Sage Diner (Eastern Shore, VA)

Recently I went to the Sage Diner with my parents on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  This Sage Diner is not to be confused with the Sage Diner in Mount Laurel.  Coincidentally, my parents went too a few years ago. I drive down the Eastern Shore (from New Jersey to my hometown of Virginia Beach) regularly, but I haven’t been to a lot if diners on the Eastern Shore.

Atmosphere: B
The sage diner is located right on Route 13 and has a huge sign located outside, so it’s hard to miss.  There are several locations.

The building reminds me of a local family is owned business  It’s a casual brick building with a sign that says Sage Diner.  The inside is a large square room with several booths and tables as well as a bar.  There is nothing unique about it but does have a cute small town feel to it.

Coffee: B
The waitress brewed a fresh pot and it was brewed hot. There was nothing unique about the coffee and there were a few grounds inside.  Other then that, it wasn’t too bad.

Sage Diner Virginia

Service: B
Our waitress was very friendly but she got several parts of our order wrong including my parents soup as well as my pudding.  She blamed it comically on “being senile”. (Her words not mine).

She was friendly and treated us as if she had known us for years.

Food: B
The Sage diner has a huge dinner menu.  They have the basic breakfast staples such as eggs and pancakes but nothing unusual.  I decided to try the special, “The chicken souvlaki.”  To be honest I had no idea what would come out!

Sage Diner Virginia

I assumed there would be chicken but after that…I had no idea.  The chicken souvlaki had grilled chicken with roasted vegetables and a very thick and heavy oil.  To be honest, there was so much oil it turned into a soup at the bottom of my plate.  The meal itself was good though.  I enjoyed the roasted vegetables and chicken.  It oddly enough reminded me of a grilled fajita on a pita (diner rhyming?).

Sage Diner Virginia

It also came with a side salad which was a perfect compliment.  The menu stated the special came pudding, however, the waitress forgot and by the time she remembered it was time to go.

In summary, I enjoyed my food and it was typical of a diner.

Cost: $
For my special and coffee, the cost was $13.  It was a lot of food for not a lot of money so I can’t complain.

Summary/Would I come back?
I enjoyed the Sage Diner and it’s a great stop on the Eastern Shore.  If you are heading through the Eastern Shore, I would recommend stopping.

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

Questions for you:
Have you ordered anything off a menu having no idea what to expect?
Have you ever traveled down route 13 on the Eastern Shore?

Nutley Diner

Last month, we headed back up to North Jersey and New York State to hike at Bear Mountain State Park.  We wanted to have a big breakfast before hiking. You never know what can happen on the trails and the last thing I wanted was to feel exhausted in the middle of the forest.  It’s an excuse to go out for brunch and eat at a new diner.  What more could I want?

Nutley Diner

Atmosphere: A
The Nutley Diner is a big, shiny metallic building.  When we arrived on a Sunday morning, it was crowded. It’s probably a bad sign if a diner isn’t crowded on a Sunday morning.  That’s prime diner time.  Every parking spot was taken, and we parallel parked on the street.  Even though the lot was full, we were sat quickly.  I was pleasantly surprised they sat us so quickly.

IMG_6212

Service: A
As I mentioned, I haven’t been to a diner that crowded in a while.  The waitress refilled our beverages, and the food was brought out within 10 minutes.  That is great speed for an empty restaurant, let alone a restaurant where every table is filled.  The Nutley Diner was the fastest service we’ve ever received.

Coffee: A

I was surprised to see the Nutley Diner brewed local Lacas coffee.  Lacas is local to me in South Jersey and about 80 minutes south of the Nutley Diner.  The coffee was a darker roast and hot. I have no complaints. I like Lacas Coffee and buy it to homebrew at my house too.  One additional thing I like is restaurants that use logo mugs.  It’s not as common but I always think it’s a great touch.

Nutley Diner

Food: A
Like most diners, there were plenty of options.  Since it was breakfast time, I went with a Mederrenean omelette and bagel. While North Jersey bagels are no NYC bagels, they are better than South Jersey bagels.  I’m sorry South Jersey friends, but it’s true.

Nutley Diner

The Mederettean omelet was good. The omelet was baked, and it was large.  It wasn’t overly greasy and the there was plenty of feta cheese and onions.  I liked it a lot.

Nutley Diner

They added plenty of butter to the bagel. By plenty I mean it was drenched in butter but to be honest, I didn’t mind.  As a kid I grew up with butter dripped bagels as a treat.

Nutley Diner

Dessert: B
We ordered a black and white tuxedo cookie to go.  The cookie wasn’t amazing or terrible.  It tasted like a frosted sugar cookie that we split while hiking.

Nutley Diner

Cost: $$
For my coffee, omelet, cookie and bagel the cost was $20. It wasn’t bad considering all of the food I received.

Summary/Would I come back?
I enjoyed the Nutley Diner a lot.  It’s one of my favorite diners in the area, and I’ll be back.

Atmosphere: A

Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
dessert: C
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A

Questions for you:
What’s the fastest service you’ve gotten? 
What’s your favorite type of bagel? 

Gotham City Diner

On the way back from hiking, we decided to stop at a North Jersey diner.  I heard the Gotham City Diner was good, and I wanted to see for myself.  Plus after long hikes, normally most things taste good.

Gotham City Diner

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of the Gotham City Diner is unique.  I always appreciate a diner that has a theme and concentrates on it.  The Gotham City Diner does just that. Everything focuses on the Gotham City (I.E. New York City).  They have several subway signs, street signs and memorabilia and paintings.  It’s one of the best-themed diners I’ve been too!

Gotham City Diner

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but there was nothing unique or unusual about it.  The waitress did add plenty of whipped cream. Gotham City Diner

Service: C
The waitress was friendly. However, she seemed to forget about our table.  She only came back a couple of times and I could have used more drink refills as well as napkin (ribs are messy😉.  She came back four times: to take our order, bring out our food and bring dessert and the check.  I could have used a few more drink refills.

Food: A
The Gotham City Diner has plenty of options as well as several unique diner options.  They have a custom salad menu where you can make your own salad as well as a gelato bar.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a diner with either.

Gotham City Diner

After the hike, I was craving red meat.  I don’t think I’ve ever ordered ribs at a diner before so I decided to go for it. The ribs were tender, and they fell off the bone.  They tasted great. The shoestrings fries were good as well and rib juice soaked right into them.

Dessert: A
After my hike, I had to order dessert.  Plus how many restaurants, especially diners, have a gelato bar? Gotham City Diner

 

I ordered the red velvet cake as well as the Cherry Garcia ice cream.  The red velvet cake tasted good. It wasn’t the best but plus was plenty of frosting.  If you know me, you know I love my cake frosting.

Gotham City Diner

The Cherry Garcia gelato was homemade, and I enjoyed it a lot.  It was my favorite diner ice cream to date, and I would highly recommend it.  If you go to the Gotham City Diner, you have to save room for their gelato.

Gotham City Diner

Cost: $
For my coffee, ribs, and dessert the cost was $30. That isn’t bad, considering most ribs at other restaurants are $20+.

Overall: B
I enjoyed the Gotham City Diner, but I do wish the service was a little better. Other than that, I enjoyed the food and the cake!

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

Questions for you:
Have you tried gelato before?
Do you like ribs?
I have to be craving them but I like ribs.

Time to Eat Diner

A few weeks ago, Caitlin and I met at the Time to Eat Diner.  The Time to Eat Diner has been on my to-do list for a while.  I’ve heard it’s good plus who can argue with that name?  Out of all of the names, “Time to Eat” is in the top.

When in doubt, I will close my eyes. But don't worry, Chelsea looks great
When in doubt, I will close my eyes. But don’t worry, Caitlin looks great

Atmosphere: A
The Time to Eat Diner is located in Bridgewater, NJ after a semi-confusing roundabout.  It’s modern, clean and has been plenty of parking.

The inside is spacious with plenty of seating. You walk in next to a large bakery case. It’s clean as well which surprisingly has been an issue lately.  We were lucky to sit in a booth towards the front.

Coffee: A 
The coffee was great and had plenty of whipped cream.  The only thing missing was more coffee.

Time to Eat Diner

Service: B
The waitress was friendly, and the food was brought out quickly.  It might have been the fastest I’ve ever received food.

Food: B
It was exceptionally hot that day, and I was craving something cold.  I had only run half an hour but I sweat so much, and I didn’t want any hot food.  I ordered a Mediterranean salad.

Originally I wanted salmon, but they informed me they couldn’t do that, and so I stuck with the chicken.  When the salad came out, I was confused about whether it was chicken or salmon.  Both Caitlin and I stared at the chicken trying to figure it out: was it chicken?  Was it fish?

It was the fishiest looking chicken I’ve ever seen.  That being said the salad was filling, and there was plenty of chicken. When I ate it, it tasted normal, and I have no complaints.  I wish there were more mixed greens, but the salad was good.

Time to Eat Diner

Cost: $$
For my salad and coffee, the cost was $15. It was more expensive for the amount of food, but it was a good meal.

Summary/Would I come back?

I liked the Time to Eat Diner.  The meal was good, and there were plenty options.  It wasn’t the best diner, but it wasn’t the worst either.  It as odd they couldn’t add salmon, but that’s how it goes.

Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: B
Cost: $10-20

Overall: A

Question for you: What’s the restaurant with the coolest name you’ve been too?

Hoka Clifton 3

For the last month, I’ve been using the Hoka Clifton 3 to run in.  After my ankle fracture, I wanted to find shoes with more cushion.  Even though I was training in the high cushion Saucony Triumph, I opted for something softer and with more cushion.  Lucky for me (eh), the Hoka Clifton 3 was released around the same time I began running more than a quarter of a mile.  Interestingly enough, the Hoka Clifton was one of the first shoes I reviewed on LOLZ blog nearly 2 years ago.

Hoka Clifton 3 Shoe Review

Keep in mind, there is no “best” running shoe.  What works for me, might not work for you.  (See: Why Running Shoe Reviews are Mostly Worthless). Hoka isn’t paying me to promote their shoe.

Fit: 

The biggest change for the Hoka Clifton 3 came to the fit. As many people realized, the Hoka Clifton 2 sized both narrow and short.  For a shoe that was supposedly a wide toe box, it wasn’t. That was a big reason I chose never to run in the Hoka Clifton 2. My toenails are important to me and I need a wider shoe.

The Clifton 3 has a similar to fit as the original Clifton and is much wider. I normally wear a size 9.5 wide or size 10. The size 10 fits well.

Ride: 

The Hoka Clifton is an extremely soft, marshmallow cushioned shoe. That’s a huge reason I chose to run in the shoe after my ankle fracture. I already prefer a high cushioned shoe, but I also wanted a shoe that was soft and felt as if I was running on pillows. The Hoka Clifton feels that way.

The Hoka Clifton is not a heavy shoe, but the third model feels as if it’s heavier in the forefront.  I like that feeling because it means more metatarsal cushioning.

Pros:

  • Wider than the Hoka Clifton 2 (a common complaint).
  • Inexpensive for the amount of cushion ($130)
  • Lightweight

Negative:

  • Could use extra width or a wide model.
  • The cushion does not last the traditional 400 miles. If you are training in them, you will be replacing them sooner than 400 miles.

Hoka Clifton 3 Shoe Review

Overall thoughts:

I like the Hoka Clifton 3.  I’ll continue to run in the shoe until the cushion is gone.  I can appreciate the shoe is much wider. However, it is still not as wide as the original model.  I do hope they either continue to widen it or release a wide version as well.

Similar models: Saucony Triumph, Asics Nimbus, Altra Paradigm and Brooks Glycerin

Questions for you:

Have you ever run in Hokas? 

What is your current favorite running shoe?

The Six Brothers Diner

About two months ago I drove by The Six Brothers Diner in Little Falls, NJ.  When I drove by, I thought it was a fancy restaurant, but quickly realized it was a diner.  I moved it to my to-do list, but since I have about 100 diners on the immediate list, that doesn’t mean a lot.  Plus the Six Brothers Diner is about 90 minutes from my house.  I don’t mind driving around the state, but I generally save those diners for when I’m already up North.

Six Brothers Diner
Incase there was any question, they are open

In this case, my husband and I were hiking at Hemlock Falls, and since we were close by, we opted to finally try the Six Brothers Diner.

Atmosphere: A 
The Six Brothers Diner is huge. It looks like it could easily sit 500 people and host a banquet.  It’s got large windows, and it’s open and spacious.  The inside has multiple rooms, a bar, and a dessert case.  The inside is one of my favorite modern diners because there is so much room.  I don’t feel like I’m violating anyone’s personal space.

Service: C
Six Brothers Diner wasn’t crowded. However, our waitress was barely at our table.  When we asked for drink refills, it felt as if we were bothering her.  Maybe she was doing something in the back, but there were about 15 other people in the entire restaurant and she never appeared to be busy.  Appearances are deceiving, though.

Coffee: C
The coffee wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t bad either. It was simply average. I wish the cup was larger, or I had more refills, but it wasn’t bad. I have nothing interesting to write about it.  The table backdrop is unique.

Six Brothers Diner

Food: A
After a less than stellar, start to our meal the Six Brothers Diner shines at food.  The menu is huge and has plenty of different options. They have all day breakfast, multiple burgers and an entire page dedicated to salads.  Recently I’ve gone to a few diners that do have all day breakfast.  Isn’t that a traditional diner staple?

After six miles of hiking, I was starving and ordered: “The Brooklyn Burger” with sweet potato fries. It was a cheeseburger with an entire layer of mozzarella cheese.  The burger was cooked perfectly.  I enjoyed the crunchiness of the sweet potato fries as well.  I’ve never had a mozzarella cheeseburger before, but it was good.  The sweet potato fries were good.

Six Brothers Diner

Cost: $
For the burger and coffee, the cost was $15 which wasn’t inexpensive, but it also wasn’t expensive either.

Summary/Would I come back? 
The Six Brothers Diner was good.  The quality of food was high too, and if I were in the area again, I would come back.  Based on the service when it was empty, I would try and come on quiet days, or you might be there for hours.

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

Questions for you: 
What is your favorite type of French fry?
Have you ever been to a restaurant with its own wine cellar? 

Suburban Diner

Suburban Diner
A few weeks ago I was in North Jersey around lunch. It was the perfect excuse to try another diner. I browsed the internet to see which diners were the closest and decided upon the Suburban Diner.  Anytime you go to a diner for brunch on a weekend, you know it’s going to be crowded. When we arrived, they said it would be about a ten-minute wait. It the 113 diners I’ve been too, I’ve only had to wait twice. Ten minutes ended up being two and we were quickly seated.

suburban diner

Atmosphere: B
The outside of the diner was modern with plenty of parking. It draws your attention in from the main road. The inside is modern and spacious. The diner is centered around the bar. They have a unique mix if high and low tables as well as booths and counter space. However, the walls of the diner were noticeably dirty with smeared food on the wall.

suburban diner

Coffee: A
The coffee was hot, fresh and constantly refilled. It was good, and I have no complaints.

suburban diner

Service: A
Everything about the service was excellent. We were sat quickly after arriving; our orders were taken quickly, and the food came out quickly too.  Unlike the diner last week, the food came out quickly.  This would even be considered fast service for an empty diner but it was more than impressive since every table was being used.

Food: A
Since we arrived around 11, I was still in breakfast mode. The Suburban Diner has breakfast, lunch, and dinner at any time. I decided to order something I haven’t seen at a restaurant before. “The Orginal bowl.” The bowl contained potatoes, cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado and I ordered over hard eggs. All of the ingredients were mixed into one giant bowl.  It reminded me of garbage plates in Rochester.  Everything tasted good and I enjoyed the ingredients blended together.  It was a unique but delicious menu item.

suburban diner

Dessert: A
While walking by the dessert case, the red velvet cookie caught my eye. The cookie was dense and huge. I saved it for my hike later in the day.  Honestly, the cookie by itself was great, but it also gave me energy mid-hike.  My only complaint was it did taste like a giant red sugar cookie versus red velvet.  That being said, it was a good cookie and kept my energized during the hike.

suburban diner

suburban diner

Cost: $
For the coffee, eggs, and cookie the cost was $12.  That’s extremely cheap for the amount of food I received.

Summary/would I come back?
I enjoyed the Suburban Diner, and I would definitely go back.  There wasn’t anything I disliked.  It has great food, quick service and presentable.  In fact, it’s in my top 10 diners in the entire state.

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

Questions for you:
What’s the fastest service you’ve received?
What is your favorite type of cookie?