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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Harley Dawn Diner

Earlier in the month, I stopped by the Harley Dawn Diner in Folsom, New Jersey. A few years ago the Harley Dawn closed for construction. They remodeled and rebuilt the entire diner. The new version of the Harley Dawn is more modern than a diner. In fact, if it didn’t have the name finer, you would probably think of it more as a bistro.

Atmosphere: A
The Harley Dawn is modern, with huge windows spanning the entire restaurant. Is a retro metallic, shiny diner? No, but is it a clean, nice looking modern restaurant? Yes.

Harley Dawn Diner

Coffee: A
The Harley Dawn Diner serves locally brewed Lacas coffee. The coffee itself was brewed hot every single time, and the waitress brought plenty of refills. I have no complaints.Harley Dawn Diner

Service: A
When we arrived, we were the only people in the entire diner. I haven’t been the only party in a long time. The waitress was great and refilled our drinks and brought out the food quickly.

Food: C
The unique aspect of the Harley Dawn Diner is everything is locally sourced. Not many diners are like that, and the only other local that comes to mind is the VincentownHarley Dawn Diner

Because of that, they don’t have a huge menu. I wanted to take advantage of locally grown vegetables and ordered the Salmon salad which came on a bed of kale. I asked for a side of pita bread, and she said they didn’t serve pita bread.

Even though the menu was small, it amazed me that there is a diner without pita bread and gyros. I asked for bread, and later the waitress came back and said they were out of homemade bread and offered me a different type. The meal itself was excellent. However, I was disappointed they were out of so many options!

Cost: $
For my local sourced salad and coffee, the cost was $15. That is extremely inexpensive for the quality of food.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back?
I enjoyed the Harley Dawn Diner, and they have a lot of intriguing options I’m interested in, including homemade gelato. I’ll be back again soon. While it’s not a typical New Jersey Diner, it is a good restaurant.

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

Closeby Diners I’ve reviewed: Silver Coin Diner, Shore Diner, Palace Diner, Vorhees Diner

Questions for you:
Do you like kale?

Oregon Diner (Philadelphia)

Before leaving for Alabama, I found myself at the Oregon Diner in Philadelphia (How many states can reference in one line?).  I originally found it because there are huge signs for the Oregon Diner near the Walt Whitman Bridge.  Sometimes finding diners based on their signage can be a gamble but overall I enjoyed my trip to the Oregon Diner.

When we arrived, it was late.  Dinner around 8 pm is super late for me.  I wasn’t starving, but I knew if I didn’t eat I would wake around 2 am starving.

Atmosphere: A

The Oregon Diner is huge.  The outside has plenty of parking and could probably hold at least 200 people.

The inside has three rooms with plenty of booths and tables as well as a full bar.  Each room has its own personality.  We sat in a corner booth.

Service: A
Our waitress was hilarious and friendly.  It was clear she was a local favorite and had been working there for years. She was definitely in the top tier of waiters we’ve had.

Coffee: A
The Oregon Diner brewed hot and fresh local Lacas coffee.  The waitress also added more whipped cream than coffee.  It was the best combination.

Oregon Diner Philadelphia

Food: A

The menu at the Oregon Diner is one of the biggest of any diner I’ve been too.  There are over 200 menu items and 20 pages.  Since I wasn’t too hungry, I ordered the pickled beets salad with salmon.

Oregon Diner Philadelphia

The salad itself was a normal size, but the piece of salmon was huge.  I have not had a salad with salmon that is bigger than the salad itself.  It was one of the better salads I’ve had, and I was full afterward.  I have no complaints.

Cost: $
For the coffee and salad, the cost was $17.  For the amount of food, especially the amount of the salmon, it was a great deal. 

Overall Summary/Would I Come Back?

I enjoyed the Oregon Diner and had a great experience.  Plus it’s closeby so I will definitely be back.  There are a bunch of menu items I want to try.  If you are ever in the local area, I would recommend it (and invite me too).

Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $10-20

Overall: A
Questions for you:
Do you like beets?

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?

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?