It all started with a simple guestbok posting:

Name: Fred Schwing
Email: <>
Comments: Cool site. I'm the new owner of Fred's Beach Haven Diner (formally Noller's) on Long Beach Island. If you visit LBI, stop on by for a cup of coffe and some of our homemade rice pudding. Fred Schwing
Posted on - Thursday, March 18, 1999 at 15:40:59 (PST)

Coffee? Rice pudding? We gotta try this place out! I turned to Dave and said, "It's been a long time since we've done anything stupid. Whadda ya say that we go on a road trip?" Considering for a moment that there would be close to fifteen people at our house this weekend and we really only knew two of them this seemed like a splendid idea. So after confirming Fred's hours of operation we packed our gear, hopped into the Davemobile and began a diner journey not soon to be reckoned with.

What route do we take? "I know, lets take 80 to 287," said Dave. "We'll follow 287 south. There's plenty of diners there if we keep going on and off of it" As we approached 287 Dave's gas tank began getting as hungry as we were. This pretty much decided our first stop - Boonton NJ, the little town where 80 and 287 meet, as Main Street USA as you can possibly imagine. There is a diner in Boonton - (aptly named "The Boonton Diner") and it is coincidentally located right next to a little gas station. Sadly the diner closed at 2:00 (we'll have to go back there some day) but with the gas tank filled up we were once again on our way.

We were on and off 287. Dave explained the concept of New Jersey wetlands to me. In an attempt to find the Time TO Eat Diner in Somerville we got slightly lost and headed into Nowheresville. We turned around and wound up on Route 22, lost, hungry and then suddenly - SALVATION! The Felix #9 Diner. Great Little old time American country cooking. The deer photo on the cover of the menu made you wonder if they indeed served venison and if Felixes numbers 1 through 8 were already served. The waitresses were very friendly. After selecting 5 songs on the jukebox the food came to our table. I had eggs - Dave had an omelet. And of course we both had coffee. The owner was not at the diner so we didn't get a chance to speak with him. But we did realize that we desperately needed road trip supplies. We stared blankly at our map for a while and decided to stop at the Menlo Park mall and the newly refurbished Menlo Park Diner.