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?

Trivet Diner (Allentown, PA)

A while ago, I was in Allentown, PA and decided to stop at the Trivet Diner.

Atmosphere: A
The Trivet Diner is everything you picture with a diner.  The outside is retro, shiny and metallic.  It almost looks out of place, as if someone dropped the diner right there in the modern shopping complex.

The inside is decorated and has a large bar, plenty of booths as well as plenty of tables.

Service: B
The service by the waitress at the Trivet Diner was great.  She was extremely friendly, refilled drinks and the food came out extremely quickly.  It was odd because one of the managers stood in the corner and stared the entire time.  It was at the point, it was somewhat uncomfortable for the diners (at least for my table).

Coffee: C
The coffee at the Trivet Diner was decent.  It wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t my least favorite either.  I don’t have anything interesting about it.

Trivet Diner coffee

Food: C
The diner had plenty of options, but I had had a large lunch earlier in the day.  I decided to order the Greek salad with salmon.  Very rarely do diners have the actual option “Greek salad with salmon” so I went with it.

Trivet Diner salad

I was looking forward to trying it, and it was definitely interesting. When the salad arrived, I noticed the salmon had several lemons cooked inside. I have never had lemons cooked into the actual salmon before. To be honest, it was odd but it tasted fine.  There were also several lemons alongside the salad too.  It was like I ordered lemons with a side of salad.

The salad itself was typical of most diner salads.  There was minimal lettuce and toppings.  It wasn’t great but not awful either.  If I had been starving, I would have been disappointed.

Trivet Diner salad

Cost: $$
For salad and coffee, the cost was $16 which was expensive considering the amount of food and quality I received.  At least it came out quickly.

Overall/Would I Come Back?
It wasn’t a bad stop, but not amazing either.  If I’m back in the area, I’ll probably stop at a new place. I wouldn’t advise against it though.

Summary:
Atmosphere: A
Service: B
Coffee: C
Food: C
Cost: $18-20

Closeby Diners I’ve been too:
Jumbars (Bethlehem)
Whitehall Diner (my personal local favorite)
Golden Gate Diner

Questions for you:
Have you ever cooked lemons into your salmon?

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?

Manny’s Diner

As you can tell, I’ve become great friends with the owner of the website: New Jersey Isn’t Boring.  We try and meet up 1-2 times per month at a diner neither of us has been too. That way we can catch up and review another diner.  Last month we went to the Jersey Diner in Delran.

It’s becoming more difficult to find diners because we’ve both been to so many.  The woes of dinering…

A couple of weeks ago, we met at Manny’s Diner in Clark, New Jersey.  There is another location in…When we arrived around 11:30, it was busy, and there were barely any parking spots left.  Luckily there was plenty of seating inside.

Atmosphere: B
The outside is clean, modern and well kept.  There is one of the longest ramps I’ve seen at a restaurant, and it nearly wraps around the entire building.  It wasn’t a stereotypical, shiny metallic building but it was clean and well kept.

The inside has several rooms that are centered around a room with a bar.  Out of every diner I’ve been too, Manny’s Diner had one of the biggest bars.

Coffee: A
Manny’s Diner serves Lacas coffee.  I’ve mentioned before, but Lacas is one of my favorite brews.  It’s South Jersey local and it’s hard to mess it up (except ).  The coffee at Manny’s was perfect.  It was hot and refilled frequently.

Manny's Diner Clark

Service: A
The service at Manny’s Diner was great.  The waiter refilled our drinks, brought out the food and was extremely friendly.  Even though it was busy, everything was prompt and efficient.

Food: B
The menu at Manny’s is huge. They specialize in seafood, but they have anything and everything you could want is a diner.  They have a lot of specials as well.  I decided to order their fried goat cheese salad off of the specials: “Power Baby Green Salads”.

Manny's Diner Clark

It came with soup, and I chose lentil. The lentil soup was homemade, and it was delicious.  It was hot and just what I was craving.

Manny's Diner Clark

The salad was excellent, but it was small.  The piece of salmon took up most of the salad.  It was one of the better salads I’ve had at a diner, but I could have used twice as much.

Manny's Diner Clark

Cost: $$
Manny’s Diner is on the pricier side.  Even though I ordered off the specials, the piece of salmon ended up being an extra $10.  For the salad, salmon, and coffee the cost was $20.

Summary/Would I come back?
I enjoyed Manny’s Diner and I would probably come back for dinner.  I would try one of their many dinner and seafood options.

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

Questions for you:
Do you order off of the specials?
Do you like cheese?

Hillsborough Star Diner

Last month, I was able to go the Hillsborough Star Diner with the famous Jon L and Jenna.  Unfortunately they came into town the day after I found out I had both a fractured foot and food poisoning.  Since they were only in town for a couple of days, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see them.  My husband happened to come home early, so he tagged along too.

Me Jon Jenna

Atmosphere: A 
The Hillsborough Star Diner has a unique vibe to it.  It’s not an old metal building but more of a rustic restaurant.

hillsborough star diner

Photo via Hillsborough Star Diner website

The inside is a typical diner.  There are plenty of tables, booths and a bar.  Each of the tables is spread out, and you don’t feel as if you’re sitting on top of anyone.  We sat in a large booth in the back tucked away.

Service: A
The waitress was one of the quirkiest of any diner I’ve been too.  She was hilarious, and it was evident she loved her job.  She was great and made recommendations, funny jokes and refilled everything we needed.  She made a joking comment about my coffee saying “yeah someone orders coffee with whipped cream once every 5 years”.

Coffee: A
The coffee was perfect.  I have no complaints, and it was the local Lacas brew from Pennsauken.  The waitress refilled it often, and it tasted fresh.  I have no complaints.

Hillsborough Star Diner coffee

Food: A
There were a lot of items on the menu, and they pretty much served anything a diner normally does.  Since I had just gotten food poisoning, I decided to stick with something I knew and ordered a Greek salad.  The salad itself was delicious.  There was plenty of salad dressing, and the piece of salmon was bigger than the salad. I could have used a few more greens, but it was fine.

Hillsborough Star Diner salmon

Cost: $
For my coffee and salad, the cost was $14. The price was good for the quality and size of the food.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 
I liked the Hillsborough Star Diner and have no complaints; I would go back. It was inexpensive, the quality was great and the waitress was one of the best of any restaurant.

Summary: 
Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $5-15
Overall: A

Question for you:
What’s the best waitress you’ve ever had at a restaurant?

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?

Meal Favorites

When I wrote my last post about food, I had no idea how the post would be perceived.  Since I no longer write much about food, you never know how readers might respond.  Everyone needs to eat, and food and nutrition are an important part of running and working out.

I thought it would be interesting to showcase some of my favorite foods and meal staples.  I’m not great at cooking, and I don’t shop at a lot of specialty stores.  Most of my shopping comes from the three closest grocery stores to me: Wegmans, Shoprite and Whole Foods. 

I shop at Wegmans and Shoprite for most of my groceries and Whole Foods for fish, steak, and some produce.

When someone asks your favorite food, I feel like it’s a weird question.  You can’t compare items like steak to donuts, both are delicious but it’s hard to compare.  I have a lot of favorite foods.  I like sugary treats, but I also like a big juicy steak too.

Favorite breakfast item:

Breakfast is easy for me.  I have a waffle with peanut butter.  I’ve been doing this for years, and it’s always worked for me.  I eat a waffle every morning, whether I’m running, racing or just resting.  I’ve never had a stomach issue.  I use Bisquick and just add water.  I also use flour, egg, baking powder and milk if I don’t have the mix.  I can usually run between 1-2 hours after eating.  I don’t like to run on an empty stomach.  I generally eat within 20 minutes of waking up, relax and then go for a run 1-2 hours later.

waffle1
Artsy waffle for you

Lunch:

Lunch depends on if I’m at home or if I’m at work.  Most people know I work at a local running store.  It’s hard to predict a day in a retail store and no two days are the same.  I can’t plan to bring a big meal because I might not have time to eat it.  I could have plenty of time, or I could be snacking the entire day.  I’ve become used to it, though, and I honestly don’t mind either way.

I usually pack easy to eat sandwiches or bars so that if we get slammed, I can still eat.  It’s not like I can tell a customer “Go away I’ve got to get my lunch on”.  I’ve been looking for an easy “bar” recipe if anyone has any.

Some quick and easy staples.  Sometimes quick and easy means I order down the road from work:

Power bars are one of my favorites, especially the cookie dough
Power bars are one of my favorites, especially the cookie dough
French toast bagels from Panera make their appearence often.
French toast bagels from Panera make their appearance often
Quick and easy salads
Quick and easy salads
I crave soup in the winter. My two favorites are split pea and lentil
I crave soup in the winter. My two favorite kinds of soup are split pea and lentil
I recently got a take out pita bead sandwich which has become one of my favorite lunch buys.
I recently got a takeout pita bread sandwich which has become one of my favorite lunch buys. It has pesto, chicken, and melted feta

Dinner:

I’ve said this more times than I can remember, but I am a very simple dinner person.  I like meat, potato and vegetable.  I rotate through all of them, but both my husband and I aren’t fancy cooks.  Our meals tend to take between 15-30 minutes to cook.  Luckily my husband is the same way.  He cooks the meat, and I prepare everything else.

Some of our favorite meats:

  • steak
  • salmon or any pink fish (we aren’t fans of too many white fish)
  • chicken
  • Squid (yes, one of my favorite, if not favorite meats is squid)
Steak and kale
Steak and kale (I love T-bone steaks because they are so fatty, anyone else?)
Another T-bone
Another T-bone
Sea Bass and Squid from the other night
Sea Bass and Squid from the other night

The usual suspects

We frequently cook some vegetable or have a salad.  My current favorite vegetables are eggplant and squash, but it varies.

Vegetables of (current) choice:

  • eggplant and squash
  • asparagus
Eggplant sauteed in oil and garlic is the easiest and most deliscious vegeatble
Eggplant sauteed in oil and garlic is the easiest and most delicious vegetable

Then, of course, there is the grain/potato portion of dinner.  Current favorites include

  • Pasta or rice (because it takes 5 minutes!)  I went through a phase with pasta where I didn’t eat it much and always chose other items over it.  Now I can’t get enough.
  • Sweet or normal potatoes
  • Bread from Panera. If you recall, my husband won a year supply of Panera bread from a race last year, and we use it to buy a loaf.  Panera bread goes well with everything in my life.
Pasta with spinach and cheese
Pasta with spinach and cheese

As you can see, my husband and I are simple eaters.  We don’t spend hours creating perfect food dishes.  Spending a few hours is some people’s hobby, but we know we like fast, simple and easy food!  We save fancy eating for going out.

Questions for you:

Do you prefer cooking simple food or fancier recipes?

Does anyone have any “bar” recipes?