First up, Diner in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Though there is a short printed menu put down on the table, it's bare bones and there are no decisions to make until the real menu arrives —a recitation by your server who fills in the blanks, listing all sorts of ingredients for each dish and scribbling crib notes on the paper tablecloth. Ordering brunch turns into a memory game, which isn't the thing most people are in the mood for on Sunday morning. Restaurants, if you want to change your menu constantly, at least give us a chalkboard.
Pies 'n' Thighs, has remained my favorite for fried chicken. My dining companion's first visit also brought positive results, despite just sampling a single piece of the crispy, moist legs while standing on the street corner. We also tried the chocolate donut, after being lured in by New York Magazine's crowning of a "Best Donut" title to them. It was good, but tasted mostly like a brownie with the fried, oily quality of doughnuts.
***Dumont Burger. My dining companion had recalled a delicious burger and fish sandwich from some previous evening here. So we tried to recreate that. We compromised and settled on a mini burger, which came with a choice of fries, onion rings or the soup of the day, chilled cucumber soup, which is what we got. The burger, unfortunately, was a little overcooked and dry. And the soup was essentially pureed cucumber — it had a gritty texture that made you wish it had decided to either be a creamy soup or a chunky soup, not somewhere in between.
I recommend eating tours as a good way to enjoy various areas of New York City, but go with a good guide (someone who knows how to eat, meaning me, if I'm available) or just go hungry and take it easy.