There are few places in Midtown where you can still get a sitdown meal in a clean, relaxing setting with quick, courteous service for under 15 bucks. The Red Flame Diner is one of them.
I snuck in for an early dinner and left pleasantly surprised. It's conveniently located near Bryant Park, Grand Central and the Theatre District. There is ample seating for groups, couples and singles who might want to grab a seat at the counter.
The food is old school Greek diner fare with a little bit of everything. Most dishes are in the $10-$20 range. I got the cheeseburger special. The patty was nice and thick served with melted swiss on a toasted bun. It arrived with fresh iceberg lettuce, two thick slices of tomato and a healthy helping of crisp fries. Even the small cup of coleslaw was made to order. Add in a seltzer with a lemon wedge, and the entire tab came to $12.70; 16 bucks if you include the tip. Not too shabby.
Aside from burgers, the restaurant also serves up meatloaf ($13.95), fresh turkey ($15.95) and pork chops ($19.95). All entrees come with a garden salad, potatoes and vegetables. Greek specialties like Moussaka, pastichio and gyros are also served along with pasta dishes and seafood.
Desserts are what you'd expect a diner - cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, chocolate layer cake - that sort of thing. There are ice cream sodas and sundaes as well. A full breakfast and lunch menu is also available.
I might be a little biased since I love all sorts of diners, but for the price, The Red Flame really can't be beat.