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J&G Diner (South Bound Brook)

Recently I went to the J&G Diner in South Bound Brook.  To be honest, I’ve had to remember the exact letter combination every time I go to type out a post.  Anyway, when I arrived for lunch, I was the only person in the diner.  I met the owner of the website, NJ Isn’t Boring, and while we were dining more customers came in.  Cyd and I have reviewed close to 20 diners if not more.  I believe she is coming close to going to 200 diners!

Neither of us had been to the J&G diner, so it was the perfect stop.

Atmosphere: B
The diner is located on the corner.  It’s not a big metallic building but a regular building attached to several other restaurants.  Inside, it’s clear the diner used to be an old Mexican or Spanish restaurant.  The atmosphere and hand painted murals are a giveaway.  Plus J&G Diner has several specials such as a burrito or flan.

Coffee: B
The coffee was decent and warm.  There wasn’t anything interesting or unique about it, and I could have used more refills.

Food: C
J&G has all sorts of options from breakfast to lunch and dinner.  Unique to the diner is a lot of different Mexican and Spanish options.  As most people know at this point, I’ve been suffering from food poisoning.

If I wasn’t suffering from that, I probably would have ordered something new or unique.  I decided to order their Mediterranian salad with salmon.   When my food came out, I regretted the situation.  The salad was boring, and the salmon tasted as if it was reheated.  I had to request to extra dressings because there was barely any on there.  The food wasn’t bad but probably not something I would order again.

Service: B
The waitress was friendly, and the food came out quickly.  I could have used more drink refills, but other than that, I have no complaints.

Dessert: A
Cyd wanted to order dessert.  I probably wouldn’t have, but when she ordered dessert, it sounded like a good idea.  I decided to go with the bread pudding which came with ice cream.

I like bread pudding, however, after food poisoning, it’s something I need to be more mindful of especially with ice cream.  The dessert was tasty, and it saved my overall opinion of the J&G diner.  I appreciated how many raisins (yes I like them) were in the bread pudding.  However, afterward, my stomach was not all that thrilled with me.  Oh well, live and learn.

Cost:
The J&G diner charges for everything including whipped cream in the coffee as well as extra dressings.  While I do understand they are extra items, it seemed a bit ridiculous when the salad was very dry, to begin with. For the coffee, salad, dessert, and extras the cost was $22.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the J&G Diner, and I would go back.  The bread pudding was extremely good, and I would like to try some of their more unique items when I feel better.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: C
Service: B
Dessert: A
Cost: $8-18
Overall: B

Closeby Diners I’ve Been: Time to Eat DinerSomerset, 

You can find all 162 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite Mexican dish?
What is your favorite salad dressing?

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New Castle Diner (Colorado)

While visiting Angela in New Castle, Colorado, she recommended we try the New Castle Diner.  I can never argue with Angela or diners.  New Castle is a small Colorado mountain town that reminds me of my college town in upstate, NY but surrounded by mountains.  It’s a whole different world than New Jersey.

The New Castle Diner is one of the few restaurants located in town, but if a town has a restaurant, it has to be a diner right?

Atmosphere: A
Of any diner I’ve been too, the New Castle Diner is the most small town, perfect diner you can imagine.  While it’s in a small strip mall, the inside looks like a step back into a time machine with cardboard cutouts of Elvis, vintage posters, shiny red booths and of course the stereotypical: “diner tables”.

new castle diner colorado

Service: A
Our waitress was great.  She was funny, a little sarcastic and refilled everything.  Our food came out quickly, and I have no complaints.

Coffee: A
The coffee at the New Castle Diner was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitress gave us plenty of whipped cream in our coffee.

Food: B
The New Castle Diner has a small menu with a few breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  They don’t serve breakfast all day which is upsetting because they had several delicious breakfast options including breakfast wraps and omelets.

I decided to try their soup of the day and “tri-tip salad”.  The soup of the day was the garden vegetable, and it had a small kick with plenty of carrots, onions, and celery.  It was one of the better soups I’ve had.

new castle diner colorado

The Tri-Tip salad is one of the New Castle Diner specialties.  It came with steak, onions, croutons, red peppers, fresh lettuce, and a roll.  The steak was a difficult to cut, but not bad.  It all the salad was good, and I can see why it was one of their specialties.  The roll was one of the better salad rolls I’ve had.  In all the food was good.  Was it 5 stars?  No, but it was good.

new castle diner colorado

Cost: $
For my soup, salad, coffee, it was $15.

Summary/Would I Come Back?
I enjoyed the New Castle Diner, and it is definitely a hidden gem in New Castle.  If you’re on the road on I-70, I would recommend it.

Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: B
Cost: $5-10

Questions for you:
Have you ever been to a small town diner?
What is your favorite soup?

Larrys II (Vineland)

I’ve been trying to get to more diners South. Recently, I drove down to the Vineland to try Larrys II.  I heard it was one of the best diners in Salem county, so I wanted to go.

Atmosphere: A
The atmosphere of Larrys II is modern.  It’s not a big, retro, diner but more of a modern square building. The inside has several rooms, a full-length bar, as well as a salad bar.  Interestingly enough, it’s attached to a coffee bar so you can come in, hang out with friends and get a cup of coffee.  It is unique.

Coffee: A
Since the Larrys II was attached to the coffee bar, the coffee was great.  It was my favorite local brews: Lacas.  One of the best touches was a large, logo coffee mug.  I don’t know why more diners don’t use bigger cups or even logo mugs.  They are also for sale at the front.  Most of my at home coffee mugs come from diners that sell them or races.

Larrys 2 vineland

Service: A
I was there on a Friday evening, and it was definitely busy.  It was evident our waitress was moving around and helping several tables at once.  One of the best aspects was how quickly the food came out.  The appetizer and order were out almost in the blink of an eye.

Food: A
The menu at Larrys II is smaller than most diners.  There is about a page of specials and two pages of food.  What intrigued me most was the salad bar, as many diners don’t have it.Larrys 2 vineland

The salad bar was fresh and refilled often.  There were plenty of salad toppings and unique salads such as three beans, marinated mushrooms and my personal favorite, beets.

I also had heard nothing but great things about the tomato bruschetta, so I decided to order that as well.  It was delicious, and the balsamic topping was great.  I would recommend it.

Larrys 2 vineland

For my entree, I ordered the pork chops off of the specials menu.  The pork chops were marinated with a special blueberry topping and came with a vegetable medley cole slaw and mashed potatoes.

Everything was cooked well, and it was definitely one of the better pork chops I’ve had.  The food was one of the best I’ve had at a diner.Larrys 2 vineland

Cost: $20
For my pork chops and coffee, the cost was $20.  It was a great deal, especially with the salad bar.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Service: A
Food: A
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A

I enjoyed Larrys II and it is definitely one of my favorite diners in Southern New Jersey.  If you’re ever around the Vineland or passing to the shore, I would recommend it.

Closeby Diners I’ve been: Malaga Diner, Maurice River Diner 
Questions for you:
Do you like pork chops?
What is the best restaurant salad bar you’ve been too?

 

Cinnaminson Diner

Cinnaminson Diner

Recently, I went to the Cinnaminson Diner in Cinnaminson.  The diner just reopened, and I wanted to try it. I have been twice now and had positive experiences both times.  The first time I arrived around 6 pm on a Friday night, and it wasn’t too crowded. Since it’s located in a shopping center, there is plenty of parking.

Atmosphere: B
The Cinnaminson Diner is clean and open. It’s not a giant metallic building, but it’s clean and modern. Inside there are plenty of booths and tables.

One atmosphere point I found interesting, was this crack in the window. Was it caused by hail? A bullet hole? The world will never know…

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh. Other than wishing I had more, I have no complaints.

cinnamonson diner

Service: B
While the restaurant was busy, the service was still rather slow. The waitress came over a few times, but we were left without beverage refills a few times.

Food: A
The Cinnaminson diner has everything a typical diner has. One of their newer specials is lobster ravioli. My dad ordered it the first time I went, and after seeing it, I thought it looked excellent and ordered for myself the second time.  It was one of the biggest and most filling portions I’ve had in a while.  Embarrassingly enough, I forgot to take a photo the second time I went!

I don’t order a lot of pasta when going out to eat and haven’t had lobster ravioli in years. I don’t have any complaints it was good.

The first time I ordered the Greek Salad which was just as good.  It was a large portion was fresh ingredients.  Instead of pita bread, they gave garlic bread which was unique.

cinnamonson diner

Cost: $
For my coffee and lobster ravioli, the cost was $13. It was a good deal and I left full.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I enjoyed the Cinnaminson Diner both times. It’s a typical diner with nothing too crazy or unusual but it’s a good stop and one of the better ones along Route 130.  I feel like I need to go back based on my lack of photos. 😉

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

Closeby Diners: Jersey Diner, Route 130, Continental

Questions for you:
Do you like lobster?
What is your favorite type of pasta?
I like either ravioli or lasagna

The Continental Diner (Burlington)

As you can see, while not running, I’ve been to a heck of a lot more diners.  The Continental Diner recently reopened.  It used to be known as the Dolphin Diner, and I ate there several years ago.

When my mom and I arrived around 6 pm on a weekday, there was only one other party in the restaurant.  There were never more than a few people during our entire experience.

Atmosphere: B
The Continental Diner hasn’t changed much of the environment of the Dolphin Diner.  They added a new highway sign but other than that the inside is very similar.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a half full dessert case.  The desserts inside did look good.  I saw a few that I wanted to try.

The Continental Diner Burlington

Same appearance as the previous “Dolphin Diner”

Coffee: C
While the coffee was brewed hot, they were out of whipped cream.  A diner without whipped cream?  The coffee was good, but being out of whipped cream was disappointing.The Continental Diner Burlington

Service: B
For an extremely undercrowded diner, the waitress didn’t come by often.  I was surprised when it took a while to take our orders and bring drinks.  She was nice, but overall the service was slow.

Food: B
Without running, I’ve been making more of an effort to eat healthier.  The menu at the Continental Diner is typical of most New Jersey diners.  There is nothing that sticks out.

I decided to order the Greek salad was salmon.  It came with soup and I chose the lentil.  The soup was good.  There wasn’t anything unique but I have no complaints.The Continental diner burlington

When the salad arrived, I was surprised with how big it was.  I wasn’t expecting that and definitely in the top percentage of diner salads I’ve had.The Continental diner burlington

Dessert: A
Even though they didn’t have a lot of desserts left, I noticed the chocolate oreo cake and wanted to go with that.  The cake itself was great, it consisted of a large layer of frosting which was almost mousse-like and then a chocolate cake underneath.  It was one of the better diner cakes I’ve had and I have no complaints.  I would order it again…and again.

The Continental Diner Burlington

Cost: $
For my coffee, salad, cake and ice cream the cost was $22.  It was a great price, and I left feeling full.

Overall thoughts/Summary:
I actually like the new Continental Diner better than the Dolphin Diner.  I think they could use more personalization for the name.  I was disappointed they were out of whipped cream.  I’ll be back.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Service: C
Food: A
Cost: $8-15

Overall: B 
Closeby Diners: Route 130, Jersey Diner, Cinnaminson Diner

Questions for you:
Have you ordered anything and a restaurant was out? 
I find that happens more with farm to table restaurants…

Have you been to a restaurant before and after it was open under new management?

Piston Diner (Westville)

Piston Diner (Westville)

After the Broad Street 10 mile race, my in-laws and I went to the Piston Diner in Westville, NJ.  It’s one of the last diners I hadn’t been in Camden County and right on the way home.  There isn’t a lot of information online about the Piston Diner, so I was worried I might end up at someone’s house versus an actual diner.

Atmosphere: B
The atmosphere at the Piston Diner is that of many typical New Jersey Diners.  While it isn’t a big shiny, metallic building, it is a big open building with plenty of seating.  They had a lot of streamers decorating the inside, but I’m not entirely sure what the holiday was.

Service: D
We arrived at noon on a Sunday, and it wasn’t crowded at all. To be honest, that’s a red flag because Sundays for breakfast and lunch are usually the most crowded diner times.  Even though it wasn’t crowded, the service took a long time.  It was one of the slowest waits I’ve had in a while and disappointing.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and when we were able to get ahold of the waitress, she brought refills.  The coffee itself was good. piston diner westville

Food: D
The diner has just about every typical diner food option.  I wasn’t especially hungry after spectating Broad Street, but I can’t pass up eating at a diner.  I decided to order the Greek Salad with salmon.  I also ordered a side of pickled beets.

When my food arrived, I regretted the decision.  The salad used a lot of watery, white lettuce and didn’t have most of the traditional Greek Salad toppings including anchovies, grape leaves or pita bread.  The dressing was watery, and I needed two.  While it wasn’t a bad salad, it wasn’t anything I would order again.  I wasn’t starving, so it filled me up.  It did have a lone french fry which was not listed as a salad addition.  😉

piston diner salad

Cost: $$
For my salad with salmon and coffee, the cost was $16.  For the quality of food, it should have been cheaper.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I didn’t dislike the Piston Diner, and the food was ok for what I needed for the day, but next time I’ll order something else.  The service was rather slow, so I can’t imagine how it would be when they are busy.

Summary:
Atmosphere: B
Service: C
Coffee: A
Food: C
Cost: $8-16
Overall: C

Nearby Diners: Metro Diner and Black Horse Diner

Questions for you:
Do you prefer chopped salads or big, leafy salads?
Do you like beets?

Coach House Diner (North Bergen)

Recently I was at the Coach House Diner and Restaurant in North Bergen.  Before leaving, I googled diners closeby, and the Coach House was only three miles away.  I was driving around I arrived around 4 pm, and it took me over 20 minutes to drive 3 miles!  I should have run.
The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen
Atmosphere: A 
The Coach House plays the theme of a Coach House well.  The outside looks like an old Coach House in the metro of North Bergen.  It definitely sticks out.

The inside is dimly lit with stained glass windows.  It’s large, and there are plenty of windows.  It’s always good to the diner that went with it’s theme.

Service: C
The service at the Coach House was extremely slow.  When I arrived, there were no more than 5 parties in the entire restaurant, but I still waited 5 minutes to be seated.  The server came over a few times, but the food took a lot longer to come out than it should have.

Coffee: C
The coffee was okay. It was boring but at least it was warm, and there were no coffee beans inside.  It was nothing unique or special to write about.

The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen coffee

Food: B
The Coach House Diner has a lot more dinner and pub fare than actual diner fare.  While you can get breakfast all day, the Coach House focuses more on dinner options such as steak, seafood, and burgers.

I ordered the Coach House Grilled Salad as an appetizer.  When it came out, I was surprised to find no actual greens for the “salad.” It was a few ingredients separated on a plate.  There was chicken, grilled zucchini, mushrooms, and broccoli.  On the uncooked side, there were onions, tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives.

The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen Salad

There were far too many uncooked onions that most of them were left uneaten.  It was an odd combination of either everything needed to be cooked or a raw salad.  I enjoyed the grilled vegetables much more.  It lacked bread which could have made it ten times better.   The appetizer wasn’t bad but could have used a few upgrades.

For my entree, I ordered the guacamole burger.  It felt as if they dumped packaged guacamole onto a burger, added a few toppings and called it a day.  It wasn’t a bad burger, but it felt as though they didn’t try at all.  The French fries were good but nothing usual.  My actual entree was underwhelming.

The Coach House Diner and Restaurant North Bergen

Cost: $$
For the appetizer, coffee, and burger the cost was $24.  It wasn’t a bad price considering the appetizer was essentially another meal.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 
The Coach House wasn’t a bad stop. My meal was fine, but there are other diners around I prefer.

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

Closeby Diners I’ve Been: Tenafly Diner, Brownstone Diner (one of my favorites)

Questions for you:
Do you like onions? 
Where is the best guacamole you’ve had? 

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