Susan's 5100 Bistro

This Seward Park cafe/restaurant can't quite decide what it wants to be. At least the Ovaltine latte tastes good.

Two-year-old Susan's Fifty One Hundred seems to be having an identity crisis. What type of restaurant is it trying to be—lowbrow or highbrow? The exterior and red-and-light wood interior scream cute French bistro. You'd expect to see duck confit on the menu. But that's not the case: The diner-esque, comfort-food-heavy menu is made up of moderately priced—but not cheap—sandwiches and meat, fish, and pasta dishes. The service is what you'd expect from a dive bar: really quirky. At a recent lunch on their lovely outdoor patio, my friend tried a standard-tasting burger with sautéed mushrooms on it ($9.49) which had a wimpy bun, but the house side salad she ordered with it was generous and nicely dressed. I had the veggie hash ($6.50), a bowl of grilled vegetables covered with salty gravy, since the vegetarian sandwich I fancied, a tempeh Reuben, was no longer available. (The new chef is from the South, I was told, and vegetarian food is not his thing.) Dinner service (Friday–Monday until 8 p.m.) had just been reinstated when we went; we're not sure why it had been temporarily discontinued. One thing we were sure about: We loved Susan's dried-fruit-studded scones and their unique Ovaltine latte, which tasted like a yummy malted mocha. MOLLY LORI

 
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