James Browns Place
A Rochester Diner
While visiting Rochester last weekend weekend, Laura, Heather and I wanted to try a new diner. We were going to go run a 5k but since the weather wasn’t that great we decided to go to a diner instead. I don’t have any regrets. After googling possible options, we settled on James Browns Place, a famous diner in Rochester.
James Browns Place is a cute, local diner. The inside is exactly what you picture as a hole in the wall restaurant gem. It is located on the main strip of Rochester.
There are about 20 tables inside and the grill is open. I have’t been to a restaurant in a while that I can physically see the grill. It’s cool to see where all the “diner magic” happens. The diner is located in Rochester, NY which is obviously a different atmosphere than New Jersey Diners. Not different in a bad way but just different.
We even had pleasure to talk to the owner of the restaurant, Mr. Brown. It was truly amazing to have the owner of the diner come out and talk to us and he was hilarious. Out of all the diners I’ve been too, this was the first that I had the experience of the owner talking to us. Chatting with Mr. Brown alone caused the rating of the atmosphere to be an A. I wish we had gotten a photo!
The coffee was refilled and the waitress even brought a massive amount of whipped cream. I don’t have any complaints. She also brought all four of plenty of refills.
The amount of eggs, pancakes, and food James Browns Place has is overwhelming. It took the four of us 15 minutes to decide on food. This never happens! Their breakfast menu has everything and anything you could hope for in a diner.
I ordered the Greek omelet with sour dough bread. It was really good. The omelet had feta cheese, spinach and onion. The sour bread was perfectly toasted and had just the right amount of butter. The food was great and there were a lot of options.
The chef accidentally broke Heather’s overeasy eggs so gave her a second set. Heather knew she had made it as a blogger because she got two eggs while reviewing the diner (we weren’t paid to review this or any diner).
This is a very traditional diner and has every element you would expect in a diner.
The price for my omelet and coffee was $9.50. That was one of the cheapest diner meals I’ve had in a while. While the gas in New York is expensive, the diner food is cheap.
Overall thoughts: A
Would I come back?
I had a great experience at the James Brown Place in Rochester. Next time I’m in Rochester, I will have to come back! It was great to have the owner of the restaurant chatting at our table. Mr. Brown is a great guy, hilarious and it is obvious why he is so successful.
James Browns Place
Price 5-10 dollars
Overall Atmosphere: A
Question for you: Have you ever met a restaurant owner?
I went to the Brownstone diner with Danielle, Amelia and Dori in October. I know I am a few months behind but I wanted to wait until I tasted the Brownstone legendary pancakes. The first time I went to the Brownstone Diner, I was in Jersey City before going to FitBlog NYC. The second time I was on the way to visit my brother (Danielle and Amelia you guys were out of town or obviously we would have gone again!). This diner has even been on the food network. One step inside and I can see why! This is a staple and very well known diner in New Jersey.
The Brownstone diner looks like a normal building that you might drive (or in our case, walk) right by. If you aren’t coming specifically for the diner, chances are you will miss this hidden gem! The inside is clean and cute. I liked the signs to the restroom, the NJ turnpike and NYC.
The attitude of the staff was friendly but nothing to write home about. I was a bitter because I was have liked a waitress that refilled my coffee a few more times. It happens though.
The coffee was good. The whipped cream was tasty but the waitress only refilled the small cup once. It was the reason I gave a B for coffee. I might be dramatic but it was so good, I would gave rather a refill. It wasn’t busy either.
It doesn’t really matter the rest of the scores for this diner because the food is amazing. The first time I went I had had their Greek Salad. The salad was by far the best diner salad I’ve had in a while.
There was plenty of dressing (but not soupy), plus the salad was huge. I ordered a size of salmon which was very worth it. It came with pita bread and grape leaves. It also didn’t come with hard boiled egg (something I personally don’t care for). It was one of the biggest diner salads I’ve had and it was also one of the most high quality.
The next time I went I was dying to try the pancakes. After debating which pancakes to try, I ordered the cherry pancakes. It took me back to college when I did the pancake challenge several times. I have yet to find a restaurant that rivaled the amazement of those pancakes. The pancakes were stuffed with cherry jam and delicious. These are BY FAR the best pancakes I’ve had in a diner. I can’t do them enough justice through text. My guess is the pancakes had about 2000 calories per pancake so they are a perfect carb load for a race (I would almost do the New York City marathon again) for a reason to get these guys again.
The problem with this diner is everything looks and has been so good. The choices are overwhelming.
The salad and coffee was 17 and the coffee and pancakes were 11. This is one of the cheapest diners and the cheapest with the most filling food.
Would I come back?
Overall atmosphere: A
Yes, right now this is my favorite diner in all of NJ. Thank you to Brownstone Diner. I 100% recommend this diner and if you ever go…tell me and I’ll drive the 90 mins to meet you.
Price: 5-15 dollars
I’ll be back everytime I’m in the area.
Question for you: Where are the best pancakes you’ve had?
It’s time to kick off my diner review session on LOLZ. For now I’ll be backtracking with diners I’ve been too and then I can begin to venture to new diners. Though I imagine having gone to several different diners already in NJ, I’ll take forward steps before finishing.
I have been to the Americana diner a few different times with a few different people. I was first introduced when not living in the area. The Americana diner is located close to the NJ turnpike and 295, so while driving back from the New York City Marathon dad and I stopped at the Americana Diner.
The day after running a marathon pretty much anything tastes really good. I must admit everytime I’ve gone to the Americana Diner I haven’t had a bad meal. So it wasn’t just post racing goggles reviewing.
It’s a very high end looking diner. There are three different rooms to be seated in, the “typical diner scene”, a banquet area and dimly lit bar. I’ve sat in all three and all three are nice.
My standard comparison is getting coffee and whip cream to put into the coffee. They provided me with both. One thing I love about this diner is they provide a pitcher to stay at your table so you never run out. The coffee is great. The whip cream is homemade and served in a pitcher. This diner received the best whip cream award.
Food: I’ve had: A
I would order it again. There are four different peices of bread with four different topics (hummus, grapes, goat cheese and mozzarella).
New York Omelet (with lox)
The omelet and toast was delicious. They also served a fried tomato (something I haven’t had since living in England).
Skylark Salad (with salmon)
Without a meat addon I would have found myself hungry. I would recommend getting some sort of meat. I do wish the salad came with actual bread. Otherwise the salad was good.
This was my favorite of the two salads I’ve had. The only thing it lacked is a roll. I love when salads come with bread.
Their desserts are a bit confusing and you choose one (for $3). They bring out an entire tray of different choices and you choose one or several. They are bite size and perfect for sampling, if I wanted to go big or go home I would get the whole tray. With spring I’ve been enjoy carrot cake and with the ice cream it was perfect.
The vanilla ice cream was creamy and served in a milkshake glass. I was actually surprised by the amount (gladly surprised) they gave us.
For the amount of food you receive the price isn’t great. It’s relatively small portions and as someone who eats a lot more I could use bigger portions. The food, however, is very high quality and probably the overall best diner food I’ve been to so far. I would order everything I’ve had again.
Overall impression: A
I would definitely go back. It’s one of the high end diners that you would bring your parents too or go for a nice dinner or brunch. Although it’s a little bit expensive for portion size, the food is definitely delicious, well prepared and tasty.
Overall I give it 8 out of 10.
It’s hard to start with one of your top five favorite diners because then you compare everything else to a very high set bar. Either way if you are stopping on the turnpike near East Windsor, I would 100% recommend the Americana Diner.
I do recommend they add bread to their salads. I’ve never had a bad meal and no one I’ve eaten there with has had a bad meal. On another note they are also the most social media active diner I’ve come across. I often find myself interacting with them on twitter (which deserves bonus points in my book).
**All thoughts are my own and I payed for my own meals in full. No compensation was given.
Questions for you:
What is the best whip cream you have ever had?
Something I have been wanting to do for quite some time is create a page dedicated to diners. It’s not a big secret that one reason I love living in New Jersey is the availability of diners. Nothing beats the glorious taste of coffee and an omelet after a run.
Diners in NJ are different than most states. Some diners have high quality dinners that you would never expect, costing upwards of 20 dollars per meal (that are worth it!). They even rival a fancy restaurant. So without further ado whenever I visit a new diner I’ll blog about it. It seems natural since my hobbies include running and going to diners.
With over 100 diners in NJ, it appears I have my work cut out to me. I will be judging diners on all of the following categories (that are important to me personally):
Atmosphere: Is it an old timey diner, cute little train care feel, is a fancy upscale diner?
Coffee: I always have to try coffee at diners, it can make or break the meal.
Cost: Is it expensive? Is it worth the cost? NJ diners are either very upscale restaurants or they are cheap, inexpensive quick meals. As long as the food is worth the cost then I’ll be happy.
Food: Because I go there for a reason. It’s either good or bad, enough or not enough. I’m a runner and I like to eat.
Dessert: If applicable.
Overall standard: Will I go back?
**I’m not a foodie and these are my personal opinions. My education did not prepare me to review NJ diners and this is all from personal experience. You might have had a completely different experience and I would love to hear that too. This just seemed like a fun and relevant thing to my life. If you are a NJ diner and want me to come visit, let me know!
New Berlin Diner
Town & Country Diner
Silver Diner (healthy chain)
Park Nine Diner
Crystal Lake Diner
Vincentown Diner (This is my favorite!)
Garden State Diner-Restaurant
Questions for you:
What is your favorite food to get at a diner?
If you have been to a NJ Diner, which is your favorite?
I cannot believe January is over and the Swanson challenge is over. It doesn’t seem like a month ago I chose to partake in the challenge essentially giving up sugar and artificial sweetener for an entire month.
Here are some of the other posts I did relating to the challenge.
Hashtag that all the links!
Without further ado I thought I would share my overall experience and if I would recommend it, ect.
When I first started January 1st, I was nervous that I would not be able to last a solid month without sugar and artificial sweetener. I am someone who added 7 splenda to their wawa coffee each morning. I like things sweet. I don’t mind using half a carton of splenda. Though I don’t eat dessert daily, I do like it. There were so many things I felt like I was giving up? And why? Because Swanson vitamins asked me if I wanted to and I jumped the gun and said yes. I didn’t have a reason other then “it sounded good at the time”.
So the first day I was nervous and struggled. For about two weeks I struggled and missed my added splenda coffee. Although I don’t mind black coffee I didn’t want to drink it black every single day. I eventually landed on having coconut milk in it which wasn’t bad. A month later I’m not craving splenda but I will still go back to sweetened coffee.
After exactly two weeks I stopped craving sweet foods. I found myself craving savory foods for breakfast like eggs and omelets. While I am associated with eating a plethora of pancakes and waffles, it may surprise you to know that I ate eggs for breakfast before the challenge too. During this challenge I did stay away from sweet pancakes and waffles for breakfast though. I found myself not missing sweetened coffee as much. It was certainly a change and we started going through eggs rather quickly.
The final week I honestly didn’t feel like I was doing a challenge anymore. I just ate and didn’t miss anything sweet (with the exception of the coffee). It was like the honeymoon period ended.
Would I recommend this to others?
I won’t lie that the first two weeks are moderately difficult if you enjoy sugar or sweet foods. This isn’t easy and although I didn’t post and whine every single day, there were times that I really wanted to stop. I thought “no one in the blogging world will know, I don’t post it online it never happened”. Right?
I don’t feel like the challenge changed my life either. I do feel less cravings for sugar and I do feel like my skin has gotten a little better. I think everyone can benefit from it because you never know how it would affect you. Some people might be effected more and it might feel great for them!’
As far as the challenge, when I started I weighed 135 pounds and now I weigh 133 pounds. To the naked eye it looks like I lost two pounds in a month but I honestly can’t feel a difference nor do I feel like I did. (Can you really feel two pounds? No, probably not)
Did I enjoy the challenge?
I didn’t unenjoy it but I won’t go out of my way to avoid sugar. I won’t say it was the best thing ever or I didn’t have several moments where I nearly gave up…but it was okay.
What was the hardest part of the challenge?
This goes without discussion that the hardest part was not having seven splenda in my coffee every morning. At first I didn’t go to wawa at all to get coffee because I thought I would cave but I started going and getting black coffee and it was okay. I ended up getting black coffee and adding my own coconut milk in. It ended up being not so bad. I will say I did get the recommended serving of vegetables daily which is something I’ve always struggled with.
What was the easiest part of the challenge?
I never really had a lot of sugar for dinner so it wasn’t hard to make sugar free dinners at all. Occasionally I would miss dessert but not often.
Do I plan to stay sugar free forever?
Absolutely not. As of February 1st, I will continue going to wawa and getting my splenda enriched, irish cream coffee daily. I regret nothing. I will probably try and keep my sugar and artificial sweetener lower since I’m not craving it but I will not go out of my way to stay sugar and artificial sweetener free.
I don’t regret anything and it was an enjoyable month. I’m not going to maintain a sugar or artificial sweetener free lifestyle forever. I’m going to enjoy a giant piece of red velvet cake at the diner tonight as a reward.
Finally please vote and share #LOLZforNapa!
Questions for you:
Have you ever done a sugar free challenge or the 21 day detox?
What is your favorite dessert?
Red velvet cake or bread budding for me.
A lot of people question how I eat enough to withstand 100 mile weeks. It couldn’t be possible to ever gain weight while running 100 mile weeks and you couldn’t possibly eat enough to withstand that activity…ect.
First and foremost, I only ran 100 mile week. I didn’t run 52 but rather just 1. That was my peak week and most of my other weeks were between 60-80. Most not all. As much as I want to credit myself to running multiple 100 mile weeks, I know I would just get injured running several in a row. (or more then 1).
I’ve rambled about this a few times but blogging nutrition and real life nutrition is not the same thing. I feel bad for certified dieticians and nutritionists that also blog. They get mixed in with other bloggers whose research involves personal research and study which is not the same as being certified. Point blank: it’s not. I’ve taken plenty of nutrition classes but don’t know nearly enough as someone who has studied and has their undergraduate, masters, or even PhD. I can tell you what has worked for me but that is no way telling what will work for you or that is right or wrong.
The majority of healthy living blogs focus on getting enough vegetables, fiber and more vegetables into their diet. If I ate half the amount of vegetables that some people do, I would be able to run 1 mile…maybe 2 with deciding it was time to go home.
When you run high mileage and exercise you must learn that you have to eat a lot of foods that aren’t high in fiber. You must eat food that is still healthy but you can’t eat 3000 calories worth of broccoli. You also can’t eat 3000 calories worth of ice cream. Both will result in you not feeling great for a run.
A typical day for me looks something like this right now:
Breakfast: 400-500 calories
Coffee+cream (100-200 calories…my vice).
Some of my breakfast choices lately have been: Bagel and peanut butter, egg sandwich, eggs and toast, waffle with Greek yogurt or peanut butter.
A standard waffle with peanut butter and yogurt has been my go to before races right now and I think I’ll stay to that before the marathon (as well as a bagel with peanut butter while waiting around beforehand). My standard race day nutrition used to be a bagel with peanut butter and yogurt but I had stomach cramps a few races back and it was enough to change my mind.
Lunch (within an hour of running) 500-800 calories
I’ve been having a lot egg sandwiches lately. Eggs, avocado and cheddar cheese on a bagel. I really just have whatever is in the fridge. It could be a sandwich, soup or salad. I don’t have a standard post run meal or lunch. I normally just like to eat what is in the fridge.
Sometimes I’ll go to the gym in between, sometimes I won’t. (now that I’m tapering, I don’t).
Snack: 200-300 calories
I normally have a snack sometime in the middle of the day. I’ve been enjoying apples and peanut butter lately but that is only because apples have been so cheap at stores. I also have left overs if they are in the fridge.
As if anything else is planned, my dinner is the least planned and changes daily. I am such a meat and potatoes kind of person. I’ll have a serving of meat (steak and fish being my favorite), some sort of vegetables (cooked kale, brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash are my current favorites) and some sort of grain. I’ve been better about eating a carbohydrate such as bread or race. I’m actually not a big pasta fan (I don’t like the consistency) so I tend to eat more rice and bread.
I normally like to make a smoothie at night with a cup of milk and protein powder. I have a big sweet tooth so often times I’ll just have ice cream. I don’t really schedule a treat at night but if I’m craving something I’ll have something. Whatever I’m craving I generally have at night. I go to bed around 9-10 personally.
I know this is very vague but it’s how I eat. I don’t worry or stress about food or getting my vegetables daily. As much as I say I want to meal plan, I don’t. If I eat too many vegetables then I don’t feel good running. I don’t know how people eat so many vegetables (honestly). I do strive to get vegetables but not overboard. I try and get enough protein, carbohydrates and fat but I don’t track it and it doesn’t ruin my day. I found the less I stress about food the easier it is. I’ve never had a problem getting enough food and have never lost weight during a training cycle.
I will say I’m hoping to do a carbohydrate deplete and then carb load during my final week of taper.
Questions for you:
What does a typical day for you look like?
Do you plan your food weekly or eat when you are hungry?
Happy Friday the 13th. I actually graduated high school on Friday the 13th and I think I turned out well. I was born Thursday, July 12th and my superstitious father did not want a Friday the 13th baby.
Part 1 of my adventures is here.
Day 3: Auburn, Alabama to Jennings, Louisiana
This was easily the hardest day of travel. I had nothing to look forward to except sitting in a car in solitude for an entire day. The rest of the drive was starting to take its toll on me. It reminded me of the third lap of a mile race…you just want it to be over.
After waking up and running on the Auburn Campus, dad and I headed down for breakfast. The eggs in Alabama were more of cheddar cheese with a side of eggs. It was 5 parts cheddar, 2 parts ham and 1 part egg. It was also delicious.
The coffee was hard to come by in Alabama and the first gas station (at 8:30 am) did not have any. I knew this might be the start of an exhausting day. The gas station did have a wide selection of beer ready to be purchased though.
After getting coffee around 11 we continued on the drive. We weren’t making awful time but we weren’t making that great of time either. Around 1pm, we found ourselves starving so we got off the high way. only to find there are no restaurants on the side of the road. By this point I was hot, tired, thirsty and hungry. Those four combined probably made me the most miserable person to be around and it may be good I was in the car by myself. We finally just stopped at some bbq joint because the parking lot was really crowded. (It must be good if it’s crowded right?)
We got back on the road around 2 and continued our driving. I don’t remember if I had mentioned that a few days before we left we determined my AC in the car does not work properly. It just blows around hot air. This meant the entire drive I was roasting in my car.
So that made day 3 pretty miserable since the deep south is hot.
Insert about 5 hours of hot, mindless driving miles.
Around dinner time we were just going by Baton Rouge. Perfect dad and I thought. There would be plenty of places to stop and eat and we wouldn’t be struggling to find somewhere. Then when I led the way I put us in the wrong lane. We ended up going over the Mississippi river and past Baton Rouge.
If you have ever crossed the Mississippi then you know the next exit is 20 miles away because you go over a Bayou with alligators and god knows what else down there. Similar to our lunch experience I spent the next 20 minutes being annoyed at myself. We finally stopped at the first exit and located a nice Cracker Barrel. Dad casually mentioned: Oh did you see those 10 foot alligators on the side of the road?
By that point we decided to drive another 30 minutes and stay in Jennings. We had thought we might get to Texas that night but neither of us wanted to prolong the day 3 drive from hell. Thank goodness for foursquare which was able to map me to a hotel.
So with that dad and I went to bed right when we got to the hotel so we could get to bed and start a new day.
Day 4: Jennings to San Antonio, Texas
Jennings was no different and we woke up with another morning run. I have complained about heat and humidity but Louisiana really takes the cake. Props to any runners that run the summer throughout that state and I don’t think I’ve ever sweat that much in my life.
After the longest and coldest shower of my life, dad and I headed down to breakfast. The eggs at this hotel were cheesy scrambled eggs with ham. As I went back up for seconds I noticed the lady adding something to the eggs. She was literally adding sticks of butter. She stopped me and said “Hold on honey I am going to make this taste better than any hotel breakfast you have ever had”. I told her they already tasted better then Upstate NY eggs and that prompted her to tell me about her family living in New York City. After about 15 minutes of conversation and a new best friend I ate some buttered eggs which too her credit were the best eggs of the journey.
After breakfast, taming my afro and stopping at a gas station and casino trucker combo we headed off for San Antonio. It wasn’t more then 90 minutes that we finally reached Texas.
My final destination!
Just kidding, I still had 400 miles but we were in Texas. When they say everything is bigger in Texas…they aren’t lying.
After begging dad to take some photos of these life moments, he said “don’t you want that bear…your instagram friends won’t know you made it without him.” Good play dad.
Since I was riding my “I’m in Texas high,” the next couple of hours went by rather quickly and I found myself ready for lunch around noon. Dad and I stopped at Which Which in Dallas, which (ha) is the coolest sandwich place I’ve ever been. I recommend it.
After lunch we got on the open roads towards San Antonio and the speed limit went up to 70. I noticed a policeman sitting on the side of the road and as soon as I drove by I said “Aw shoot”. For some odd reason I had a sneaking suspicion he was radaring (which he was). How am I going to explain this one? Sir, I was following that uhaul and we were going the speed limit. I wasn’t tailgating, texting or anything. I was rapping Nicki Minaj though.
About a minute after I pass him I see his lights go off and him speeding up. My heart literally plummeted. Then out of great relief (to me at least) he went over to left lane and pulled the guy next to me over. I have never been more relieved in my life. I don’t exactly have the best driving record and don’t need another ticket. After taking a minute to calm down, I realized dad and I were only going 65 so I don’t know why I was worried to begin with.
The next couple hours went by without any sort of excitement. We stopped at a rest area with nature trails (apparently “jogging trails” are common at rest stops in Texas). Dad and I mused for a while and continued to San Antonio.
Upon arriving (and getting lost for a while) we made it to the hotel. The only good luck I seemed to have on this trip was that Tim was flying through San Antonio and was able to meet us. It was extremely lucky that his flight led him through there. He even ended up staying (all coincidence) in the same hotel as us. It was the most random, weird but obviously good occurrence of the trip.
He really wanted to take as many photos with me as possible to update his facebook. After relaxing for the evening and getting food for the half marathon we headed to bed. Not before getting “14 karot cake” for dessert because my best races come from eating a massive amount of sugar prior.
You can read about the half marathon here. Cliff notes version: hottest most humid race of my life but still fun.
Questions for you:
Do you have a good driving record?
No and I hate driving. (I can’t even beat around the bush with that one)
Favorite way to eat eggs?
Besides the sticks of butter I do enjoy omelets. I really like eggs in general so there isn’t a way (I don’t think) that I don’t like them.