Thursday, February 26, 2009

Food4Fitness Menu Selections

(Click to enlarge a sample menu)

Food4Fitness (in association with "provides healthy, fully prepared and great tasting meals for the fitness enthusiast, busy parent or anyone striving to fit healthy meals into their daily lifestyle. These recipes are personal trainer designed and approved to take your physique to the next level. All meals are portion controlled and balanced for calories, fat, protein and carbohydrates so they will fit easily into your healthy nutritional plan" ... but here is the catch, do they TASTE GOOD? ARE THEY FILLING?

Well Dear Readers, I can personally say that a big hungry eater (can't ya tell!?) like myself found these meals to be a great substitute for the meals I normally inhale en masse - they tasted great and the portions provided were ample. The Chicken & Pesto Pizza was full of large chicken chunks, fresh veggies and a touch of pesto on a thin tortilla crust. Although it looked to be satisfying, I expected it to taste like a paper plate (as most "nutritious" foods seem to taste!), but my expectations were wrong. This pizza was not only delicious, but also large enough to satisfy hunger and fill ya up. The next day, I had the Chicken-Veggie Casserole for dinner and that too was just as filling and delicious. Filled with fresh veggies and ample amounts of chicken and seasoning, this meal really hit the spot.

The ease of getting these already prepared meals (great for people on the go!) and their great taste (your tastebuds will rejoice!) is a must for anyone looking to balance a healthy diet without making huge sacrifices along the way. Now if I can only get motivated enough to pry myself off the couch and away from the big screen TV, I might lose one of my multiple chins... but hey, its a start!

Check out Food4Fitness today!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Wagon Wheel Restaurant & Bar

It is a little known fact that after the tornado ripped through Kansas and carried Dorothy to Oz, it then traveled to a back road somewhere in Tennessee, picked up a honky tonk saloon and dropped it smack dab in the middle of Niagara Falls, NY. True Story. Okay, so I made that part up... but how else would you explain this lil' bit of country standing all by its lonesome on one of Western New York's busiest boulevards?

Now owned by Robert Timm, the Wagon Wheel has been around since the late 1940s when the building was first used as general store. Converting to a restaurant/bar in its evolution, the Wagon Wheel now serves up some of the best damn chicken wings in the area (cheap too!) and thanks to their original still-in-use BEERADOR beer cooler, they also serve up the coldest beers this side of the Mississippi.

[Quick sidenote regarding the BEERADOR from owner Robert Timm: "Built in Buffalo by the Jewett Refrigerator Co., from 1939-41, when the US entered World War 2. The company also made a Bevador, which was geared more for selling pop at general stores and whatnot, and didn't come with the "beer bottle top." We have had the shelves rebuilt, and ours holds 4 cases of beer on each of it's 4 shelves, for roughly 384 bottles of cold beer. I've only seen 3 other Beeerador/Bevadors in use in recent years."]

(From Popular Mechanix 1939)

Belly up to the bar and order your choice of many finger foods their menu has to offer... in fact, that is all their menu has to offer! Who needs fancy country club salads and hoity-toity martinis with floating fruit? At the Wagon Wheel, you can order a frosty Budweiser and 20 hot chicken wings, watch a Sabres game and still have enough money left over to play the jukebox and tip the bartender on your way out!

The prices all across the board (from the bar to the menu) are very reasonable and they offer a wide selection of beers and spirits for every taste. Stop in during a Buffalo Sabres or Buffalo Bills game and enjoy drink and food specials - 10 wings and a pitcher of beer only $9.50! The Wagon Wheel opens Sunday at noon (just in time for NFL action during football season), weekdays 2pm - 2am, and on Friday and Saturdays from 2pm - 3am. Enjoy your sporting events on their 65 inch big screen which can be seen from the moon! Well okay, maybe not the moon, but it has been mentioned that you can see that behemoth from the entrance way to Tops across the street!

If you enjoy establishments that welcome friendly neighbors while celebrating Americana with the true grit of John Wayne - then you'll enjoy the Wagon Wheel Restaurant & Bar... stop by and say howdy!

The Wagon Wheel Restaurant & Bar
7201 Niagara Falls Boulevard
Niagara Falls, NY 14304

Do you have a story or a memory of the Wagon Wheel? Please submit it today to add to this article! Also welcoming any old photos or other nostalgia you might have.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Walking Uphill... Both Ways

This popular photo of Niagara Falls (circa 1911) was submitted by now out-of-towner Chris Fortin - thanks Chris! Funny thing about this photo - when I was a little kid, we had this photo hanging in the kitchen of the house I grew up in on Munson Avenue. My father always told us of his strife growing up and how he had to walk to school everyday in the freezing cold (y'know, the stories of walking uphill both ways barefoot on roads made of broken glass). Throughout my childhood I believed that this photo was my father and his school mates walking to school one frozen Niagara Falls morning! I also believed that he was my real father, but thats another story... (just kiddin' Pops!)

Here are a couple other amazing photos of our mighty Niagara Falls at a frozen standstill:


Friday, February 13, 2009

You Know the Name: Samuel DeVeaux

Samuel DeVeaux was born in 1789 in New York City and emigrated to Niagara County in 1807. He became the clerk of the commissary at Fort Niagara and by 1812, had purchased considerable acreage of land southeast of the fort. He also operated a store near the river that dispensed military supplies to the troops on the Great Lakes and the Niagara Frontier. In 1819, DeVeaux was appointed school commissioner and in 1821, Justice of the Peace, conferring on him the title of Judge DeVeaux. In business, DeVeaux was a heavy contributor to the Lockport and Niagara Railroad, also known as the Strap Railroad and helped with construction of the Suspension Bridge in 1847. His business dealings resulted in vast purchases of land along the Niagara River. So much so that an entire region of the city still bears his name.

Judge DeVeaux died suddenly on August 3 1852 and being deeply religious and a sincere believer in the benefit of education, he left a portion of his estate for the benefit of Niagara Falls and the Episcopal Diocese to establish DeVeaux College. The college was located at the northern limits of the city and opposite the Whirlpool. The school’s original mission was to provide a complete education for orphaned and homeless boys. The first building on the site was dedicated on May 20, 1857. For nearly 80 years, course work included mandatory military training with cadets all dressed alike in military uniforms. The last day of military influence on campus came at Founder’s Day in 1950 when uniforms were changed to coats and ties thereafter.
The 51-acre site grew to encompass a campus of nearly a dozen buildings and residences. Buildings on the property at one time included Van Rensselaer Hall, Monro Hall, Schoellkopf Hall, Edgewood, the Walker Residence, the Buscaglia-Castellani Art Gallery, a carriage house, boiler house and three residential homes.

(DeVeaux Woods State Park, Niagara Falls, USA)

DeVeaux College fell on hard times as the demand for prep-school education continued to decline in the 20th century. The Episcopal Diocese ceased operations at the school in 1971 and looked for someone else to accept the burden of taking care of the historic structures. Subsequent property owners or lessees include Niagara County, Niagara Falls, Niagara University, BOCES, Niagara County Community College and currently New York States Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation who christened the property DeVeaux Woods State Park.

Information Cyberharvested from and the photo is from the Niagara Falls Public Library's Local History Department.

If you have any photos or stories about this subject and you would like to submit them to the site, we'll gladly post 'em! Is your family from the DeVeaux area in Niagara Falls? Add to the archive! Email -


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

JustinTyme on the River Family Restaurant

When I was a little kid, the crew of us that rode our bikes around Cayuga Island and played at Jayne Park would peddle over to the Lighthouse Restaurant on Buffalo Avenue once a week to enjoy a hot dog or a burger while the summer days breezed past. Flash forward 15 years and you'd find us at the same location (during one of its many incarnations) at Dockers, playing volleyball on Tuesday nights and afterwards enjoying some adult beverages while watching those dancing on the dance floor to the latest pop songs booming from the bar's speaker system.

The establishment at 7611 Buffalo Avenue in LaSalle may have had many different names and themes over the past few decades, so when I arranged with JustinTyme's to come in and do a review of their new fingerprint on the building, I didn't know what to expect... and honestly, from what I have seen or heard about the last few tries from business owners at that location, I didn't expect much - whoa, was I wrong!

The Chickadee and I pulled up on Friday around 7pm, and after finally finding a decent parking spot amidst a sea of vehicles, we entered the building. This place was HOPPIN'! We put our names down on the waiting list (about 30 minutes we were told) and took in the sights. The general motif of JustinTyme's is a motorhead's dream! If the guys in my highschool's auto shop class were given the project of building their own version of an Applebee's, JustinTyme on the River would be their result. Now, I am more of an NFL die-hard and I generally lean away from anything NASCAR related, but after being there for about five minutes, I started looking forward to the first NASCAR race in Daytona and I started wondering just how fast my Blazer could go down the Robert Moses if I really floored it... maybe it was the hundreds of license plates hanging or the rear ends of classic automobiles sticking out of the walls the way a hunter would hang his prized deer head, but whatever the reason, the motor oil ambiance of the place was hard to ignore!

We were seated within ten minutes and handed a race car styled menu chock full of tastes for every palette. Choosing from the Warm Up Laps, Liquid Fuel, Victory Laps, and Home Stretch Desserts there is plenty of options for every taste. In fact, there isn't enough space in this article to list every offering but let me hit ya up with a few to get your taste buds yearning: Grandma's Pot Roast, The BigFoot Burger, 12oz. Steak Platter, and Southern Pecan Pie just to name a few.

The prices are very reasonable, burgers and sandwiches average about $7.00 and come with fries and larger dinners average about $11.00. I ordered Grandma's Homemade Meatloaf and it came with a choice of soup and potato. The Chickadee ordered the Friday Fish Fry with potato and cole slaw. My dinner was absolutely fantastic and large enough for a big eater like myself. The fish fry was crispy on the outside and perfect on the inside. That fish fry was possibly the best I've ever had... hmmm, I'll have to try it again sometime before I make that judgement! For both meals, the portions were large and the taste was delicious.

The wait time for getting seated was quicker than estimated, the customer service was good, the food came out fast, and the restaurant is very clean and comfortable. I am recommending JustinTyme on the River to anyone who is within earshot (or for the sake of this blog, I guess I would say eyeshot? uh... just trust me on this one). My expectations were surpassed and I definitely plan on visiting again. Not only did they offer great food at a great price, but overall, it was fun place to visit and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and having a good time.

Times have changed since Scotty Chambers and I rode our bikes to the Lighthouse, and times have definitely changed since Tony Kutis was bustin' moves on the dance floor at Dockers, but in this case, times have changed for the better! Visit JustinTyme on the River Family Restaurant today and help support a local business that is making its mark in LaSalle. You won't be disappointed!

Justin Tyme on the River Family Restaurant also offers an extensive take out menu as well as a catering menu. You can visit their website by
clicking here.

Justin Tyme on the River Family Restaurant
7611 Buffalo Ave. Phone: (716) 283-1339 Fax: (716) 283-1377
Serving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

From their website:

Justin Tyme On The River offers a wide selection of food favorites.With more than 16 years of service, our caring staff and talented chefsare dedicated to making your dining adventure fun, relaxing, and pleasurable.Whether you bring your family in for quality time together or gather with your friendsfor a hearty meal, our family-owned and operated restaurant is the perfect place for you!

For the best food and catering services, come to our restaurant! Private Banquet room for up to 40 people.

Voted best "Beef on Weck" and "Best French Fries"in Niagara Falls by Niagara Readers Choice Award 2005. New Menu!
Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Joining the "Y"

(Click on image for larger photo)

After much deliberation and numerous pizzas and submarines, I decided that it was time (long overdue) to join a gym and get back into the swing of things. There are at least a dozen or more (published in the phone book) health/fitness gyms to choose from in the Niagara Falls area. After touring several, and while serving as your dedicated StenzTV owner, operator, publisher, editor, contributor, photographer (etc...etc!), I felt it was my civic duty to give my dough (catch the double meaning) to a community serving establishment, so I joined the YMCA on Portage Road.

I used to be on the Raquetball Team in high school (LaSalle Senior High School) and we held our weekly matches at the Y. The Y we used to visit and the Y that exists now are two totally different entities. I remember the Y being fairly run-down and in need of many improvements and updates... stale air and chipping paint come to mind. It was nice to see that these memories have been left to the past - the Y now is fresh and clean, offering hundreds of pieces of new equipment, clean rooms (including totally new tile and lockers), and also contemporary fitness classes and programs. The men's locker room has new tile and lockers and is kept clean and in good order.

Along with all of the new equipment and improvements, a lot of the old equipment still has its use and its place - free weights, the sauna, the courts (raquetball and basketball), the pool, the steam room, and so on... a fatty like me has everything he needs! Now its just a matter walking through the doors and doin' work!

Take a look at their website, but better yet, stop by and ask for a tour of the facility. Its nice to see that an old friend is still keeping up and lookin' better than ever.

For more information - click here: