US Senator John McCain ate there. Barrack Obama ate there, a lot. Suzanne Vega sang about ‘Tom’s Diner’.
You might know it from the American TV series ‘Seinfeld’ because it was shown in a wide shot as the preferred restaurant where the show’s characters gathered to meet, eat and advance the plot.
The real Tom’s goes on after more than forty years, neat and busy, feeding Columbia students and watching other neighboring businesses come and go.
Because it has the classic look of neon culture, my eye is caught whenever I am in the neighbourhood, as I was last night to watch my friend Jane perform in a production of Marat Sade up at Columbia University. But, if you are nearby, say visiting St John the Divine, or Riverside Church, or watching a basketball game at Columbia University, it is a good place to catch your breath and take a load off your feet.
If Tom’s is not something you seek then hike down to 106th and Broadway to Mama’s Too for the finest slab of cheesy, tomato-y, blistered and blackened cheese bubbly pizza you could ever hope to be served.
Nearest subway station in 110th Street on the 1 Train.