2010-08-25 / Restaurant of the Week

Mike's Diner

...has been part of the Astoria landscape since 1928. Located just at the foot of the Ditmars Blvd. train station, nearly everyone stops in at Mike's Diner for delicious breakfasts to stay or to go, satisfying lunches and restaurant-quality dinners. The spotlessly clean diner underwent recent renovations to give a face-lift to this proud establishment. The cover of the menu boasts a black and white photo of the original tin-wall diner from another time in history. Today, owners Gus Sergiadis and Kostas Pavlakos welcome customers with warm hospitality and a clean, comfortable dining room. There's always something cooking, literally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Best of all, the revamped menu offers complete meals at unbelievably low prices so there's no time like the present to enjoy a meal here.

 

Start your morning as early as you like with a plethora of fluffy eggs, French toast, pancakes, muffins, bagels and more. Fill your omelets with your choice of cheese, vegetables and meat for a nice start to the day. The Irish breakfast is a traditional platter of eggs, Irish bacon and sausage, blood pudding, fried tomato, potatoes and toast ($9). Mike's croissant French toast would make a Parisian blush with its egg battered croissant served with two eggs and sausage, topped with melted Swiss cheese. Quotidian egg sandwiches, toast and muffins can be swiftly packed up and taken with you on your way to work, as you catch the train just overhead. Enjoy a leisurely brunch on the weekends when you and your companions can get whatever you crave, served hot and fresh.

At lunch time, wrap your hands around a juicy burger, grilled to order and topped with your favorite cheese, bacon, onions or barbecue sauce with a side of awesome fries. The revamped menu offers plenty of wrap sandwiches filled with grilled chicken, turkey, cheese, vegetables and more so you can find your favorite. Panini sandwiches are assembled on ciabatta bread that can be grilled as you like. Classic diner sandwiches are stacked up with roast turkey, roast beef, chicken salad, bacon, lettuce, tomato and more. A Philly cheese steak sandwich or chicken souvlaki sandwich on pita will keep you full well into the evening for a price that's lower than fast food! I'll be back for the Caprese grilled chicken sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.

Much to my delight, the dinner specials at Mike's Diner are fresh, delicious and generously sized. Most dinner specials run from an amazing $8.95 to $10.95 and include soup or salad and your choice of potato or rice. My dining companion dove into a mammoth portion of broiled salmon stuffed with savory bread crumbs and sweet crab meat. A half of a roasted chicken, broiled pork chops and grilled chicken breast were some other choices on the dinner special menu. The chef at Mike's Diner does a nice job with pasta and alas, there are several options for pasta lovers like me. Fettuccine carbonara is made with chopped onions and smoky bacon while the fettuccine Alfredo has a velvety, creamy sauce. Sautee dishes such as chicken marsala or Francese are so tender, you won't need your fork. I loved the shrimp

Santorini, prepared with nearly a dozen jumbo shrimp, fresh tomato sauce and chunks of feta cheese. Chicken Romano is prepared with tender chicken cutlets sautéed with artichokes, mushrooms, lemon, white wine, garlic and rosemary for a Roman treat. The savory juices can be soaked up by the selection of rolls brought to you, or by a pasta or rice accompaniment.

 

There's a full bar, so you can start with a refreshing cocktail or accompany your meal with a glass or two of wine, as we did. Eleni, the friendly server stopped by frequently to make sure everything was all right. Of course it was, it's Mike's Diner!

Just try to skip dessert when the wait staff tells you about enormous wedges of creamy cheese cake, strawberry shortcake, carrot cake, lemon meringue pie, chocolate cream pie and 7-layer cake. The coffee is rich and robust and Mike's Diner now mixes up gourmet coffee drinks that rival that famous chain. Cool and creamy iced mocha coffee topped with whipped Cream hits the spot on these dog days of August. Mike's Diner is open 24/7 so there's always a good time to stop in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime snack. Be part of the history of Mike's Diner.
 

MIKE'S DINER
22-37 31st Street • Astoria
718. 721.9220
Fax your orders to 718.721.5576

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