Recommedation: If you like sushi, you need to go here. Seek it out and enjoy!
The Brooklyn Diner. On the last evening of my business trip to NYC last week, I found myself flying solo. In those instances, I like to find a friendly place to sit at the bar or counter and eat - no hassles trying to get table and I avoid looking like to big a loser sitting alone. You'd be surprised how difficult this is to do actually as most places that the masses know about fill up by 6:30 or 7 p.m. and no bar stools are open. Anyway, a couple weeks ago my buddy Ken - who used to live in New York - said that I should go to The Brooklyn Diner. With this little nugget of info, I decided to give it a try.
Now, the first thing to know is that The Brooklyn Diner is not in Brooklyn. No, it has two locations, but they are in Manhattan. I went to the original up on 57th Street between 7th Ave. and Broadway.
Next, the theme here is upscale comfort food a la Brooklyn. So, hot pastrami sandwiches, burgers, chicken pot pie, pot roast, lasagna, mac & cheese...well, you get the shtick. In terms of decor, this place is modeled after what original diners really were - train diner cars turned into stationary restaurants. This is not to say that it's a narrow little space, but rather that the ambiance and decor echoes that look with a bit of 50s style thrown in. I especially liked the dual TVs above the bar playing the classic old movie, The Man in the Iron Mask.
And so it was that I found a stool at the counter and proceeded to order a salad, pot pie and a Brooklyn Ale from the friendly waiter from Brazil working the bar area. The service was quick, but not too quick. My pot pie came to me piping hot and I have to say was quite delicious. As I ate, a couple theater-goers drifted in to the counter for a pre-show drink and chatted. As they talked, I noticed the massive cheesecakes and other pasteries sitting there behind the bar. Unfortunately, I stuffed myself on my diner so had to pass.
Recommendation: Not a "must-eat-at place," but one to check out if you're craving comfort food or you want that pre-Broadway show bite, a casual place for an after show drink or desert - or if like me you're looking for a friendly, easy place to eat solo.