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Sand Castle Diner (Beachwood)

A few weeks ago, before walking around Cattus State Park, I went to the Sand Castle Diner in Beachwood.  I remember reading the Sand Castle Diner making one of the “top 40 NJ diners” so I was excited to have the opportunity to stop by.

Atmosphere: A
The exterior of the Sand Castle Diner is cobblestone.  It’s not a big shiny diner, like many, but it’s a nice modern diner.  The inside is big with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  It’s a very modern building, and it appears to have had been updated.

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh each time. There wasn’t anything unusual about it, but it was good coffee.

Sandcastle Diner toms river

Food: B
The Sandcastle Diner has every type of food you can imagine in a diner.  There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  I was indecisive of what I wanted.  Ultimately I decided to order a breakfast special which came with eggs, pancakes, and ham.

Sandcastle Diner toms river

The special was good.  It’s hard to mess up breakfast but everything was cooked well.

Sandcastle Diner toms river

Service: B

The waitress was friendly and brought us refills when we needed them.  In all, the food came out and quickly, and I have no complaints.

Price: $
For my salad and coffee, it was $16.

Summary/Would I Come Back:
I liked the Sandcastle Diner, and it’s definitely one of my more favorite diners along the shore. I would go back!

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

You can see all 186 diners I’ve been too here.

Questions for you:
Where is the biggest salad you’ve gotten?
Do you have many beach trips planned for the spring and summer?

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Dynasty Diner (Tuckerton)

Dynasty Diner (Tuckerton)

Recently, I got dinner with Ariana at the Dynasty Diner.  One of my many goals is to go to more shore diners this summer, and when Ariana was in town for the New Jersey Marathon, it worked out.  I’ve followed Ariana on the internet for a long time, so it was great to finally connect.

We arrived around 4:30 for dinner and it wasn’t crowded.  The Dynasty Diner was a lot bigger than I anticipated.  I hadn’t been to Tuckerton before, but it’s a cute small shore town.

Dynasty Diner tuckerton nj

Atmosphere: A
The Dynasty Diner looks like a typical, chrome, shiny diner.  The outside was big, shiny, and metallic.  If you are looking for a stereotypical NJ diner, the Dynasty Diner meets that.

The inside had a full-length bar, with retro booths, and tables.  The Dynasty Diner meets all stereotypes of a NJ Diner.

Coffee: B
The coffee at the Dynasty Diner was good.  It was brewed hot and fresh, and I didn’t have any complaints about the coffee.  I could have used more refills but other than it was good.  The Dynasty Diner serves Lacas coffee, and you are even able to buy it up front if you choose.

Dynasty Diner tuckerton nj

Food: B
The Dynasty Diner serves everything a stereotypical diner would serve.  It follows the unwritten “diner guidelines.”  There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  It also has a page dedicated to Greek specialties.  Originally I had planned to get a gyro, but when that wasn’t an option, I ordered the Greek salad on the fly.

Dynasty Diner tuckerton nj

When the Greek salad came out, it was massive.  The waitress said it was enough to feed four people and she wasn’t joking.  Enough to feed four people ended up being me.  I liked the Greek salad, however, there were a few things it was missing including anchovies and onions.  It had plenty of lettuce but could have used more toppings.  The dressing was good, and in all, I enjoyed it.

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, and our food came out extremely fast.

Cost: $
For my salad and coffee, the cost was $13.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I had a great time at the Dynasty Diner, and it is definitely one of my favorite shore diners.  I would love to go back sometime!

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

You Can See all 185 Diners Here.

Questions for you:
What are your plans this summer?
What is your favorite salad topping?

JJ’s Diner (Pleasantville

JJ’s Diner (Pleasantville

A few weeks ago, after the April Fools half marathon, I stopped at JJ’s diner on the way home.  When I arrived around lunchtime on a Sunday, it was crowded.  In fact, it’s one of the few diners I’ve had to wait for a table.  No big deal!

Atmosphere: B
JJ’s Diner is small but cute. The outside looks like a small trailer.  I like the old yellow sign that says JJ’s too.  It is one room, with several tables, booths, and a full-length bar.  It’s very compact.

JJ's Diner pleasentville nj 

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot, but I could have used more.  It was the local Lacas brand.  I’ve actually been to several diners that have Lacas brew lately.  It was hot and after a cold, wet, rainy race, exactly what I needed.  I just wish I had more.

JJ's Diner pleasentville nj

Food: A
JJ’s Diner has many different options.  The diner itself is only open until 3 pm, so they don’t have big entrees, but they have all sorts of breakfast and lunch specials. I decided to order the chicken and waffles.JJ's Diner pleasentville nj

As I’ve mentioned a few times, since living in Alabama last year, I’ve wanted to find good chicken and waffles.  At JJ’s, the chicken and waffles were one of the best portions I’ve had.  The waffle itself was crisp, but the chicken portion was massive.  It was also topped with a homemade sauce which made for a delicious topping.  In fact, it didn’t need any additional syrup.  So far, it’s the best chicken and waffles I’ve found in the North. 

Service: A
The waitress was friendly and kind. Even being busy, she came to check on us several times.  The food also came out quickly. I think we waited long for a table than the food!

Cost: $
For the chicken and waffle, plus coffee the cost as $11.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I enjoyed JJ’s Diner, and it’s definitely a diner I would stop at again if I went down the shore.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: A
Cost:$8-12
Overall: A 

This is Diner Review 183. You can see more diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Have you had chicken and waffles?
What is your favorite post workout meal?

The Point Diner (Fairview)

The Point Diner (Fairview)

Recently I went to the Point Diner in Fairview, NJ.  I was in the area, and it looked like a great diner. Not to be confused with the Point 40 Diner in Monroeville.

the point diner fairview nj

Atmosphere: B
When I arrived around noon, it wasn’t crowded, in fact, there were only a few other parties in the restaurant.  The hostess put me in the corner which was okay, but I felt as though it was kind of weird and isolating.

The Point Diner has an outdoor patio which makes it unique.  Inside there is a full-length bar, small dessert case, and plenty of booths and tables.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but I could have used more.  Being in the corner, I think the waitress forgot about my table often.  I liked the coffee, and it was hot and fresh.

the point diner fairview nj

Food: B
The Point Diner has everything you want or need in a diner.  They have a lot more breakfast specials that many diners including more omelets, eggs, and french toast.  The Nutella french toast sounded intriguing.  They also have plenty of lunch and dinner options too.

the point diner fairview nj

I decided to order the steak benedict which was good.  Often times diner steak is rubbery, but the steak at the Point Diner was good.  The meal came with hash browns which tasted like regular hashbrowns.

Dessert: A
I decided to get a split cookie to go.  The cookie was good. I ate it about halfway through my hike at the Palisades.  If the cookie tasted lousy midway through a hike, you know it was terrible to start with.

the point diner fairview nj

Service: B
While the waitress was friendly, I felt as though sitting in the back made her overlook our table frequently.  I could have used more drink refills.  I was surprised about the length of time it took for food to come with how quiet the restaurant was too.

Price: $
For my breakfast, coffee, and cookie the cost was $13.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Point Diner and would go back.  I thought I was a good diner and in the top half of diners I’ve been too.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Dessert: A
Service: B
Cost: $10-23
Overall: B

Questions for you:
Where is the best restaurant steak you’ve had?

Franklin Park Diner (Kendall Park)

Franklin Park Diner (Kendall Park)

Recently I went to the Franklin Park Diner in Kendall Park, NJ.  I’ve wanted to go for a few months now, but it never works out.  When I found myself in central Jersey a few weeks ago, it seemed like the perfect time.

Franklin park diner kendall park nj

Atmosphere: B
The Franklin Park Diner is small but cute.  It has an exterior sign marked: diner.  The inside is open, and you can see the entire kitchen from the booths and tables.  There aren’t many diners like that anymore, so I appreciate it!

Franklin park diner kendall park nj

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh each time, and I have no complaints.

Franklin park diner kendall park nj

Food: A
The Franklin Park Diner has most anything you could picture in a diner.  There are plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  There were several dinner specials, but nothing spoke to me.   I decided to order a simple beef gyro.  It came with french fries, and a small side greek salad.  I liked the beef gyro, and I have no complaints.

Franklin park diner kendall park nj

Service: A

The waitress was very attentive, funny, and friendly.  My food also came out in a blink of an eye.  I couldn’t have asked for better dinner service.

Price:
For my gyro and coffee, the cost was $10 which is hard to beat.

Overall thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I liked the Franklin Park Diner and would definitely come back.  I enjoyed how open the entire diner is and the ability to watch your food being made.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Price: $8-12
Overall: A

You can see all 182 Diner Reviews here.

Questions for you: Have you ever been to a restaurant you can watch the food being made?

Northvale Diner

Northvale Diner

Recently I found myself in Northern NJ at the Northvale Diner.  By that, I mean the Northvale Diner is one of the most Northern diners I’ve been too.  The State Line Diner is just as far North but a little further west.

northvale diner

Anyway, I arrived at dinner time, and the Northvale Diner wasn’t crowded.  I was excited because I was hungry.

Atmosphere: A

The Northvale Diner is a typical Nj diner.  You walk into the building next to a giant dessert case.  Immediately I saw the red velvet mini cakes which called my name.

The diner itself has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  It’s modern, clean, and open.   It’s a nice clean restaurant, and you don’t feel like you’re sitting on top of anyone.

Coffee: A
The coffee is Lacas Coffee from South Jersey!  I was surprised because Lacas is brewed over 100 miles away, but I didn’t complain.  The coffee itself was good, and the waiter brought plenty of refills.

northvale diner

Food: A
The Northvale Diner has a lot more unique and upscale options than many diners. There are salmon burgers, goat cheese salads, and many other modern and upscale options.

northvale diner

For an appetizer, I ordered one of my favorite appetizers: The Mezze platter.  It came with four types of hummus, pita bread, olives, and grape leaves.  I thought it could use a bit more pita bread but other than that it was good.  The sundried tomato hummus was my favorite!

I decided to order the tuna burger which came with sweet potato fries.  I don’t know the last time I ate a tuna burger!  The tuna burger was cooked perfectly.  I appreciated how crispy the fries were too.

northvale diner

Dessert: A
After walking in next to the dessert case, the red velvet cake caught my eye.  I ordered the red velvet cake with vanilla ice cream.  As most people know, red velvet cake is my favorite, and I have high expectations for it!

northvale diner

The red velvet cake was delicious, and the frosting was thick but still sugary.  One of my favorite cakes so far!  I appreciated how much frosting was on the cake.

Service: A
The waiter was friendly, and the food came out quickly.  I have no complaints there.

Cost: $
For my burger, coffee, appetizer, and dessert, the cost was $30.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Northvale Diner, and it was one of my favorite diners so far.  If I’m up in the area again, I’ll be back!

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Dessert: A
Service: A
Overall: A
Price: $15-20

You can see all of the diners I’ve been too here.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite appetizer?

Have you ever had a tuna burger?

Pat’s Original Diner (Trenton)

Pat’s Original Diner (Trenton)

Recently, I rounded out Mercer County by going to my last diner (as of now) in the County.  Even though Mercer County is one of the smaller counties, it is the first county I’ve completed.

I arrived on a Sunday around brunch time, and it wasn’t overly crowded.  I was hungry and happy to quickly get a table.

Pats original diner trenton

Atmosphere: C
The diner looks like a local favorite.  The outside is plenty of windows.  It’s reasonably big with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  The booths are cramped, and I felt like I was sharing my meal with everyone.  The inside could use an update and several of the booths had rips and tears in them.

Coffee: A
The coffee took a while to get to us but once it did; it was one of the better coffees I’ve had.  The whipped cream was also homemade which made a huge difference.

pat's original diner trenton

Food: B
Pat’s Original Diner has many different options for breakfast, to lunch, and dinner.  They don’t have a lot of healthy choices so if you’re looking for that, this might not be your stop.

pat's original diner trenton

I have been twice now, and the second time I decided to order the French toast and Taylor ham.  The French toast had cinnamon baked in which I definitely appreciated.  It was light and fluffy.  The scrambled eggs and Taylor ham were both good.

pat's original diner trenton

Service: C
The waitress was nice, but she didn’t come around much.  I could have used a lot more water and refills.

Cost: $
For the coffee, French toast, eggs, and Taylor ham the cost was $10.

Overall/Summary:
In all, Pats Original Diner started off rough, but it did get better.  The homemade whipped cream in the coffee definitely boosted it up.

Atmosphere: C
Coffee: A
Food: B
Service: C
Cost: $8-12
Overall: B

Questions for you:
Do you like French toast?
What is your favorite brunch item?

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