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.
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.
Famous Restaurant's menu spans the globe, picking the best American, Greek, Italian, Belgian, and Indian dishes to satisfy just about any craving. Diners can fill up for the day with breakfast dishes such as corned beef and hash or belgian waffles served with ham, bacon, or sausage. At lunch and dinner, Mediterranean-inspired entrees include spanakopita and chicken souvlaki paired with fresh greek salad, and Italian options include veal or shrimp parmigiana. There are also Mediterranean burgers topped with vine-ripened tomatoes and feta, as well as Texas burgers with fried egg. And on Thursday, Famous hosts its Taste of India and fills with the heady scents of ginger-infused roasted eggplant and garlic-marinated chicken kebabs.
Chef Cheryl Smith builds home-style meals that incorporate global flavors into rustic recipes using techniques she has shared on Food Network features including Melting Pot, Soul Kitchen, and Gordon Elliot's Doorknock Dinners. Market-fresh dishes blend seasonal and regionally sourced ingredients, astounding savor receptors with the latest tastes from farmers' market flavor runways. At lunch, baked goods and crisp salads share satiating duties with personified sandwiches including the Steve, made with cured bacon and vine-ripened tomatoes ($7.95). Dinner selections fuse agrarian fare standards with worldly accents such as Moroccan vegetable stew over rice pilaf ($15.00) or Korean marinated rib-eye steak and watercress salad ($22.00).
Regional Flavors | Diner-Style Cuisine | Vegetarian Options | Retro Vibe
When to Go: To experience the blue-collar spirit that makes Bonnie's great, swing by on Sunday to cheer for owner Mike Naber's hometown heroes, the Buffalo Bills.
While You're Waiting
Inside Tip: Since the diner specializes in Buffalo staples, such as beef on weck and chicken wings, go all-in and order a regional beer—perhaps a Genesee Cream Ale—to go with your meal.
While You're in the Neighborhood
Save the world: Stock up on capes and secret identities at the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. (372 5th Avenue), a nonprofit storefront that benefits 826 NYC's creative-writing programs for kids.
Save your tongue: Soothe a buffalo-sauce-scorched palate with frozen yogurt made from local milk at Culture (331 5th Avenue).