The iconic Empire Diner location has been many things except maybe successful.

Maybe this new incarnation will change all that? Unlikely but greasy fingers crossed.

Greasy because they make a damn good pretzel crusted fried chicken!

If you read the Yelp reviews, apparently it’s not always that good but I found it fantastic. Loved the crunch of the smashed up pretzel bits and the meat was perfectly cooked. Please note that even though the chicken costs $22, it does not come with a side. Unless you count 3 slices of pickled green tomatoes a side (hint: they’re tasty!)

I ordered the also fantastic Cacio e Pepe Soft Scrambled Eggs with Speck (it’s called Speck on the menu but our waitress confided that it’s really just prosciutto). I know Cacio e Pepe is all the rage right now, but it works fantastically with these scrambled eggs. Comes with a few pieces of charred toast to dip it in. Yum!

What wasn’t thrilling was when a stack of 8 dishes slid off the rack next to our table and smashed, throwing bits of glass everywhere. Everywhere included being imbedded in one of our legs, drawing blood and prompting the manager to bring us over a band aid. More urgently, a bit of glass thrust itself in my eggs! What nerve!

Who cares about a partially severed leg when my last bite of eggs is positively ruined!

The staff were very apologetic and comped about half of our bills, which was really nice of them.

Will definitely be back…..wearing long pants and protective eyewear, next time.

210 10th Ave
New York, NY 10011
b/t 22nd St & 23rd St
(212) 335-2277

empire omelettefine herbs, boursin cheese, mixed greens, multi-grain bread

soft scramble eggs cacio peppeparmesan, cracked black pepper, speck (PROSCIUTTO)

sourdough pretzel fried chickenhousemade pickles, mustard hot sauce