Fairway Caf and Steakhouse

The place: Fairway Caf and Steakhouse (2127 Broadway between 74th and 75th Sts, second floor; 212-595-1888)

The diner: Branding and marketing consultant Robert Sprung—Upper West Sider by way of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sprung has lived in NYC for eight years and has been dining at Fairway Caf since he first settled in Manhattan. "This is the only place I eat," he says. "When I find a place that is good I frequent it. The risk of going somewhere and being disappointed is too high."

The routine: Sprung has breakfast or dinner at the Cafe at least twice a week, often with his wife, Yuko, and children, Sophie, 3, and Hannah, 2. A portrait of the girls can be seen in one of many photos of Fairway regulars lining the walls.

The order: Owner Mitchel London makes an exception for Sprung and his wife, allowing them to share the $26 prix fixe, which can include a caesar salad, hanger steak or chicken schnitzel. Sprung also goes for a glass of wine. His pick: A $5 malbec. "Many is the time I look at my wife and say 'it would cost this much to make this at home.'"

He says: "The Upper West Side has a reputation for terrible restaurants and in most cases it's true. There's obviously a tremendous food consciousness—Fairway, Zabar's and Citarella are food utopias. But there's an overabundance of mediocre restaurants.... But Mitchel is one of the best chefs in the city and he's one of the most authentic New York characters I've ever met. He revels in being a curmudgeon. He's a celebrity chef for the new economy, who understands value and wholesome foods." —Jordana Rothman

Are you a regular? E-mail us at eatout@timeoutny.com.

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