2011-07-20 / Restaurant of the Week

TASTY’S DINER

Much like New York City itself, Tasty’s Diner is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and aims to give everyone what they want. At Tasty’s Diner, that means really good, home style food, made from scratch using fresh, tasty ingredients. Jovial owner, Nick Milatos opened Tasty’s Diner two years ago, but grew up in the restaurant business. With the generosity and help of his parents, Katerina and Giorgos, Nick has a successful eatery with a steady clientele and a menu that reflects their culinary desires.

Tasty’s is located on a leafy section of Ditmars Blvd and serves hearty breakfast, lunch and gourmet style dinners in a clean and modern setting. Exposed brick walls, tile floors and soft lighting provide the décor for this petite eatery that looks more like a bistro than a conventional diner. The extensive menu features everything you could want, including weekend specials such as roast leg of lamb, pot roast and Cornish hens.

We started with a platter of grilled calamari, prepared simply with lemon and herbs and grilled on an open flame until tender. Next came surprisingly large shrimp cocktail, served with house made seafood sauce spiked with horseradish. These shrimp were fresh, plump and tasty and rival those found in expensive restaurants, yet this dish costs just $12.95 and offered enough for two to share. One of their most popular appetizers is the mozzarella sticks, hand cut and coated in their secret crumbs, then gently fried until golden and crunchy outside and just about oozing inside. Katerina makes her own spinach pie and cheese pie to the delight of the customers. Tasty’s fully loaded baked potato is listed as an appetizer, but could be a meal in itself, filled with your choice of cheddar cheese and sour cream, asparagus, prosciutto and mozzarella, bacon and broccoli or spinach and feta cheese. Tasty’s offers over a dozen salads and we’re told the Tasty’s Apple Salad is one of the most popular. Fresh mixed greens are topped with slices of tender, grilled chicken breast, sliced green apples, walnuts, dried cranberries, then dressed with honey mustard vinaigrette for a delicious combination of textures and flavors.

Lunch time features dozens of deli sandwiches, wraps and oven pressed paninis. From the classic triple decker turkey with bacon to the hot open roast beef sandwich with its own juice, you’ll find your favorite lunch item. Wraps are filled with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil, grilled chicken for the Caesar wrap, and even spicy chicken, salsa and avocado for the Mexican wrap. Paninis are constructed on ciabatta bread and filled with grilled Portobello mushroom, spinach, roasted peppers and caramelized onions, or fresh carved turkey and jack cheese, then gently pressed on a hot grill until golden on the outside and melty-licious inside. Of course, Tasty’s makes a great burger for lunch time or anytime. Basic burgers start at $3.95 with cole slaw and pickle, or make it a deluxe with their fabulous fries. By the way, you should try their Greek style fries, sprinkled with feta cheese and oregano for a Mediterranean treat.

Bring a big appetite when you come for dinner because the entrees here are generously sized and beautifully presented on sunny orange platters. Our filet of sole was delicious and we sampled both the crab meat filling and the spinach and feta cheese filling topped with a lemony sauce. A whole porgy was brushed with lemon and herbs and passed over the charcoal grill for a light and healthy meal. The accompanying rice pilaf and fresh broccoli were the perfect accompaniments. Sizzling shell steaks, juicy, center cut pork chops or baked meatloaf with mushroom gravy will keep the meat lovers happy. Roast chicken or turkey is served with home style stuffing and veggies. To reflect the multi-cultural community, Tasty’s Diner offers a few Mexican favorites including sizzling fajitas, quesadillas and juicy skirt steak. From the Greek corner comes souvlaki platters or sandwiches, beef or chicken gyros and crunchy Greek salad. Italian recipe sautee dishes such as chicken Francese come with lots of al dente pasta.

Keep it light with a freshly mixed fruit smoothie or a golden crepe with savory or sweet fillings. We split one for dessert that was filled with fresh strawberries and nutella and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Come for breakfast when you can order omelets any way you like, Belgian waffles topped with fresh fruit, fluffy pancakes, egg sandwiches, thick cut French toast and more. Tasty’s Diner is located just a short walk from the Ditmars train station so you can take your breakfast order with you, or pick up your dinner on the way home at night. The service is fast and very friendly and there’s fast free delivery to your home or office. You can even order online using the websites listed. Come and visit for a meal any time of day or night and say hi to Nick and the Milatos Family. “I’m not just the owner, I’m a customer too,” says Nick, who is happy to share his favorite dishes with you. Enjoy a tasty meal at Tasty’s Diner on Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria. TASTY’S DINER 33-04 Ditmars Blvd.  Astoria

718.777-8830 www.delivery.com  www.grubhub.com

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