Tag Archives: diner food

NYC DINER DUEL: Westway Diner vs. Tick Tock Diner

Now, we may be Triple B, not Triple D, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love a good diner, bro! And when it comes to diners, New York City might be the diner capital of Flavourtown. So we’re chowing down at two classic NYC institutions — which one will come out on top?
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WESTWAY DINER

This Hell’s Kitchen diner is apparently the place where Jerry Seinfeld came up with the idea for a show about nothing in the late 80’s. Up on West 43rd and 9th, it’s a pretty big place — you can probably fit about 200 people in here. I heard there was a line, so I got there early…and marched right in at 8 am, when just a few tables were taken (people started filing in at 8:15.) But hey, the early bird gets the corned beef benedict, bro!!!!
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Dude, these are some of the biggest benedicts I’ve seen, bro! Corned beef is nice n crispy, you get some creaminess from the egg, and there’s even a bit of mashed potato in there. And they’re two for $13.50 — that’s a five finger discount in Flavourtown!
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These also come with a whole lotta hash browns. Crispy on top, but soft in the middle — dude, this is body by hash browns!!!!
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TICK TOCK DINER

The party don’t stop at this classic joint, which is open 24 hours a day, on 34th and 8th, across from Madison Square Garden. It’s also attached to the New Yorker Hotel, so if you’re staying there and too hungover to go outside — not that I would know — this is the place for you!
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Most people think of chicken and waffles as a southern soul food staple, but this dish was actually invented in Harlem, back in the day. We might not be quite that far uptown, but I figured I had to check out the Tick Tock’s take on this classic.
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Now, the waffles were nice and fluffy, but I’m not so sure about the chicken. You can definitely call it crispy (this dish is called “crispy chicken and waffles” on the menu), but it’s not a chicken leg or chicken thigh…or even really a chicken tender, more like this vaguely Batman shaped chicken burger. Ever seen those fried chicken patties you could put in a toaster? (Yes, that was actually a thing.) This is what they remind me of.

Also, the piddly little forks they give you often aren’t big enough to spear both chicken and waffles in the same bite, which is a bit of a bummer…

FINAL VERDICT

Tick Tock might be in a great location, and it gets props for being open all night (Westway closes at 9, apparently), but it is definitely more of a tourist trap. For the real-deal diner feel, head up to Hell’s Kitchen.
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BONUS: Tilly’s Diner in Monticello, NY

Sometimes, to find a real-deal diner, you gotta go upstate. We’re hanging out at Tilly’s Diner, this funky little joint a couple hours north of New York City in Monticello. This is one of those places that used to be an old trailer, until they grew big enough to attach a dining room. And it’s completely packed on a Sunday, with a mixture of locals and post-concert checkout crowd from the Best Western two doors down.
But you can still take a seat at the counter, and watch them crank out diner classics, like this three-meat masterpiece in Flavourtown, the Farmer omelette:
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This bad boy is packed with three little pigs — bacon, ham AND sausage — along with peppers, onions and Swiss cheese. You’ve also got home fries and white toast, Blues Brothers style.
This is not subtle food. It’s huge chunks of meat, barely contained by a thin layer of egg, which cheese in the middle. It’s delicious. And it’s only $10.50…about the same price as a supersized sammy at Colosseo next door!!!!

Double bacon breakfast club at a real-deal downtown deli!

Last week, I said we needed to get more diners right here, right now on Triple B. And while the George Street Diner is pretty legit, I just found this funky little joint that’s too legit, too legit to quit, bro! Situated on a small side street just offa Spadina, Avenue Open Kitchen + Deli is serving up classic diner comfort food in a space that seats maybe 20 people…if half of them eat at the counter.

Man, this joint is so old-school that they don’t even have a website, but if you’re headed down the west side of Spadina, between Richmond and Adelaide, you might see a sandwich board with their special of the day. And as much as I’m down with bacon-wrapped meatloaf–dude, this is body by bacon-wrapped meatloaf!–there was something on the breakfast menu that really caught my eye. Say hello to my (not so) little friend, the Avenue Breakfast Clubhouse:

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Dude, this super-stacked brekkie sammy is honky-tonk redonkadonk! You’ve got a nice, thick slab of back bacon, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, and then to top it all off, bacon strips served extra crispy. And you get not one, not two, not three, but four sections to an order, served up with a side of hash browns! It’s like breakfast for lunch AND dinner, bro!!!!

And here’s the crazy part: This massive helping of bacon-y goodness will only set ya back 13 bucks after tax–and that’s almost the most you’ll pay for anything here! Bring your whole family, and come hungry…but you might hafta take the kids outta school, cuz they’re only open from 7 till 4!