A Sweet Dining Experience
49-21 14th Ave., Whitestone
CREDIT CARD: Yes
HOURS: Open every day, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Diners are an American classic. Though there has been much bellyaching about the decline of the diner in Queens, many great diners still remain. At Whitestone Diner in - you guessed it - Whitestone, the diner tradition is upheld and the gods of food that watch over us all smile benevolently.
On an unusually chilly April afternoon, I arrived at Whitestone Diner to meet the food maestro himself, Craig J. Heed, who you may remember from previous restaurant reviews. Heed is a veteran at this point, known chiefly as a connoisseur of spices and tap water. He is a no-frills kind of a guy, a burger and pizza man, but he knows how to distinguish the contenders from the pretenders.
I should say that it does not have the gaudy, lavish interior that you will find at New Jersey or Long Island diners, where a trip to the diner is like being beamed into a giant rococo painting. Whitestone Diner is the type of place that earns solid grades for ambiance and superb grades for food, and if you want to eat and have a good chat, it is the place to be.
No appetizers for us that day. Though Craig is known in food circles as an “app” man, we went straight for the jugular: the main course. Craig conquered a chipotle burger. I devoured chicken souvlaki with a side of Greek salad. Greek salad is a favorite of mine, though I am not Greek. Though the Greek economy is going down the tubes, Greek salads remain a force to be reckoned with. Whitestone Diner is not an exception.
As our wonderful waitress brought us our main courses, Craig and I discussed the particulars of young adulthood, such as how we won a dodgeball championship in college and why my fantasy baseball team is not that good. Good food and good conversation go together like souvlaki smothered in tzatziki sauce, wrapped in a pita, of course. Though I lamented my poor fantasy baseball season, I was able to drown my sorrows in wonderful tzatziki sauce.
Dessert was a cherry pie for me and blueberry pie for Craig. Again, it was a classic, but the classics are what make this country great sometimes. Each slice had a scoop of ice cream – vanilla - and I thought about what it would be like to dwell on a planet made entirely of ice cream.
Perhaps it would be almost as sweet as dining at Whitestone Diner.