In the newly opened Roscoe's NY Diner, Grapevine has a restaurant concept that has been a Northeast favorite for decades: the Greek-owned diner.
This is not Greek food, but instead American food executed in a discriminating manner. At Roscoe's, the Greek is Tom Niforatos, original owner of Roscoe Diner in Roscoe, New York. He's brought to Grapevine some diner trademarks, such as a massive menu, expansive hours and a killer New York-style cheesecake, from a family recipe.
Niforatos is partnered with friend Jeff Lewis, who has been in Texas and worked for Applebee's for a number of years, says manager Wayne Turner.
"Jeff called Tom and said, 'We need to open a real diner down here,'" says Turner, who tipplers may recognize as the former owner of Into the Glass, a Grapevine wine cafe that closed in the spring.
Diners in the Northeast owned by Greek immigrants became a thing beginning in the 1940s. The quality is high but the price is reasonable, making them supremely democratic and customer-friendly. Like delis, they're open long hours, have lengthy menus and a special facility for breakfast, which is served all day.
The menu at Roscoe's features breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are burgers, chicken sandwiches and panini; wraps and salads; and New-England-style battered fried seafood, including haddock and clam strips. There are comfort food dishes like meat loaf, pot roast and hot open-faced sandwiches.
"You don't see open-faced sandwiches down here too often, especially not the way we do them," Turner says. "It's a slice of bread, and then meat, and then another slice of bread, and then gravy. It's really more of a full sandwich covered in gravy."
Turner says that Grapevine has a huge breakfast community, especially on the weekends. "Anyplace that serves it has a waiting line, so it's good to have one more place," he says.
One of Roscoe's breakfast specialties sounds distinctly Southern: deep-fried French toast. "I don't know how they thought of deep-frying it," Turner says. "We have several types, including the classic French toast with berries. But the fried French toast has a distinctive texture. It's crunchy on the outside, but soft and custardy in the middle."