Thursday, January 19, 2006

Review: Daisey's Diner

Daisey's Diner
452 Fifth Avenue (between 9th and 10th Streets)
F/M/R to 4th Ave. and 9th St.; B75, B77
Reviewed by Sars and Mr. Stupidhead

The Order:
Sars: Grilled cheese and tomato on rye; French fries; Coke; rice pudding.
Mr. S: Caesar salad with "Cajun-style" chicken and anchovies; Diet Coke; rice pudding.

The Food:
Sars: Good standard grilled cheese, not crazy greasy like you sometimes get. The rye slices were on the small side; without the fries, it's more of a to-go snack.

Great fries, though. One fry in particular had a Platonic-ideal quality to it -- perfectly done, piping hot, the right size for a double-dip into the ketchup. The fries came out piping hot and clearly weren't warming-lamp casualties.

The ketchup was in a plastic bottle, which is not great, but that means it wasn't watered, which is good.

Strong pickle.


Mr. S: Gotta say, I knew there was a problem when the food came out almost TOO fast. The romaine was absolutely drowned in Caesar dressing, and there wasn't a single flake of parmesan to be found anywhere near my plate. The anchovies were warm, which I won't hold against them because it's a personal preference that I like them cold, and I wasn't about to hold up the meal to tell them to chill my 'chovies. The plate was gigantic and the chicken, while it was supposed to be grilled, was slathered in grease. Not.

The salad tasted fine – certainly not the best I've ever had. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highest, I'd give it a 3.5. Would've been a 4.5 if I weren't so positive that the river of dressing didn't totally give me diarrhea later that night during a new episode of House M.D. Not Cool.

Back to the "Cajun" chicken. Not so much. A sprinkling of paprika does not a Cajun dish make, there, captain. A little effort would be nice. You failed on that one.

Rice pudding was great, except that our waiter apparently took "just a little bit" to mean "a metric ton" when it came to putting the whipped cream on top. Plus, he ragingly committed one of the R.P. Sins by smothering the heap of whipped cream with cinnamon. Also not cool. But, once I dug through the mound on top, the actual pudding was perfect.

Sars: I'd take issue with "perfect," although it was good and thick, but Mr. S is right on about the other stuff -- the serving had way too much whipped cream and way way too much cinnamon, like "nearly induced a sneezing fit" too much. I did think it was tapioca for a second until Mr. S corrected me; I'm still not entirely convinced it wasn't.

The Drinks:
Mr. S: Standard fare. Wasn't struck by it sucking, so I'm sure it was fine. Around 12 ounces, not too much ice, nice and fizzy.

Sars: The Coke was plus-power for a diner -- not flat, not too much ice. We got good-sized water glasses too, with ice. Definitely above average on the libations.

The Service:
Mr. S: Very friendly, but ignored certain specific requests (i.e. grilled chicken [was actually fried]; "not too much whipped cream").

Sars: Don't forget "don't make me sick." Heh. Overall, agreed. I would add that this is an "old-man waiter" diner, which ordinarily bodes well. It's often more than a job to dudes like that; the waiters at the late lamented Second Ave. Deli were career waiters who knew their slaw and didn't give you the eyebrow on special requests.

The food came out crazy-fast given that we came in around 3 PM and there weren't a lot of other customers. Sometimes off-hours orders take longer, but our lunch was plated in ten minutes, tops.

The Surroundings:
Mr. S: Totally nondescript, devoid of any common theme or matching tchotchkes.

Sars: Mr. S is generous; the d├ęcor that horrendous post-renovation light-pink-with-weird-murals mishmash so many diners wind up with after redoing the place. Also, what's with the phone booth? And if you're going to spend beaucoup bucks on new brickface (which, get a refund because it's fugly), how about ponying up for some new booths?

The place is gigantic, and I've never eaten in the back (or even knew there was a back until this visit); maybe it looks less like a halfway-house rec room back there.

But you're not there for the interior design, and the table was nice and clean. We took a booth by the window, but it looks out on a bus stop. I'd recommend a counter seat.

Mr. S: All in all, not the worst. I'd give it a tentative C+, with room for improvement. When I return, I'll have to test them on some of the more random dishes they offer, to see how quick they are on their feet.

Sars: Having not gotten the trots, I'll give it a high B. Also, confidential to out-of-work Second Ave. Deli guys: the Daisey is hiring.

Daisey's Diner on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Ari said...

You swayed me with the drinks.

If you can manage to choke down suspicious food with an amazing carbonated beverage then it kind of makes it all worth it.

i.e. beer and nuked 7-11 burritos...need I say more?