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Sophie’s breakfast choice: coffee or food?

Eggs over easy, home fries, at Great Neck

Eggs over easy, home fries, at Great Neck Diner in Great Neck Photo Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

There are precisely two things I need in the morning: breakfast and coffee. When I’m home, satisfying these two requirements is no problem, but sometimes I want to treat myself to breakfast out, and then things fall apart: Once I breach the confines of my apartment I have to decide whether I want good coffee, or good food.

At any of Long Island’s million or so Starbucks, I can get a good cup of American coffee, or something based on a real espresso. But I have never had even a halfway decent morsel of food there.

At any of Long Island’s million or so diners, I can get a good plate of eggs over easy, sausage,  and fairly good home fries, but I’ve never had a great, or even very good, cup of coffee.

I have been known to bring my own breakfast into Starbucks, but I don’t have the nerve to bring my own coffee to the diner. And why should I have to? I know diners are in the business of delivering quantity, but I would happily pay real money if a diner offered, in addition to the regular coffee, a mindfully made cup of joe.

Does anyone out there know of a diner that makes really good coffee? Or even a bagel shop?

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