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?

 

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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)

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? 

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?

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?