I have been having so much fun compiling my new “Favorites” page, it’s all I seem to be doing in my spare time. When pondering what I might want to add next, I thought of that thick and creamy black & white milkshake at Empire Diner. It was unfailingly the perfect combination of rich vanilla ice cream and just the right amount of classic chocolate syrup to satisfy my chocoholic husband without turning me off (and I am no fan of chocolate). I adored this milkshake. It was worth the drive all the way from the farthest corner of the Upper East Side down to the edge of Chelsea just to savor it. It must go on my list.
But it cannot go on my list. The Empire Diner served its last meal on May 15, 2010. The 24-hour establishment – whose Art Deco edifice is famously topped with an Empire State Building replica – lost its lease after 34 years. Oh, how I wish I had known of the closing! I would have gone there to indulge one last time. No more swanky diner decor. No more midnight jazz piano. No more homemade chocolate pudding…sweet potato fries topped with brown sugar…hot open-faced turkey sandwiches…burgers the exact size of the buns…..you will be sorely missed, Empire Diner.