After reading a few of the reviews about Eleven City Diner, I was more than intrigued. I had to find out for myself; who was this legendary owner that people either love or not? Was the food as good as some rave about? And was this a classic Jewish Delicatessen or another poser?
After three visits, here is what my opinion. Take it for what it?s worth . . .
The owner, Brad, has a big personality, no doubt. To us that was a big plus. He adds to the character of the place. The guy is passionate. He seems to love what he is doing. He was very kind to my father when we came in for dinner. They chatted about old American Family diners and what not. My dad had a smile the rest of the night. He gets 5 stars from me just for that. The legend is all about your perspective. My various friends and I really liked him. But enough about Brad. Here?s what really matters ? The food.
The menu is HUGE and had a lot of good stuff. For me that meant the Monte Cristo for lunch, the French toast at brunch, and the lox platter for a late breakfast another time - LOVE IT, LOVE IT, and LOVED IT. The portions are huge. I mean, BIG. The meat is fresh from the deli case. If you want your pastrami warm, just ask. The coffee was perfect. I love their pickles. My only issue is I wish they had more condiments to pour on my Monte Cristo. I like to embellish. Ha! You get everything you pay for and more. The staff always treats me well, and the quality for me is worth the price (not Greek coffee house prices).
As for the space itself, it is not meant to be some old Jewish delicatessen. That?s not the vibe at all. The place is more of family diner from the 40?s. It pays tribute to a time gone by with big comfy leather booths, a really long diner counter, a soda fountain (that was cool), an old candy store counter, and a fresh meat and deli case. The meats in that case are definitely fresh. My friend took home pound of smoked turkey and three tubs of deli faves, which we sampled during the cab ride home.
I think Eleven City is great. Anyone who has come with me thinks it is pretty cool,too They are working hard which in my opinion is a good thing rather than a bad thing, and they are not trying to be something they aren't. It?s just seems like they are trying to do something right. You can?t please everyone, but after three visits, my friend and family walked away more than pleased.
Five stars my friends. Five stars.
Pros: fabulous Monte Cristo!
Cons: could have used more condiments