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I was really torn. Tim, who had come to visit from Germany, had never been to a diner. So I had to make the choice- take him for that necessary diner experience or take him to a home-y restaurant that serves ridiculously good food. I know that it’s a crime that I let him leave the country without going to a diner, but in the end, I think good food triumphs all.

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On the weekends, this place has an enormous line for brunch. I came here once for brunch and I was really impressed with the quality of ingredients and low key presentation, all of which made it a meal reminiscent of a really good home cooked meal (well, presuming that my mother would actually make this). The prices are average for brunch, but the portion sizes are a bit smaller than normal (which I guess would be normal in any other country).

Tim’s a vegetarian and even here, it was a bit difficult finding vegetarian options. Most of the pastas, salads, and sandwiches contain meat, although I’m sure he could have substituted the meat with something. I think that during his stay, he had grown quite fond of mac and cheese so he ordered the Downtown Mac & Cheese (which isn’t listed on the online menu for some reason… maybe it’s new?). I have to say, it was really weird watching it come not with macaroni, but with penne. I asked him where was the best mac and cheese he had in America and he said that this was among the top.

I opted for a bit pricey but totally worth it Curried Chicken Salad. It was served with chunks of apples, raisins, walnuts, and grapes. It didn’t look that appetizing when it came and initially I was disappointed that they gave more chicken than greens, but that curried chicken was amazing! I don’t even like cold chicken in salad! It’s not spicy or anything. In fact, it’s only mildly curry tasting, but the flavors are spot on.

Service was a bit slow, but the runner was great with the water. It definitely hit the high 80s by the time we got here for lunch so we killed two glasses of water right after the other, but the runner never let our glasses run too low. Too bad the server was really slow, or else it would have been the complete lunch experience.

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77 Irving Pl., New York, NY 10003
nr. 19th St.  See Map | Subway Directions

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