On my way to work this morning I got into the city a little early and thought I would have a more substantial breakfast than my normal bagel. But where? On my walk from Penn Sta. to Grand Central I know 3 places where I have had breakfast; each is ok but nothing special. If I walk west to 9th Ave. there is an excellent breakfast for me at Cheyenne Diner; but it was too cold to go that far out of my way. So I decided to walk on 3rd Ave. and see if I could find anywhere new. And I hit the jackpot!
Ordering home fries in New York City at a restaurant you do not know is always a gamble; and the odds are heavily weighted against you. Most likely you will get mushy, vaguely pink cubes of potato with no flavor at all; but on rare occasion you get lucky: randomly shaped pieces with skin on, browned with bits charred to black, lots of flavor and texture. Today I had such an experience; but that was not the big news.
The big news was the corned-beef hash: I have never ordered corned-beef hash at a coffee shop in NYC and been served anything other than the standard canned product. But today, at Sarge's (3rd Ave. and 36th St.), I was served homemade hash. What is particularly special about this (I mean besides the obvious, the flavor, which was excellent) is, the menu did not make a point of it at all: the menu just says "2 eggs with corned-beef hash" or words to that effect. It is almost par for the course now that if a restaurant serves some particularly good or unusual dish, it is a gimmick -- pointed up on the menu and on signs and advertisements, bold face, stars and bullets. It really did my heart good (perhaps good enough to counteract the effect of all that cholesterol and fat) to eat well without all the hoopla.
So the meal in sum: hash, outstanding. home fries, wonderful. eggs (sunny-side up), great. toast, well, toast -- what's not to like? Friendly service, nice atmosphere. This is my breakfast place from now on.