Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
T-Bone Diner
Forest Hills, NY

Review by Diana DeRiggs

Just as you climb out of the E/F subway station on the south side of Queens Blvd. to the west of Continental Avenue, look up. You'll see a neon sign directly overhead. At first, it looks like a child's drawing of a monster -- two glowing yellow eyes, a flashing red gash of a mouth, with flames all around it's face. Eventually, someone explains it's just a badly designed plate of bacon and eggs. Oh.

So what kind of eatery would put up an ugly plate/monster face to represent itself? One that's been there for about seven decades, did the '80s style makeover thing, and posts pictures of the minor celebrities and local heros who have passed through. There is the woman who played "Martha" in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, several boxers, three or four little league teams, and several photos of the owner's son graduating from the Naval Academy in Annapolis. They also have one of those rotating pie cases, the refrigerated ones with many tiers. And a counter and booths that are a bit too small. And in the front table, there is always a gabby customer.

In short, it's small town in the big city. You can become a regular, or just play at being one.

You can have what used to be called a counterlunch -- no, it's nothing against lunch. Just something you can get at the counter, like a burger with too much lettuce and tomato and decent fries. It's part Hellenic diner too, with too many choices, including moussaka, pasticcio (Greek mac & cheese), blue fish, etc. They have so many listings that often, you will see the same item listed several time at different prices (sometimes with different side dishes included). The daily dinner deals are great: choice of main, side dishes, soup, salad, coffee/tea, dessert for under $10 per person!

I always get matzoah ball soup, which is the standard golden broth, skinny, skinny egg noodle and a huge matzoah ball. As a main dish, I don't much recall what I get ... I think I get stuff like a burger. I have been with friends and others who have gotten quiche, or the bagel plate. Oh, their omelets are good, too. Decent coffee, marginally cranky waiters (they aren't quite Jewish enough to carry that off effectively or well, you know?), it's an ambitious diner squeezed into a space that's slightly too small. Like a playhouse version of a diner.

They do take-out too. And steaks, good steaks, rather tasty. And they are open 24/7, so it's a great place to come to if you are mad at your partners, walked out on a date, or just don't feel like cooking. It's comfort food. Someday, I'll get the courage to try one of those things spinning in the pie case/aquarium thing by the door. I haven't had the nerve to try what seems to be the house specialty, as represented by the neon art above the building -- the godzilla bacon and eggs. *shudder* But the rest looks good and is at worst, harmless. Try it, it's a good landmark to meet friends near or in, and it's convenient to the subway, too!

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