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Category Archives: diner

At Least I Like Sourdough Bread

Yesterday I talked about a lunch under stress (good lunch, not bad stress, in case you missed it). I don’t always have stress when I eat out and I don’t get to eat out as often as I would like to. However, we were celebrating Steven’s birthday weekend last weekend, so I make bold to offer two eating out posts in a row.

One of my favorite things to do on my day off is to eat at a good hometown diner. The Mohawk Valley is blessed with several. Last weekend, when my husband Steven and I had a rare Saturday off together, we began our day with breakfast at Liz’s in Mohawk, NY.

Liz greeted us as we walked in and we sat down, admiring as always the rooster decor. Several specials were posted on the wall, but we also looked at menus. Decisions, decisions. At least I knew I was definitely getting something with toast, because Liz serves Heidelberg Bread. Yum!

I finally settled on two eggs over medium with homefries and sourdough toast. Steven ordered the same only adding bacon, cholesterol be damned. When I confided that sourdough was my favorite I learned that Liz doesn’t like it. Heresy!

“All the more for me,” I said, although I contented myself with one order.

The potatoes were perfection, and the eggs were just the way I like them, yolks runny, whites not. While we ate we got to chatting with two ladies sitting at the next table. One of them had seen us on stage at Ilion Little Theatre, although she had missed my most recent theatrical triumph. We both expressed a wish that Steven would be in another play soon. He is considering the prospect.

The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan was on the television, which led to a discussion about our dogs. We probably could have sat down with another cup of coffee and chatted for another hour. I do love conversation. Conversation and a good breakfast are an excellent combination for a Saturday morning.

Liz’s is located at 150 Main St., Mohawk, NY, phone number 315-941-5609. They are open at 7 a.m. 7 days a week with dinner Wed., Thurs. and Fri. till 7 p.m., Sat. till 5 p.m.

A Serendipitous Snack

I first heard of That Little Place on Main in Little Falls, NY some time ago when I visited the Little Falls Historical Society. The intern said her father recently opened it (it came up in a conversation). The Place had already closed that day, and I did not make it back to Little Falls at a compatible time until recently.

Full disclosure: I did not go to Little Falls specifically to go to That Little Place on Main. My friend Phyllis and I were adventuring with no set plan. We thought we would stop somewhere sometime for a cup of coffee and a snack. While driving down Main Street, I saw it! And the Open sign was lit up! I pulled right into a parking space almost directly in front of the Place. How’s that for serendipitous?

Inside was a traditional, homey diner with a long counter and booths. I saw more seating available in a small back room. We sat at a booth and looked at the Specials Board till the waitress brought us menus.

I got a piece of cheesecake while Phyllis ordered French fries. We both had coffee. The cheesecake was delicious. I helped Phyllis finish her fries, because they gave her a heaping mound of them. Yum! The waitress kept our coffee full. I made plans to return soon and bring my husband Steve.

That Little Place on Main is located at 28 W. Main St., Little Falls, NY. Phone number is 315-508-5083. They also have a Facebook page which features photographs of delicious-looking food. I think I’m going to have to make this Place a regular stop.

Getting Crazy at Otto’s

I could not believe that as many times as our friend Tracy has visited, we had not taken her to Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner. Before she left us two Sundays ago, I remedied the omission.

We tried to get there earlier-ish, because Crazy Otto’s does a booming business. We had to wait for a table to get cleared, but it did not take long. Two other people asked us if we’d been helped while the young man cleaned it off. Did I mention the service there is excellent?

Soon we were sitting perusing menus and admiring the decor. Of course I’ve seen it many times, but it’s always fun to look again. Tracy was especially impressed with all the license plates. I showed her ours from Georgia, that we had given them some time ago. I like being part of the display.

I pointed out the Crazy Elvis on the menu, since Tracy loves Elvis and it is one of my personal favorites — peanut butter and banana on French toast. She decided to order that. After much debate, I chose biscuits and gravy. It was bacon gravy instead of the usual sausage. Quite tasty. Tracy enjoyed her breakfast too.

I was happy to see my friend so well-fueled for her drive home. I think it was a good finish for her Mohawk Valley Weekend.

Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner is located on Albany Street in Herkimer, NY. For more information call 314-866-8801 or visit their website at www.crazyottosempirediner.com.

Big Smiles and Full Stomachs

One thing Steven and I had been especially looking forward to on our weekend off together was going out to breakfast. We used to have breakfast out together all the time, but when our work schedules changed, it became a thing of the past. We set out Saturday morning with big smiles and empty stomachs.

We went to Liz’s Diner on Main Street in Mohawk, the previous home of the Mohawk Diner. Donna and Liz greeted us as we walked in the door. We remarked on how happy we were to be there.

Donna brought us coffee. We admired the chicken-themed decor as we perused the menu on the wall. They offered some tempting specials, but I just wanted scrambled eggs and toast. Steven got eggs over medium with bacon and toast. However, it was toast from Heidelberg bread. Yum! I got Italian while Steven had peasant.

As we ate, we were amused by the interactions of Liz, Donna and the regulars sitting at the counter. Two men with long beards were especially amusing. After they left, Donna told us she called them ZZ Top. I thought that was very appropriate. I like ZZ Top.

We liked our breakfast, too. It was a great start to our weekend. Liz’s is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., serving breakfast and lunch. I noticed the lunch menu on the wall. Some of the selections looked pretty tasty. I may have to go back, even if I can’t bring Steven.

Love that Sausage Gravy

Mohawk Diner recently moved to new digs (I thought I wrote a blog post about it, but now I can’t find it. Oops). I noticed that their old digs, on Main Street in Mohawk, NY, is now Liz’s Mohawk Diner. Saturday morning I checked it out.

We know Liz from other diners.

“Is Steve on his way?” she asked me as I sat down.

“No, he has to work,” I said sadly. I’m going to suggest he go there on a day off soon, even if it has to be without me.

The place looks spiffy and bright. I admired the chicken-themed decor and perused the specials board. I decided to get eggs over medium and home fries with sausage gravy. The special included coffee and toast made with Heidelberg bread. Yum!

I really enjoyed the home fries with sausage gravy. The gravy was made with lots of sausage, and the potatoes were cooked to perfection.

The place has the kind of hometown diner atmosphere I love. The patrons and Liz were cracking jokes back and forth.

“Pay the waitress,” Liz told one.

“You know she’s a pain,” he answered.

Liz did know. “That’s why I hired her.”

She wasn’t a pain; she was a good waitress. And Liz is an excellent cook. It was a fine breakfast. Liz’s is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for breakfast and lunch.

Breakfast with Rachel

I put Rachel’s name in the title, so she can pretend she’s famous. At least, perhaps she is famous in certain circles, but I don’t think my blog will increase her fame. I’m afraid my blog is a little rinky-dink compared to some. Still, I like it.

Where was I? Ah yes, forgoing Wrist to Forehead Sunday for once (I hope) to write a little about my breakfast with my friend, and to give another shout-out to Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner.

When Rachel told me she would be passing close enough to Herkimer, NY to stop for a brief visit, she suggested we meet at one of those yummy places I write about. Since we would be meeting for a latish breakfast, I thought she would like Crazy Otto’s.

Obviously, lots of people like Crazy Otto’s. They didn’t have a booth free, so we sat at the counter. I pointed out the Georgia license plate Steven and I contributed to the decor. She was suitably impressed.

After hearing the specials we perused the menu. I picked something I had never noticed before, French toast with coconut flakes. Rachel wanted pancakes with eggs. This came with choice of meat. The waitress recommended sausage, which I must say looked pretty good. I may have to have another meal at Crazy Otto’s soon so I can try it.

It was really wonderful to sit and talk with a friend I had not seen in years. I only felt bad that it was just a meal and not the whole weekend. I guess anybody who knows me knows I could talk for three days at a stretch, but I would have let Rachel talk, too.

As I write this (I am composing at the keyboard, just to give you the proper mental image), I feel a bout of Wrist to Forehead coming on. Rachel read yesterday’s post, where I said I would write a post about our breakfast. She expressed (via Facebook comment) that she was looking forward to reading what we talked about. I commented back that now I felt the pressure to come up with something profound. Well, everything Rachel says is naturally profound, but this blog, not so much.

Never mind, we had a lovely breakfast, and I hope it is not another eight years till we see each other again. If you are meeting a friend you saw eight years ago, or one you just saw yesterday, or eating breakfast by yourself, I recommend Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner. Their website is www.crazyottosempirediner.com. You can also like them on Facebook.

The Meal Before the Storm

I believe I mentioned that the reason I did not make my blog post prior to Wednesday’s storm was that we went to dinner at Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner in Herkimer, NY. Today I thought I’d give a shout out to that fine establishment.

Steven and I are well known fans of Crazy Otto’s. In fact, the cast of Dirty Work at the Crossroads, the play Steven recently directed at Ilion Little Theatre, had given him a gift certificate as a closing night present. For anyone saying, “Waaait a minute,” yes, I was in that cast, yes, I chipped in for the certificate, and yes, I benefited from it. These things happen sometimes in community theatre.

For anybody who missed my numerous previous posts about Crazy Otto’s, it is an authentic old diner in an authentic old trailer. As Empire Diner it has been around for years. Crazy Otto took it over and added his name fairly recently. You can read all about the history of Crazy Otto’s and the Diner Wizard on their menu or their website, http://crazyottosempirediner.com/.

They’ve restored the trailer without losing any of the old-time diner atmosphere. The decor makes for a lot of interest while you’re dining. The walls and ceilings are covered with movie posters, old-time advertisements, movie star pictures and license plates from around the country. As usual we located our Georgia plate, which we gave them a couple of years ago (how the time flies). The tables were new since we’d last been there, bright red with advertisements of local businesses.

Steven ordered a club sandwich with french fries while I got a grilled chicken on sourdough with chips. I had forgotten they were homemade chips. Yummy! It was a delicious meal.

I looked over a card with fancy desserts pictured, but we really had not saved room. I suggested we return at a later date, perhaps midway through an afternoon, for just desserts (that’s one of my favorite expressions).

It poured rain while we were eating, but seemed to have stopped by the time we left. Who knew that it was merely the prelude to the big storm which my two previous posts were about. Steven later found out via Facebook that Crazy Otto’s was without power for a while. He commented that we had eaten just in time.

Crazy Otto’s is located at 100 W. Albany St., Herkimer, NY. Phone number 315-866-8801. You can also like them on Facebook.

Overheard at the Diner

“New Hampshire is a made up state.”

I overheard that statement in Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner, Herkimer, NY, on Monday, when Steven and I went out for breakfast. I think the guy was teasing the young boy he was talking to. He went on to say that he had never met anybody from New Hampshire and was sure the young boy hadn’t either.

The conversation may have stemmed from one of the many license plates that decorate the diner. Our own Georgia plate resides on the ceiling at the opposite end from where we sat Monday.

I did not hear the rest of the conversation, so I don’t know what, if anything, was proved or disproved. I lead with it because it was the most unusual thing that happened during our breakfast out. I know I’ve devoted a few posts to Crazy Otto’s. I have to shake things up when I can.

It’s not so easy for Steven and me to go out for breakfast together as it used to be. Our work hours work against us. New Year’s Eve, however, I didn’t work and Steven went in at 1:30. We had errands to run. A bite of breakfast at Otto’s was the way to go.

I love looking around at the decor. In addition to the license plates, there are movie posters, retro ads and more. I was especially taken with an old ad for chocolate covered Twinkies. Why would they stop making such a thing? Oh, I know, Hostess is bankrupt, Twinkies are dead. But I don’t remember seeing chocolate covered Twinkies in the decadent ’80s or ’90s either. Good chance I would have bought them, especially in the ’80s when I was young and skinny (I bet you thought I was going to say “young and foolish.” Well, I was that, too). I later heard a young voice behind me saying, “Two for ten cents,” in an impressed tone, so I was not the only one noticing the Twinkies.

Our breakfast, to get back to the real food, was very tasty. I ordered a sandwich with egg, cheese and bacon on an English muffin. It came with homemade chips and a little carrot and raisin salad. Steven had French toast, fried eggs and a very large sausage patty. And, of course, plenty of hot coffee.

The next day, we found out our friends Phyllis and Jim had eaten at Crazy Otto’s. It seems Crazy Otto’s has a gluten free menu featuring a variety of choices. Phyllis was especially delighted with the gluten free pancakes. I said, “I’m going to mention that in my blog post!” Hi, Phyllis!

Crazy Otto’s is located on Albany Street in Herkimer. For more information call 314-866-8801. You can also “Like” them on Facebook.

Crazy Dinner

Wednesday evening Steven and I had some shopping to do, so I suggested we grab a bite at Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner, 100 W. Albany St., Herkimer, NY.

I know I have written about eating breakfast there on several occasions, but we don’t often get there for dinner. I thought it was definitely worth a post.

I was a little afraid the whole thing would come to a grinding halt by our finding out that Crazy Otto’s was only open for dinner on the weekends, but we were in luck: Wednesday through Saturday they are open till nine.

Once seated in a booth, a nice young man offered to start us off with a beverage (decaf coffee for me, regular for Steven), and we perused the menu. I already knew what I wanted. I had, in fact, suggested Crazy Otto’s specifically to order the Patty Platter: a burger sans bun served with cottage cheese on a bed of lettuce and tomato on the side. Perfect for my weight loss goals and perfectly tasty as well. Steven ordered a Patty Melt, one of his favorites, with french fries. That comes with a small cup of bread pudding, so he enjoyed a dessert as well.

The diner was not crowded, as it usually is when we make it there for breakfast, especially on the weekend. I enjoy to sit in a booth and look out on the main drag of Herkimer. I could see the top of the old warehouse that holds Fat Cat’s Fish Fry (must make it there for a blog post one day), Dollar General, Mavis Tires and Cole Muffler.

Our waiter kept us well supplied with coffee as we enjoyed our repast. I especially liked the tomato, fancily sliced and quite fresh and flavorful. I wondered if it was local, but foolishly forgot to ask.

I highly recommend Crazy Otto’s for any meal of the day. For more information you can call them at 315-866-8801, or you can Like them on Facebook.

Fun at the Country Kitchen

I had mentioned briefly that I went out to breakfast Sunday morning. I thought I’d talk a little more about that and give another shout out to Liz’s Country Kitchen on South Main Street in Herkimer, NY.

Liz’s Country Kitchen is run by our friends Liz and Donna, who previously operated the Neighborhood Diner on North Washington Street. Steven and I went there for a previous blog post and were delighted to find that the same delicious food and hometown atmosphere prevailed.

Steven was industriously at work when I set out Sunday morning. I luckily found a parking space right in front of the diner. Both Donna and Liz greeted me and were sorry not to see Steven as well. I ordered my favorite of a breakfast sandwich on a hard roll and started writing a letter to my sister (I hope she doesn’t read this post and wonder why I haven’t finished it yet; I’ve been busy). I overheard snatches of conversation as I ate.

“…a millionaire with one foot in the grave,” a lady said.

“And the other on a banana peel,” I added, quoting my grandmother.

Liz was looking for a way to hang some wind chimes on the door. Several people told her to cut out the racket, so of course she jingled them some more.

“Maybe you could have them made into earrings,” I suggested. Liz and I often admire each others’ earrings.

“You could use them to take up belly dancing,” said another diner. He seemed rather taken with the idea of Liz as a belly dancer.

Some neighbors of Donna’s came in. They were talking about some obnoxious partiers who had disturbed the peace in their neighborhood. I’m not sure where that neighborhood is, but I hope things settle down. There’s nothing wrong with having a good time on a Saturday night, but there’s no reason to wake the neighbors.

I greatly enjoyed my breakfast. I told Liz and Donna I’d do my best to bring Steven next time (I think people prefer us as a couple). I left refreshed and ready to take on the rest of my day.

Liz’s Country Kitchen is open seven days for breakfast and lunch. Check it out!