Queuing Up at a Reconceptualized Diner in Brooklyn, New York
On weekends the queue outside Tom’s Restaurant grows until it rounds the corner of Washington and Sterling Avenues in Prospect Heights. But the wait is half the fun here: as you chat with your brunch date, waiters appear offering toothpick-spiked platters of cinnamon-honey toast, strawberries, and sausage broiled with garlic salt and lemon. Such friendly, personal service has endeared Tom’s to the neighborhood since 1945. Inside, the walls are festooned with seasonal decorations, neon specials posters, and a communal paean of letters, articles, poems, and photographs. Browse them as you enjoy an old-fashioned egg cream or sip coffee from a large painted mug. And be sure to order from the long list of pancakes in flavors like lemon ricotta and “harvest,” a combination of sweet corn and cranberries. They come with a medley of fruit and cinnamon flavored butters, as the owner himself will tell you while introducing you to the regulars and seeing you to your table.