New York City has many diners which are jam-packed (full) during lunch. Diners, which started in the 1920s in the US, became popular in the 1950s. In the TV comedy series Seinfeld, the main characters often meet for lunch at their favourite Manhattan diner. Jerry Seinfeld, who created the TV series with comedian Larry David, plays a fictional character of himself in the TV series, which was named after his surname. Seinfeld aired in 1989 and ended in 1998. It was one of America’s top comedy shows. Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David had the idea for the show at a diner near Times Square. I stumbled upon that diner recently and went inside to take pictures！ The expression “stumble upon” used this way means to discover something by chance. I ate at several diners recently. They are similar to Hong Kong’s cha chaan tengs although the décor and menus are poles apart. The word “décor” means a room’s furnishings and decorations. When things are poles apart it means they are very different. A diner is a small restaurant, usually family owned, that has a basic and inexpensive menu. It has booths for two or four people. The word “booth” used this way means a seating area with a table and seats with high backs that partition the booth from the next booth. Most diners have a counter, like a bar, where people sit on stools to eat.
Diners serve comfort food such as hamburgers, sandwiches, fries, omelettes, and hand-made milkshakes. The expression “comfort food” means simple types of food that gives people comforting thoughts of home or childhood. Cha chaan tengs are like diners because they are inexpensive and mostly family-owned. They serve Hong Kong-style comfort foods such as Portuguese Chicken with Rice, Borscht soup, French Toast, pineapple buns with tea, and macaroni soup noodles with eggs and sausages. But unlike US diners, cha chaan tengs are too noisy and crowded. Many customers have to sit on stools with small round tables. The waiters are unfriendly. But the food is delicious!
習語“stumble upon”在這裏是指偶然發現某事物。我最近就到過幾間小餐館（diners）進膳。它們跟香港的茶餐廳相似，雖然兩者的裝潢（décor）跟餐牌是天壤之別（poles apart）。Décor是指室內擺設跟裝飾等佈局。當事物是poles apart，意即它們南轅北轍、有很大的分別。A diner就是小餐館，通常是家庭式經營的，菜單都是基本而實惠的。它亦設有booths，可坐二至四人——booth在這裏解廂座、卡位，有比較高的椅背隔板，分隔不同的卡位（booth）。大部份的小餐館（diners）都有吧枱座位，就像酒吧中的那些，客人可以坐在高凳上進食。
小餐館（diners）賣的都是comfort food，例如漢堡包、三文治、薯條、奄列和手工奶昔。習語“comfort food”是指帶有某種「療癒」作用的簡單食物，給人「家」的安舒感，又或能勾起童年回憶的。茶餐廳也像小餐館（diners），因為它們價錢也很實惠，也有很多是家庭式經營的。茶餐廳供應的則是港式療癒美食（comfort foods），例如葡國雞飯、羅宋湯、西多士、菠蘿包配茶，還有腸仔蛋通粉。但跟美國餐館（diners）不同的是，茶餐廳太嘈吵和擠逼了，許多食客都要圍着圓枱，坐在小圓凳上，侍應們亦不很友善，不過食物就很美味！email@example.com
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧