A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Sussex County for the first time. Nestled up in the northwest corner, Sussex County is geographically New Jersey’s northernmost county but culturally its southernmost. It is known for its mountains, farmland, small towns, and country folk.
The reason for the trip up north was for a friend’s birthday. Driving up to Sussex County, I couldn’t believe the scenery and almost forgot that I was in New Jersey. The gently rolling hills full of trees seem more typical of Pennsylvania and upstate New York. And the signs advertising not one, but two mining museums made me think I was in West Virginia or Kentucky. But all of the strip malls along the way served to remind me that I was still in the Armpit of America.
Another reminder was the numerous signs talking about this one diner – apparently the best diner in New Jersey. Diners are a dime a dozen in this state and usually fall into one of two categories: perfectly average or not so great. Each one claims to have the best of something, whether pancakes, burgers, or omelets. But for a diner to claim to be the best at everything? I was intrigued – but I’d have to do my investigations another day.
We arrived at the birthday party and were greeted by some of the redneckiest rednecks I’d ever seen. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Everyone was really nice and friendly, just a little more country than any other people I’ve ever met in New Jersey. Read the rest of this entry »