This is a tale of two different meals. Not long after we arrived in Brooklyn, Elizabeth's dad and her great-uncle were telling us about a meal they had from a diner called Park Plaza: penne pasta in vodka sauce with shrimp. I was dubious, but they assured us it was good and invited us to come over and try it one night soon. So we did.
I didn't love the meal by any means - in truth I prefer our weekly jaunts to My Little Pizzeria tenfold over this meal - but it was a good dinner. As it turns out, Park Plaza is open until 1:30 AM during the week and 24 hours on the weekend, so the other day when my brother got into town at 11 PM and was in need of dinner, I took him to Park Plaza. (There is another place one block away from us that is open 24 hours, but I have heard a not-small number of anecdotes about food poisoning caused by the place.)
My brother requested a coffee and a fruit punch.
"Together?" the waiter inquired.
"Yes," my brother said, before considering the question further: "Well, not in the same glass, if that's what you're asking."
My brother had the fried chicken, with the carbohydrate-intensive sides of fries and mac & cheese. ("All I've eaten today is a cookie and a few Pringles," he explained.) He started chowing down on the chicken, which I thought looked terrible. I told him so.
"Yeah, it's not very good, but I'm really hungry."
The bun was soft and fresh. The chicken breast was large and covered in sauce. It wasn't really good, but it wasn't bad. (The fries were terrible, but at this point in my life I enjoy the fries at perhaps 1/10th of the restaurants I visit.)
I am willing to return to Park Plaza if I need food after midnight, and I would be willing to eat that shrimp pasta again (but only if someone else wants to) but other than that I don't think I'll be back. It's just a regular diner, and there are plenty of those around.