For whatever reason summer seems to be the season when we do the majority of our traveling. This year traveling is mostly centered around events of friends and family – birthdays and weddings. The first trip was to my friend Scott’s wedding in New Jersey, June 1, 2012 through June 4, 2012. I’d been to New Jersey before, for work in 2002 or 2003 – Jersey City, which is pretty cool because it is right near Manhattan, and Piscataway/New Brunswick, which is probably closer to the rest of the state. Oh, we also went to Princeton for part of a day, which was nice, and the campus looks like Hogwarts.
Anyway, this time we were headed to Rockaway in North/Central New Jersey. And my number one impression of this place is – diners abound. We ate at a different diner each of the four days that we were there. They were convenient (open late or 24 hours, most of them), had decent foods and large menus so that they could satisfy the hungers of multiple people. The only one that was really of note was the Jefferson Diner in Lake Hopatcong:
This place was obviously recently remodeled, and as such the are a food network and such mainstay (based on their menu). They self-advertise a lot, both on billboards on the highway it’s on, and in the diner itself. There are video screens which show a mixture of local advertisements (for dog walkers or tutors or what not – the sort of thing that is often on placemats at other diners there) and clips from their appearance on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Personally, I would eat more comfortably without seeing Guy Fieri’s crazy mug, but that wasn’t to be. The food portions here were bigger than the other diners, which tended to serve more food than one should eat in a sitting, but were also more expensive.
The second impression is that New Jersey sure likes open faced sandwiches! I guess this helps get a bit more food on a plate, since you can have about twice the filling per sandwich, but it’s more of a pain to eat. Third impression – I really understand the state’s nickname now – this area of the state is incredibly verdant.
It was an OK place to visit, but I sure was happy to get back to California after 3 days there.