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Jimmy Chandler

Empire Diner, Reopen on 22nd St. and 10th Ave. in Chelsea - With Chef Amanda Freitag

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Walked over to this renovated West side diner near the High Line last night with the wife. The outdoor seating was packed but there were plenty of empty tables inside. Service was friendly and professional and enthusiastic if not always prompt. We weren't that hungry so we shared a matzoh ball soup with bone marrow, The Wife had a grilled cheese and I had the burger, medium rare.

 

All was good, not sure if anything was great. I would recommend if you're nearby, not sure if it's worth a trip. According to the diner's website they plan on being open 24 hours a day in the future.

 

The soup was full of root veggies (carrot, celery, parsnip) and a bone with marrow and a little marrow spoon. (Actually, it was just a small spoon for the marrow, not one of these.) The matzoh ball was a dense consistency, the waiter told me the chef uses a little horseradish in it. The grilled cheese is a mix of fontina and cheddar with tomato, The Wife dipped some of the pieces into my side of burger special sauce. She reports it was pretty good, not great. The burger was quite good, the side of fries were ok. I had ordered the sauce on the side as I wasn't sure based on the waiter's description. Now that I've had it, I would order it again on the side as it's great for a dipping sauce for the fries as well as the grilled cheese.

 

Price wise, the grilled cheese at $13 and the burger at $18 are probably a little high given the quality, but not outrageously so. Our check without any drinks including tax and 25% tip was approximately $51. I could easily see coming here for lunch and just getting the soup, maybe with a side veggie or salad.

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