets have you gotten?

Travel Musings Part 1

I can honestly say the last few days have been one of the biggest adventures of my life.  I can easily write an entire 1700  (somehow dad and I made it 1780) mile driving recap filled with dad and I’s musings. I think it could be considered a race recap.  I went a certain distance, had plenty of stops for food and water and it was filled with highs and lows…

Day 1: 180 miles

Dad and I left around 4pm on Wednesday night.  We wanted to be able to put a few miles in the night before.  Driving is not one of my strong points.  Most people would easily be able to drive the entire journey in 3 days.  I am not most people and we ended up taking 5 and stopping along the way.

After getting coffee for the last time at Wawa for a while we actually left.

wawacoffee

Our first stop came in Emporia at a Cracker Barrel for dinner.  I asked a line of elderly about 4 times if they were in line to be seated.  They didn’t hear me and finally the hostess realized dad and I were not part of their party and sat us.

I will give a shoutout that Cracker Barrel pancakes are one of the few restaurants that I love their cakes.  (Mostly because they will put lots of whip cream on them).

pancakes

Then we just kept driving and located a Hampton Inn off the highway.  Dad was instaimpressed by their stash of cookies.

We then proceeded to just relax and hang out in the hotel and go to bed early like the 90 year old people we are.

Day 2: 450 miles Durham to Auburn, Alabama

After getting a good nights rest, dad and I woke up and ran around Durham.  We somehow made it downtown and to Duke University. It was one of the hilliest runs I have ever done.  It was hillier then Atlanta, Oswego and wherever else. I was struggling holding 9:30 min miles.  (How the hell am I going to run a half in three days…I don’t know).

I like staying in Hampton Inn’s because we can run in the am and breakfast is already being served when we get back.  They also always have a giant tray of eggs which since I can’t make eggs without making them burnt and crusty, any eggs are amazing.  These eggs in Durham were just plain scrambled eggs (important later).

plain eggs

plain eggs

Then we drove and drove and drove.  We stopped in multiple gas stations that had more beer then coffee.

I saw a giant peach watertower.

460

We had planned to meet Laura in Atlanta so I was using that to excite me throughout the drive.  It was working somewhat.

When we did get to Atlanta I went straight into a parking garage.  Only to realize that like a derp dad couldn’t go in there because the uhaul topped out at the roof.

I also literally walked right into Laura in the parking garage.

464

After a nice grandma dinner at 4:30, we got back on the road and made it into Louisiana.

But not after hitting far too much traffic.

469

From around 6-8 we just kept driving.  We finally made it out of Georgia and into Alabama and found a hotel.

I ended up getting hungry after getting to the hotel around 8 so we went down to the Wendys.  Out of all the fast food places I choose, this one was extremely slow.  We felt bad for the cashier because it looked like she was dealing with a bunch of goobers behind the counter.  It took us roughly 20 minutes for our food…20 minutes that was worth it.

Then we went to bed at 8pm central time and 9 Eastern time…because we wanted to up our old people status more.

Questions for you:

Favorite travel food?

What time do you normally eat dinner? 

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