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? 

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

Boy is that a long shoe name?

New Balance is one of the few brands I don’t have much experience with running.  I’ve walked around in both the 880 and the 1080 but never run in either. To be honest, the Fresh Foam Zante caught my eye when it came out in Rose Gold. I finally decided to give New Balance a fair shot in my rotation.

New Balance is not paying me, and I purchased these shoes.  Remember what works for me might not work for you.

Related Shoe Posts:
Why Running Shoe Reviews Are Mostly Worthless
Five Secrets to Buying Running Shoes
How to Find the Perfect Pair of Running Shoes
The Importance of Rotating Running Shoes

The Fit:  These days, I have been favoring a size ten wide.  Many people associate New Balance with wider shoes. However, many of their current styles are no wider than other brands.

img_1310

The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante fits more narrow than many current New Balance models.  I typically wear a size ten wide, and I found 10.5 to be the best fit.  

The Ride: The Fresh Foam Zante uses the newest material from New Balance…you guessed it, Fresh Foam…

The New Balance Fresh Foam is lightweight but soft.  It’s a softer brand and also a lot less cushion than I’m used too.   The technology in the foam makes this one of the softer shoes I’ve tried.

The sole of the shoe is flat.  This allows the shoe to be useful for speed or racing because you are lower to the ground. Even with more contact, your feet are supported.

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Shoe Review

For me, I’m using the Zante for speed work and shorter runs.  It doesn’t have enough cushion that I would be comfortable doing a long run in.

Summary: I like the shoe, and it’s a great lightweight or racing option.  It’s not a shoe that I would train heavy miles in but it’s ideal for racing or speed work.

Similar Models: Brooks Launch, Saucony Kinvara, Nike Pegasus

My Current Rotation:
Saucony Zealot ISO 2
Saucony Triumph ISO 2
Nike LunarGlide 8
Brooks Launch

Questions for you:
What is your favorite running shoe?
Do you have different shoes for different runs? (You should)

The Breakfast Club, Ect.

While in Lake Placid last week, I decided to go to the Breakfast Club, Ect.  While looking at possible places to eat while traveling, many people recommended going.  When I browsed the menu, I noticed how many delicious items they had.  It’s one of the few restaurants/diners, I’ve actually looked at the menu beforehand and based my choice on that.

the-breakfast-club

Image from lakeplacid.com

Atmosphere: A
Breakfast Club is located right on the Main Street of Lake Placid.  Since it’s on the Main Street, it’s attached to many different restaurants and isn’t a stand-alone building.

The inside is cute and has a locale vibe to it.  There is a bar, plenty of booths and tables.  Both times we went, we were lucky to get a booth.  I can only imagine how busy the Breakfast Club, Ect can be!

Service: C 
During our stay in Lake Placid we went twice.  The first time we went, we wanted to get there right at opening because we were hiking afterwards. The website listed opening at both 7:30 and 8 so we called ahead and asked what time they opened.  The employee told us they opened at 8.  When we arrived at 8 on the dot, we noticed other diners.  We asked the waitress when they opened at she said 7:30.  We were somewhat upset but let it go.

Once seated, the service was fine. The waitresses brought out plenty of coffee and our food was brought out quickly.

Coffee: A
The coffee as Breakfast Club, Ect is one of my favorite coffees to date.  The whipped cream is homemade and the coffee itself is bold and hot.  I would go there just for coffee if that was an option!

Breakfast club, etc lake placid

Food: A
The Breakfast Club, Ect has a small menu.  They have a lot of specialty pancakes like bacon, or maple whipped cream.

Interestingly enough, they don’t even start serving lunch until noon.  I typically eat an earlier lunch (between 11-12) so I was disappointed I wasn’t able to try anything around 11:30.

The first time I went, I ordered the maple waffle.  The waffle came out as pancakes! It was confusing but okay.  There was plenty of maple whipped cream as well as pure syrup.  The pancakes were some of the best I’ve had.  I’m glad I don’t live close by because I’m not sure my stomach or wallet needs that daily.  It was incredible.

Breakfast club, etc lake placid

The second time I went, I ordered a nova lox omelet with a side of fruit and rye toast.  The omelet was great and wasn’t messy.  I felt as if it had a lot of ingredients without breaking the omelet itself. They buttered the toast a lot and butter makes everything better.

Breakfast club, etc lake placid

Both meals were equally as good.  As most people know, whipped cream is my favorite so I liked the maple waffle/pancake the best.

Cost: $$
For my coffee and both entrees, the cost was $14.  While it was more expensive the quality, of food made it worth it.

Summary/would I come back? 
I liked the Breakfast Club, Ect a lot and I would go back anytime in Lake Placid.  It’s one of my favorite brunch places (now that I know their hours)

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Service: C
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $12-16
Overall: A

Questions for you:
What time do you typically eat lunch? 
Do you like pancakes or waffles better? 

Ivy Stone Diner, Bar and Grill

The Ivy Stone Diner in Iselin has been on my to-do list for a while.  As most people know, I like seafood a lot.  Growing up in Virginia Beach, you’re never far from seafood.  The Ivy Stone Diner and Lounge, claims to have the “the best seafood” around.

I met my friend, Christine, for lunch.  We arrived around noon, and there were only two other parties in the restaurant.

Atmosphere: B
The Ivy Stone Diner is having a major identity crisis.  Is it a diner? A nightclub? A bar? It’s a very fancy restaurant with minimal features that make it a diner.  It’s nice, but the ritzy chandelier or moonlit bathroom sink hardly classify it as a diner.

Ivy Stone Diner and Lounge
The moonlit bathroom sink

Service: C
It was clear the server was extremely new.  He was nice and refilled our beverages when we asked.  For only two other parties in the restaurant, the food came out very slowly. I felt like I’ve been to many other diners, much more crowded that the food came out quickly.  It was borderline slow for a buddy restaurant let alone a diner with three parties.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good.  It was brought out hot and fresh.  We had plenty of refills as well.Ivy Stone Diner and Lounge

Food: C
The Ivy Stone Diner has a small menu.  It more resembles a bar than a diner.  There aren’t a lot if breakfast options.  Since they are well known for their seafood, I ordered salmon and a Greek salad.  I was shocked when I tasted the salmon.

It was apparently frozen and reheated. It wasn’t terrible but the hardly quality I would label as “the best.”  The Greek salad was good, and I enjoyed the dressing.Ivy Stone Diner and Lounge

Price: $$
For my salmon, salad, coffee the cost was $21.  It was more on the pricy side for the quality of food and size.

Summary/Would I come back?
The Ivy Stone Diner is interesting and not the usual “diner.”  It’s not a bad stop, just a very ok restaurant.

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

Overall: C
Questions for you:
Do you like seafood?
Is your area known for anything?

Route 130 Diner

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Eric and I visited the Route 130 Diner in Delran.  Eric is a fast local runner who is a good friend.  We originally met through work, and he trains with some of my faster coworkers.

I’m always skeptical of diners that are within 20 minutes of my house that I haven’t been too.  At this point, I’ve been to most, if not all of the diners that have been recommended by friends.  I’ve steered clear of local diners that people have told me are not great.  I hadn’t heard much about the Route 130 Diner in Delran, so I didn’t know what to expect.

We arrived around 6 pm on a Friday, and it was packed.  It was one of the few diners that we even had to wait for a table.

Atmosphere: B
The Route 130 Diner layout reminds me of an Old Golden Corral.  It uses wooden side paneling as well as similar booths.  There is a bar and bakery case.  The bakery case caught my eye.

There are actually two entry doors to the restaurant, and it’s extremely confusing.  People come and go from both sides and then you don’t know where the line to be seated starts or ends.

Service: B
We waited for about 5 minutes for our waitress to acknowledge us but once she did, she brought over drinks and took our food.  I felt as though as I was always asking her for refills, but she was friendly.

Coffee: A
The coffee at the Route 130 Diner was great.  The waitress added lots of whipped cream (let’s be honest more whipped cream always wins).  Plus it was hot.  I have no complaints and it one of the better diner coffees I’ve had.

Route 130 diner Delran

Food: A
The menu for the Route 130 Diner isn’t posted online anywhere, so I had no idea what to expect.  They do have everything from breakfast to lunch to dinner.  I saw a table order a salad next to me and decided to go with the same one.

Route 130 diner Delran

Their house salad resembled a Greek Salad with a lot of cheese.  There was an entire layer of cheese, but I didn’t mind.  I think all entree salads should come with meat, cheese, and bread.  If not I will probably order some.

I ordered salmon, and it was extremely fresh.  I was pleasantly surprised with how large the portion was as well as the quality of the food.  Honestly, it was one of the best salad I’ve had at a restaurant in a while.

Dessert: C
I decided to order the German Chocolate Cake to take home.  The frosting of the cake was good. However, it tasted as if the cake had been sitting for quite some time.  The pieces of layer cake were hard and somewhat crusty.  It wasn’t the worst cake I’ve had but not the best either.  If I came back, I probably wouldn’t have ordered the cake.

Cost: $
For my coffee, salad, and cake the cost was $22.  That’s not too bad for the amount of food as well as the quality of the entree.

Summary/Would I come back?
I was pleasantly surprised with the Route 130 Diner in Delran.  It’s a great stop if you are heading North from Philadelphia or around the area.  It’s one of the better diners I’ve been too locally.

Closeby Diners: Jersey Diner, Golden Dawn Diner, and Dolphin Diner

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

Questions for you:
Have you ever ordered something because you saw another table order it?
When was the last time you were pleasantly surprised at a restaurant? 

The Continental (Philadelphia)

Recently I went to the Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar in Philadelphia.

While it’s always 5 pm somewhere, it was a little early for a martini.  I’ve heard the restaurant and diner is delicious and in fact, it was ranked as having the biggest and best salads in Philadelphia.  So why not?

Atmosphere: A 
The Continental is a lot bigger than anticipated.  When looking inward, it looks like a 10 table restaurant.  However, when you get into the restaurant, you realize there are 3-4 rooms and two full bars.  It was surprising!  I love the inside, and it’s very classic diner.

The Continental Philadelphia

Service: B
The waitress was nice and made helpful recommendations.  She refilled our drinks when we asked.  It was strange because 3/4 of the meals came out at the same time, but my husband’s food came out 10 minutes later.  It would have been better if they had waited for all four meals.

Coffee: D
Sadly, this was some of the worst coffee I’ve had at a restaurant or diner.  The coffee was luke warm at best.  Honestly, I didn’t want a refill because it wasn’t great.

The Continental Philadelphia

Food: A
The menu at the Continental is small, but they focus on fancier food dishes.  As I mentioned, they are well known for their salads, so I decided to order the Continental salad which contained chicken.  The salad was one of the biggest portioned salads I’ve had, and all of the ingredients were fresh.

The Continental Philadelphia salad

I also ordered the octopus since I like octopus.  The octopus was cooked in olive oil and came with pita bread.  Octopus and pita bread…I couldn’t ask for a better combination.

The Continental Philadelphia

Cost: $$$

For my salad, octopus and coffee the cost was $33.  It’s pricer, but the food was fresh and worth it.

Overall summary/would I come back? 

I really enjoyed the Continental, and I’ll be back.  Next time I’ll skip the coffee but other than that, it’s a great diner/restaurant.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: D
Service: B
Food: A
Price: $20-30
Overall: B

Questions for you:
Have you ever been to a martini bar? 
Do you like octopus? 

River Star Diner

Recently I went to the River Star Diner in Hackettstown, NJ.  Before going it was an area of New Jersey I hadn’t been too. I’d heard from a friend, it’s a pretty small town. When driving through, I didn’t realize how hilly and beautiful the area was.  There are several different parks, and plenty of runners and cyclists out.

Trying new diners and hiking has allowed me to see so many different areas of the state.

Atmosphere: A
The River Star Diner is located along a small creek.  If you are lucky enough to get a window seat, you can see birds and small animals frolicking in the water. The inside is typical of a normal small town diner but it’s great you can look outside.

river star diner
Image from LehighValley Live

When we arrived, the parking lot was full, however, there was plenty of seating available.  I definitely think they could use a bigger parking lot. Even when every parking spot in a diner is filled, there always seems to be room.

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but it was nothing unusual or unique.  I don’t have any complaints or anything unique or interesting about it. River Star Diner

Service: A

Despite the diner being relatively crowded, our waitress was great.  Our food was brought out quickly, and we had plenty of refills and food.

Food: B
River Star Diner The River Star Diner has a huge menu and nothing is left out.  There are about 10 pages of menu.

I ordered the scrambled eggs, bacon, french toast, and a side bagel.  It’s a pretty standard; home cooked diner meal. River Star Diner

The eggs were cooked well.  The bacon was crispy, and I liked the french toast.  I can’t remember the last time I ordered French toast before but River Star used thick bread.  Thin bread might be healthier but thick bread tastes better.

I’ve mentioned before that I think North Jersey bagels are better than South Jersey.  I try to get one whenever I’m up there.  The bagel was delicious and I left feeling both full and satisfied.

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was $12.  It was definitely one of my cheaper diner meals.

Summary/Would I Come Back?
I enjoyed the River Star Diner, and the view was unique and fun. If you can, request to sit by the window!  I don’t have any complaints and it’s one of the better diners I’ve been too.

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

Questions for you:
Which restaurant you’ve been too has the best view?
Where are your favorite bagels from?