Huck Finn Diner (Union)

A couple of weeks ago, the owner of the website, New Jersey Isn’t Boring, and I went to the Huck Finn Diner in Union.  I thought I had been already but turns out I was thinking of the Tom Sawyer Diner or Mark Twain Diner.  As you can see, there are a lot of literary diners around Union.

Long time readers know, but Cyd and I try and hang out at least once a month.  She reviews diners as well as everything else in New Jersey so she is the pro…If you ever find yourself in New Jersey check out her website and you won’t have any trouble finding something to do.

We arrived on a dreary weekday, and the diner wasn’t terribly crowded.  While I’ve wanted to go out to various diners as well as seeing friends, I also want to eat healthy during my lead up to the Atlantic City Half Marathon.  Even though I didn’t run well, at least I ate healthy…I guess.

Atmosphere: B
There isn’t anything too unique or unusual about the Huck Finn Diner.  It’s clean, and there is both a salad bar as well as full bar.  It would be interesting if they added a Huck Finn painting or centered more of the atmosphere around the book.  The building itself was clean, open and had plenty of seating so I can’t complain about that.

Service: B
The waitress was kind and refilled our beverages, but it did take awhile. We waited a few times for drink refills.  The food itself took about 15 minutes to come out which wasn’t bad.

Coffee: A
The coffee was from Lacas and was piping hot.  My only complaint was needing a bigger mug!  Other than that, it was great.Huck Finn Diner

Food: A
The menu at the Huck Finn Diner is huge, and they have everything you want or need in a diner.  Plus they have plenty of specials as well.

I was hungry, so I decided to order the split pea soup.  It came with a bowl of croutons to add to my soup at my leisure.

Huck Finn Diner union

For my entree, I ordered the Huck Finn salad which came with arugula, blue cheese, apples and walnuts topped with balsamic dressing.  They used red delicious apples which are my favorite apple.  Like any salad, I prefer to add protein so I also added salmon.  My salad itself was great, and I have no complaints.  The salmon portion was one of the biggest of any diners I’ve been too.  The salmon and salad were both extremely fresh.  Huck Finn Diner union

Cost: $$
For my soup, salad, salmon and coffee the cost was $21.  It was on the pricier side but worth it.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 
I enjoyed the Huck Finn Diner and would definitely come back.  It’s one of my favorites in the area.

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

Closeby Diners I’ve Reviewed: Mark Twain, Kenilworth

Questions for you: 

What is your favorite salad base? 

Do you prefer salad bars or ordering a salad?

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Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Recently I decided to try the Asics Nimbus 19.  I’m no stranger to the Nimbus and have run in the Asics Nimbus 17 as well as the lower cushion Asics Cumulus 18 too.  I’ve even run in the Asics FuzeX as well as the max-cushioned Asics Quantum.  Come to think of it, I’ve run in most Asics neutral shoes.

Recently, the Nimbus has been extremely inconsistent. Both the sizing and feel of the shoe is completely different from one model to the next.  Neither “feel” is bad, but it’s hard because if you like a soft feel and the next version is firm, it’s not a shoe you will love.

The Nimbus 19 is a shoe you need to try on before purchasing. A few years ago the Nimbus ran big with plenty of room. However, this year it’s tight.

Sizing is not a concern, and it’s just a matter of finding what works for you.  You also have to keep in mind there have been 19 models of the Nimbus, so Asics must be doing something right.

Fit:

Oh, where to start with the fit.  To start off, it fits tight and narrow. I normally wear a women’s size 10 in running shoes, and in the Asics Nimbus 19, I wear a size 11 wide.  Sizing is not a big deal, but it’s a shoe you need to try on.  Don’t expect to be in the same size “you’ve always worn”.

Compared to the previous versions, the upper of the shoe is screen printed and the weave is tighter.  It doesn’t use the “traditional” mesh of other Asics shoes and is seamless. Once I found the appropriate size, it’s a comfortable shoe.  The seamless upper allows no rubbing at the top, and for me personally nothing rubs.

Asics Nimbus 19 Shoe Review

Feel:

The new Nimbus 19 now combines both gel and the latest Asics cushioning system: Flytefoam (similar to the FuzeX).

Why does this matter?  Flytefoam makes the shoe significantly lighter and makes the Nimbus a lot firmer.  It no longer feels like a giant soft sponge under your foot.  With the addition of the Flytefoam, it is a drastic difference.  The cushion is still there but it’s a different type and feels softer and lighter.

In summary, I like the shoe.  I’ll run through this version and use them on easy days or recovery days.  I will also say they are a great workout shoe and I tend to do most of my cross training in them too.  This is a shoe that will probably migrate towards my easy running days and cross training shoe because of all of the cushion.

Pros:

  • Lots of cushion
  • Lighter than previous years
  • More durable than many running shoes

Cons:

  • Expensive ($160)
  • Inconsistent sizing and feel of shoe

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Glycerin 14 (easy runs, long runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (easy runs, long runs)
Saucony Freedom (daily runs)
Saucony Type A (workouts)

Questions for you:

Which shoes are you currently running in?

Do you prefer light weight or heavy shoes?

Woodstown Diner

A few weeks ago I found myself in Woodstown, NJ.  I had driven by the Woodstown Diner a few times and heard it was good.  Since it was around lunchtime, I wanted to stop.

Atmosphere: B
The outside of the Woodstown Diner is a normal but lengthy building.  It looks like a regular restaurant versus a metallic, shiny diner.  I was shocked to see how long the Woodstown Diner is.  From the road, it looks like it might seat 50 people but once you pull into the parking lot, you realize it can probably sit close to 200!

Woodstown Diner
With a possible apartment on top?

The inside of the diner itself has several rooms including a bar and banquet hall.  It was definitely surprising.  Many people don’t realize this, but liquor laws in New Jersey are strict, and it’s rare to find a diner in South Jersey that serves alcohol.  In fact, New Jersey is one of the few states with dry towns that don’t serve alcohol at all.

Even though it wasn’t crowded, we were sat in the second room next to the dirty dish cart.  Out of all the tables, I wasn’t sure why the manager sat me there.   It was loud, and our meal was constantly interrupted by staff bussing tables and clinking of dishes.

Service: B
The manager seemed to be having a difficult day when he sat us.  He threw the menus on the table and walked away.  The waitress of the Woodstown Diner was friendly, and I have no complaints.  She refilled our beverages often, and the food was brought out fairly quick.  

Coffee: B
Even though the coffee mug was small, the coffee itself was good.  The Woodstown Diner uses the local Lacas coffee which as many readers know is my favorite! Woodstown Diner

Food: B
The menu at the Woodstown Diner is that of a typical diner.  They have everything from eggs to lunch and plenty of specials. Everything about the menu is traditional, and there wasn’t anything that grabbed my eye as being unique or extraordinary. I decided to order a gyro wrap with French fries.  A classic diner favorite but not something I’ve ordered in a while!

The gyro itself was huge. It was packed well with plenty of lettuce, gyro meat, onions, and tomato.  It was packaged well and one of the least messy gyro wraps I’ve had.  It came with steak fries which weren’t bad. Woodstown Diner

Cost: $
For my gyro and coffee, the cost was $10.  One of my cheaper diner meals.

Overall summary/Would I come back? 
I enjoyed the Woodstown Diner, and it was definitely a hidden gem in Southern New Jersey.  While the manager was somewhat rude, our service, in general, was decent and I would go back.

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

Close by Diners I’ve been too: Swedesboro Diner, Deepwater Diner, Hollywood Cafe

Questions for you:
What’s the best coffee you’ve had recently?
Where was the last place you ate? 

Brooks Glycerin 14 Shoe Review

The Brooks Glycerin 14 is the most cushioned neutral shoe that Brooks currently offers.  I’ve reviewed both the Brooks Ghost 9 as well as the Brooks Launch 3 and Brooks Launch 4.

As most people have noticed, lately I’ve been doing most of my training in Brooks.  I’m not paid or an ambassador.  Recently, I have found the fit of Brooks to match my foot well.

A while ago, I ran a minimal amount in the Brooks Glycerin 12, and I liked them.   For no reason, I just haven’t run in them since.  I’ve wanted to try the Glycerin again but for whatever reason, haven’t.

The Brooks Glycerin 14 is similar to the 13.  The majority of the update came with the fit of the upper, and it fits wider than the previous model.

Fit:

The upper is seamless which means it’s able to fit wider feet as well as it doesn’t press against bunions.  A lot of running shoes are going towards seamless uppers.  Being seamless, allows for an overall more comfortable fit.

A smooth mesh allows for a “socklike” fit with plenty of breathing room.  Compared to the Glycerin 13 upper, the mesh feels more durable too.

Speaking of the mesh, something unique about the Glycerin is the mesh is much thinner. I have found it to dry much quicker than many other shoes.  Considering most of March was pouring rain in New Jersey this was extremely helpful.

Typically I wear a size 10 or 10 wide in running shoes and have found the 10 wide to be the best fit.

Brooks glycerin 14 shoe review

Ride:

The Glycerin has a lot more cushion than the Ghost.  You can feel the cushion under your feet, and it feels like a sponge.  Brookes uses cushioning technology similar to memory foam.  The Brooks Glycerin is definitely the softest traditional shoes I’ve run in for a while.  You feel the extra cushion without the extra weight.

Thoughts:

The Glycerin has been a shoe I’ve wanted to try for a while, and I was pleased to finally give it a shot.  I like the shoe a lot, and I’ll probably keep it in my rotation for a while.  I don’t have any complaints and the Brooks Glycerin 15 comes out soon so I’ll add that into my rotation too.

Pros:

  • High Cushion and Soft
  • Seamless Upper
  • Updating soon so will be on sale

Cons:

  • Price ($150)
  • More narrow than many other Brooks Shoes
  • Brooks glycerin 14 shoe review

My Current Running Shoe Rotation:
Brooks Glycerin
Brooks Launch 4 (short runs, workouts)
Saucony Freedom (daily runs)
Hoka Bondi 5 (daily runs, recovery runs)
Saucony Type A (speed work)

Questions for you:
What are your favorite shoes right now?
Do you prefer more or less cushion when it comes to running shoes?

Harley Dawn Diner

Earlier in the month, I stopped by the Harley Dawn Diner in Folsom, New Jersey. A few years ago the Harley Dawn closed for construction. They remodeled and rebuilt the entire diner. The new version of the Harley Dawn is more modern than a diner. In fact, if it didn’t have the name finer, you would probably think of it more as a bistro.

Atmosphere: A
The Harley Dawn is modern, with huge windows spanning the entire restaurant. Is a retro metallic, shiny diner? No, but is it a clean, nice looking modern restaurant? Yes.

Harley Dawn Diner

Coffee: A
The Harley Dawn Diner serves locally brewed Lacas coffee. The coffee itself was brewed hot every single time, and the waitress brought plenty of refills. I have no complaints.Harley Dawn Diner

Service: A
When we arrived, we were the only people in the entire diner. I haven’t been the only party in a long time. The waitress was great and refilled our drinks and brought out the food quickly.

Food: C
The unique aspect of the Harley Dawn Diner is everything is locally sourced. Not many diners are like that, and the only other local that comes to mind is the VincentownHarley Dawn Diner

Because of that, they don’t have a huge menu. I wanted to take advantage of locally grown vegetables and ordered the Salmon salad which came on a bed of kale. I asked for a side of pita bread, and she said they didn’t serve pita bread.

Even though the menu was small, it amazed me that there is a diner without pita bread and gyros. I asked for bread, and later the waitress came back and said they were out of homemade bread and offered me a different type. The meal itself was excellent. However, I was disappointed they were out of so many options!

Cost: $
For my local sourced salad and coffee, the cost was $15. That is extremely inexpensive for the quality of food.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back?
I enjoyed the Harley Dawn Diner, and they have a lot of intriguing options I’m interested in, including homemade gelato. I’ll be back again soon. While it’s not a typical New Jersey Diner, it is a good restaurant.

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

Closeby Diners I’ve reviewed: Silver Coin Diner, Shore Diner, Palace Diner, Vorhees Diner

Questions for you:
Do you like kale?

Tenafly Classic Diner

Recently, I found myself in Northern New Jersey. I was hungry and have heard nothing but positive things about the Tenafly diner so I decided to stop.

It finally worked out that I was able to stop by.  When I arrived around 5 pm on a weekday, it wasn’t too crowded, but by 6 pm, it was packed and there was a wait.

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of the Tenafly Diner is a picture perfect diner.  The outside is a big, shiny metallic building and the inside has plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.

Coffee: A
The Tenafly Diner brews Lacas coffee which has been a common theme of diners I’ve been too.  Lacas Coffee is a located in Pennsauken, NJ.  I always enjoy the coffee, and it’s hard to make it badly.  Tenafly Diners coffee was great, and I have nothing but positive things to say.  Unforatenly, I forgot to take a photo!  I know, crazy!

Service: C
The service at Tenafly Diner was kind of strange.  Midway through our meal, the server changed.  There must have been miscommunication because it took a long time for the milkshake to come out and then all of the food came out together.  Both servers were friendly, and I don’t have anything negative to say about them, it was just awkward.

Food: A
The Tenafly Diner has all of the classic diner entrees plus more.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted, but their meats are from the “Montana Meat Company”, so I decided to order a burger and fries.

Being indecisive, I decided I wanted seafood as well and ordered fish tacos as an appetizer. Honestly, it was enough for an entire meal.  The tacos themselves were stuffed with avocado and cod.  They were delicious.  It was by far one of my favorite diner appetizers!

Tenafly Classic Diner

The burger came topped with cheese and onion ring.  It was one of the biggest and most messy burgers to date.  It was next to impossible to eat, and I felt like it was flying off onto other people’s plates.  The French fries were topped with gravy and melted cheddar cheese.  I joked it was probably one of the most unhealthy ways to eat fries, but they were good. By the time I got to the fries, I was so full, though.

Tenafly Classic Diner

Dessert: B
At the start of the meal, I ordered a brownie milkshake.  Interestingly enough, the milkshake didn’t come with one of my favorite toppings: a cherry.  That being said, it was a good milkshake.  I like super sweet hard ice cream milkshakes, and that is exactly what it was.

Tenafly Classic Diner

Cost: $$
For the burger, appetizer, coffee and milkshake it was $30.  The quality of food was there, and it was definitely worth it.  In fact, it was a lot of food for that price.

Overall thoughts/Would I come Back?
I really liked the Tenafly Diner, and I would go back whenever I was in the area.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: C
Food: A
Dessert: B
Cost: $15-20
Overall: A

Questions for you:
Do you like fish tacos?
What is your favorite type of milkshake?

Silk City Diner and Lounge (Philadelphia)

Right off the bat, the Silk City Diner in Philadelphia is one of the biggest letdown restaurants I’ve had in awhile. It was on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives so it must be good right?

Sadly, not quite

Atmosphere: A
The Silk City Diner and lLunge are both a nightclub and a train car diner in one.  Except for PBs Diner and Tap Room in New Jersey, you don’t see that combination often.

silk city diner philadelphia

On one side you have the diner, which is an old school trolley car diner.

On the other side is a full out night club. Apparently, they have live DJ, and it draws a huge crowd. I went for dinner around 5 pm, but by the time we left at 6 pm, they were seating people in the nightclub too. Perhaps next time, I’ll come for the dance party and relive good old college.

Service: D
The waitress was friendly, but she only came over to bring our food and drinks. Not once more and then we waited over 20 minutes for a check. We never received refills for any of our drinks.

Coffee: D
The coffee was drinkable, but it was nothing unique or unusual. Even though they had a full bar as well as plenty of desserts, the waitress informed me they don’t have whipped cream. What kind of diner doesn’t have whipped cream? 

Silk City Diner Philadelphia

Food: B
The menu at the Silk City is limited, and they don’t serve breakfast all day. You can only order a few choices for dinner including fish and chips, pork chops, steak, and salads.

I ordered the fish and chips with fries from their specials menu. It was good, and I don’t have any complaints about the meal itself. The French fries were fresh and one of the better diner french fries I’ve had recently.

Silk City Diner Philadelphia

Cost: $
For my fish and chips and coffee, the cost was $15. It was one of the cheaper diner meals I’ve had.

Summary/Would I come back?
I’m disappointed with the Silk City Diner. The service, lack of menu items as well as lack of good coffee left me underwhelmed.  The meal itself wasn’t bad, but it’s not somewhere I would seek out to go.  I doubt I’ll come back.

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

Close by diners I prefer (basically anything): Oregon, Trolley Car, Green Eggs or Marathon Grill

Questions for you:
Have you ever been disappointed with a restaurant on TV?
Do you have any good night club stories?
I spent my fair share in bars and night clubs in college. The Silk City Diner let me reminisce about it.