Bowing to my middlebrow appetite: Give me a good diner any day

(Photo: DY, 2015)

Silver Diner, Reston, Virginia (Photo: DY)

When it comes to food, my tastes are distinctly middlebrow. Fancy French meals? Nah. Pricey steakhouses? Ok, but I don’t crave them. A place setting with multiple forks, spoons, and glasses? Too confusing.

If there’s a type of restaurant that best captures my appetite, it’s a good quality diner, with a menu featuring sandwiches & burgers, comfort food entrées, salads without too much junk in them, and day-long breakfast offerings.

Oh, I can enjoy pizza and seafood. And Asian food agrees with me, as do many other ethnic cuisines.

But there’s something about diner fare that I just like.

Pictured above is the Silver Diner in Reston, Virginia, part of a small chain in the Washington D.C. metro region. When I visit friends in Northern Virginia, a meal at the Silver Diner is usually part of my stay. Breakfasts, burgers, dinner platters, desserts — all very good, at decent prices.

The Cozy Soup 'n' Burger, Broadway & Astor Place, NYC

The Cozy Soup ‘n’ Burger, Broadway & Astor Place, NYC (Photo: DY)

When I moved to New York City in 1982, it seemed that diners were everywhere, especially in Manhattan! Many are simply gems, and my favorite is the Cozy Soup ‘n’ Burger on Broadway & Astor Place in Greenwich Village.

My law school pal Joel introduced me to the Cozy during our second year at NYU, and I was a regular customer throughout my years in New York. I still go there almost every time I’m in the city, sometimes twice! My order is usually the same: Turkey burger (I top it with ketchup and cole slaw), a cup of split pea soup (really awesome), and occasionally an order of rice pudding (rich & creamy).

Oh boy, this is making me hungry. And I’m writing this post here in Boston, where diner fare is scarce. You see, although Boston has its share of good eateries, it is woefully lacking in quality diners. I think a city has to be more of a 24-hour kind of place to support a multiplicity of diners, and that’s just not Boston.

I’m sure I’ll find something else to my liking. In the meantime, if the owners of the Cozy Soup ‘n’ Burger or Silver Diner want to open a restaurant close to my home or work, I pledge to be a loyal customer.

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