There's nothing small about Lumpy's Diner Express. It's not just that its eight-page menu is stocked with a variety of burgers, hot dogs, and other diner favorites—it's that it features several "Big Appetite" challenges, including one that requires diners to devour a burger that weighs more than 4 pounds and is loaded with at least six different toppings.
Lest its diners think that Lumpy's only features heavy meals, it offers healthy choices such as low-fat bison patties, grilled chicken, and protein shots for the milkshakes. An array of theme nights—such as Car and Bike night Mondays—and Betsy Ross look-alike contests round out Lumpy's all-American vibe.
Retro memorabilia overlooks the aqua and crimson formica booths of Hubcaps Diner, where the friendly waitstaff hums along to hit tunes from the '50s and '60s as they serve up trays of Dryer’s old-fashioned milkshakes and classic diner eats. Chefs man the breakfast griddle all day long, churning out waffles and gravy-slathered biscuits alongside a plethora of omelet and scramble options made with a choice of eggs, egg whites, or Eggbeaters. The diner also specializes in hearty American comfort food, such as Evergood polish sausages, chicken-fried steak, and albacore-tuna melts, which can be washed down with a steaming slice of pie à la mode or a choice of beer or wine. Rounding out the diner feel, the shop mixes up soda-fountain favorites, fashioning Dryer’s premium ice cream into banana splits, sundaes layered in hot fudge, and foamy root-beer floats you can hide your date's keys in.
Saul's was highlighted by the New York Times for its organic, often locally sourced, deli-style comestibles catered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mumbling morning bellies make peace with platters of smoked salmon accompanied by bagels and cream cheese ($75 for 10 people), washed down with freshly squeezed orange juice ($2.50/person). Disseminate hors d'oeuvres such as the hummus platter, which comes with pitas, olives, and feta ($12–$35), or deal in knishes ($2.50/person) and latkes ($2.25/person). Customizable meat platters can feed between 5 and 20 hungry humans or two famished bicycles with a selection of turkey, pastrami, roast beef, or corned beef ($40–$135). Five varieties of fresh bread and a posse of condiments and sandwich vegetables chaperon the savory slices. Wet whistles and other woodwind instruments with bottles of cane-sugar sodas ($3 each), and sate sweet teeth with cookie platters ($3/person) or a whole cheesecake to toss at insubordinate bassoonists ($38).
Almost anything could happen to a chicken wing in PS Eatery’s kitchen. The culinary team could crisply fry it and dunk it in buffalo spices, or prepare it Asian-style, tossing it in fish sauce. The eatery specializes in comfort food with a twist, adding flavorful touches and Asian influences to its classic platters. The mac and cheese, for instance, comes crowned in Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs and mixed with spicy tuna. Grilled pork loins arrive sided with tasty tangles of spaghetti chow mein, and even the humble veggie burger is reinvented with six layers of yellow squash, eggplant, and zucchini, rather than the standard autumn leaves.
The cooks at Velvet Grill & Creamery stay busy all day, whipping up breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes from scratch and churning out fresh batches of more than 20 ice-cream flavors throughout the day. For breakfast, the denver omelet throws diced ham, cheddar cheese, and bell peppers together with three eggs ($8.39), and Velvet's original pancakes, made with real oatmeal and buttermilk, soak up amber syrup ($4.99 for a full order). Smoked pork chops bask in a tangy apricot glaze alongside grilled vegetables ($11.99), and the mega grilled cheese ($7.39) combines four kinds of melted, gooey cheese between three slices of bread to form a sandwich hefty enough to knock over Mechagodzilla should he return from his semester abroad in Prague.
For more than 50 years, Tiburon Diner was known as Dave and Mike's—an "Adult Day Care Center," as its menu proclaimed. Dave retired in early 2012, and the business adopted its current moniker, changing its name but remaining a place for Tiburonites to sit down at the counter over cups of coffee, browse the eatery's free WiFi , and eat their morning newspapers. In the kitchen, Mike (the head chef) prepares heartier helpings of large pancakes and three-cheese omelets for breakfast and patty melts and half-pound burgers for lunch, serving each plate amid the diner's homey decor of blue trim and vintage photographs of Old Tiburon.