Digging Into Old School Americana at ‘Diner’ (Brooklyn)
Where else will you find great food and a genteel ambiance than in the heart of hipster central? Yeah, I’m talking about Williamsburg. For all the flack that this trendy-indie-rock-artsy-fartsy neighbourhood gets, it’s certainly delivered by way of serving up on-point dining experiences coupled with the possibility of brunching with an alternative rock legend.
So far…I’m a fan.
Yesterday was a bright sun shiny and mini-heat wave kind of day (the kind where the humidity slaps you upside the head and cajoles you into wearing hot pants, short shorts, mini skirts and/or sleeveless tops that show all kinds of skin) and I walked the walk to Williamsburg for lunch with a friend at an old-school American restaurant by the name of Diner. It’s a place she had been gagging to try for a while, and since I’m up for everything new these days and keen on seeing what’s Intolerant friendly in my new home, I put on my walking shoes and headed in the direction of the Williamsburg Bridge.
Early disclaimer: it was a great suggestion on her part.
The restaurant is a throwback to American diners of the 30s and 40s, with metallic stools, heavy wooden doors, neatly tiled floors and banquettes that lean a little bit to the left and sag a little bit to the right. In short, it’s a bit rough around the edges, but that’s where it’s charm comes from. That along with friendly staff who provide solid service the whole afternoon through.
Servers come by once you have your drink in hand to note down lunch/dinner options on your paper tablecloth. The menu changes daily and dishes are comprised of seasonal, local and predominantly organic items. Not only does everything sounds delicious, but it looks as good as described. I think I got whiplash from craning my neck to see what other patrons were noshing on. There’s meat (for meat lovers), vegetable options (for meat shunners), and all sorts of things in between. While my friend went for a cheese laden egg sandwich that came with a side of homemade fries (by God they tasted fantastic) the server was wonderfully kind in helping me find some options that could be made without anything dairy in the mix.
I settled on a cold zucchini soup (perfect for a muggy spring day) and the romaine salad without parmesan. Both were very simple and to-the-point dishes, though the presentation was nice and they tasted fantastic. The soup was thick and zesty without being too heavy, and the salad was equally fresh with a killer dressing that lightly adorned the chartreuse-coloured leaves.
My friend and I stayed long after we licked our plates clean, enjoying the ambiance, the music drifting over the speakers and each other’s company. Diner is the kind of place that allows for long drawn out lunches and (I can imagine) the kind of dinners where you drink, eat and drink some more, occupying your booth or stool well into the wee hours of the morning. While something alcoholic might inflate your bill into triple digits, the food is quite affordable: our entire lunch ringing in at 35USD.
Mind you, with a wine list like that I say: put your money where your mouth is.
I know I’ll definitely return again.
(between Berry St + Wythe Ave)
South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Monday – Friday 11:00 – 17:00
Monday – Thursday + Sunday 18:00 – 0:00
Friday – Saturday 18:00 – 01:00
Saturday – Sunday 11:00 – 16:00