I have yet to encounter a Long Island diner that's classier looking than the new Avenue Cafe. Actually, it’s not totally new. Seems that the established Ocean Park Diner changed its name and moved up the street to the airy and impressive looking bi-level digs of the former Monterey.
I found quite a lunch special here recently -- half pound burger, chargrilled and juicy, served on a brioche roll for a mere $3.99. From the regular menu, a friend’s Italian omelet ($9.45), done with Italian sausage, onion, roasted red peppers and mozzarella, was generous and satisfying. Very good home fries, too.
This is a diner, so, naturally, the menu is voluminous. And, as, you’d expect, there's no shortage of Greek and Italian specialties. More surprising, though, is the presence of Chinese dishes (such as General Tso’s chicken, $13.99), and authentic Latin numbers (like a ”typical” Colombian platter of grilled steak topped with a fried egg and served with rice and beans and fried plantains, $17.99).
Since Long Beach has a major sidewalk scene, the Avenue Cafe offers three tables out front. Weekend night owls will find the place open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Co-owner Chris Tsiropoulos says that once summer officially starts, the usual 11 p.m. week night closing will be extended to midnight.
The Avenue Cafe is at 20 W. Park Ave., Long Beach, 516-889-8200.