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? 

Sherban’s Diner

Last week, the owner of New Jersey and I met up at the Sherban Diner in South Plainfield.  We’ve both been to most of the diners in Somerset and Middlesex Counties, so Sherban’s was one of the few we haven’t been too.

We met up around 6 pm on a weekday. There were only a few people in the restaurant.

Her website, New Jersey Isn’t Boring, has opened my eyes to so many different things the state has to offer.  If you ever venture off of the turnpike, I highly suggest you check out her website.

Atmosphere: B
Sherban’s Diner has an older atmosphere too it.  Not in the traditional old dining car way but it is in an older building with an older design to it.  It was clean, and there was nothing bad about it, but it could use a remodel.  It reminded me of a casual “mom and pop” restaurant.

Sherban's Diner

Service: C
When we arrived at Sherban’s, there were only three other parties in the restaurant.  After waiting several minutes for a waitress to come over, a waitress asked if anyone had helped us.  We said no, and she said she guessed she would do it.  She didn’t come around often, and I felt as if I was begging for drink refills.  She also never asked if we wanted dessert and assumed we did not. It took another 10 minutes for dessert.

Coffee: B
There was nothing unique about the coffee flavor.  I did like the cute tea mugs they used.

Sherban's Diner

Food: C
When I arrived at Sherban’s Diner, I wasn’t that hungry.  They had several options.  I knew the “cucumber salad” was one of their signature dishes, so I ordered it, and honestly, there was nothing interesting about it.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t unique or interesting.

Sherbans Diner Cucumber salad

I also ordered the “famous” Greek Salad with chicken.  The salad didn’t come with anything unusual. I don’t know why the menu states it is as: famous.  It was one of the most boring salads I’ve had.  Plus, they didn’t give any pita bread with the salad.  It might be the first Greek salad without pita I’ve had. Sherban's Diner

I ordered the Greek bread as a side which was honestly my favorite part of the meal.  Sherban's Diner

Dessert: C
I ordered the Coconut cake as a dessert to go.  The actual cake was dry, but the whipped cream frosting was good.  The shredded coconut was overpowering.  The cake was decent but once again, it wasn’t that unusual.

Sherban's Diner

Sherban's Diner

Price: $$$
For my cucumber salad, Greek salad, bread, cake, and coffee the cost was $25.  Honestly, it wasn’t worth the price at all.  Something I found entertaining, is they charged 25 cents for a to go box.  Sherbans diner recipt

I’ve never been charged for a to go box before.  Was the price worth the meal? No.

Summary/Would I come back?
Sherbans Diner wasn’t anything to write home about. It wasn’t terrible, and everything was edible. However, it isn’t somewhere I would go out of my way to go too.  In fact, personally, I probably won’t be back.  You have to take the good with the bad, though.

I had a great time catching up which was the important part to begin with…You can see Cyd’s review here.

Summary:
Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Service: C
Food: C
Dessert: C

Overall:C
Questions for you:
Have you ever been charged for a to go box? 
Do you like coconut cake?

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?

Landmark Diner

It’s funny; I swore I had been to the Landmark Diner before.  It looked so familiar, but I had possibly just driven by a few times.  Last month, I was lucky to meet Christine at the Landmark Diner.  Before our meet up, we decided I had been there already, it was no big deal.  Going to a diner twice is hardly stressful.

Landmark Diner

Atmosphere: A
The Landmark Diner has a modern and clean exterior.  While it’s not metallic or shiny, it’s a welcoming building.  The inside is spacious with a full bar, plenty of booths and tables.  Thankfully, you don’t feel as if you’re sitting on top of anyone.

Service: A
The waitress was extremely friendly and refilled our coffee and beverages several times.  Plus the food came out quickly, so I have no complaints about that.

Coffee: A
The Landmark Diner has a specialized espresso machine, so each cup was brewed to perfection.  The waitress also added plenty of whipped cream.  I think there was more whipped cream than coffee.  So each cup of coffee had more whipped cream and was made from an espresso machine.  Works for me!

Landmark Diner coffee

Food: A
The Landmark Diner has everything you could hope in a diner. Some of the menu reminds me more a bistro which adds a unique touch.  There are more sandwhich, salad and soup options. Originally I planned to order the Gyro wrap, but they had a “beet and goat cheese” salad on their specials, and I couldn’t resist.  Beets are one of my favorite foods.Landmark Diner salad

The beets, goat cheese, and arugula salad was delicious and fresh.  It was one of the best salads I’ve had in a while, and there was plenty of salmon. It was not the traditional white lettuce style salad you might expect from a diner.

Dessert: A
Since it was a special, I also received a dessert and chose bread pudding.  I liked the bread pudding crust, and it was great.  I have no complaints.

Landmark Diner bread pudding
No shortage of whipped cream…

Cost: $
For my coffee and lunch special, it was $16.  For a beverage, soup, entree and dessert that’s one of the best values I’ve had.

Overall thoughts/Summary:
Everything about the Landmark diner was good.  The food was delicious and fresh; the service was friendly, and the coffee was hot.  It’s in the top 10 of my favorite diners.  I’ll be back soon.

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

Questions for you:
Do you like beets?
What’s your favorite pudding?
Bread pudding or pistachio for me.

Millstone Diner

A few weeks ago, the famous owner of New Jersey Isn’t Boring, and I decided to meet at another diner.  We’ve reviewed several diners together, and she is the only one who likes NJ diners as much as I do.  Although she reviews everything related to New Jersey from diners to food trucks and ice cream.  If you are looking for something fun to do in NJ, I highly suggest checking her website out.

Atmosphere: A
Once arriving at the Millstone Diner, we felt extremely underdressed. The Millstone diner is new, and it’s clear the diner hasn’t always been a diner. If the restaurant didn’t have the name “diner”, I wouldn’t even consider it as one.  It’s upscale, modern and to feel undressed at a diner is a unique experience.

If the chandelier in the bathroom doesn’t give you a clue how fancy the restaurant was, I don’t know what does.  That being said the Millstone Diner is an excellent restaurant.  It has a beautiful atmosphere, just no diner vibe at all.

Millstone Diner chandalier

Coffee: A
The whipped cream is homemade, and they have their full coffee station with plenty of syrups. It was one of the best coffees I’ve had.

Millstone Diner

Service: A
The server was extremely friendly.  He was a personable person and made jokes.  He refilled the beverages and made conversation.  The food came out quickly and I have no complaints.

Food: A
When I found out the diner used to be a fancy Italian restaurant everything clicked. The Italian aspect hasn’t been lost, and the menu reflects the old restaurant.

There is pizza, pasta, salads and then at the end of the menu “all day breakfast”.  I decided to order the Greek Salad.  I saw another table have it and it, looked great.

Our meals came with garlic knots and soup. I liked the garlic knot basket, and it was always replenished…

Millstone Diner garlic knot

The Greek Salad was everything I expected from a more fancy and upscale restaurant.  It was delicious, a large portion and the salmon was good. The food was fresh (read the lettuce was green) and that it came with everything a Greek salad should. My favorite aspects including pita bread, anchovies, and grape leaves weren’t missing.

Millstone Diner greek salad

Cost: $$
For my salad and coffee, the cost was $21.  It’s a more expensive meal but the quality of the meal was high.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Millstone Diner a lot. However, I struggle with calling it a diner.  It’s a much more upscale and modern restaurant.  I do like it and will be back.

Something I found interesting was there was no sign of dessert.  The dessert case in the front was empty, and the waiter made no mention for dessert.

Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Price: $15-25
Overall: A, however, it’s not a typical diner

Questions for you:
Do you like Garlic bread?
Have you ever been to a diner with an identity crisis?

Park West Diner

Park West Diner, Little Falls, NJ

According to here, the Park West Diner is ranked to have one of the best entree salads in the state.  A diner ranked with restaurants to have a good salad?

For a diner to have the BEST salads is a tremendous feat.  As most people know, for the first several diner reviews, I opted to review a salad and red velvet cake.  I thought it was easier to compare the differences…eventually, I realized that got boring.

Park West Diner

Atmosphere: A
The Park West Diner is located right off the main road in a shopping center.  It’s one of the bigger diners I’ve seen, and it’s hard to miss.

The outside is metallic silver and red while the inside is typical of a diner.  It’s got a shiny bar, red booths, and plenty of space.

Service: C
While the waitress was friendly, she didn’t come around often.  There were five parties in the diner, and it took a long time for the food to come out.   It was one of the slowest waits; we’ve had in a while.  I was disappointed.

Coffee: A
The coffee tasted great.  I can appreciate a diner with their own logo mugs and the coffee was boiling.  I wish it were refilled more but other than that; it was great coffee.

Park West Diner Coffee

Food: B
As mentioned, the Park West is well known for their salads.  Over 30% of their business is from salads!  That is unusual for any restaurant, let alone a diner.  The Park West Diner serves typical fair but since they specialize in salads I decided to revisit a Greek salad.  I can’t remember the last time I had a salad at a diner, perhaps a few months ago at the Colonial Diner with Christine?

An interesting aspect of the Park West Diner was that they included a chickpea salad with every table.  Each table received a breadbasket as well as their signature chickpea salad.

Park West Diner Chickpea salad

I ordered the large Greek salad with salmon.  For a diner known for their salads, I wasn’t impressed.  The salad wasn’t unusual or out of the ordinary.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t the best.

To be honest, I regretted getting it.  The Greek salad had block feta, tomatoes, onions, grape leaves, and olives.  The lettuce was watery and tasteless, and the salad was small to be considered the “large portion.”  I wondered if they made a mistake and gave me the small salad until the waitress said: “isn’t that salad huge”?  They forgot the dressing as well, so I had to wait a while for that.

Park West Diner Salad

I ordered salmon on top which saved the salad.

It wasn’t a bad meal, but it wasn’t a meal I would consider “the best” of anything.  I’ve had better diner salads: meaning more salad and higher quality ingredients.

Cost: $
For my coffee and salad with salmon, the cost was $18.  Not the most expensive salad I’ve had, but it wasn’t cheap either.  The quality wasn’t there for the cost of salad.

Would I come back/Summary:

Honestly, I was disappointed.  If I do come back, I would order something else next time I’m in the area.  It wasn’t terrible, but the service and food make the Park West Diner in the middle or bottom of the diner pack.  The chickpea appetizer was my favorite part of the meal and I do appreciate each meal comes with that!

However, with over 200 diners in New Jersey, it’s not a diner I would have seak out.

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

Questions for you:
When was the last time you were let down?
What Is your favorite restaurant coffee mug?