breakfast off the New Jersey Turnpike
My family is headed on a road trip from DC to Maine. In an effort to get to an early start, we are leaving at 6 am and plan on having breakfast on the road. We're looking for a spot about 2 to 3 hours from DC, so New Jersey seems like it would fit the bill. We'll go anywhere from a greasy spoon to a more upscale place (not too expensive), but would prefer something on the faster side (table service is fine, though). Thanks!
Jersey is known for its diners. In 3 hours at that time of day you should be near exit 9 on the Jersey Turnpike. I recommend the Edison Diner.
Exit the Turnpike and follow the signs for Rt. 18 North to Rt. 1 North. Get on Rt. 1 North and go over the Morris Goodkind Bridge (less than a mile). The Diner is on the southbound side of Rt. 1 just over the bridge (so after you eat breakfast, you can get right back on the Turnpike). To get to the Diner from the northbound Rt. 1 lanes, you will see an overpass toward Highland Park/U-turn. Go up over the overpass, take the U-turn at the foot of it to get back onto Rt. 1 South, and you'll come up to the Diner right after you go back under that same overpass.
The pastries are popular, and you can get any type of food any hour of the day.
There's a diner RIGHT off of Exit 4...not a famous one, but a typical Jersey spot. If that's of interest, it's West of the NJT; easy on and off...
Other than that, your options are going to be a bit limited; a Cracker Barrel (meh, imo). How far off of the Turnpike are you willing to go? Mastoris in Bordentown IS worth a detour, but you'll have to map it to see if you want to go off the route that much! www.mastoris.com