Hoplore, The Keg and Stacey’s are all friendly places in this small town just north of Warsaw, but now there’s a new location for breakfast and lunch. The Little New York Family Restaurant is conveniently located in the former Mexican restaurant location along Ind. 15, and many motorists stop to get their fill from an extensive menu.

This recently opened spot features American fare with a so-called “New York influence.” This clean, neatly decorated restaurant seats around 40, and the decor sports murals and pictures of New York legends like Babe Ruth. One mural is a beautiful shot of Manhattan with the Statue of Liberty in the foreground.

BREAKFAST ALL DAY

It takes a while to peruse the many breakfast choices. There are three full pages, plus a la carte choices on the back page. Starting with the “From the Griddle” section, which features everything from pancakes, to waffles to crepes. There’s also a host of omelet and farmer breakfast choices.

I had to try their take on their French-style crepes. Of the three crepe choices, I went with the mascarpone-stuffed version. These three, light, fluffy mini-pancakes were stuffed with the sweet cheese and topped with your choice of fruit toppings. Although they didn’t have peach topping on this day, the gob of blueberry, pie-filling like topping was quite satisfying. Served with a scatter of powder sugar over the plate, it made for a great presentation and was a delectable start to this scorcher of a day. Butter and syrup were served on the side. The butter wasn’t needed, but the warm syrup was a surprise. The crepe edges were slightly crisp, giving a light crunch to each bite. I would go back for more.

My wife, Gayle, ordered a la carte. The eggs were cooked to a perfect over-easy. The pancake side was average and large. We both went away quite full.

LUNCH

The lunch menu consumes another three menu pages and offers everything from burgers to pasta to quesadillas to salads and wraps. There are also four types of Manhattans (not the cocktail) on the lunch menu, but many of the items are more like dinner entrees. The section called “Little New York Favorites” offers steaks, chops, chicken stir-fry and sliders, but the highlight is a grilled chicken and shrimp combo.

The latter is a large plate of Cajun-seasoned grilled chicken and shrimp topped with cheese and served with rice and vegetables. For $12.99, this healthy choice is real bargain.

To further my point about larger-than-usual lunch entrees, the New York-style Manhattans are something to behold. Choose from turkey, country-fried steak, the classic roast beef or chicken breast. Each are paired with a unique gravy or sauce and are served with mashed potatoes and a choice of salad, soup or the daily vegetable. For only $8.49, this is a trucker’s delight.

Besides the typical burgers, there is a classic Greek gyro and the interestingly named New York Philly cheese steak. The cheese steak caught my eye. This paradoxical sandwich includes shaved beef topped with both red and green peppers and mozzarella. All this is stuffed into a large sub-style bun then grilled to melt the cheese. It’s a big one.

With the three choices of pasta dishes also quite large, the quesadillas appear to be a good small-plate choice. Of the five possibilities, the grilled shrimp looked enticing. The grilled shrimp are combined with onion, peppers and tomatoes, then stuffed between two thin tortillas. It’s served with guacamole and sour cream.

Although I wouldn’t say that what they call a “true New York experience” is that uniquely New York, but it’s definitely an immense collection of American fare. The emphasis is always on fresh ingredients, and the chef makes sure every dish is made to perfection. Get there early because they close at 2 p.m.

Loren Shaum is an automation engineering consultant, retired pilot, author, home gardener and sometimes chef. He and Gayle reside in Syracuse. He can be contacted at comtec@kcaccess.com.

IF YOU GO

ADDRESS: Little New York Family Restaurant, 103 N. Main St., Leesburg.

PHONE: 574-453-2234.

HOURS: 6 a.m. to 2 p. m. daily. They do carry-out.

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