NYC grub is not all about the fancy pants celebrity hot spots and trendiest new openings. Lets not forget about the killer mom and pop shops that provide us with reliable, consistent and delicious food.
When I first moved to NYC, this spot was, not-so-conveniently-when-you-don’t-want-to-be-a-drunk-fatasss-ordering-cheese-fries-at-4am, located right next door to my apartment. To make matters worse, it was open 24 hours. Not only did we stumble in there belligerent for late night drunk food, we showed up the next afternoon for breakfast and sometimes took it as far as ordering dinner from there to. If that’s not customer loyalty, then I don’t know what is.
Being a Jersey girl, a diner is as nostalgic to me as Elvis was to my grandparents, or bell bottoms were to my parents, uh yeah not sure if that made sense but - you get my drift.
A few criteria to be a good diner in my eyes:
1. Owned by Greeks.
2. Their tuna salad wrap must be the shit.
3. They have to have those nasty, hard, tasteless cookies sitting by the cash register.
4. Should be at least 2 diners over the age of 75 eating there at all times.
Nice decor! What did I tell you – old people top right?
Midtown Restaurant fit the bill and I must pay tribute to this place.
You can peep the menu here
, but here are a few of the diner staples I frequently got there and thoroughly enjoyed:
Cheese Fries! My roommates and I typically argued over mozz vs. chedder vs. chili (that was me) – so we usually all ended up with our own order [insert beast comment]. Usually with a side of ketchup, honey mustard and ranch.
Tuna Salad Wrap: Like I said earlier, diner staple and judgement of quality. Loved this. Midtown actually puts avocado in their wrap which sounds weird, but tastes great. And I always order a side of their house balsamic for dipping. Their house balsamic = the shit.
Matzoh Ball Soup
Matzoh Ball Soup: Another diner staple. Wasn’t a fan of the chicken scrappings but I loved their soup and when I was feeling like a healthy drunk, this was my order.
Apt 8A Greek Salad: Since my roommates and I invented this salad and always ordered it, I think it is only appropriate it gets placed on the menu and named after us. It included, roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, feta, cucumbers, onions, grape leaves, tomato (chopped)… and what set it apart: NO lettuce. Side of Melba toast and extra extra house balsamic (for toast dipping). I’m surprised we didn’t drink that dressing we were that obsessed.
I won’t drag this post on forever; but we also got burgers, omelettes (house fries extra crispy), paninis, bagels, milkshakes, gyros… the list goes on. And we were never disappointed.
& a plus..friendly staff that knew our names. True sign that we were fatasses!!
UPDATE: Written pre-Celiac
Rating: A- So close to A but they don’t have normal quesadillas (more like a taquito)
Pros: Inexpensive, authentic diner in the heart of midtown Manhattan
Cons: Open 24 hrs and I lived next door – thankfully I moved and lost 5 lbs as a result.
Midtown Restaurant: 155 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022, USA (212) 644-1611