On a recent trip to New York, my husband and I made a point to visit the famous 'Monk's' diner from Seinfeld. Thank goodness we had a tour guide as we found out that the name of the place is actually Tom's Restaurant.
We travelled via our tour bus and got off on Amsterdam Ave, took a few photos of the beautiful St. John's the Divine Cathedral and walked along West 112th Street which, by the way, reminded me of a scene out of Sesame Street as it was so neat and leafy. On the corner at 2880 Broadway sat Tom's Restaurant which looked almost out of place as you always assume it's in a bustling part of New York instead of on the corner of a reasonably quiet street.
It started to pour down and I stood patiently in the rain whilst my husband got the 'perfect' picture of the Restaurant so that it looked exactly like how they show it in Seinfield. 10 pictures later we ran into the little restaurant and were welcomed by a friendly woman who sat us right in the middle of the room (obviously noticing our tour guide maps and dazed expressions). The restaurant inside is completely different to the diner on the sitcom but was warm and welcoming all the same. The walls, shelves, tables in this restaurant were absolutely covered in Seinfield pictures, photos, articles and souvenirs – it was amazing.
Although their menu advertised this, I had it on good authority that they had the best milkshakes and cheeseburgers in New York and my sister-in-law demanded that I have this so who was I to argue? I ordered a large chocolate milkshake, cheeseburger and a cup of mushroom soup and my husband decided to be a bit different and ordered the chicken with mash and gravy.
The chocolate milkshake was decadent and delicious - heaven in a huge glass. The cheeseburger was simple yet tasty and the mushroom soup was a bit thick but very flavoursome and filling. Hubby really enjoyed his meal as he didn't say much while I pointed out different things on the walls, took photos and chatted to the waitress. It didn't take long for him to finish off his plate and my milkshake.
The restaurant has been around since the 1940s and is currently greek-american family owned. What was nice was that while they were extremely busy, the staff were very friendly and made time to chat to the customers. They seemed to know everyone that walked through the door and greeted the new comers with a smile and a wave before they were seated. The restaurant feels more like a family run business and after a while I forgot that we were eating in a famous landmark. It's more like having a lunch at Grandma's house on a cold, rainy day.
If you are visiting NYC or live in NYC and haven't visited this great establishment, please do! Even if you aren't a Seinfield fan, this place will impress and leave you with a full tummy and a warm, satisfying feeling.