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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Kettle and Grille

Recently, I went to the Kettle and Grille in Marlton, NJ. While there is no “Diner” in the name, it does serve breakfast all day, and it looks and feels like a diner.  It’s more “dinerlike” than many restaurants with diner in the name (Like the Route 248 Diner).

I arrived at the diner at 7:30 on a weekday and it was shockingly packed.  I expected a quiet meal but we almost got the last table.

Atmosphere: B
It’s in a shopping center.  It’s not a stand-alone metal building, and it’s hard to find the actual restaurant.  Once you’re inside, it does feel like a diner with plenty of booths and a pretty open kitchen area.

Coffee: C
The coffee wasn’t hot at all.  It was surprising because the Kettle and Grille were crowded and you would think other people wanted their coffee. However, it was luke warm, and I ended up not drinking my second cup.

Kettle and Grille Marlton

Service: B
The waitress was friendly.  With how busy it was, she was running around the restaurant.  She was shocked when she saw I was married and said: “I thought you were 16”.  It’s better then food comments but getting mistaken as a 16-year-old is never fun.

Food: B
There are the typical “diner options” at the Kettle and Grille including all day breakfast, several different steak and seafood entrees.  There is nothing unique but they do have everything a diner “should” have.  I ordered their Greek salad with chicken.  It came with a lot of pita bread, and I have no complaints.

Kettle and Grille Marlton

For a Greek Dressing, it was unusual.  To me, it tasted (and looked) like Italian dressing.  It was unique.  The salad itself was good and I appreciated they use spinach leaves versus romaine.

Kettle and Grille Marlton

Cost: $
For my salad and coffee, the cost was $16 which is one of the cheaper diners I’ve been too.

Overall/Would I come back?
I’ve been to Kettle and Grille twice now, and both experiences have been decent. It’s not my favorite or least favorite restaurant, but there is good food.  I would recommend it if you’re ever in the area.

Closeby Diners: Marlton Diner, Shamong Diner

Summary:
Atmosphere: B
Coffee: C
Service: B
Food: B
Cost: $10-16

Questions for you:
What time do you typically eat dinner?
What is your favorite salad base? Do you like spinach, romaine, arugula? 

Kenilworth Diner

At the beginning of the month, Danielle, Amelia and I met at the Kenilworth Diner in Kenilworth, New Jersey.  I had read it was one of the better diners in the area so I had high expectations for it!

Atmosphere: D

While the diner looks big from the outside, it’s an awkward layout. We were sat in the corner booth next to the door.  We sat in a room with about 10 tables and it was cramped. Upon leaving and driving away, I noticed there was a whole second section with a bar.  I would have preferred not to sit next to the door when it was 30 degrees out and there were dozens of other booths available.

Coffee: A
The coffee was Lacas brewed from the local Lacas in Pennsauken. It was hot, fresh and delicious. As I’ve mentioned before, Lacas is local and I always enjoy their coffee. The coffee was refilled, often and I have no complaints.

Kenilworth Diner

Service: C
The waitress at the Kenilworth Diner was aggressive and wasn’t overly friendly. I can’t put my finger on it, but it didn’t seem as if she wanted to be there.

Food: C
The Kenilworth diner has a huge menu. They have everything a typical diner would. After the holidays, I decided to finally have a healthy meal order a salad.

Online I read they were good portions and had a lot to them. I ordered the Greek salad with a side of salmon. The salad was small, but there were a few toppings. It was missing a few “typical” Greek salad items like onions, pita bread, and tomatoes but in total it was a decent salad. The salmon portion was huge and took up more space than actual salad.  If it’s an entree salad, it should come with some sort of bread.

Kenilworth Diner

Cost: $$
For my salad, coffee and side of pita it was $22. For the amount of food as well as quality, it wasn’t worth it.

Overall/Would I come back?
It was an okay diner, but not great. There are several in the area that I like much better that I would go too before the Kenilworth. The atmosphere, as well as the waitress, took away from experience as a whole. It was great to see Danielle and Amelia, of course, though.

Summary:
Atmosphere: D
Coffee: A
Service: C
Food: C
Cost: $$
Overall: C

Close by Diners:
Tropicana 
Park Wood 
Westfield

Questions for you:
What is the strangest restaurant layout you’ve been too?

Route 248 “Diner” (Easton, PA)

A while ago, I visited the Route 248 diner in Easton, PA.  Right before I moved to Alabama, I went to several out of state diners (like yesterday’s review at the Gateway Diner).  While my primary goal is to go every NJ diner, PA diners are often closer to me.  Plus I drive through PA frequently.

I arrived at the 248 Diner around 4 pm on a Saturday, and they were packed.  A packed diner is always a good sign that people like it.  The waitress informed me they had several large parties.

Atmosphere: B
The Route 248 Diner is clean, and it’s a nice atmosphere, but it reminds me more of a steakhouse, not a diner.  In fact, with the exception of the name, nothing even screams diner. There are plenty of big screen TVs, tables and a lounge with a bar.

Coffee: B
The coffee was fresh, but there was nothing unusual or unique.  It was boring and I forgot to take a photo.

Service: B
It was clear the bigger tables took precedence and everything about the service was slow. The waitress was very friendly but barely came to the table. When I went to pay at the front, there was a line of 8 people!  It actually took me about 15 minutes to stand in line and pay.

Food: B
The food at the Route 248 Diner is catered more towards a steakhouse as well.  They had several new dishes and I opted for their brand new salmon avocado salad.  It had avocado, bleu cheese, pico de gallo, feta and onions.

It was a good combination, and it was delicious.  There were plenty of greens, and the lettuce wasn’t white as many lettuce based salads are. Route 248 Diner

The salad, thankfully, came with dinner rolls with cinnamon butter. Personally, I prefer bread with my salads.  The cinnamon butter was unique and I liked it.Route 248 Diner

Cost: $
For my coffee and salad, the cost was $20.  I’ve had more and less expensive dishes so I can’t complain.

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

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?
The Route 248 Diner wasn’t bad, but it isn’t a diner.  In fact, I honestly don’t know that it had any qualities that make it a diner.  That being said, it’s a good restaurant and the food is good.

Other Recent PA Diners:

Trivet Diner (Allentown)

Jumbars (Bethlehem)

Questions for you:
Do you generally like restaurant dinner rolls?
Is butter a carb?

The Black Horse Diner

Last weekend, my parents came up to visit.  During that time we decided to eat the Black Horse Diner in Mount Ephram.  I’ve been to almost all of the diners in Camden County so I’m typically weary of the ones I haven’t been too.

We arrived around noon on a weekday, and it was crowded.  Being crowded is always a good sign.  We were quickly seated, but by the time we left, there was a long wait. Rarely do you see a wait at any diner!

Atmosphere: B
The Black Horse Diner looks like it might have once been a fast food restaurant and remodeled.  It was clean and open.  The outside was cobblestone, and the inside had plenty of booths and tables.

Coffee: B
The coffee wasn’t good or bad.  The waitress did leave a pot at the table which was nice.  I don’t have anything bad to say about it, but there was nothing that stuck out either.

The Black Horse Diner mount ephraim

Service: B
The service was interesting.  While the diner was busy, our waitress was all over the place.  She was friendly, but everything was slow.  She took our orders slowly; the food was slow, and even just paying was slow.

Food: A
The food at the Black Horse Diner is a very traditional diner.  They have nothing unique or interesting but have everything a normal diner does: all day breakfast, seafood, steak and a few Greek specialties.

After eating junk and sugar all weekend, I opted for a Greek salad with salmon. To be honest, I thought the salad wouldn’t be overwhelmingly big.  I thought it would be a small diner salad.  When it arrived, it was one of the biggest salads I’ve ever received.  Even though I had run earlier in the day, I was stuffed afterwards.  The ingredients were fresh, and it had everything a standard Greek Salad should have including anchovies (my favorite).  The Greek dressing was good as well.  It’s one of the better Greek salads I’ve had.

The Black Horse Diner mount ephraim

To be honest, my favorite part was that the salad was served in a bowl that resembled an upside down lampshade.

The Black Horse Diner mount ephraim salad

Cost: $18
For my salad and coffee, the cost was $18.  For the portion size (normally enough for two people), that is a great value.

Overall thoughts/would I come back?
I enjoyed the Black Horse Diner and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of food.  It’s one of my favorite local diners. It seems like The Black Horse Diner follows the “how to be a diner rulebook” to a tee.  Not that there are many rules of dinering, but they had all day breakfast, are open 24 hours, have multiple booths and full-length bar.  The only thing missing is a bright metallic building.

Close by diners:
Metro Diner
The Club Diner
The Phily Diner

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

Questions for you:
What is the biggest restaurant salad you’ve received?

Park Ave Diner

A few weeks ago, my friend Devon and I met at the Park Ave Diner in South Plainfield, NJ.  I hadn’t heard of the diner until recently, but it was the perfect time to meet up.  It just so happened we met up on Halloween weekend, so they were dressed and festive for that as well.

park ave diner South Plainfield
It was pouring rain when we arrived, so I borrowed this photo from their website

Atmosphere: A
The Park Ave Diner is a hidden gem in South Plainfield.  It’s modern, well kept and clean.  The inside has plenty of seating and booths as well as a full bar.  I was surprised!

Service: A
We had several different waiters help us at the Park Ave Diner and check on is.  It is actually one of the best teams of service I’ve received at a diner and even a restaurant.  They brought plenty of refills and made sure everything tasted great.  When Devon and I went the first time on Halloween weekend, each staff member was dressed up.  Our primary waiter was dressed as a banana.

Coffee: A
The coffee was extremely hot.  Since it was pouring rain outside, all I wanted was piping hot coffee.  There was plenty of whipped cream as well.  It tasted great and I have no complaints.

Park Ave Diner South Plainfield

Food: A
The Park Ave Diner has everything you can imagine: Seafood, steak and everything else.  The first time I went, Devon got the “50 Shades of Green” salad.  Honestly, I regretted not getting that.  I ended up driving through the area last week and decided to get the “50 shades of green salad”.  How unique and fun!

Park Ave Diner South Plainfield

I added cheese and salmon but the salad came with several mixed different mixed greens as well as walnuts.  It was one of the best salads I’ve had in a while.

Cost: $$
For my coffee and salad, the cost was $22.  Not bad, considering the quality of food was extremely high.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come Back?
I liked the Park Ave Diner enough that I’ve already been back a second time for the “50 Shades of Green Salad”.  It’s definitely one of the better diners I’ve been too.

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

Questions for you:
What is the most uniquely named food item you’ve ordered?
Did you dress up for Halloween this year? 

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?