Mark Twain Diner
72-12 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights; 651-2212
Cuisine: A 9-page diner menu with a little bit of just about
Hours: Fri. & Sat. 24 hours; Sun.-Thurs. 6 a.m.-2 a.m.
Parking: private lot
Credit: All major
There is something comforting about the Mark Twain Diner. Perhaps it is
the little touches, like the painted holiday windows or the delicate pink flower pattern
on the plates that belong in Nanas cupboard. Maybe its the long, inviting
counter with its freshly baked treasures or the comfortable booths with just the
perfect amount of lighting.
But most likely, what that something really it is simply the food.
I sat down to chat with co-owner Gerry Nikolovienis while his partner
Gerry Livas tended to the busy life behind the kitchen doors in a diner and was not
surprised to learn that Nikolovienis has had the Mark Twain for 20 years. Its that
kind of place . . .consistent goodness and fun to come home to.
Now the menu, which looks more like a novel, makes a point of having
something for everyone. In addition to the page of Tuesday specials, there were
"Broiled Combination Dinners," "Sauté Specialties," "The Wrap
Garden," and "Cold Platter Salads," just to name a few. Within these pages
the variety of dining choices ranged from Rigatoni Ala Vodka with Salmon for $14.95 to
Chicken Oriental with fresh garden vegetables and teriyaki sauce over rice or pasta for
But dont think you cant get a burger and fries. In addition
to its creative side, Mark Twain also has all the standards you look for in a diner, and
some very nice Greek specialties as well.
I opened with a cup of Chicken Consommé with rice to ward off the cold
(it also comes with noodles or Matzoh ball for $1.45), which was hot, served fast, and not
even the slightest bit salty, which frequently ruins chicken soup.
For a healthy alternative, I tried a California Chicken Wrap Deluxe and
broke down from my healthy resolve to have some of the fries too ($7.95). True to its
health-conscious state, the wrap was packed with grilled chicken with fresh lettuce and
tomatoes nestled alongside. The fries were firm on the outside, warm and baked tasting on
the inside . . . and all was right with the world.
I also asked to taste their Eggplant Parmigiana with spaghetti ($8.95)
and was presented with a huge portion served from its baking dish at my table and a mound
of spaghetti in separate bowl. The eggplant was crisp on the edges and flavorful
throughout, blanketed with a thin layer of delightful cheese and smothered in a very tasty
and slightly sweet tomato sauce, which also graced my bowl of spaghetti. Conclusion: it
was too good, had to take the rest home to mom.
Hungry yet? Well, get driving . . . the Mark Twain is most likely open
no matter what time the urge hits you and its a great place to enjoy the feeling of