Diamond Jim Brady, World Famous Glutton

The New York Times recently published an article debunking the gastronomic capabilities of “Diamond” Jim Brady, an entrepreneur and hearty eater from around the turn of the century.

Legend has it that Diamond Jim would down: “…a hefty breakfast of eggs, breads, muffins, grits, pancakes, steaks, chops, fried potatoes, and pitchers of orange juice. He’d stave off mid-morning hunger by downing two or three dozen clams or oysters, then repair to Delmonico’s or Rector’s for a lunch that consisted of more oysters and clams, lobsters, crabs, a joint of beef, pie, and more orange juice.”

For dinner: “Three dozen oysters a dozen crabs, six or seven lobsters, terrapin soup,” and a steak, with a dessert of “a tray full of pastries… and two pounds of bonbons.” Later in the evening, allegedly, came an après-theater supper of “a few game birds and more orange juice.””

The times test the legitimacy of Jim’s tall tale, but also has this to add:

“Indeed, who among us, especially at this time of year, doesn’t fantasize about simply letting go as Brady did, eating every rich thing set before us, impervious to guilt, health consequences or vanity? “I’d be obscenely fat, yes,” one thinks, “but I’d be celebratedly obscenely fat.”’

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