F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world.”
Whenever you go to visit a new burger joint/diner (or food place, for that matter) that wild promise is very much present. Usually, through no fault of their own, the diner is at the mercy of your expectation. That being said, when the establishment is named after the city renowned for it’s cosmopolitan infusion of food, that place has to own some of the expectation.
What the New York Diner in Cardiff really delivers on is the idea of New York – The “straight to brass tacs” ethos. Before you even take in the sites of the menu, there’s a clever re-jig of the subway map route to the Cardiff “Burroughs”. Inside there’s a weathered cross walk signal. The layout is comfy-downtown with table and chairs to suit any preference. It’s a warm balance of metropolitan and homely. It’s delightfully uncomplicated
The menu is a discerned smorgasbord of clarity. Rather than 4 guys fighting to get into the same cab each choice has it’s vehicle with it’s own clear direction. It confidently presents the “wild promise” of it’s namesake. The only downside is that you can’t take a trip in every one.
As we were metaphorically in The Empire State, we had to climb the New York Diner’s Empire Stack:
12oz Beef Patty
Roasted Red Peppers
The Empire Stack, is a true accomplishment. Like the concrete jewel in New York’s crown itself, it manages to achieve effortless wonder. Much like the numbered criss-crossing streets of the Big Apple; thought and intention went into the burger. Where a lot of places heap ingredients into a plated Frankenstein, placed in front of this particular burger bro was a purposeful balance of flavors.
You can see from the ingredients that they all compliment, but not only is nothing superfluous, the time has been taken to make sure there’s not too much of anything. Each addition keeps the whole in mind – particularly the beef. The 12oz of beef are essentially the Times Square of this burger. It’s not that the other landmarks are worse, but all roads lead to midtown (read: Meattown). Fresh beef, seasoned with the same intention as the burger itself: to be part of whole and make the end result great. It’s an absolute delight.
5* – The Mystery is making something built with so much effort seem so effortless. The Wild Promise is made by you not the New York Diner…that you’ll return.