Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we could feel exactly zero of our extremities by the time we rolled up to the Comfort, a new diner on the Lower East Side, but something about this place was so… comfortable. Roomy old-school vinyl booths and a springy color scheme offer a seriously cushy respite from the brutal second coming of the Ice Age happening outside right now. Oh, and the Comfort, unlike its older sister restaurant the Comfort Diner (which has called what’s perhaps the least comfortable spot on the planet, Times Square, home for the last 20 years or so) has possibly the best cure for New Ice Age-related ecophobia: booze.
Owner Ira Freehof greeted us when we arrived, first apologizing for the polka music. He assured us that polka was absolutely not what regularly plays at the Comfort, but I happened to walk in when he was simply trying to make a point. “If you think this is painful, you should listen to Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music,” a woman chimed in.
Freehof explained the downtown version of the Comfort has expanded on its big sister’s menu, which focuses mainly on breakfast and lunch, by offering more sophisticated dinner fare. But depraved brunchers fear not the loss of your morning fare if you fail to peel yourself off whatever train platform you passed out on the night before till half past seven the next evening, because the Comfort offers breakfast for dinner.
And if you’re a meatsman but can’t take the heat of hot tourist breath on your neck as you wait in line at Katz’s, consider hoofing it to the Comfort and ordering the Jewbano (as in Cubano but, you know, Jewish), a sandwich with Katz’s pastrami, roasted turkey, Swiss cheese, mustard, and local pickles from the Pickle Guy, all squeezed between a bulka from Kossar’s Bialys down the street.
But what separates the Comfort from any old diner is the cocktail list, which includes classics like the Corpse Reviver #2, Sazerac, and Dark & Stormy. Cheers to holing up in the Comfort and boozing on craft cocktails until either this Ice Age thing thaws or my liver pops.
Click through the thumbnails below for a peek at the menu.
The Comfort is located at 399 Grand Street and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner Sunday through Wednesday 8 am-10 pm and Thursday through Saturday 8 am- 11 pm.