Tag Archives: diner

Empire Diner

NOTE: THIS JOINT IS NOW  UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP

Chef Amanda Freitag’s upscale diner (which I like to refer to as a “finer”) really delivers some solid menu items. My wife and I popped in for lunch when it was crowded and took a comfortable seat at the large, old fashioned art-deco inspired bar area.

empire diner interior

empire diner eat

We started with some cocktails. I had a jalapeño bloody Mary, and my wife had a riff on the Pimm’s Cup cocktail. Both were masterfully mixed. Look at the size of the basil floating in my wife’s drink! It was a mutant leaf.

empire diner drinks

Our meal came out a bit backwards, as the pop tarts arrived first, and we sort of assumed they were more of a dessert item. I guess they are there for the brunch menu. They were filled with apricot jam and had a nice, light texture to the strudel-style dough pocket. Very nice, and actually kind of filling for only $6 a pair.

empire diner pop tart 1

empire diner pop tart 2

I had the burger. This is a top contender. It comes garnished with red onion, cheddar cheese, pickles and a Big Mac style special sauce. Really tasty, and the gooey cheese is enough to solve any problems in the event your patty comes out cooked too much. At first, I thought mine was a little beyond medium, but it was fine once I got into the center a bit more. The bun is brioche style, but it isn’t flaky or weak. I prefer a potato bun, but this was fine.

empire diner burger 1

empire diner burger cut

This is a great buy at $13, because you get the salt and pepper fries in a pretty good portion size on the side as well. And let me just say: these fries were fucking amazing.

empire diner fries

My wife ordered the fish and chips. The portion size was pretty large, although her plate came with less fries than my burger plate. The fish was a large single piece that was enveloped in a really nice batter. My wife referred to it as “fish Wellington.” The fish itself was a cod; nice and flaky, and perfectly cooked.

empire diner fish chips

Square Diner

One of my all time favorite diners to eat at is down in Tribeca. The place is small, and they keep their prices fucking LOW. It’s a low key little joint where you almost feel like you’ve stepped into suburbia, if not for the occasional celebrity dining across from you in sunglasses with a newspaper in front of their face. I always went for standard diner fare here, like eggs, pancakes, burgers, fries, and shakes. Never disappointed for what it is.

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I went to law school around the block from this little hole in the wall, and my first impression upon seeing it and walking in was that it was going to suck. It’s just a skinny, narrow little one story building with old school signage. But I have to say – this diner is one of the best I’ve ever been to in my life. The food is CHEAP too, but very good. Prime example is the burger. For under $10 you can get a burger deluxe with fries and a drink, and it’s good shit. The interior is close quarters: there’s a bar seating area and a dozen or so tables that stretch back into a narrowing corner. The fun part is that on occasion you will see some famous actors who live nearby eating there or grabbing coffee. This place is definitely worth a try, at the very least for the nostalgia and cheap-eats aspect. You will feel like you are out of town for sure.

SQUARE DINER
33 Leonard St.
New York, NY 10013