The Bowery Diner: Blast from the Past or Palombin’s New Trend?

By Hwi Yong M Shin

The wet dream of sweet food fanatics

The wet dream of sweet food fanatics

As someone who grew up into the 21st Century, it’s always a strange feeling walking into a retro style diner and in terms of interior decorating, Bowery Diner is exactly that. With the bar counter, seating booths and even an old jukebox off to the side, the only conspicuous piece of technology to remind you that you’re still in the 21st century was a large flat-screen TV on the wall reporting the news.  The menu on the other hand is a different story. While I may not have been born in the 80s it’s pretty obvious that much of the breakfast specials were more in taste with recent trends than those of the past. It’s not surprising considering that Bowery was a venture of Motorino’s Mathieu Palombin, a Belgian modernist chef who had the hipster masses in frenzy over his Neapolitan-style pizza, which might disappoint some Baby-Boomers hoping for a nostalgic meal.

The coffee was a bit strong, which is the way a lot of people seem to enjoy it, while the waffle wasn’t too different from what you’d expect. It was sprinkled with powdered sugar and was accompanied by separate cups of chocolate, maple syrup and frozen custard. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the waffle was neither too buttery nor sweet. Unlike a lot of diners, Bowery doesn’t try to replace good taste with horrendous amounts of sugar and butter. The bacon also made a nice side since they leaned more towards the juicy side of the spectrum rather than the crispy, a pet peeve of mine whenever I order bacon at restaurants. Crispy bacon far too often tastes like crunchy chips rather than actual meat. If you are going to order this meal though, be warned that the frozen custard doesn’t remain frozen for very long so eat quickly. Overall, the meal is quite good though not so much when it finally hits you just how many calories you had just consumed. So while Bowery Diner isn’t exactly diet food, it’s a good place for people to indulge their taste buds every once in a while.  (Open 24 hours. Meals: $14-$18.)

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