I decided to take a shot last week and see if I could find some reasonable diner food in the Kaufmann Astoria Studios area, without getting too pricey testing the Cup's hit-n-miss menu and "cross your fingers and hope for the best" staff.
The Astoria Diner opened a couple of weeks ago on Steinway, between 34th Ave and B'way, but I was wary, because the previous owners (who would occasionally close the place and reopen under a new name to trick locals into giving the place another shot) kept the place in really poor condition, the food was less than mediocre, and the servers were nothing but rude, rude, rude.
Let there be NO confusion this time, there is a new owner and the place is immaculate. Prices are extremely fair and the food is really fresh. I've done the burger and fries, grilled cheese, breakfast food thang, and I was pleased with the above average quality, but when I got a grilled chicken sandwich with and a side of crisp, green, as-nature-intended, broccoli, I was sold. There is no limp pre-packaged mixed veg option.
Overall, everything I've had is surprisingly better, and refreshingly cheaper than many food options in the area. PLUS, they are open 24 hours, deliver 24 hours, AND accept all credit cards. Very nice for artists like myself who keep weird hours.
The staff is super nice, the owner (Peter, who is usually in front; the co-owner is the head chef) is intent on pleasing, and everyone is really on the ball.
Two major dessert reccommendations: go for the marble pound cake (the chocolate is REALLY chocolate) with a scoop of ice cream, or the rice pudding--perfect texture and flavor.