Whats for Diner?
Nothing says classic NY like a diner. Here is a breakdown of what the diners in the Central Queens area are known for.
What do you think of when you think of diners? Probably that you can get any type of food, usually at any time of day, for a reasonable price. We asked Benny the owner of Forest Hills Diner at 68-60 Austin Street next to the 112th Police Precint the difference between a diner and a restaurant “a restaurant usually has a focus they serve a type of cuisine where a diner serves all kinds of food” That they do, want chicken parmesan at 8am, you can get it at a diner.
The most recognizable diner of the area is the T-Bone siting proudly at the corner of Queens Blvd and and 71 Ave in Forest Hills. Their blazing neon sign is a Queens icon. They are located right atop of the major subway station. In addition they are one of the few 24/7 diners in the area.
What to get?:
Excellent Tuna Salad Sandwich on toasted rye
Always at the ready Matzoh Ball soup with noodles is the perfect “old sober” after a long night out on the town. Still wobbly after the soup there is a 24 hour taxi stand right outside.
This Austin Street stalwart has been a fixture on Forest Hills busiest shopping strip since the 70’s partners Mike and John keep the mostly older and regular customers happy with super cheap prices on pre-fixe meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Co-owner Mike says, “people want a complete meal”
What to get?
The fish specials are usually a sure bet. Always fresh they offer an assortment of seafood. The writer likes their crabmeat stuffed sole or salmon steak. Where else can you get, Soup or salad, bread, a glass or wine, entree, two side dishes, and dessert for under $11?
Also try the homemade rice pudding.
Forest Hills Diner
This relative newcomer has changed hands a number of times recently now they seem to be making a run of it in the hands of Benny a long time waiter in the “Embers Steakhouse” in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. Benny has shaken the market up a bit with his $9 dollar specials which are a la carte instead of complete meals. They also specialize in Latin Food which none of the other diners do.
What to get?
The $9 dollar specials are always a winner. Try the Pork Chop, Chicken Suizas, and Paella Valencia. Also try the house-made sangria.
The most recognizable diner in a former bank building on Queens Blvd in Rego Park the tall clock tower is certainly a landmark. They are known for having the highest quality as such the prices are reflective.
What to get?
The brisket dinner is a favorite as is the stewed zucchini side dish.
Located just off of the Van Wyck on Queens Blvd in Briarwood this iconic diner has been serving up their Flagship “popovers” for decades
What to Get?
The food is good, but the “popovers” are GREAT! Much like Red Lobster where people go for the biscuits, the Flagship is known for the popovers. Bread baskets used to be standard with diner meals all over the city (now they typically have to be requested and the variety of their contents has been diminished) a popover is rare and delicious treat. So what is a popover? Kind of like a hallow bread roll in the shape of a muffin but with the constancy similar to a croissant. Similar to a Yorkshire Pudding if have tried one,
In Loving Memory: Recently Closed: Metropolitan Diner
Near the Trader Joes / Home Depot on Metropolitan in Forest Hills. This classic “coffee shop” had been run by owner and chef Dino for decades. Not much if anything has changed in years inside, from the nawgahyde stools to the vintage malted machines and blenders. This place could easily be the set for a 1970’s film down to the classic gyro sign,
What to order?
Dino’s special breakfast.
New York, would not be New York without diners so hurry out and enjoy some dinner at breakfast time and to pancakes and eggs at supper!