‘New York, blunt and wonderful’

Photo By David Robert

“Get over this New York thing already,” Greg says. I don’t explain it to him, but it goes like this:

Like Pops says, New York is my “old country.” Both my folks are New Yorkers and I lived in Yonkers for almost a year. Though some might disagree, Ma says that these factors qualify me as an expert, and I believe her. New York, and everything about it, rocks.

I briefly think about socking Greg in the nose, but I figure that he just doesn’t get it. I walk in next to him feeling superior instead.

Aces Diner is the Golden Phoenix’s answer to the question “Does this town need one more theme-oriented casino eatery?” Their print ad claims they are a “New York Style Deli,” and, as my half-assed credentials suggest, this claim excites me. So I suggest the joint to Eric, who was my roommate for that almost-year, and Greg, who needs to eat and has opinions, and we head downtown.

When we find Aces, Greg says that one look at the menu makes him want to smoke, and then he gets all excited about corned beef.

Eric agrees that the place doesn’t look like a “deli” so much as a “diner” and points out that they don’t offer breakfast 24 hours a day.

Opening the menu, I’m all confused by the difference between the Lox “Mix It Up Combo” ($8.99 with onion, tomato, bagel and choice of sides) and the Lox Cold Plate ($7.99 with the same options). The waiter can’t tell the difference either, but my question is irrelevant as they are out of lox. Not seeing any other New York-y foods, I panic and order the Brooklyn Delight ($8.99), a grilled roast beef and cheddar sandwich with horseradish sauce on rye. Eric orders Bleu Burger and fries ($6.99), which he eats in less than three minutes, then succumbs to a post-food stupor.

The big winner is Greg’s Rachel ($8.99), a pastrami-based Reuben.

“This is the best Reuben sandwich I’ve ever had,” he says. “I’m quite an aficionado of Reno Reubens, and this is a good one.”

Meanwhile, security guards have surrounded the bathroom where it appears someone has passed out. When dessert is served, Greg is telling us about the time he found a dead guy in another casino’s bathroom. I’m no expert on the “New York” cheesecake (why do they call it that?), but Aces’ cheesecake kicks ass! The slice ($5.99) is twice the size of your generic restaurant cheesecake and is sloppy and cheesy and comes with fresh berry sauce that’s not too sweet or sour. It’s big enough for all three of us to enjoy, though Eric doesn’t get any as he is still recovering from the Bleu Burger coma.

Football highlights are on TV as we’re leaving, but Greg and Eric don’t care about the Giants. I notice the sign on the TV:

“This TV has no sound and doesn’t change channels.”

To me, this is authentic New York, blunt and wonderful. The sign cracks me up and Greg still doesn’t get it, though Eric understands. New York is a part of me, and I don’t want to “get over” it.

No casino-theme food place could ever be enough like New York, and why would we want it to be? Visit Aces if you crave a Reuben or an awesome slab of cheesecake;or take a road trip if real New York is what you need.