The diner. Possibly the most American of all restaurants, the diner has been ingrained into American society as one of the pinnacles of our culinary culture. Everything from classic art to ironic upscale dining has used the American diner for a sense of inspiration. However, in New York City, you're probably more inclined to find the best diners are of a more Mediterranean variety.
Yes, the Greek have usurped the American when it comes to this subject. And while the Greek may have had some trouble managing their funds back home, over here they've had no trouble managing some of the best 24-hour food and coffee joints around.
With all the options, the best diner has to go beyond just the food. Diners should be homey, evoking a sense of neighborhood friendliness that is all too uncommon in this great, cruel city of ours. In this sense, I can't think of a better place than Family Corner Restaurant in Astoria.
With Spiros and company, you feel as if you're not in one of the most densely populated cities in the world. From the minute you walk through the door, you're treated to a sense of familiarity that immediately puts you at ease.
Then you get to the menu, and you realize that this is a diner with its bases covered. Everyone at your table should be able to find what they're in the mood for, but I would personally recommend the gyro. Yes, there are a plethora of options available, especially in this part of the city. But the gyro is what they do best, and if you're going to bailout your appetite, then do it in the Family Corner.
Hungry for more? Catch the "global perfection" episode of "1st Look" Saturday after "Saturday Night Live" on NBC for more international bites!