23 East Main Street Babylon, NY 11702
“When our friends and family want to sit down for a meal with us, they come to our home…they come to Glen’s.”
– Hapi Auer, owner of Glen’s Dinette, Babylon Village, New York
Hapi and Chrissy Auer know a thing or two about tradition.
The husband-and-wife owners of Glen’s Dinette have owned the cozy Babylon Village restaurant since 1990 – and maintain that it’s their homestyle values and traditional fare that keep the customers coming in meal after meal.
“We are the real deal,” says Hapi. “The counter, the service, the way the coffee is served. It’s traditional. We’re not a franchise. Everything is done here.”
Glen’s Dinette has been a mainstay in Babylon Village since 1948. At a glance, Glen’s menu may seem standard – with typical diner items such as eggs, corned-beef hash and lunchtime sandwiches. However, under Hapi and Chrissy’s ownership, the food is anything but standard.
Need proof? It’s in the pancakes. Glen’s famous Blue Monkey pancakes are a huge hit with children and adults alike – with waitresses sporting “Glen’s: home of the Blue Monkey” T-shirts. With blueberries and bananas folded into the batter, these fluffy and delicious flapjacks strike the winning contrast of flavors that are familiar yet different.
I ordered the “Jughead,” a surprise powerhouse of a sandwich. Fall-apart tender, thinly-sliced corned beef topped with melted swiss cheese and tangy mustard on soft, hearty rye bread.
It was simply delicious. The homemade corned beef was perfectly seasoned and generously portioned. I am not a corned beef fan – but every single time I return to Glen’s (there will be many visits), I will order this sandwich. It’s just that good.
A seemingly innocent bystander on my plate was another delicious surprise: the potato salad. As much as I love potatoes – I usually don’t eat potato salad at restaurants. Too often, the potatoes are bland and mushy and the concoction is heavy and gloppy.
Not in this case. Instead, Glen’s potato salad could be a stand-alone star. It is smoky, tangy and sweet, with just the right proportion of silky, eggy mayonnaise to sturdy, starchy potatoes. I was so taken with this side salad, that I pulled the waitress over to ask her about the ingredients (psst…it’s bacon that lends the smoky richness to the salad!).
At the suggestion (insistence) of my dining partner, I also left with a doggie bag: a blueberry muffin for the next morning. I can be finicky about my muffins. However, even a day later, Glen’s blueberry muffin was one of the best I have ever eaten: moist yet crumbly, light yet dense, slightly sweet and very, very superbly delicious.
While the food was great at Glen’s – I was most impressed by their customer service. We walked up to Glen’s about 1 minute before closing time – 3 PM. A waitress was bringing the chalkboard sign in from the sidewalk. When we asked if they were closing, she happily waved us in and said, “No worries, come on in!” When we were seated, there was no rush. No tapping of a pencil while we looked at the menu. No rolling eyes questions were asked. They were truly happy to have us.
For this reason, and many others, it’s clear to see that Glen’s is walking the walk of a traditional family restaurant. They have invested time and energy in their customers and care about the experience that they have at Glen’s – where the mood is relaxed, yet brimming with joy.
Most likely, it is the joy that’s served up daily that brings back the regulars who have so loyally embraced Hapi and Chrissy for the last 20 years.
“Generations come into our restaurant,” says Hapi. “Couples start dating and they come here. They get married, they have kids. Then their kids come in. It’s amazing…you can’t top that feeling.”
And you can’t top Glen’s Dinette. With it’s neon sign, retro decor, traditional food and smiling faces, Glen’s not only represents a better time – while you are there, it simply is a better time.