I recently had the pleasure of previewing the new menu from George Landin’s Corona Diner. Landin opened the diner—a love letter to Queens whose decor features references to nearby Flushing Meadows Corona Park and a mural with a who’s who of Queens luminaries from Malcolm X and Louis Armstrong to Action Bronson and LL Cool J. Landin’s new menu is also a love letter to the diversity of Queens with items like a Mexican-inspired elote hot dog and an Ecuadorean ceviche.
It also features a roster of decadent hamburgers like one topped with mac and cheese and crumbled bacon and another whose buns are grilled cheese sandwiches. Those were all quite tasty, but my favorite item of the night was a somewhat more restrained number called the dia despues.The baguette filled with juicy pork topped with pickled onions and tomatoes and some lettuce looked positively dainty beside some of the items my crew shared that night. I only tried a taste of it that night, so I made it my business to get back to the Diner and have a whole sandwich to myself.
“This is the same pork he uses in his Cubano, no wonder its so good,” I thought to myself. That pork is marinated for a day, cooked for six hours, and then pulled after resting for a day. The recipe comes from Landin’s mother Paquita, which his wife, Juliet, updated slightly.
“Let’s say my mom would cook pork in the nightime for a party, the next day we would have that for breakfast in a sandwich,” Landin explained. “That’s what we call leftovers.”
The night I tried the sandwich Juliet was trying to come up with a name. “How do you say ‘day after,’ in Spanish,” I asked. “Dia despues,” she replied. And thus the dia despues, or at least its name, was born.
Corona Diner, 91-28 Corona Ave., Corona, 718-699-0866