Tag Archives: diners

Upper West Side: Key West Diner Reopens as Manhattan Diner on Upper Broadway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tina Fey graces the wall of the Manhattan diner. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

Garish appears to be the decor of choice for any diner that’s located on Broadway between 94th and 95th streets. Manhattan Diner, a remake of the venerable Key West Diner, hews to that course with a mishmash of blues, reds and yellows, evoking an 80s disco down on its luck. (This new Manhattan Diner is also a replacement for the old Manhattan Diner at 77th and Broadway, according to MyUpperWest; yes, it’s confusing.)

The look is a bit jarring, but that’s OK.  It’s a diner. A huge blow-up photo of Tina Fey hangs on the wall.Wonder if she goes there for a quick omelet before work?

I loved the feel of the old spot. All those 1970s faux-tropical pinks and turquoises, not to mention the flamingos. It was a great piece of kitsch.

Manhattan Diner, Broadway, Upper West Side. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

A major improvement is the food. Of the three diners in the neighborhood run by the same owners–Metro, City and Key West–Key West was the weakest on the good eats scale. The grilled cheese was fine, but not as oozingly tasty as up the street at the Metro Diner. That situation has been remedied! Now, you can get a grilled cheese and tomato (the acid test for an establishment calling itself a diner) that’s overflowing with melted cheese and grilled to perfection.

“Business is just OK,” the manager told me. “I don’t think people know we’re here,” he said.

Now you do. Can’t speak for the food other than the grilled cheese but Yelpsters have given it a thumbs up.

Manhattan Diner (the old Key West Diner)

2532 Broadway
Between 93rd and 94th streets
New York, NY 10025

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Want Great Oatmeal? Try Metro Diner on the Upper West Side

I eat oatmeal most mornings and consider myself a bit of a connoisseur. Mostly, when you eat it out at a restaurant or diner a serving of oatmeal is runny or lumpy. But Metro Diner at Broadway and 100th Street cooks up an outstanding bowl of of the humble gruel. What’s more, if you ask, they’ll top it with a heaping serving of blueberries, each one the size of a Concord grape.

Girl eating oatmeal. Photo by by mliu92 via flickr.

Not in the mood to schlep to the Metro Diner? You can make this at home. Here’s how it’s done according to Nick the manager:

Use Quaker instant oatmeal (probably the fancy organic stuff works too) and use milk instead of water. It’s that simple.

At Metro Diner, they first prepare their oatmeal at 6 a.m. Then they keep it hot throughout the day over a pan of hot water.

Sometimes the simplest things are the best.

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Sneak Peak: Key West Diner on Upper West Side Dropping Tropical Look; New Name Needed

The Key West Diner is being renovated. Photo: Laura B. Weiss

For 22 years, the Key West diner, an Upper West Side institution, has served standard diner fare in tropical-themed dining room that can only be described as extreme diner kitsch. Now, the neighborhood eatery which for years has boasted a vibrant–some might say garish—turquoise and tangerine decor designed to evoke its sub-tropical namesake, is undergoing a gut renovation intended to create a more modern look.

When will the new place, a favorite of upper Broadway denizens and of guests of the Hotel Newton next door, open?  November, says owner Frank Tsiamtsiouris.

And, to go with the new, sleeker interior, management is searching for a new name for the place. The owners are asking the public for suggestions. Send  them as comments to this post, and I’ll pass them on.

Key West Diner pre-renovation in its tropical phase.

As for the menu, “it will be pretty much the same,” says Tsiamtsiouris. That means you’ll still be able to get their refreshing fresh squeezed lemonade—maybe the last of its type in any diner in New York.  Also likely to be kept around are the gargantuan omletes, mammoth salads that are enough to feed a family of five and other over-sized dishes.

As for the color scheme, dabs of tangerine will still exist here and there. But “there will be some browns, along with a higher ceiling, and a terrazzo floor,” says Tsiamtsiouris, who also owns the nearby Metro and City diners on Broadway as well as two other diners elsewhere in the city.

“After 23 years, the floor was breaking” and there was other structural deterioration too, he says, explaining why he decided to renovate now.

Key West Diner
2532 Broadway
New York, NY (Btwn 94th & 95th St)
212 932-0068

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The Best Diner Rice Pudding

On our way to Cooperstown this weekend, we stopped at the College Diner in New Paltz, NY.  The place happens to be right off the NY Thruway at the New Paltz exit.

In my book, there’s nothing better than diner rice pudding.  The waitress at the College Diner recommended theirs.

It was outstanding–but only if you like your rice pudding really creamy.  If you do, head straight up to New Paltz for the best rice pudding anywhere.

College Diner
500 Main St
New Paltz, NY 12561
845 255 5040
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