Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Go Greek at the Brownstone Diner and Pancake House
Sunday is the loneliest day of the week. Displaced Midwesterners are scrabbling for something to fill that hole of forsaken dinners and after-church brunches, given up for the thrill of the gritty city. We crave family, dysfunctional and dreaded, whether we admit it or not. Despair not, for I have found a cure. Take a trip to the Brownstone Diner in Jersey City. It’s two bucks on the light rail or subway, and you can eavesdrop on tables of six, eight and ten. There are flowers in those vinyl booths, sensational Sunday hats topping blue curls, babbling babies, loud-mouthed laughter, Soprano-esque accents, and shabby hipsters that don’t fool anyone with their dirty hair and nonchalant expressions. This is community, people. A Sunday community.
I myself have always loved a diner, and I had an epiphany the other day, regarding these establishments. Most of them are Greek owned, correct? I, like most New Yorkers and New Jersey-ites, have spent many a dollar ordering gourmet selections at them, only to be disappointed at the swimming butter and confused platters. While checking out an insanely large menu (16 pages. I tell not a lie. There are 31 fricking omelet choices!) at the Brownstone, I spotted “Taste of Greece” in the “In the Beginning” section. Oooh, an appetizer with feta! And heck, why not order something that Greeks are experts in?
It was a continent of food. The main event was an enormous slab of spinach pie; crunchy and delicious. It was adorned with blooms of green pepper, discs of fat cukes, black olives, ringlets of red onions, and fragrant feta-all drizzled with olive oil. The side was a fantastic tatziki sauce, not too garlicky, and warm pita. Sometimes they remember to add stuffed grape leaves. And how much for this feast? $12.95.
Easily shareable with your other lonely friends, and Greek-dysfunctional-family-fantastic!