Manny Santos is working hard to put The New York Diner – Valrico on the map.
The long-time Valrico resident and his wife Chelsea bought the restaurant from her mother late last year and the couple has been gradually making it their own.
Although, there have been some cosmetic improvements, one of the biggest changes in the 1,500-sq.-ft. diner is the menu expansion.
“We have some great ideas for dishes people aren’t going to be able to stop talking about,” said Santos, who has lived in the area since he was five years old.
Some of the most exceptional new items on the menu include The Beast, a one pound burger patty served with bacon and cheddar cheese between two deep fried Belgium Waffles, Birthday Cake Pancakes, made with cake batter and free to anyone celebrating their birthday, and the Number Two Beast which is made with a two pound beef patty with deep fried waffles and French toast on top. Santos has created a contest and anyone who can eat the Number Two Beast in 18 minutes receives the meal for free and wins a T-shirt.
Santos, who is also interested in body building, has developed a Muscle Menu that includes a 15-egg omelet.
The new menu also features a wide variety of coffee drinks from the restaurant’s new espresso machine and Cafe Con Leche with Cuban toast made in Ybor City. However, traditional breakfast and lunch fare from omelets to skillets, are still available.
“We are really hoping that by adding to the menu we will appeal to a wide range of new customers in addition to continuing to please our regulars,” said Santos. The diner is very much a family enterprise. Santos plans to be in the restaurant every day and his wife and mother-in-law will be regular features as well.
Santos has many exciting ideas for the diner going forward including plans to work with Grub Hub and Uber Eats, the introduction of dinner hours, staffed catering and reservations on Open Table. Law enforcement officers are also offered free coffee and 15 percent of their meals and Santos is planning a wounded warrior tribute event. The diner offers free wifi and outdoor seating is available.
The New York Diner – Valrico is located at 2126 Jelane Dr. In Valrico, right off S.R. 60 and is open daily from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, call 654-4300 or visit www.thenewyorkdiner.weebly.com.