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Posted by NYC Traveler on 04/15/2013
At first glance, The Flame delivers what you might expect: a fiery, fast-moving New York City diner providing the usual breakfast fare, delicious grilled burgers, and tasty international cuisine ranging from seared salmon to Sicilian pasta. But sitting in the cafe, you sense another kind of warmth. Though you may be just visiting NYC, the employees greet you with a smile and direct you to your seat. It doesn't take long to realize that you're surrounded by neighborhood regulars with discerning palates and exacting expectations, both of which seem happily met by the smiling staff. In a symphony of service, the staff gracefully take orders, present fresh, steamy dishes, and refill drinks; cooks and crew, in accents that still reflect the home country of more than a century ago, chat with servers about the orders and steal glimpses of happily feasting customers; the delivery staff dances in and out of the front door, making dozens of trips throughout the neighborhood every hour or two, while the manager carefully inspects a growing pyramid of pastries, awaiting the morning rush. Amidst the elegant hustle so appreciated by time-strapped tourists and locals alike, you notice that some of the regulars are slower-moving. Elderly or disabled, these guests are nevertheless warmly welcomed, comfortably seated, and graciously greeted by servers going out of their way to say hello and ask about their day. Not at all rushed, these guests are presented with special dishes, new items brought in by request or old favorites no longer on the menu, but still available for a friend. And that's exactly what they are. The manager and servers refer to each one by title and by name. "Did you get a seat by the window for my friend John?" "How about another soda for my friend David?" "Ah, my friend Thomas! Wait till you try the new dish!" It's no marketing gimmick, no dispassionate buzzword urged into usage by corporate strategists, but a heartfelt expression formed of delightful, sincere habit. The simple name seems to refer to more than the diner's friendly atmosphere or its fiery grill; it seems to reflect the faithful light along the New York City shoreline that welcomes the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses, a light that glows as a city on a hill that cannot be hid. A diner that fills the stomach and warms the soul, The Flame shouldn't be missed by anyone who might be hungry near 9th Avenue and West 58th Street. And the food? It tastes as good as it feels.
Posted by StephenH on 02/22/2013
I was looking for an easy dinner near the Time Warner Center and being a fan of diners in general, decided to try the Flame. What a nice experience. The guy who seated me, my waiter, the service and the food were all very good. I had the brisket and some chicken soup. My friend got the open turkey sandwich and with a scotch, we got out of there for $43+tip. How can you beat that? True the atmosphere is basic diner, but that's ok, as I enjoy the people watching in places like this. I will go back.
Posted by Kim J on 02/20/2013
Was in NYC for my birthday. Stayed in a hotel on W 57th and was walking around looking for somewhere to eat and came across the Flame. Food was great, service was also great. My companions and I really enjoyed everything, when I come back in the spring, I'll be back at the Flame
Posted by neighbor on 02/12/2013
Ive lived in the neighborhood for three years, and The Flame has been my go-to diner. Open 24hours, and food as good as diner food gets. Some items are simply delicious, most are perfectly good, and very, very few were less than I'd hoped for. (Unfortunately,they outsource their cakes.) Over the years, I've come to know their phone operators, and them, me. Herein lies the rotten apple: one of their employees lacks customer service skills, is crochety, will argue with you, gets your order wrong, and makes the whole experience rather unpleasant. In comparison, the nice lady who usually answers the phone is just wonderful. She is helpful, knowledgeable, friendly, and intelligent. I can only imagine that the bad apple must be a relation of the owners or is somehow immune to review, because I'm sure the establishment is aware of his shortcomings, yet he is there still. When i looked at the other reviews and realized that what complaints there were, were all about him, I decided to write this review, so that people don't miss out on a quite excellent diner. During normal business hours, you're pretty much guaranteed a wonderful experience. If you should come in contact with the grumpy guy, and you can deal with his inadequacy, you'll be rewarded with a delicious meal.
Posted by Evelyn on 07/18/2012
Okay, so I'm not a big reviewer, but given that I continued to be impressed by this place, I felt like I had to give them some online credit. :) I discovered the Flame restaurant about a year ago, when I first moved to the area. I can honestly say that I think it is by far one of the best restaurants around. Whatever the dish I've tried--ranging from full, traditional Greek entrees like the Moussaka, to simpler items like the beef stew or many of its other soups--it seems like each gets better and better. And the dessert--OMG the rice pudding! I've gone by the restaurant on my way home from work just to get some to go. Absolutely, ridiculously awesome. But wait, there's more! The service is excellent. It helps that they know me by name now :) but I've always had a great experience--even when I just stop by for some rice pudding. :) Definitely, hands down recommend.
Posted by Olivia on 03/29/2012
I brought my family that was in from NC to eat here, and we all loved the food. We wound up going there all 4 days of their visit, for lunch and dinner! The staff was friendly and our waiters were courteous. I loved the pastichio and mousaka, as well as the spinach pie. Their soups are great, especially the cream of turkey and chicken noodle. My sister loved the veggie lasagna, and my brother was a fan of the pot roast. The rice there is soo tasty too. It's a pretty good value, especially for NYC. This is now our go-to family place. I definitely recommend it.
Posted by Don on 03/01/2012
I am shocked by some of the bad reviews here, as I have regularly been going to the Flame for about 10 years, and I have ALWAYS gotten excellent service and the food has always been super. Now, it is not gourmet food. After all, it is a diner/coffee shop. But I have never had better food in any coffee shop anywhere. The manager is very friendly (alright, maybe the previous one a few years ago was a bit grumpy) and the majority of the waiters and waitresses have always been friendly. Excellent quality food at excellent prices, especially for NYC. I am going there again this coming Saturday, and can't wait!