The Viand (New York City)

The Viand (New York City)

The Viand (New York City)

The final diner I went to while in New York City was The Viand. I heard good things about it so I was excited to try it out.  The Viand is located on the Upper West Side and there is also a Viand Cafe as well as Viand in New York City.

The Viand

The Viand Atmosphere: A
The outside of The Viand stands out on the Main Street on the Upper West Side. It’s got cute shades, windows, and a closed outdoor seating area. When we arrived, it was already busy and we scored one of the last tables.

The Viand

The Viand Coffee: B
The coffee at The Viand was decent but nothing to write home about. It was hot, but there was nothing unique or unusual about it.

The Viand coffee

The Viand Food: A
The Viand menu has a combination of the typical diner as well as upscale items. A few things that stuck out to me were the huevos rancheros, burgers, flatbread, and pancakes.

For an appetizer, I decided to order the Mediterranean flatbread. The flatbread was one of the best I’ve had. There were olives, onions, tomato and feta. I have no regrets.The Viand flatbread

For my entree, I ordered the blueberry pancakes with whipped cream. An interesting combination of food? The pancakes themselves were excellent, and they were light and fluffy. I was pleased with my choice.

The Viand pancakes

The Viand Service: A
The Viand was great. The waiter took our orders quickly and the food came out fast. I couldn’t have asked for better service.

The Viand Cost: $
For the coffee, flatbread, and pancakes it was $25.

Overall thoughts/Would I Come Back to The Viand?
I liked Viand and I will be back if I’m in the area. The food was excellent and it was a great stop.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $10-20
Overall: A

You can see all the diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Do you like flatbread?
What’s your favorite type of pancake?


Spa Diner (Hoboken)

Spa Diner (Hoboken)

Spa Diner (Hoboken)

Recently I found myself in Hoboken, NJ. I haven’t been to Hoboken in a while so it was fun to come back. In 2011, my family stopped in Hoboken to check out Carlos Bakery. Carlos Bakery has multiple locations in NJ, including Marlton in South Jersey.

Spa Diner (Hoboken)

Spa Diner Atmosphere: B
The Spa Diner is an unassuming diner located in Hoboken. If you didn’t know any better, you would walk by. It’s open 24 hours.  The inside of the Spa Diner is small and has about 30 seats total, including several booths, tables, and bar space. I almost sat at the bar but opted for a booth instead.

Spa Diner Coffee: C
The Spa Diner coffee was bland and boring. There wasn’t anything unique or interesting about it and I never received refills. It was drinkable, but it was the stereotypical diner coffee, you think about in the movies.

Spa Diner (Hoboken) coffee

Spa Diner Food: C
The Spa Diner menu has all of the regular diner usuals. There is an all-day breakfast, pancakes, omelets, several salads, as well as sandwiches. I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. After deciding pancakes, I went for the strawberry pancakes with whipped cream.

Spa Diner (Hoboken) pancakes

First, the waitress brought out the syrup. Then several minutes later, she brought out strawberries. Finally, after a while, the pancakes with the whipped cream came out. I expected the pancake to have the strawberries in them. They were just regular pancakes and a plate of strawberries. The pancakes themselves were fine, but there was nothing unique or unusual about them.

Spa Diner Service: D
I was disappointed with the Spa Diner service. While both waitresses were nice, it took a long time to take my order as well as get my food, and pay. I

Spa Diner Cost: $
For my pancakes and coffee, it was $10.25.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back to the Spa Diner?

I didn’t dislike the Spa Diner, but it wasn’t my favorite diner I’ve been too. I would go to other diners before coming back to the Spa Diner.  If you are looking for a no frills, stereotypical diner, the Spa Diner is it.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: C
Food: C
Service: D
Price: $8-13
Overall: C

You can see all 271 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Would you expect the strawberries to be in the pancakes?
Have you been to Hoboken before?

Brooks Levitate 3 Shoe Review

Brooks Levitate 3 Shoe Review

The Brooks Levitate 3 Shoe Review

The Brooks Levitate 3 Quick Facts:

Heel to Toe Drop: 8 mm

Weight: 10.3 ounces

Brooks Levitate 3 Review Shoe Review

The Brooks Levitate 3 Fit:

Compared to the original Brooks Levitate, the Brooks Levitate 2 went through a significant change with the fit with a redesigned knit upper. Between the two models, the sock liner came up higher and it fit much differently than the first version of the Brooks Levitate.  The upper of the third version is similar to the second. According to Brooks, the Brooks Levitate 3 has a plush interior liner that optimizes fit and in shoe comfort.

The Brooks Levitate 3 fits similar to the Brooks Levitate 2 with a secure sock like fit. Brooks listened to the feedback of the jagged back cutting through people’s ankles. The Brooks Levitate 3 has a much softer back and heel counter a lighter and softer feel to it.

The pseudo integrated tongue provides a secure fit without ripping into the ankles. The wraparound integrated collar treats the shoe as more like a sock fit that moves with your gait. I still wish they got rid of the higher flat knit upper all together. I think it’s a bold leap that hasn’t always won over runners (myself included).

The new Brooks Levitate 3 features a redesigned knit upper, a more padded heel collar and more secure tongue which moves with your foot.

Brooks Levitate 3 Review Shoe Review

Other than that, the fit of the Brooks Levitate 3 is an improvement from the Brooks Levitate 2. The heel and collar are more padded.  Typically I wear between a 10-11 wide in running shoes and I’ve found the 10.5 to be a good fit. (The Brooks Levitate 3 is not made it wide).

Brooks Levitate 3 Review Shoe Review

Brooks Levitate 3 Ride:

Unlike many Brooks shoes, the Brooks Levitate is a more bouncy and as Brooks says “energetic ride.” If you are looking for a Brooks shoe more responsive than the Brooks Ghost 12 or Brooks Glycerin, the Brooks Levitate 3 is that.

The Brooks Levitate 3 is meant to be a springy shoe that returns energy with every stride.  Unlike most Brooks models, the Brooks Levitate 3 uses DNA Amp cushioning material, which makes it more firm and responsive. Plus, according to Brooks, the DNA AMP midsole technology cushioning material doesn’t break down as quickly as other running foams.

Brooks Levitate 3 Review Shoe Review

The bottoms of the Brooks Levitate 3 now has a forward arrow point pattern of flex grooves. This allows you to move from heel to toe quickly and more efficiently.

I’ve run a variety of workouts in the Brooks Levitate 3 from speed work to shorter runs, to longer faster runs, as well as easy runs. For me, I think it fits nicely into a quicker long run category. There is enough cushion for those longers runs without feeling beat up afterward.  It’s not light enough (for me) to feel fast doing traditional track or speed work in.

Brooks Levitate 3 Review Shoe Review

Brooks Levitate 3 Conclusion:

I think the Brooks Levitate 3 update is better than the Brooks Levitate 2, but still not as good as the first version. I’ll continue to run it and I didn’t have any issues with it cutting my heel this time around. I prefer the softness of either the Brooks Ghost or Brooks Glycerin 17 before the firmness of the Brooks Levitate 3 running shoes, but the update is good.  The Brooks Levitate 3 is better than the Brooks Levitate 2 but still not as good (in my opinion) as the original.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Diadora Mythos Elite TRX, Hoka Bondi 6, Saucony Triumph 17

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell RebelReebok Float Ride Run fast ProHoka RinconNike Pegasus Turbo 2

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Brooks Levitate 3, Hoka Cavu 2

Races: New Balance Fuelcell 5280Nike Next%,  Reebok Run fast Pro 

You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite running sh0e?

Hae you tried the Brooks Levitate 3?

Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k Run (20:33)

Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k Run (20:33)

Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k Run (20:33)

Last weekend I ran the Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k. I actually planned to do a different 5k, but I was too lazy to drive far and with this race, I could make it to work on time. I’ve run the Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k before and for whatever reason, never felt that great.  The course has a lot of turns and finishes on grass, so it’s not the easiest 5k course either. That being said, I still ran the exact same time as the Medford Turkey Trot the week before, so I can’t complain about that.

I got to the Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k around 7:15 am, signed up, and warmed up. One reason I like the Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k is that the entire racecourse is marked with American Flags.  This is done as a memorial to Gregory T. Dalessio who was killed in Iraq in 2008.

After a few announcements, the race started at 8:10 am. When I started, I didn’t feel as bad as I anticipated. I thought my legs would be sorer than they were. I wasn’t really paying attention to my watch and was gliding by people. I thought, did I start too far back? It felt like I was jogging a 7-minute mile. Then I crossed the first mile of the Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k in 6:34.  Funny enough, it’s the same time I’ve run the last 2 5ks in.

The next mile went through a lot of turns. I knew the course was slow and there were a lot of turns and small inclines and declines. I hesitate to call them hills, but just gradual climbs. I didn’t feel bad and I caught a few more people. I hit the second mile in 6:34 and felt surprisingly good.

I knew the course was slightly long and finished in the grass, but I also knew I could run my fastest 5k in a while if I continued at this pace. I just focused on the finish. Towards the end, a young kid and I were going back and forth. I could tell at the grassy part he didn’t want to be outkicked by a female and finished right ahead of me. I ran the last mile in 6:40.

The finish .25 was around a giant loop of grass. I didn’t want to hurt myself and roll my ankle, so I ran smart.

I crossed the finish in 20:33, just like the Medford Turkey Trot. I know this course is slightly long as well as more challenging so it’s a harder effort.

Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k Thoughts:

I’m happy with my effort at the Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k. Of course I’m looking forward to the days that sub 20 minute 5ks are the norm again, but this is where I’m at now.  It was great to see so many friends and coworkers.

Questions for you:

What is your next goal race?

Do you have any races for the rest of December?

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

If you are into history and hiking Valley Forge is a great spot to stop.

A brief history:

During the Revolutionary War, Valley Forge was commanded by General George Washington and functioned as a military encampment for the Continental Army’s main body.

In the winter of 1777, General George Washington led his 12,000-man army into Valley Forge.  They remained there from December 1777 to June 1778. For six months, Valley Forge was one of the largest cities in the colonies. Washington’s men created crude huts to serve as temporary barracks. George Washington set up his headquarters in a small stone building considered to be the “Pentagon.” General Washington and his men worked there.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

During the winter, roughly 2,000 soldiers and about 1500 horses died due to disease or malnutrition.

Today, Valley Forge National Historical Park preserves 3,500 acres of the original encampment site.  Since it’s such a historic area, along with most of Philadelphia, I highly recommend taking a trip if you’re around.

I’ve been to Valley Forge multiple times, but it wasn’t until recently I knew there were trails. My good friend and writer, Jen and I headed up on a cool Thursday afternoon.  There are a few trails that you can hike at Valley Forge and Washington’s Headquarters. Jen actually trained for her trail race in the park. From Washington’s Headquarters, you have the choice to hike Mount Misery and Mount Joy. We chose Mount Misery, but I want to come back to Mount Joy soon.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

You can park at Washington’s Headquarters in Valley Forge. At Washington’s Headquarters, there are bathrooms as well as a still in use train station.  There are also guided tours too. Walk down the Train Station platform and down the steps.  As you continue along the gravel path at Valley Forge, you’ll see Washington’s Headquarters.  Continue straight until you get to the road. At the fork, you can start with alley Creek Trail or Horse-Shoe Trail. It depends if you want to start with the easy (alley Creek Trail) and finish with the harder (Horse-Shoe Trail) or the opposite. Horse Shoe Trail is what takes you to the peak.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

We started with Valley Creek Trail which is an easy, flat, trail. Horse-Shoe Trail takes you up Mount Misery and the Valley Creek Trail takes you back. You can see an old Covered Bridge as well. Hiking up trails on Mount Misery in Valley Forge is roughly a 4 miles from the parking lot at Washingtons Headquarters.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

In all, it was a fun hike and I’m glad Jen and I did the Mount Misery Trail. I’m looking forward to hiking the Mount Hope Trail soon.

Hiking Mount Misery at Valley Forge

You can see more hikes here.

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We both needed a trip out of the house. Diner+hike it was.

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Questions for you:

What is the last historical spot you went to?

Have you hiked Mount Misery at Valley Forge?


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