Not too long ago, I took it upon myself to watch the entire Gossip Girl series. I used to catch it when it was on TV (that and One Tree Hill were a must-watch in my high school days), but at some point I got busy with “real life” and couldn’t keep up. Since I didn’t remember what point I left off at and enough time had passed for my memories of the show to be fuzzy, I started from the very beginning. Plus, now I had the added benefit of living in New York and being familiar with places and areas they went to, so the show would be even more interesting. We all have our guilty pleasures, okay!! I’m looking at you Say Yes to the Dress and Pretty Little Liars people…
During one episode, I recognized the diner that Serena and Dan were eating at–The Mansion Restaurant, located right in my neck of the woods. I had passed it often enough, and it seemed like just another one of those neighborhood spots that people go to because it’s close and friendly and there, one you could become a regular at.
I love the idea of being a regular somewhere–somewhere you can come and sit all day without it being an issue and they would recognize and welcome you and say things like “So, the usual?”. You know, like Central Perk in Friends and Monk’s Cafe in Seinfeld. When I went to the mall with my mom when I was little, I always chose Long John Silver’s from the food court options. It got to the point where the cashier started to recognize me, and that was as close as I’ve ever been to becoming a “regular” and I’ll never forget it. Long story short, The Mansion seems like a place you could easily do that.
I finally checked out the restaurant when I was having a “me day,” wandering around the neighborhood and Carl Shurz Park, taking care of errands and enjoying the warm weather. Instead of just going home to order delivery, I strolled on over to The Mansion, book in hand, to enjoy a leisurely late lunch.
The restaurant has a classic, simple diner feel. There’s some booth seating and some counter seating, it’s bustling with people of all ages and types, and it still feels completely relaxed and casual. The menu is expansive in the way that you would expect a low-key diner to have with all sorts of breakfast items, soups, salads, platters and more. You are definitely not want for choices here. I ordered the chicken cutlet parmigiana sandwich and a side of sweet potato fries. Both were huge and enough for two meals. I’m pretty sure the guy sitting at the table across from me was shocked by the amount of food I ordered, but I was too busy being absolutely content with the food, my book, and the lovely Saturday I was having to care.
I kind of love that someone on the Gossip Girl team was like, “Hey, let’s film at this random diner!” But I guess it is in the Upper East Side, where a lot of the action is supposed to take place. In any case, The Mansion is a trusty, go-to spot when you’re not sure what you want to eat or you just want something laid-back and reliable. Want to find a place to be “your spot”? Try the Mansion on for size.
Chicken cutlet parmigiana sandwich, sweet potato fries
1634 York Ave
New York, NY 10028