Florida Today, in their TGIF Section this date, published a restaurant review of the newly opened Times Square Diner, in Suntree, giving it three stars out of five. That was unfortunate, undeserved and worthy of a counter review by yours truly.

Those who have lived in the Central Brevard area for a while know that the east end of the Publix strip plaza in Suntree always featured a local eatery; first a bagel shop, then a couple of breakfast/lunch houses for the last seven years. That has all changed.

In with the new, out with the old. The transition of this former hash house into a fine restaurant by owner, Nick Chios, is nothing less than amazing. If you’ve been there before, it will be totally unrecognizable. First, the outdoor facade has shielded the west windows with art work. The outer perimeter has been lined with trees and shrubs. The interior has been completely gutted and replaced with vinyl booths, tables, lighting and works of art symbolic of New York City. The TGIF review barely touch on any of this.

In terms of food, one word covers all the bases: Quality.

For breakfast, try any one of many fabulous omelets. Only fresh ingredients are used, including the spinach. There are few places that feature lox and bagels, and most who do offer packaged fish. I was pleased to see that the lox was fresh Nova smoked salmon, much like what is served at Jewish delis. Home made corned beef hash is rare. This place makes it on premises from scratch using fresh meat.

Or try Matza Brie and eggs, or Greek omelets, breakfast burritos or simple poached eggs.

The prices are right, all breakfast items run from $5.50 to $9.95, with only the smoked salmon higher at $10.95. During breakfast and lunch, enjoy piped in music from the good-old days, including classics of Sinatra, Nat King Cole, or Elvis, even some music from the current era, but nothing loud or racketing.

For lunch, he offers seven styles of pizza, from standard flavors to Mexican. Tuna and Chicken salad are made from the top of the line meats. For sandwiches, try meatball or chicken parmigiana, Reuben, Philly steak and cheese, meatloaf or a Monte Cristo. Yes, gyros too.

For dinner, my wife loved the appetizer, Shrimp Athena, which was all she needed. She said it was the best ever. Gourmet dinners are served Italian, Greek or American style, using fresh pasta, cheeses and meats. I hear the Chicken in a Pot is fabulous, I’ll try that next. It’s made Jewish style in a soup with Matzo balls. Seafood is only served fresh. Yesterday, the catch of the day was swordfish

Several desserts are featured. I had the Tiramisu, home made by the chef’s wife. The very best ever.

Service is fast, friendly and efficient, with top-shelf servers. Prices are right. The reviewer in TGIF criticized the Hummus as being short on garlic, but in truth, that’s a personal preference situation.

Promise, I’m not being paid to write this, nor does the owner know it’s coming out on the web. But if you enjoy quality food at a restaurant reminiscent of old New York, give it a try at The Times Square Diner in Suntree, a few stores down from Publix. They’re open breakfast lunch and dinner and yes…they serve wine.  

If there is one downside, the owner should not have called it a diner, because the term draws images of a hash house. This is much more.

See you there

Here’s the Florida Today Review:

Click here: Restaurant review: Time Square Diner in Suntree