Nearly every person in Erie knows about Sara’s restaurant. They know it is located directly on the peninsula. They know the different ice cream options and various meal deals offered. Despite this, there is another establishment further south on Peninsula Drive which can be overshadowed by Sara’s prominence, and is deserving of much more attention and praise.
This particular food joint is named New York Lunch. As mentioned, New York Lunch is located on Peninsula Drive and West 16th Street, on the foot of the Arthur F. Detisch Memorial Bridge. It is not a very large building, so it is easy to miss among the other businesses of the area. Once you step indoors, you are welcomed to an atmosphere similar to Sara’s, vintage decor such as old Pepsi and Coca-Cola signs, and a white-and-black checkerboard design.
The factor which can make New York Lunch stand apart is the product they offer. New York Lunch and Sara’s both offer the classics fresh such as french fires, hot dogs, burgers, chicken tenders, salads, and onion rings. Sara’s is popular for their ice cream and milkshake selections and also serving perch. Meanwhile, New York Lunch has a wider variety of food options. The underdog offers grilled cheese, ham and cheese, turkey and swiss, and fish sandwiches. Also, they offer several different gyros and pitas. Their appetizers list is slightly larger than Sara’s, too, adding on items such as jumbo pretzels, cauliflower, mushrooms, and cheese sticks. Among these key differences, New York Lunch can provide a unique dining experience through two main points: their Greek sauce and special deals.
Senior Sean Hart is a supporter of both Sara’s and New York Lunch. “In my opinion the food at New York Lunch comes both at a higher quality and lower price. They have more options and what they deliver to the customer tastes better than what Sara’s has been putting out lately. Sara’s has the edge in overall dining atmosphere, and the ice cream is the best part of an otherwise slightly above average meal.”
New York Lunch allows the customer to either take home packets of special Greek sauce or have placed on their burgers, hot dogs, fries, or anything else upon request. Their Greek sauce is not as fluid as traditional Greek sauce, as much of the flavor is backed into the pieces of meat. Though still messy, it is better than getting liquid sauce all over yourself while eating six hot dogs. With that being said, New York Lunch has some deals which can stand out to customers. One of these deals, is that you can get six hot dogs or burgers for $9.49. You could also buy any two gyros for $7.49. For the price of $4.50, you get two dogs or burgers and a 16 oz. soda. In comparison, one cheese burger at Sara’s costs $4.99. Furthermore, one double cheeseburger at New York Lunch costs half of that price. The burgers south of the peninsula are made with thinner patties which have a nice crust which develops through the patties, and allows the cheese to better assimilate and melt into the meat. The buns are also very simple, but still tasty, putting the major flavor profile on the meat (which it should be) while complimenting it at the same time.
In conclusion, both Sara’s and New York Lunch have delicious items on their menu are located close to each other. Their differences lie within what they offer, at what price, and slightly different experiences. It is easy to see why Sara’s gets more of the spotlight for iconic Erie food because of what makes it unique. Not to say that one establishment is absolutely better than the other, but New York Lunch is definitely a quality restraint worthy of more praise, attention, and exposure because of what makes it special