After noticing that the iconic Hinsch's sign was missing from the front of this Brooklyn institution, replaced with a sign for Mike's Diner, I couldn't help but think the worse. That somehow the charm of the old Hinsch's was gone for good. But I am happy to report that I was wrong.
The new Mike's "Hinsch's" in many respects is better than the original. It is stylish without being over the top. Gone are the old warn-out booths and in are new retro booths covered in sparkly red and white vinyl. The black-and-white tiled floor and simple fixtures above each table adding to the retro diner allure. Oh, and the tables are new too. The only original thing I could see was the old Hinsch's clock, and yes, one of the original waitresses who has been elevated to hostess. The restaurant is also being run more professionally. Tables are cleaned promptly allowing for a quicker turnover. The wait staff was friendly, prompt and courteous.
I stopped in for breakfast during my impromtu visit. But you can gauge a lot by how a diner cooks up breakfast, and mine was fabulous. Two scrambled eggs, home fries, three plump sausages and coffee (including a refill) for $6.75. Other breakfast items include waffles, pancakes and French toast.
The restaurant still serves its signature club sandwiches that the ladies who lunch there have grown accustom to over the years. But now you will also find specialty sandwiches, including a Reuben on grilled rye and an assortment of wraps served with either a salad or fries. We counted 13 different types of burgers on the menu, including a Greek burger topped with Feta cheese. Other Greek specialties include a gyro, shish kebab and spinach pie.
And what would a diner be without ice cream. Sundaes, floats, milkshakes and a traditional banana split are available along with soda fountain drinks like homemade egg creams, cherry Cokes and Lime Rickeys.
I must say I enjoyed the new Hinsch's but still miss the old sign.