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Maple Leaf Diner (Maplewood)

Maple Leaf Diner (Maplewood)

After hiking at Watchung Park, I decided to stop at the Maple Leaf Diner. I wasn’t starving, but I did want to check out a new diner. The Maple Leaf Diner looked like a cute stop in downtown Maplewood.

Atmosphere: B
It’s not a huge metallic diner, nor is it big at all. It’s located in the heart of Maplewood. There is plenty of street parking, but like any downtown, you might need to park and walk.

maple leaf diner maplewood

The inside is modest with several booths and a few tables, as well as a small bar.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh. I have no complaints. The waitress refilled it several times.

maple leaf diner maplewood

Food: B
I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. The Maple Leaf Diner has everything from breakfast, to lunch, and dinner options. On the specials, they had split pea soup listed which is one of my favorite soups. When I ordered, they were out.

maple leaf diner maplewood

I ultimately went with a BLT which I have no complaints with.  It was packed full.  I decided to order a side Ceasor salad which green with plenty of dressing.

maple leaf diner maplewood

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, and our food came out fast. It was a positive experience.

Cost: $
For my coffee and BLT, it was $12.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I liked the Maple Leaf Diner, and it was a positive experience. It’s not a large diner, but it’s a great local small town. There is plenty to do in Maplewood, so it’s fun to spend a few hours there.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: B
Service: A
Cost: $8-15

You Can See All 240 Diner Reviews Here

Questions for you:
Are there any cute downtowns near you? NJ is filled with small, local, communities.
What is your favorite kind of soup? 

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Alexis Diner (Denville)

Alexis Diner (Denville)

After Hiking the Mahlon Reservation and Headley Overlook, I stopped at the Alexis Diner. When I arrived around dinner time, it wasn’t crowded and there were plenty of booths and tables open. I got a booth in the back which was peaceful.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Atmosphere: A
The Alexis Diner is everything you expect in a diner. The atmosphere is big, shiny, metallic, and stands out in a local shopping center.  The inside is lit by blue lights with plenty of booths, tables, and a full-length bar.  There is a large dessert case towards the front with plenty of delicious looking treats.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Coffee: B
The coffee was good but nothing unique or unusual. That’s been the trend lately. It wasn’t the best or worst, just average.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

Food: B
After hiking, I was hungry. Alexis Diner has 10+ pages of food, so you’ll struggle not finding what you’re looking for.

I can never turn down a good Greek platter and ordered the  “Greek Pikilia” for an appetizer. It came with olives, spanokopita, grape leaves, pita, and tomatoes. It could have used hummus to round it out, but other than that it was good.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

For my entree, I ordered the “Heartburn Hotel” which came with hot pastrami, imported swiss, cole slaw, and spicy mustard. The sandwich itself was good, but could have used more mustard. It also came with French fries which were good, but nothing unusual.

Alexis Diner Denville NJ

It was so much food, I ended up bringing some home.

Service: B
The waitress was friendly and one of the best I’ve had. I was disappointed because both the appetizer and entree came out at the same time. It wasn’t a make or break for coming back but I doubt I would have ordered both if I knew they would come out at the same time.

Cost: $$
For the coffee; appetizer, and meal it was $30. It’s definitely one of the most expensive diners I’ve been too.

Overall Thoughts:
I liked the Alexis Diner and I would go back if I’m in the area. It’s definitely expensive though.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee:  B
Food: B
Service: A
Cost: $20-30
Overall: B

You Can See All 226 Diners Here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of sandwich?
Do you like hummus?

Park Ave Grille (Freehold, NJ)

Park Ave Grille (Freehold, NJ)

Recently I found myself at the Park Ave Grille in Freehold, NJ. Freehold is an area I haven’t been to a lot of diners. I’ve wanted to go to the Park Ave Grille for a while, but it’s only open until 4, so the timing hasn’t worked out.

Park ave grille freehold

Atmosphere: B
The Park Ave Grille looks like you stepped into a time machine to the 80s. It’s located in a large shopping center and attached to a laundry mat.

The inside is small and seats about 30 people. There are plenty of booths, tables, and a bar. Most of the Park Ave Grille is covered in vintage wallpaper, booths, and an assortment of tea kettles.  It was much more unique than many diners!

Park ave grille freehold

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh each time. I appreciated that the mugs were sturdy.  The coffee was often refilled, and I have no complaints.

Park ave grille freehold

Food: A
The Park Ave Diner has most anything you could want for breakfast or lunch.  The menu is low key and not many “fancy” items, but diners don’t need to be.  There were all sorts of wraps, sandwiches, salads, and breakfast items.  I decided to order the Monte Cristo sandwich which came with fries.

Park ave grille freehold

I’ve never had a Monte Cristo sandwich and what better time to try one than a diner.  The bread was french toast and stuffed with turkey, ham, and cheddar cheese.  I feel like I’ve been missing out because the sandwich was excellent.  The french fries were some of the best I’ve had in a while.  To say the meal was surprisingly good, is an understatement.

Service: A
The waitress was extremely friendly, and the food was brought out quickly.  In fact, I was in and out of the restaurant within 30 minutes.  Beating that is hard!

Cost: $
For my meal and coffee, the cost was around $12.  Important to note, this is a cash-only business!

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I was pleasantly surprised with the Park Ave Grille.  I have never had a Monte Cristo sandwich, and it was great.  The service, food, coffee, and overall experience was excellent, and I’ll be back.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $8-15 (cash only)
Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever had a Monte Cristo sandwich?
Where are your favorite french fries from?

Wayne Hills Diner and Restaurant

Wayne Hills Diner and Restaurant

Last month, I was up in Wayne, Nj and decided to make a stop at the Wayne Hills Diner and Restaurant.  I heard it was a good diner and I was eager to try it.  I arrived for lunch around noon, and they were busy which is always a good sign.

Atmosphere: B
The outside of the Wayne Hills Diner is nothing to write home about.  It’s well kept but looks like a typical restaurant.  It’s a regular building versus a shiny, metallic one!

The inside, however, is a very stereotypical diner.  There is a huge bar with plenty of seating as well as a lot of shiny booths and tables.  It fits the stereotypical diner bill.

Coffee: B

Wayne Hills DinerThe coffee was good but nothing to write home about either.  They brewed Lacas coffee which is based in Pennsauken, NJ.  The coffee tasted as if it had been sitting for a while, which was surprising because the diner itself was crowded.  Was I only one who wanted coffee at the diner? Lacas Coffee is a South Jersey specialty, so it was disappointing they didn’t take care of it.

Service: F
The service was not great, in fact, it was terrible (Something I’ve only said in maybe 5 out of 130 diner reviews).  It took over 10 minutes for the waitress to acknowledge us, then she forgot our order and came back 20 minutes to ask us what we ordered.  That signaled to us: “I haven’t put your order in yet.”

Several tables who ordered later received their food well before. The waitress also didn’t refill our beverages until we begged her.  Honestly, it was one of the worst diner services I’ve ever had.

Food: B
Food wise, the Wayne Hills Diner has every option a diner should have. You would struggle not to find something you would like there.  There was an entire page dedicated to over 25 different salads.  They have plenty of specials as well.  Long story short, the menu is huge and can accommodate anyone.

Since I was hungry, I ordered the Greek Antipasto appetizer.  It came with grape leaves, olives, hummus, and spanakopita.  I was surprised it didn’t come with pita bread.  Are you supposed to eat the hummus with a spoon?  My favorite part was the spanakopita.Wayne Hills Diner

I also ordered the California Club which came stacked with grilled chicken, avocado, lettuce and tomato.  The sandwich was huge.  The club was great, but it was odd that a club sandwich didn’t come with fries.Wayne Hills Diner

Cost: $
For my coffee, sandwich, and appetizer, the cost was $22.  To be honest, I probably wouldn’t order the appetizer again because it wasn’t great.

Overall/would I come back?
I was turned off by the service, so I probably won’t be back.  The food wasn’t anything to write home about, and nothing sticks out to me.

Close by diners:
Pompton Queen Diner (one of my top 5 favorites)
Gotham City Diner
The Six Brothers Diner

Summary:
Atmosphere: B
Service: F
Coffee: B
Food: B
Cost: $8-15

Overall: C

Questions for you:
Have you had extremely poor service lately?

WIAW: Public Health Conference Style

As you may or may not know, last week (or two weeks ago..I don’t remember…) I went to a big public health conference and it was a lot of fun.   A big misconception about people in the public health field is that we eat perfectly…all the time…

That is false my friends.

Also false is the only part of health is nutrition.  Whenever I mention I work in the Public health field on the blog, I 95% of the time get the response of:

“I would love to work in health, I read about nutrition and healthy living blogs already so much”

My job is not to read healthy living blogs…and it really doesn’t even relate to nutrition half of the time.  I’m sorry, just as people went to college for math, science, English…whatever…I went to school for public health.  I have a huge basis of knowledge that isn’t limited to nutrition and healthy living blogs.  Public health isn’t just nutrition or lowest calorie being best. 

While obviously I love blogging about living “pretty” healthy and working out, that isn’t my main focus with work and I irks me to no end when other bloggers believe they have the same amount of knowledge of public health.  Even more so saying yeah that seems so easy because I read all these blogs and blog myself.

 If you haven’t completed a four year degree in public health, community health…some sort of health, please don’t claim we have the same basis of knowledge.    I do not claim to be an expert in anything but I do claim to have a very strong basis in public health.

Okay end rant. 

Now on to WIAW at the conference. 

hoarding coffee…classic…

Mushroom salad and apple crisp with coffee

salmon and snap peas, chipoltle salad (with lots of guac) and smoked turkey sandwich with pretzels

salmon and snap peas with also fruity cheesecake

Confession number 2: Because I do work out more then most other people…I get hungry more then everyone else.  While all this food was amazing…it was NOT ANYWHERE CLOSE ENOUGH FOR ME…Did it feel awkward I was eating twice as much as most people?

blueberry cheesecake, cupcakes galore (I had 3) and Guinness beer

Somewhat…but  I was over it.  I packed a ton of snacks and went from there.

Oh and I dug out some real girl clothes too 😉

PS: If you are interested in doing a PMB {physical, mental and brag post} tomorrow link up.  Where are the weeks going seriously!?

Questions for you:

1.       Have you ever been to a conference?

2.       What irks you about your job? 

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