Coop and I hit the road a bit after Noon headed south toward North-West NJ and dinner with my cousin Carol and her son Christopher.
Central New York is a lot greener than most people think. Lots of wide open farm land and trees everywhere, very unlike the images of NYC that we think of as representing all of New York State. Likewise, as we passed through Pennsylvania into New Jersey we saw some beautiful countryside, and some great old homes and buildings, as you can see from the pictures below.
After checking into our hotel we went to dinner with my cousin Carol and her son Christopher at The Chatterbox. A cool 1950's style diner that hosts a classic car show every Saturday night during the summer, finding parking and a table was a challenge but the meal and the visit was worth it. When we arrived we were given an hour and a half wait for a table, so we took a walk around looking at some of the amazing cars that were out for the show.
The diner was pretty cool inside too. It is decorated with classic movie posters and record albums. The platform in the center of the restaurant hosts a different classic car every month. Old booths with plenty of room and tables with formica tops bring back that '50s feel.
For dinner I selected the "Big Bad John", a signature dish of The Chatterbox. The sandwich features a half pound of pulled pork, topped with a generous helping of Mac & Cheese and grilled onions on garlic toast. The pulled pork was flavorful and juicy, even for BBQ obviously roasted in the oven instead of on a pit or grill. The mac & cheese was delicious and obviously scratch made, with a nice texture and great bite from the cheddar sauce. The sandwich was a little messy to handle, but well worth the effort. The Big Bad John was served with batter dipped onion rings which were among the best I have had. They had great bite, and the batter stayed with the onion when I bit into them. There is nothing worse than a poorly cooked ring where one bite leaves you with the entire onion dangling from your mouth and the coating in your hand. The Chatterbox is a nice fat piece of Fat Boy Heaven right in the North West corner of the Garden State.