James Browns Place

James Browns Place

A Rochester Diner

Rochester, NY

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.

Atmosphere: A

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!

Coffee: A

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.

James Browns Coffee

Which one is LOLZ coffee?

Which one is LOLZ coffee?

Food: A

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.

James Browns Place Omelet

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).

The infamous eggs.

The infamous eggs.

This is a very traditional diner and has every element you would expect in a diner.

Cost: $

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.

Cliff notes:

James Browns Place
Rochester, NY

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Price 5-10 dollars
Overall Atmosphere: A

 Question for you: Have you ever met a restaurant owner? 

Americana Diner Review

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.

Atmosphere: A

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.

Coffee: A+  

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.

whipcreamcoffee

 

I would come back multiple times just for whip cream.

I would come back multiple times just for whip cream.

Food: I’ve had:  A

Brushetta Appetizer

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).

salmonomelete

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.

Mediterranean Salad

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.

MediterraneanSalad

Carrot cake

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.

Ice cream

The vanilla ice cream was creamy and served in a milkshake glass.  I was actually surprised by the amount (gladly surprised) they gave us.

Price:  $$$$

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? 

Tres Leches Waffle

There was one series of classes in high school that I struggled with.  No it was AP nor honors courses but foreign language.  I was terrible at Spanish and got straight C’s every semester.  I thought since I had passed the courses I would never have to take foreign language in college but that ended up not being the case.  I had to take Spanish in college too and I failed Spanish 103.  I then struggled through it again senior year of college.

So how does Spanish even relate to today’s waffle?

In high school we would have the option to bake something and bring it in for 10 extra credit points on our test.  It was foolish for me to not take that option even though my Spanish might have been a little better then my cooking.  Luckily my mom always helped me make the Tres Leches (3 milk) dessert cake and it was always a hit with my teachers.  I think it was honestly why I got a C and not a D but I didn’t ask questions.

Tres Leches Waffle

Tres leches literally means 3 milk and the cake itself has three different types of milk and is very sweet somewhat similar to the hummingbird cake.  The cake is known for being very moist from adding the topping.

Ingredients (cake):

2/3 cup flour

1 tablespoon oil

¼ cup sweetener

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup milk

 

Glaze:

7 ounces evaporated milk

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup syrup

 

Topping:

1/2 cup heavy cream

¼ cup sweetener

1 tsp vanilla extract

waffle1

Mix the wet ingredients to dry.  Cook in waffle maker.

For the glaze, mix in a separate bowl and pour while still hot.  The glaze should go right through the waffle and keep it very moist.

Finally mix and add the topping which should have more of a frosting appeal.

waffle3

Obviously this is a little more complex then 99.9% of my other waffle and pancake recipes (and also a tad more unhealthy) but what can I say, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to pass her classes.  By me, I mean my mom really did most of this work back in high school but I helped.

Question for you: What classes have you (or did you) struggle with most in school? 

Tuna Fish Waffle

I posted a very very long time ago about smoked salmon waffles.  They will always be one of my favorite savory waffles.  I’ve also posted about canned crab waffles and it only makes sense for another fishy waffle.

IE: The Tuna fish waffle

tunafishwaffle

Though I won’t deny I probably have more tuna fish then the average person because it’s really all I eat at work..it’s easy, it’s portable and it doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare.  Oh and there is also the fact that I really enjoy tuna fish right now so that could always play a role…

As far as waffle recipes go though this is probably one of the most balanced recipes I have created.  It has carbs from flour, fat from eggs, oil and cheese and protein from the fish.  Random tidbit and yet another reason of why this is good.  This isn’t a waffle that you are like…hmmm should probably only pull it out for impressive cooking purposes.  Well you should because it is pretty “foodie” (in my awkward opinion…moving on).

Tuna Fish Waffle:

2/3 cup flour

1 egg

1 tsp oil

1 can of tuna fish

¼ cup feta cheese

1 can of tuna fish

½ cup water

Seasonings I used: Italian, some sort of seafood medley and a hint of red pepper for a kick.  I add more red pepper then a lot of people so that’s that.

Directions:

Add all wet ingredients: (water, egg, oil)

Then mix in flour and baking powder followed by cheese and about half the can of funa fish.

Cook in waffle maker and top with other half of tuna fish.

And there you have it.  A delicious, nutritious, suspicious (that’s fictious) waffle.

Questions for you:

Do you eat tuna fish?  What is your favorite canned meat?  (that doesn’t sound weird).

Most interesting  food ever had for breakfast? 

Black Bean Waffle

Let’s see here, I’m currently trying to waste as much time as possible by writing up another waffle recipe.  I have been wanting to try a black bean/chocolate waffle for a while now but it wasn’t until I see that Alex had posted a black bean recipe that I finally gave in.

I had heard from countless sources that black beans enriched the cocoa in brownies and I assumed that was going to work well for waffles.  Which is certainly worked well.

Since I recently got a new magic bullet for my birthday (the black edition…the only big advantage for me is they have bigger cups LOL), I thought it would be easiest to try it this way.

chocolatewaffle1

Ingredients:

2/3 cup flour

¼ cup dark cocoa (I used Hershey’s cocoa personally)

½ cup pureed black beans (done in my magic bullet)

½ cup milk

1 egg

1 tablespoon oil

1 tsp baking powder

 

*I did not add sweetener

Directions:

Add the wet ingredients together (egg, milk, oil and beans…)

Then add the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa) followed by baking powder.

Add more milk if want a lighter, fluffier waffle but I recommend a dense.

I actually really enjoyed how dense these were and the fact that I didn’t use sweetener.  They tasted more like a big dark piece of fudge then anything.  I couldn’t taste the beans at all but maybe that was because they were pureed right into there.  It’s nicer healthier version that you could use a waffle staple in the mornings.

I thought about not puring the black beans and just having them as little surprises when biting into the waffle then realized that might be a bit borderline weird.

Question for you: Have you ever used black beans in a recipe?

So Much Waffle…So Little Time…

It’s no secret that every Monday I post either a pancake or waffle creation.  Though I try not to be biased, some of my recent favorites have been waffles.  Since really the only recipes I do post are breakfast related I get a few questions on how to create the “perfect” pancake or waffle.  Or I’m generally associated with only eating pancakes or waffles…whatever floats your boat.  Instead of posting a recipe today, I just thought I’d share some of the questions I’ve gotten as of late.

Do you ever use egg whites instead of whole eggs in your recipes?

I personally don’t because I have never had luck with egg whites creating a crunchy waffle.  The waffle has fallen apart more times then I can count with using egg whites.  It has nothing to do with nutrition or calorie count, but I have found that eggs bind the waffle so much better.

Here is what happens when I try to use egg whites...oh well.

What sort of waffle maker do you use?

This one from target.  A little more expensive and I’ve gone through 3 in my lifetime but well worth it.

What is your favorite waffle?

Currently the oreo waffle is my favorite.  My staple and easy to make is probably the red velvet waffle too.  I have been tending towards sweet lately.  I went through a savory waffle phase a few months ago.

How many waffles do you eat daily?

Ha, this question made me laugh.  You see I don’t actually eat waffle and pancakes as much as you would think.  Sometime during the week I have one to create a new recipe.  I normally have a high carbohydrate one before races (3 hours before), and then maybe 2-3 times at other times.  I’d say I probably have 5 or so waffles/pancakes weekly.  It just seems like I have a lot more because that is really the only recipes I post.  Oh well.  (Incase you wondered, I consume a lot of eggs as well).

What do you top your waffle with?

Yogurt, sugar free syrup, peanut butter or if the recipe has a specialty topping…then that.

redvelvetpancakes1

What kinds of flour do you use for waffle making?

Normally whole wheat or buckwheat (I personally like how dense buckwheat is).  I also use peanut flour if I want a higher protein (only available online I think?).  I’ve used coconut flour once and I just recently posted an oatmeal based waffle.  I don’t use a lot (or any) really specialty flours such as almond meal or whatnot.  I just don’t have a need nor do I really care too.

That’s all the questions I’ve gotten thus far.  You can always ask specifics or more.  I’m here for all your waffle needs.

Questions for you:

Any waffle ideas for next week?

Have you had luck using egg whites?

I don’t know why but they fall apart for me…so I gave up on that quite a while ago.

Hummingbird Waffle

Hummingbird Waffle

I first tried hummingbird cake a random party I went to a few years back.  I’m not sure how anyone can complain about cake though honestly.  What I didn’t know when having hummingbird cake a while back was one of the main components is banana and bananas are not a fruit I quite enjoy…at all.  I guess I didn’t really even know what hummingbird cake was, I just knew I liked it when I had it at a party once.

waffle4

Ingredients:

2/3 cup flour

1/2 mushy banana (or one small mushy banana)

1/2 cup crushed pineapple

1 egg

1 tablespoon brown sugar (not packed)

¼ cup sweetener (I used stevia)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup milk

Mix dry ingredients together.

Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl (except pineapple and banana…add last). 

Then add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and cook on your griddle.

Here is something I’ll be completely honest about.  When researching Hummingbird cakes, I actually had no idea they had banana in them until doing my research.  I don’t care for banana at all.  It’s a fruit that I just don’t find appetizing.  I was a bit put off by it at first but upon realizing that I enjoyed the cake and didn’t know that it had banana in it…I’d at least try it in pancake form.  Which I did.

waffle4

The banana is not a strong component of the pancake which is something I personally enjoy about it.  It wouldn’t be “true hummingbird style” without the banana and I don’t really hone in the banana taste.  Am I going to go eat a bunch of bananas and turn into a monkey now?  No, but I thought the pancakes were good despite having one of the few foods I don’t care for.

So that’s that.  I enjoy these pancakes a lot too but seeing as I don’t buy bananas for myself personally, I don’t know how often I’ll make them.

I actually just topped it with vanilla yogurt because the expiration date of the yogurt was the next day and thought…why not?

Questions for you:

Least favorite fruit?

Have you ever had Hummingbird cake?