Get the recipe for Golden Diner’s famous tuna melt, plus learn how they found creative ways to help out their local neighborhood.
Golden Diner is still serving up a mean tuna melt—and shining a social media spotlight on restaurant relief efforts while they’re at it.
, which opened to fanfare last March, wasn’t what Chef Samuel Yoo expected. There was no buzzy party, no diners to toast with. But, as the restaurant wrote on Instagram, “Life is still very much worth celebrating. Our community has shown up for us in big ways, please show up for yours, now more than ever. Check in on your neighbors and friends. Donate whatever you can to help those going hungry. Get involved where you can and keep each other safe. Our birthday wish is that same one we opened with. Support community and share good food.”
Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the related restaurant service shutdown, they’re sticking to that mantra.Recently, Golden Diner launched a culinary series called “Happy Meals.” The goal? To provide their Two Bridges neighbors with affordable and delicious takeout options. “When we first opened the diner, it was always supposed to be accessible. So during this time when people are being laid off, we wanted to offer something that was super tasty, a hefty amount of food, and that something everyone could get as a bit of relief,” Yoo explains. Dishes include penne all’amarticiana, tempura battered cod with fried rice and broccoli, and dan dan noodles with mala spiced ground beef and spicy peanut sauce. Each special costs seven dollars, and is broadcast on their Instagram. (With a sense a humor, I might add: they described the taste of their penne all’amarticiana as “If pizza hut had a secret love child and give it up for adoption to a loving couple in Modena and the child grew up working in the kitchens of
every summer and upon entering adulthood came to America to learn about his biological parents’s roots but immediately turned back around to Italy upon seeing the state of the health care system here.”)The restaurant is also a founding member ofROAR, or Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants, an organization dedicated to saving New York’s independent restaurants and their workers. They’re fighting for more unemployment benefits, for federal stimulus funds, for suspended rent payments, and most of all, to stay in business. (ROAR estimates that 75 percent of restaurants will remain closed after the pandemic.) Their Instagram page, once mostly a place to display their delicious dishes, is now filled with urgent calls to action. Take this one that asked followers to call their local New York representative: “Let em’ know you don’t want to eat sad fast food for the rest of time and demand independent businesses be part of the federal stimulus plan,” they wrote.
It’s not just their own shop they’re concerned about. One passionate post focused on Golden Diner’s neighboring Chinatown restaurants—many of which don't have social media accounts to advertise their businesses. “There are establishments we look up to who’ve been an anchor in NY Chinatown through the generations and are holding onto their last thread; their businesses have suffered 50 percent losses because people came up with their own non-fact based assumptions that you can get COVID-19 by eating Asian food.” Yoo tells
Vogueit’s important to call these stereotypes out: “People that I know personally have these close-minded assumptions and when I see or hear it, it's just like—how does someone who is so highly educated have these thoughts?” He says. “You need to say, ‘hey, that’s not okay.’”
Below, Yoo shares the recipe for Golden Diner’sThink of it as the ultimate work-from-home lunch.Sam’s (At-Home) Tuna MeltIngredients150 g canned line-caught tuna drained20 g celery small diced20 g red onion small diced Read more: Vogue Magazine »
thank you, that's better x
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