Power Yoga at the Y and Queen City Diner

Friday nights at 6:30 I often go to the Y for PowerYoga. And the fact that I haven't blogged about it in more than a months of blogging, tells me that I haven't been there for a while. Even the instructor remarked "welcome back". So I must have been out for a while.

Somehow, there was always something else to do on Friday evenings and I neglected my Yoga routine. Going back today made me realize how much I actually enjoy it and I really should try to do it more regularly.

I like Yoga for two reasons. On the one hand I enjoy the movements, the balance, stretching of your body, i.e. the physical activity. It warms you up, relaxes your body and puts you in a comfortable mellow state of mild physical tiredness. At the same time the meditation, the focusing and the observed breathing leads to a complementary state of mental alertness and emptiness at the same time. If you haven't experienced this yourself, it sounds a bit weird. But in yoga you learn to essentially focus your mind on not thinking anything at all. You keep all the clutter out that your mind is typically constantly working on and focus essentially on your body and on yourself. After a PowerYoga session, the ten minutes or so of utter relaxation at the end (in yoga terminology Savasana) is for me more refreshing than several hours of sleep. Although I have tried, I haven't been able to replicate this effect when meditating at home.

After this good relaxing start into the weekend, I'm in the mood for comfort/diner type food. There are two places in Westfield that compete in that space, however, I'm not that impressed with both of them. (In a later post I probably will argue why that it.) However, with NJ being replete with Diners and similar restaurants, I'm certainly not restricted to Westfield. There many place not far away that seem worthwhile exploring.

One place that we recently discovered and that has proven to be consistently above average is the Queen City Diner in Plainfield. Formerly known as Rena's Diner it seems to have a lot of history, that I really can't say a lot about. We have started to go there about 6 months ago.

Queen City is certainly above average for a Diner. It has a nice clean well lighted atmosphere. The service is friendly, attentive and caring (although sometimes not fully refined). The menu has all the typical Diner items plus some unusual and even innovative additions. Some of them catering to the health conscious diner and some catering to the adventurous person that wants Diner food but not always exactly the same.

The latter description fits me quite well. The quality of the food is really good for Diner standards. (Let's be realistic a Diner is not trying to compete with a upscale dining establishment, so I have realistic expectations). Well-made, refined taste and texture and the display is good. The portions are generous in particular for dinner. The dinner specials come with soup, salad, entree (plus two sides) and desert. Typically, you take half of the entree and sometimes even the desert home.

Today I have the meat lasagna. OK, it is not like you get it al forno as in Italy, but its well made and tasty with a rich tomato sauce, well-seasoned meet and the texture of the pasta is al dente (and not overcooked as you sometimes get it). A few weeks ago I had the meat loaf (and yes I'm a fan of meat loaf) which is certainly worth it. At the time they had risotto as a side dish (which they didn't have tonight). I was surprised and excited, is it not only very rare to find risotto at Diner, but the one at the Queen City Diner is actually quite tasty. I almost contemplate next time to just have a plate of risotto and spinach. I hope the risotto is back as side the next time I'm there.

After this very enjoyable start into the weekend, I'm

Signing Off - The Westfield Blogger

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your review of the Queen City Diner. I think it is a real special place. I'm patron of that place for several years starting when it still was Renas. When it became Queen City Diner it got even better. The new owner is a really nice guy who want's to make his customers happy.