On a whim, we stopped at Junior’s Restaurant in Brooklyn. I faced a mandated clear-liquid diet the next day and what better way to consume two days worth of calories in one? Curveballs (like someone else’s rules) tend to make me throw my own rules out the window.
Tucked away in Brooklyn for 50 years, Junior’s Restaurant expanded into tourist venues over the last decade. First, they opened an outlet in Grand Central Station in 2000. Now Junior’s has restaurants in Times Square and in Connecticut at MGM Foxwoods. But nothing beats the experience of going to Flatbush and DeKalb and eating at the original, throwback-in-time Junior’s.
New Yorkers know Junior’s famous cheesecake (thanks to QVC, so does the whole nation), but the real star dishes at Junior’s are their Egg Creams, their French Toast and their Blintzes. Their Corned Beef Hash, Pastrami and Brisket are pure comfort.
The Staff & Patrons
The wait staff exudes an aura of permanence; you can bet most have toiled there for decades. Maybe they are like The Shining wait staff; they never leave the premises. Working at Junior’s is a career, not a stop-gap. That is comforting—I don’t know why.
A larger percentage of the morbidly obese are inside Junior’s rather than outside Junior’s. The chubby know where to find the bad-for-you-comfort food. Don’t eat at Junior’s too often or you will become like fat guests at the Overlook hotel.
Breaking the Rules
Though I was craving waffles, I ordered French Toast. The French Toast seemed to be coated in corn meal and deep fried. I haven’t touched anything deep-fried in a long time, but today, no rule was going to stop me. The French Toast is served with an apple-raisin mixture that I ignored and a ramekin of clear yellow liquid that may or may not be butter.
Gene ordered Corned Beef Hash and Eggs with an Egg Cream. We approached the meal as if we were never going to get the chance to eat this food again. Six years since we have been in Brooklyn, and not tempted by the Junior’s outlets, we may NOT get the chance again.
That doesn’t legitimize a pig-out, but at the time, my reasoning felt sound.
In my former life, my Junior’s tradition was to convince my companions to order an entrée apiece and then order Cheese Blintzes for the middle of the table. That strategy works better for four people, rather than just two of us. But being down two dining companions did not stop us from maintaining the Blintz tradition.
After deep-fried French Toast and a deep-fried Blintz, we—believe it or not—we took a piece of Cheesecake and a piece of Red Velvet Cake home for later. Later, that night, full of cheesecake and a bit of a bellyache, I had no regrets.