Tag Archives: Monticello NY

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?
westway_diner (2)


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!!!!
westway_corned_beef_benedict (6)
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!
westway_diner_hash_browns (17)
These also come with a whole lotta hash browns. Crispy on top, but soft in the middle — dude, this is body by hash browns!!!!
tick_tock_diner (2)


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!
tick_tock_chicken_waffles (5)
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.
tick_tock_chicken_waffles (8)
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…


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.
tillys_diner (3)

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:
tillys_diner_farmer_omelette (6)
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!!!!

This Fat Sandwich has my name all over it…

So, we’re hanging out in Monticello, NY, a couple hours north of New York City, and about 10 miles from Bethel Woods, where they had the first Woodstock back in 1969. Now, we’ve got a couple hours to kill before a concert, so we’re heading over to Colosseo, this funky litltle Italian joint serving up all kinds of pizza, pasta, cheesesteaks and hoagies. You KNOW this is my kinda place, bro!!!!

colosseo_fried_ravioli (4)

We’re starting off with some fried cheese ravioli, coming in hot and crunchy, with oozy cheese and some marinara for dipping. Mamma Mia!!!

colosseo_fat_sandwich (23)

But now it’s time for the main event. They call this the Fat Sandwich, and it’s definitely not meant for skinny people. You’ve got fried chicken, mozzarella sticks, French fries, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, onion and tomato, all topped with ranch dressing. Shut the front, back and side doors!!!!!!

The fried chicken is definitely the star of the show here, along with the ranch. Veggies are stacked on top, so you don’t get them in every bite, but the lettuce and onion add a bit of crunch. Man, even the bread is good — a nice, chewy baguette roll. And it’s only 10 bucks, bro!!!!!!!

birra_moretti (3)

Now, this might not be an authentic Italian meal, but we’re washing it down with a real-deal Italian beer. Birra Moretti is only 5 bucks at this place, which is about half the price you’d pay in Toronto — so I think I’ll have at least a couple of these…

colosseo_chocolate_lava_cake (3)

But you know me, I’ve still got room for dessert, bro! And this is body by chocolate lava cake, so I gotta go with that. It normally comes with vanilla ice cream, but they were all outta vanilla, so they gave me chocolate ice cream instead. No such thing as too much chocolate, son! While the lava seems to be more on top than inside, it’s still nice and warm, especially once you get to the middle.

And you know you’re not in the Big Apple (or the Big Smoke) anymore when this entire meal costs 50 bucks — after tax and tip!!!!