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DeLuca’s Diner (Pittsburgh)

DeLuca’s Diner (Pittsburgh)

Recently I was in the greater in the Pittsburgh area, and I wanted to try a new diner. A quick google search found the DeLuca’s Diner.

Atmosphere: A
DeLuca’s Diner is located in a large shopping center. The inside is brightly painted with the solar system. There are plenty of booths, tables, and a small bar as well.  It is stereotypical of a diner.

DeLuca's Diner Pittsburgh

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and the waitress refilled it often. In all, I have no complaints.  While the mugs given were not personalized, they have many options for sale.

DeLuca's Diner Pittsburgh coffee

I ended up purchasing a personalized coffee mug (which the proceeds go to a local animal shelter!).  How awesome is that?

Food: A
There are plenty of options from all day breakfast and lunch. All day lunch isn’t something you find everywhere! From the tables around me, everything looked delicious.

DeLuca's Diner Pittsburgh breakfast sandwich

I decided to order a breakfast sandwich. It came with meat, cheese, and an egg, all on a homemade piece of bread. It was a great sandwich, and I have no complaints.

DeLuca's Diner Pittsburgh breakfast sandwic

Service: A
The waitress was friendly, and our food came out quickly. I couldn’t have asked for better service.

Cost: $
For my sandwich and coffee, it was $10.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I enjoyed Deluca’s Diner, and if I’m in Pittsburgh again, I will be back.  The pancakes at a table nearby looked amazing, and I want to try those next.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $7-12
Overall: A

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite breakfast sandwich?
Have you been to Pittsburgh before? 

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Vicki’s Diner (Westfield)

Vicki’s Diner (Westfield)

A few weeks ago, I met Christine at Vicki’s Diner. Christine and I have been to many diners together, including one of my first 30. She was one of the first friends I made when I moved to NJ. We have both moved multiple times since.

Anyway, we arrived to Vicki’s Diner around lunch time. It was busy, but there was still plenty of booths and tables available.

Vicki's Diner Westfield

Atmosphere: A
There are very few diners in the small towns of NJ. It’s fun to see a diner on a Main Street. It’s metallic and shiny and stands out in the storefronts.

The inside is what you imagine in a diner. There are plenty of booths, tables.m, and they fit a lot in a small diner.

Coffee: A
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh, and was tasty. They brewed it well and one of the better coffees I’ve had.

Vicki's Diner Westfield coffee

Food: B
Vicki’s Diner has everything a diner typically has. There is plenty of breakfast, lunch, and even dinner too.

I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. Then I saw there was a “jumbo salad” designed for two people. When I see a salad that is designed for two people, I always think it’s a good salad for me. More often than not, I’ve been disappointed with a salad size.

Vicki's Diner Westfield salad

I ordered salmon on it, and I was happy I did. The salad itself was good but could have used more toppings. The only thing that made it a “Greek salad” was the feta cheese and onions. It lacked toppings like pita bread as well as olives. In all, it was good, and the size was perfect for me. Most people would have to take some home.

Vicki's Diner Westfield salad

My issue with the salad was how it was packed. It was stuffed into a tiny bowl that looked pretty but once you attempted to eat it, it made a mess. I wish restaurants would use more practical dishes to plate food. If it barely fits into a bowl, how am I supposed to eat it?

Service: A
The waitress was kind, and the food came out quickly. I couldn’t have asked for a better service.

Cost: $
For my salad and coffee, it was $20.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I liked Vicki’s Diner, and if I’m in the area, I’ll be back. Westfield is one of my favorite small towns to walk around.

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

You can see all 251 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite salad topping?
What is your favorite walkable town?

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

The New Balance FuelCell Rebel is a brand new shoe from New Balance. In fact, it was released on July 1st.  There will be several different shoes released with the FuelCell line, including another carbon plated shoe.  The shoe isn’t called the “FuelCell,” it’s called the “FuelCell Rebel.” Like any brand, there will be many shoes called the “FuelCell [name]. (Like the Asics Gel Cumulus or Nike Air Pegasus).

When I first saw the shoe, I thought, “what a beautiful white shoe.” I’m in a white-shoe phase right now and can’t seem to have enough.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

Right out of the box, the Rebel looked sleek and fast. The FuelCell Rebel is designed for running fast, workouts, or races. There is minimal protection if you strike at the heal and more for the forefront of the shoe. If you are a forefront striker and maybe even underpronate, this shoe is built for you (which is extremely rare in the running world.)

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

The FuelCell line was designed in collaboration with American distance-runner Jenny Simpson.

Quick Stats:
Weight: 6.1 Ounces
Drop: 6mm 

Fit:

The FuelCell has Trace Fiber Stitching and reinforced the engineered mesh.  This means there is minimal stitching with less weight. If you have a wide foot or have bunions, there isn’t additional stitching to rub.

There have been several brands try and create a high cut socklike upper, and they miss their (like the Brooks Levitate 2).  This is the first sock-like upper I’ve attempted to, that doesn’t irritate. You should still wear socks, but even though it’s coming up to the ankle, you aren’t going to find irritation.

The shoe fits true to size. I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide and the 10.5 is fine.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

Ride:

The outsole of the New Balance Rebel is something I’ve never seen in a running shoe before (which says a lot because I’ve reviewed dozens of shoes). It has support on the outer corners of the shoe and with a wider platform (for say, someone who supinates). It doesn’t correct anything, but there is a wider platform if you strike on the outer edges of your foot.

For the actual ride it’s fast, and light.  I have run several distances, including easy runs, long runs, and workouts. For me, it fits best for a long run or workout shoe. The FuelCell foam itself is the most responsive from New Balance yet.

I will note, to remove weight there isn’t a lot of traction. Like many “fast” shoes this year, I would advise against running in it in the rain.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel Shoe Review

Conclusion:

I like this shoe a lot. I’ve already run about a hundred miles in them. They are a great fast run shoe, and I feel supported from mile 1 to 17. Tied with the Hoka Cavu 2, this is my favorite shoe of 2019. If this is the debut of their FuelCell line, I think we will see a lot of good things to come.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6,  Hoka Mach 2,

Speed Work: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: New Balance FuelCell Rebel, Mizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races:  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. This week I talked all about hydration.

In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

What is your favorite shoe? 

What is your “go-to” fast shoe?

 

Indy’s Famous Pancake House and Grill

This is my second of two diners in the Indianapolis area. Before leaving, we decided to stop at one more. Since it’s “famous” we couldn’t say no.

Indy's Famous Pancake House and Grill

Atmosphere: D
Indy’s Famous Pancake House and Grill is located in a small strip mall. It’s easy to find, and the outside is bold. The inside, however, is dirty. When you walk in, your feet are immediately met with a sticky floor. There are several booths, tables, as well as a lit up bar area.

Coffee: B
The coffee was brewed hot and fresh and refilled often. It was good diner coffee, and I have no complaints.

Indy's Famous Pancake House and Grill coffee

Food: B
Indy’s Famous Pancake House and Grill have everything a diner would have. From pancakes to omelets, to lunch options. If you are looking for a healthy choice, they do have salads, but I wouldn’t come here for them.  As a pancake house, they are known for their pancakes. I wish I had come before my half marathon, and carb loaded here.

I decided to order the Indy 500 Skillet. On paper, it sounded like it would be massive and it came with: Canadian bacon, sausage, chorizo, gyro meat, onions, mushrooms, shredded cheese, and hashbrowns.

Indy's Famous Pancake House and Grill skillet

I also chose to get a biscuit with it.

Indy's Famous Pancake House and Grill

When the food arrived, it as significant but not massive. While the food was good, I was expecting a more substantial portion.

Service: A
The waitress was nice, and our food came out quickly. Our waitress made sure everything was refilled and that we got things as needed. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Cost: $
For my skillet and coffee, it was $13.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:
I thought the Indy Famous Pancake House and Grill were excellent, but I’m not sure I would go back. It’s hard for me to look past how sticky and dirty the floor was. The food was decent, and the waitress was friendly.

Atmosphere: D
Coffee: B
Food: B
Service: A
Cost: $5-16
Overall: C

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:
Do you like skillets? Where is your favorite from?
What is your favorite kind of pancake?

Caldwell Diner

Caldwell Diner

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I flew to Essex County and went to the Caldwell Diner. It was fun to make 250 unique.
Caldwell Diner NJ

Atmosphere: A
The Caldwell Diner is located in downtown Caldwell. It’s located on the corner with plenty of parking (which can be challenging with diners in the downtown).

The inside has plenty of booth, tables, a full-length bar, and even a salad bar. It’s a cute, modern, diner.

Coffee: A
The waiter brewed a brand new pot of coffee, which was nice. He also added plenty of whipped cream which I appreciated. It was good coffee, and I couldn’t have asked for better coffee.
Caldwell Diner NJ coffee

Food: A
The Caldwell Diner has everything a diner has typically. There is all day breakfast, plenty of lunch, and dinner options, as well as specials. It even had a unique salad bar, which is something you don’t see in a lot of diners.
Caldwell Diner NJ salad bar

I decided to order the pork chops. Pork chops are one of my favorite dinner meals. It was a “complete meal” and came with the salad bar, soup, the meal, and even dessert.

The salad bar was good but could have used more dressing. The only options were ranch, oil and vinegar, Italian, and something else creamy. It had plenty of options, including two different kinds of greens, tomatoes, onions, beets, and mixed bean salad.  In all, it was one of the better salad bars I’ve seen.

For my soup, I chose the barley. It was hot and creamy, and I have no complaints.Caldwell Diner NJ soup

My pork chops were cooked well and were meaty. They weren’t overcooked but just the right amount. I chose broccoli and a baked potato. The entire meal was great, and I can’t complain.
Caldwell Diner NJ pork chops

Dessert: B
Since my meal came with dessert, I chose rice pudding to go. They packed it in a coffee mug, and I ate it in our airport while my husband filed the flight plan. I’ve never tried rice pudding before, so I have nothing to compare it too. It wasn’t overly sweet but good.
Caldwell Diner NJ rice pudding

Service: B

Our service started slow, but the waiter got better as time went on. The food came out quickly, which was nice because we were on a time crunch.

Price: $
For my entire meal and coffee, the coffee was $17.

Overall Thoughts/Summary:

I liked my meal, and the diner was good. I would go back.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Dessert: B
Service: B
Cost: $8-16
Overall: A

You can see all 250 Diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Do you like pork chops?
What’s your favorite dinner meal?

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