Made-to-order deli sandwiches, cheesesteaks, and hoagies filled with homemade tuna salad or first-cut corned beef anchor the menu at Not Just Sandwiches. But, as the name implies, there's more to the restaurant than meats and breads. Each day, cooks prepare homemade pastas, seafood, and soups as well as selections from a full breakfast menu, all of which are served in a cozy dining area. They cater as well, supplying get-togethers with steaming trays of chicken parmesan, meatballs in a homemade marinara sauce, and garlic mashed potatoes that can feed up to 30 people or appease the monsters in your basement for one more night.
Striving to highlight the diversity of India’s regional cuisine, the cooks at Mehek Restaurant have mastered vegetarian, seafood, lamb, chicken, and rice dishes from across the subcontinent. The eatery’s name, which means “aroma,” serves as a playful tribute to the way each creation from the expansive menu sates several senses at once. Kebabs, vindaloos, masalas, and biryanis can all be ordered with various proteins, and glasses of mango lassi cool off spicy bites. Mehek also offers a buffet rich with options for vegetarians, meat-eaters, and those on strict naan diets.
Diners at Formosa Asian Cuisine certainly can't complain about a lack of choices: more than 100 pad thai, fried rice, and curry dishes fill the menu, which is organized into beef, chicken, pork, and seafood categories. Quite a few of the dishes turn up the heat—the Dragon & Phoenix tosses jumbo shrimp and general tso's chicken in chili sauce—and others deliver crispy textures, such as the deep-fried duck. Diners savor these meals and sip BYOB beverages in a dining room replete with tasteful touches from pale-pink seating and blond-wood accents to linen napkins folded to eerily resemble your favorite Beatle.
Ruby's Diner has dedicated more than 25 years to dishing up mouthwatering menus of all-American grilled goodies, served in an old-fashioned atmosphere replete with a highly trained staff and lightning-fast service. Fix fangs into a third of a pound of all-natural USDA Choice beef from grass-fed, hormone-free cows with the hickory burger, bursting with thick-cut hickory-smoked bacon, steak-cut onion rings, melted cheddar, and tangy barbecue sauce ($9.99). A refillable bounty of Ruby's famous fries accompanies all burgers and sandwiches and boasts zero trans-fats, and those willing to dish out an extra dollar and an exaggerated pronunciation of the word "spicy" can opt to spicy up frisky frites with garlic, Cajun, and parmesan-blue spices.
The Comfort Diner, which moved to Staten Island after 14 years in Manhattan, dresses up the traditional diner experience with classic comfort eats and modern-day hearty fare. Keep your growling stomach from frightening friendly ghosts by stuffing it with wild mushroom potato pancakes ($6.95), or start your chew cruise with mozzarella wedges ($6.95), which combine the food world’s most delicious cheese with the geometry world’s most delicious shape. The taco salad ($10.95) gives Mexico’s best-known culinary contribution a fork-friendly format, and oven-crisped fish and chips ($14.95) provide all of the flavor of the British classic without the sizzle of the deep fryer or the voyeuristic glare of Big Ben. Bread-heads can wrap their food-gripping phalanges around an array of sandwiches, such as a grilled chicken club ($8.95) or a Maine crab burger ($13.95), while proteiny-boppers can swoon over double-thick pork chops with homemade applesauce ($14.95). For herbivores, Comfort Diner slings savory angel-hair pasta with white-wine sauce ($10.95) and big bowls of veggie chili ($9.95). Breakfast and brunch options also satisfy early risers or late-to-bedders.
At any hour of the day or night, patrons can slide into Darling’s Diner’s modern, orange booths and order breakfast specialties or homestyle lunches and dinners—many with low-cal and vegan options. The cooks whip up favorites such as club sandwiches and three-egg omelets 24 hours a day as an homage to the classic diners that tirelessly fed humanity’s ancestors. On the more modern side of the spectrum, they man a full bar that’s open until 2 a.m., mixing vintage-themed cocktails and doling out beers. The indoor seating’s cozy glow of warm pendant lights is juxtaposed by the patio, where diners can nibble on cheesecake-stuffed french toast or grilled corned beef reubens—with slow-cooked kraut on Kaplan’s Rye bread—in open air. In addition to its diner dishes, the kitchen is known for its Philadelphia-style cheesecakes, which range from classic to berry cuvee with guava.