"Speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
-Alan Watts

Friday, February 25, 2011

Diner Review: Tick Tock Diner

New York City, home to some of the busiest thoroughfares in the nation and arguably, the world.  On the small island of Manhattan we find the beautiful Grand Central Station to the East and the no longer so illustrious Pennsylvania (Penn) Station on the West.  Not more than 3 blocks away underneath the beautiful Art Deco architectural stylings of Sugarman and Berger's Hotel, New Yorker.  With all the hustle and bustle going on in New York City there has to be places to feed the masses and so near every old hotel you can always find a diner.  The two closest to the Hotel, New Yorker are Tick Tock Diner located on the ground-floor conjoined to the hotel and Skylight Diner located merely one block away.

Photograph of the New Yorker Hotel:

So, Tick Tock Diner... I probably won't go there again.  I knew it was going to be loud because due to it's location underneath a historical landmark it's become a tourist attraction.  It's a tacky 50's diner and not in a good way. Sure it's got some decent neon signs (how can you go wrong with a neon sign?) but it's got an overbearingly cluttered atmosphere, disconnected waiters, and flies in the cheesecake. Yes, you heard me FLIES in the the cheesecake. Well, there was only one, but one is one too many for me.

I haven't ordered cheesecake in eight years because I find it too rich tasting for me but last night I decided to order the three items that any New York diner should offer: New York Cheesecake, Chocolate Egg Cream, and a cup of coffee.  I first ordered the Cheesecake and egg cream and once they were brought out I decided I might want to stay just a bit longer since I had my camera with me and figured I'd need something to keep me there, like a coffee.  Now, I don't know how as a waiter you don't first look at the food you're bringing the customer as it's leaving the kitchen or even as you're placing it on the counter but somehow I managed to get  slice of cheesecake with a fly embedded in the top layer.

Final critique: I cannot speak on behalf of the taste of the cheesecake but the egg cream was delicious.  It came in a glass larger than most other diners and it certainly tasted better than the others I've had.  The only hang-up... it'll cost you nearly four dollars!  The coffee was, in all seriousness, the most watered down, bland cup of coffee I've ever suffered through.  Now this isn't the coffee snob that's visited a plantation in Costa Rica talking. One should expect the coffee one orders in a diner to be sub par...it's diner coffee for Pete's sake, it's a tier of it's own.  However, this was ridiculous, and at $1.75 no less!

Here's a photograph of the receipt at the end of the night:

They received a forty cent tip from me just cause I didn't want to hang around waiting for my change from twelve.

You may find yourself itching for a late night spent at a diner next time you roll into Penn Station but please, I urge you to stay away from Tick-Tock for your own good.  If you can make it just one block further you'll much more enjoy the atmosphere, quality, and prices of Skylight Diner.



P.S. Next time I'm up around 34th street on the west side I"ll stop by Skylight Diner, snap some photo's, and order some food just for a review.

P.P.S.  Fun Fact: Nikola Tesla spent his last years in the Hotel, New Yorker which I find to be ironic since the hotel's power plant at the time was the nation's largest private power plant...by the way it ran on direct current. It wasn't changed over to alternating current until the late nineteen sixties.

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