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Dec 15, 2009 07:57 PM

Dyker Heights quick/cheap/takeout recommendations

On Thursday night some friends and I are heading down to Dyker Heights to check out the legendary Christmas decorations. I'm sure we'll get hungry out in the cold and I'd love some recommendations for a place to grab a quick bite--someplace cheap and casual, either a takeout joint or someplace with just a few tables. I have no idea what kind of food is popular in DK and we are open to any cuisine as long as it's quality and cheap. Please advise. Thanks!

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  1. My friend lives in one of those 'tricked out' houses. :-) If you like delicious, inexpensive Greek food, try one of my faves: The Spartan Cafe. Get the Spartan chicken on pita, tomato/feta salad or their outstanding fries. Really casual. If Greek food is not your thing, if you walk up to 86th St there are a couple of decent Middle Eastern places around 4th-5th Aves.
    Have fun!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tay

      I found it ridiculous that the NY mag article suggested it would take an "intrepid" diner to visit the spartan nabe.

      The other day I was over on 5th Ave shopping and stopped in at Jerusalem Felafel, which is on 68th just east of 5th - convenient to a driver coming from the other side of the BQE.. they have excellent rolled felafels with lots of pickles and other good components - could be a good quick stop. they also seemed to have juicy looking chicken schwarma but didnt test. Lots of middle eastern sweet shops just around the corner on 5th for a baklawa or mamoul fix.

      1. re: Tay

        if they're going to walk up to 86th st, they can also check out grand sichuan--very good sichuan food.

      2. The Vegas Diner is nearby-- we go there every year after the lights. Classic old-world diner.

        1. If I were you I would go to Gino's Focacceria and pick up some panelli and milza (vastedda) sandwiches. Get an order of potato croquettes and a riceball and you have enough food to actually weigh your car down. It fits the theme of the night as well. Also, you can get a box of pastries from Villabate (only a block or two down) to eat after you finish.

          BTW, the lights are looking a bit skimpy this year. Maybe only certain parts of the entertainment business are recession proof now? ;)

          1. Thanks for all the recs. We ended up at the Vegas Diner--although I was in the mood for more "ethnic" eats, my friends were feeling a diner, which of course is always a great choice for a cold night; I've just been eating a lot of fried food lately and wanted something lighter. ANYWAY, it was a great recommendation. The diner is classic old school, huge, sprawling, with a big counter and individual jukeboxes at every table. It was PACKED on Thursday around 9, full of big families and had a real neighborhood feel. I ordered a sandwich that was definitely a risk--Chinese Roast Pork on a toasted garlic bun (that was what really sold me). The pork was nothing to write home about, but had good flavor (I could taste ginger) and was fairly moist. I spread the sandwich with both hot mustard and duck sauce and it was pretty damn tasty. And huge. Also, the fries, which I ordered (as I always do) extra crispy, were the bomb. Big thick steak fries. Yum, there are a few left in my fridge calling to me right now. Anyhow the diner was really fun, and I look forward to trying the other recommendations here.
            PS. The lights this year--we walked along 86th St. from the R stop to the D stop--were pretty good. I don't know what they've been like in past years. This year not as many houses as I would have expected were done up, but the ones that were were spectacularly tacky and grand. It was fun.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Lochina

              The Vegas Diner is neither classic nor old school. It's mediocre is every way, from food to decor. Of all the great recs, you picked the least interesting relatively most expensive and then ordered the dreaded RP on garlic bread. Tsk....Tsk.

              1. re: Tay

                Wow. Thanks for the put down. Like I said, the diner wasn't my choice but I appreciated it for what it was. And when I say classic and old school, I don't mean like diner car diners from the 50s, but rather the types of big sprawling diners that I remember from visiting my grandma in Brighton Beach as a kid, or off-the-highway diners from childhood road trips. Those places have their charm, too.
                And I stand by my assertion that the fries kick ass!

                1. re: Lochina

                  Sorry. Didn't mean to offend. I can relate to the nostalgia of the old fashioned Diner, (like the Roscoe Diner, upstate NY), but seriously, there is nothing even remotely charming about the Vegas Diner. As for the french fries....No matter how good they were the first time they were served, reheating any Diner french fries cannot possibly produce a decent food experience.. Next time you visit DH, try the fries at the Spartan Cafe and get to experience truly 'kick a** fries

                  1. re: Tay

                    That is where you are so wrong! Have you ever tried reheating diner french fries? They're one of my favorite leftover foods. In a hot oven on a baking sheet they get even crispier than when they first came out of the fryer.

                    1. re: Lochina

                      If you like them, more power to you. It's been my experience that anything tastes good when it's hot and crispy. Try letting them cool down a bit and, like Pizza Hut pizza, all you'll taste is used and reused saturated fat.
                      Fresh cut fries fare a little better. Most Diners 'pre fry' their commercially prepared fries and then refry /reheat them, making them especially greasy.
                      Try fresh cut fries and you'll see the difference