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Brooks Cascadia 12 Shoe Review

When going out west on Vacation, I knew I needed a trail shoe.  My husband and I have hiked several times on the east coast, but many people indicated how rocky and rigorous trails could be out west.  Thinking out loud, there have probably been times I could have used a trail shoe while hiking out east too.

brooks cascadia 12 shoe review

The Cascadia seemed like a good option.  I’ve had success with many Brooks Running shoes including both the Ghost 10 and Glycerin 15.  Instead of getting a hiking boot, I opted for the gortex (weatherproof) Brooks Cascadia.

Brooks Cascadia Fit:

The Gortex version makes the shoe stiffer and less breathable but that is precisely what I was looking for.  I wanted a shoe that would protect me from harsher elements.  That being said, it still fits appropriately.  In my running shoes, I’ve worn between 10-11 wide.  I purchased a pair of 10.5 shoes and have been fine.  The upper is constructed from a double mesh material that I found highly flexible, breathable, and provided a durable layer of protection.

brooks cascadia 12 shoe review

Brooks Cascadia Ride:

Personally, I’ve used these more for climbing and hiking versus running on trails.  I’ve used them a couple of times to run, but for the most part, they have been great hiking shoes.

There is a lot of cushion for a trail shoe.  My biggest fear was getting a trail shoe that was firm or rigid.  Since we have done 10+ miles of hiking before, my feet would not be happy with that.  The cushion of the Cascadia is soft like the Ghost but hard enough to grip the ground appropriately.

It doesn’t have the grooves of a rigorous hiking boot, but did have enough for the hikes I was doing.

The Gortex version allowed me to cross several streams without too much of an issue with my feet getting wet.  Something that was ideal.

Final Thoughts:

I like the Brooks Cascadia 12, and I’m so glad I decided to purchase it.  Since purchasing, I’ve done a variety of trails including Zion National Park, Colorado Springs, and even hiking in New Jersey.  It definitely makes a difference when hiking.  I’m glad I finally took the plunge and purchased a pair.

Questions for you:

Do you have a separate pair of trail shoes?

Have you ever used a Gortex or weatherproof product?

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The Thunderbird Restaurant (Mt. Carmel, Utah)

The Thunderbird Restaurant in Mount Carmel Junction is one of the most small-town diners I’ve been too.  It’s attached to the Best Western, and when we stopped in, it seemed like the happening spot to stop.  We had opted to stay at the Best Western and didn’t know there was a restaurant/diner attached.

We decided to go in the morning when they opened at 7.  For the short time, we were there, we were the only people in the entire restaurant!

Atmosphere: A
If you are looking for a small town diner, where everyone knows everyone, this is your diner.  The Thunderbird Café is cute, and they are known for their “Ho-Made” pies.  It’s attached to the Best Western so you can see it from the side of the road.  The inside has plenty of booths and tables.

Service: A
Our waitress was friendly, brought plenty of refills, and our food came out quickly.  She was great.

Coffee: B
The coffee at the Thunderbird Café was strong and tasted good.  I could have used a few more refills but other than that, I had no issues.  Strong coffee in the morning is important.

Food: A
For breakfast, I decided to order two eggs, toast, and a blueberry muffin.  Since it was a bit early to order a pie, I thought a muffin would suffice in trying their homemade baked goods.  The muffin was delicious.  It was cooked just enough that the top was crispy.

thunderbird cafe mount carmel junction utah breakfast

The bread was homemade and thick.  It was some of the best diner bread I’ve had, and the eggs were cooked well too.

thunderbird cafe mount carmel junction utah muffin

In all, my food was excellent.

Cost: $

For the coffee, breakfast, and muffin, the cost was $14, which was a little bit more expensive than I expected.
Overall/Would I Come Back?

I liked the Thunderbird Café, and if I’m ever traveling through, I would go back.  I had a positive experience there, and it’s a great stop.  If you’re looking for a local stop, and a friendly hotel too, this is your place.

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

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of muffin?
Have you ever been to a local favorite?

J&G Diner (South Bound Brook)

Recently I went to the J&G Diner in South Bound Brook.  To be honest, I’ve had to remember the exact letter combination every time I go to type out a post.  Anyway, when I arrived for lunch, I was the only person in the diner.  I met the owner of the website, NJ Isn’t Boring, and while we were dining more customers came in.  Cyd and I have reviewed close to 20 diners if not more.  I believe she is coming close to going to 200 diners!

Neither of us had been to the J&G diner, so it was the perfect stop.

Atmosphere: B
The diner is located on the corner.  It’s not a big metallic building but a regular building attached to several other restaurants.  Inside, it’s clear the diner used to be an old Mexican or Spanish restaurant.  The atmosphere and hand painted murals are a giveaway.  Plus J&G Diner has several specials such as a burrito or flan.

Coffee: B
The coffee was decent and warm.  There wasn’t anything interesting or unique about it, and I could have used more refills.

Food: C
J&G has all sorts of options from breakfast to lunch and dinner.  Unique to the diner is a lot of different Mexican and Spanish options.  As most people know at this point, I’ve been suffering from food poisoning.

If I wasn’t suffering from that, I probably would have ordered something new or unique.  I decided to order their Mediterranian salad with salmon.   When my food came out, I regretted the situation.  The salad was boring, and the salmon tasted as if it was reheated.  I had to request to extra dressings because there was barely any on there.  The food wasn’t bad but probably not something I would order again.

Service: B
The waitress was friendly, and the food came out quickly.  I could have used more drink refills, but other than that, I have no complaints.

Dessert: A
Cyd wanted to order dessert.  I probably wouldn’t have, but when she ordered dessert, it sounded like a good idea.  I decided to go with the bread pudding which came with ice cream.

I like bread pudding, however, after food poisoning, it’s something I need to be more mindful of especially with ice cream.  The dessert was tasty, and it saved my overall opinion of the J&G diner.  I appreciated how many raisins (yes I like them) were in the bread pudding.  However, afterward, my stomach was not all that thrilled with me.  Oh well, live and learn.

Cost:
The J&G diner charges for everything including whipped cream in the coffee as well as extra dressings.  While I do understand they are extra items, it seemed a bit ridiculous when the salad was very dry, to begin with. For the coffee, salad, dessert, and extras the cost was $22.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the J&G Diner, and I would go back.  The bread pudding was extremely good, and I would like to try some of their more unique items when I feel better.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: C
Service: B
Dessert: A
Cost: $8-18
Overall: B

Closeby Diners I’ve Been: Time to Eat DinerSomerset, 

You can find all 162 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite Mexican dish?
What is your favorite salad dressing?

The Broad Street Diner (Hamilton)

Recently I went to the Broad Street Diner in Hamilton.  It’s only about 30 minutes from my house, however, it’s taken me about 3 years to get there.

Atmosphere: A

The inside is a lot bigger than anticipated.  It’s one of the top biggest diners I’ve been too.  The outside is a very tall building.  It’s  a big, shiny, metallic diner, but it’s a clean diner.  The inside has plenty of seating with a full-length bar, with plenty of tables and booths.  It’s one of the most spacious diners I’ve been too.

Broad Street Diner hamilton

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and the waitress brought over a container with whipped cream.  There wasn’t anything too special or exciting about it, but it was good.

Food: B
The menu at the Broad Street diner has pretty much anything you could ask for in a diner.  They have breakfast, lunch, dinner including seafood, steak, pasta, really whatever you want.

I haven’t had pasta in a while so I decided to order pasta with meatball.  I don’t think I’ve ever ordered that a diner.

The meal was good but was bland.  It could have used some sort of seasoning (anything!) or maybe more sauce.  It looked and tasted as if they poured a half a can of sauce on top of pasta and cooked giant meatballs on top.  The meatballs were good.  In all, it was a decent meal but I would probably order something else next time.

Broad Street Diner hamilton

Service: B
Our waitress was very friendly but at some points she was extremely quiet and it was hard to hear what she was saying.  I felt like I was constantly asking, what?

Dessert: B
I had been back and forth with dessert and ultimately decided to order the chocolate fudge cake with ice cream.  One thing unique about the diner is they have several flavors of ice cream instead of just chocolate or vanilla.  I decided to go with cookie dough ice cream which was a good choice.

The cake itself was excellent.  It was rich and tasted homemade.  The ice cream was definitely suffering from freezer burn.  It needed to dethaw for a few minutes.

Broad Street Diner hamilton

Cost: $
For my coffee, meal, ice cream, and cake the cost was $20 which was a good deal.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back?
I liked the Broad Street diner and it was a good choice.  Next time I’ll get a different meal but in all, I liked it.  Having several different ice cream flavors to choose from makes it unique!

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: B
Dessert: B
Cost: $8-15
Overall: B

Closeby Diners I’ve Been: Two Peter’s, Daphne’s 

You can see all 161 NJ Diners I’ve been too here.

Questions for you:
Where is the best pasta you’ve had?
What is your favorite type of cake?

Nike Zoom Fly Review

When Nike created the “breaking 2 project”, they created two shoes: the Nike Zoom Fly and the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly 4%.  The Nike Zoom Fly retails at $150, while the Zoom Fly 4% comes in at $250.  That is, if you can find a pair of Zoom Vapor fly 4% in your size.

The Zoom fly is a bit heavier and made for the everyday runner (or any runner not trying to break 2 hours in the marathon).

It’s made more for training.  When we first brought them into work, I wanted to try them because “everyone was”, however, I had plenty of shoes in my rotation.  Waiting enough time also gave me the option to buy a flashy red colorway too.

Nike Voom fly red

Fit:

The Zoom Fly is more narrow than many of Nikes training shoes including the Pegasus and Vomero.  The upper is seamless so it’s able to fit wider feet.  They don’t make either in a “wide”.  I bought a women’s size 10 which is fine, but I do believe a 10 wide would be a slightly better fit.

Nike Voom fly red

Ride:

The shoe weighs about 8.75 ounces for men and 6.5 for ladies.  While it’s not the lightest, it’s definitely a lighter shoe.

The Zoom Fly has  10 mm heel-toe drop so it isn’t minimal either.  The focus of the shoe is for “everyday” training.  It’s not the shoe meant to run sub 2 hours in a marathon but the shoe to keep you healthy during training.  Nike is in the process of changing many of their running shoes to the new technology you see in the Zoom Fly and Zoom Vapor Fly.

I’ve run just over 100 miles on it and I like the fit and feel a lot.  It’s soft and cushioned but not too squishy.  It’s responsive enough that I like to do workouts in it without my feet feeling too beat up.  I was doing workouts in either the Saucony Type A or the Altra Escalante but have found the extra cushion to be nice and better to recover faster.

One thing I will say is, similar to the Nike Lunarglide, there isn’t a whole lot of traction at the bottom.  On a rainy day or mud, be prepared to not feel as much contact with the ground.

Nike Voom fly red

Finally, something I shouldn’t comment on but I will is these are a good looking pair of shoes.  It’s always fun to run in a shoe that you’re like…wow these are sharp.

Personally, I see the Nike Zoom Fly as a tempo, speed, or racing shoe.  While I know many people who do the bulk of their mileage in the Zoom Fly, I personally need more cushion.

Current Rotation:
Saucony Freedom (daily runs, easy runs)
Brooks Glycerin (daily runs, easy runs)
Brooks Levitate (easy runs)
Hoka Clifton 4 (daily runs, easy runs)
Nike Zoom fly (workouts)
Altra Escalante (workouts)
Saucony type A/Endorphin (racing)

Questions for you:
Did you watch the Nike Sub 2 hours documentary?
What is your current favorite running shoe?

King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)

While driving through Colorado Springs, I knew there was one diner I wanted to go too: The King Chef Diner.  It had been on the Food Network before!

Atmosphere: A
It’s a small, purple, castle located on the main road.  If you aren’t familiar with it, you’ll wonder what you are driving by.  That being said, it’s one of the best atmospheres out there!

King Chef Diner Colorado Springs Outside

The inside sits 13, and everyone must sit at the bar.  You can watch the chef in the back or talk to the waitress.  Everyone speaks to everyone, and you immediately meet new friends.  It’s clear that it’s a local favorite.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, with plenty of whipped cream.  I have no complaints.

Service: A
For the entire diner, there is one waitress and one cook.  Which makes sense because it’s so small!  Our waitress was extremely friendly, knew almost everyone, and our food came out quickly.

Food: A
The King Chef diner is open for breakfast and lunch (not dinner), and you can order anything at anytime.  The King Chef diner has unique options such as a burrito that appeared on the Food Network.  Since the burrito was on the Food Network, I knew immediately what I needed to order. If you are looking for something healthy, you probably won’t find it there.

The portions are huge. The burrito had a flour tortilla stuffed with: two scrambled eggs, sausage, grilled onions, hash browns & shredded cheese. I choose to top mine with their signature green chili!  It was spicy (which I like!).  It was one of the best burritos I have ever had.  I had watched the Food Network episode so I knew to come hungry.  My husband and I had also run earlier and I even I struggled to finish the burrito.

King Chef Diner Colorado Springs

Cost: $
For the coffee and burrito, the cost was $13.  Most people would get two meals out ofit.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:

I enjoyed the King Chef Diner, and I would go back anytime I’m in Colorado Springs.  It’s definitely a unique experience!

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $6-12
Overall: A

Other Diners I went on the Trip:

Sams 3 (Denver)

New Castle Diner (New Castle, Co)

Questions for you:
What is the smallest restaurant you’ve been too?
Have you ever been to a restaurant on the Food Network?

Corner Post Diner (Brick)

Corner Post Diner (Brick)

Last week I went to the Corner Post Diner in Brick, NJ.  I have wanted to go to the Corner Post Diner for a while.  The menu at the Corner Post has a lot of fun and unique options including 150 omelets.

Atmosphere: A
The Corner Post Diner is literally a corner restaurant in an outdoor shopping mall.  It’s the corner…and the post.

Unknowing to me, I went during their “roaring 20s” theme month. The inside was completely decorated.  I’ve been to restaurant themed nights before, and the Corner Post Diner did it well.

Corner Post Diner Brick NJ

Coffee: B
The coffee was decent.  It was hot, but I could have used more.

Corner Post Diner Brick NJ

Service: C
Our waiter was friendly but didn’t come back for long periods.  We were left without drink refills for most of the time, and our food was a bit slower coming out.  The waiter was friendly though.

Food: A
The Corner Post Diner has everything a diner has.  It has a huge list of breakfast options (including 150 omelet choices), lunch, and dinner.  Since I was getting over food poisoning, I opted to get something a bit less exciting.

When they mentioned the soup of the day was split pea, I knew what I wanted.  I went with their soup and sandwich option.  The split pea was good and nice and hot (lukewarm soup is the worst).

Corner Post Diner Brick NJ

I ordered the half BLT which was good as well.  Everything was cooked well, and I had no complaints.

Corner Post Diner Brick NJ

On a side note, the Corner Post Diner menu was interesting.  It was a large wooden menu with jokes and LOL written in the posts.  How can I hate that?

Corner Post Diner Brick NJ

Cost: $
For my soup, sandwich, and coffee, the cost was $10, so I can’t complain about that.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked the Corner Post Diner and had a positive experience there.  I could have used more drink refills, but other than that, it was a good experience.

Atmosphere: A
Service: C
Coffee: B
Food” A
Cost: $8-10

Closeby Diners I’ve Been:
See all Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Have you ever been to a restaurant themed night?
What is your favorite type of soup?

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