Saturday, March 1, 2008
Corner of Graham Ave and Seigel Street, Brooklyn, NY
Nuevo Leon has a big sign over the door on the corner of a building, along with a lot of red neon, and looks very welcoming. Once you step inside you are sadly disappointed, as the interior has been remodeled in the fast food style, with hard booths and tables, boring colors, old details removed, and way too much space. But still it's a diner-- a diner with a Mexican name, run by Chinese guys, breakfast lunch and dinner, a Chinese restaurant place mat on the table, Red Devil hot sauce and ketchup.
The menu looked like a Chinese restaurant menu someone bought nostalgically on eBay-- hard red cover with printed pages inside-- it said something about the "Grand Golden Lion"-- yet, this was the menu. It was pretty much Chinese food along with Spanish and American food-- and everything was in both Spanish and English! They brought me a cup of coffee in a classic diner ceramic cup. I felt like I was in a Tom Waits song!
The menu had some interesting things like soupy rice, fried sliced king fish, and pounded fried plantain, as well as all the normal Chinese restaurant choices. It was breakfast-time, so I ordered a banana omelet. It was a tortilla style or Spanish omelette-- with bananas, and very good! It seemed kind of exotic. The whole experience felt kind of curious and exotic.
Oh, the best part of the whole experience was when I told the guy taking my order that I didn't want toast, that I couldn't eat wheat, and he practically yelled out, "What happened?!"--as if I had just described a tragic accident. And then I explained that it was hereditary, that I was allergic, and he said, "Oh, I know, me too! I can't eat wheat either!"
* (one star)