BAY BURGER, Sag Harbor, NY
After many, many recommendations, I was finally able to get to Bay Burger this summer and now that I've been there, I know I waited too long! Bay Burger offers a house-ground beef burger, cooked to perfection, in a nostalgic burger stand setting, with restaurant quality service and taste - and at a reasonable price. In the Hamptons area, that is no small feat.
The menu is simple, yet satisfies most every taste. Their specialty burger with their basic toppings at $8.50; A hot dog at $3.00; Turkey, Fish or Veggie burgers all between $8 and $9. If its a salad, chicken, falafel or BLT that you prefer you can find it similarly priced. The sides are short and sweet: Fries, Tots, Coleslaw and sometimes a fesh vegetable of the day. So, how did this particular little burger joint end up on the Top 10 of Long Island list? One bite will answer that question.
You order your burger the exact temperature you want it, and that's how you get it. Want rare? Then a 1/3lb of beef ground in-house served rare on a homemade bun it is, every time. Medium? Thats how you get it. Once you take a bite, you realize that the quality of this meat and the special house-grinding transforms this burger from fast-food into Fantastic-Food. Your choice of cheese is included, and it is real cheese: american, swiss, cheddar or bleu cheese. Lettuce, tomato, onion or pickle are also added, as you wish. Bacon or Sautéed Onions can be had for a small additional price.
Sometimes, even when the food is perfect, you end up someplace you don't want to be, where the service is stuffy, or inefficient or unfriendly. Not this time. Bay Burger strives for excellence in all areas, and they succeed. The restaurant (and I say restaurant because you can eat-in or take out) is quaint, clean and easy to navigate. They are set just off a country road, and you can also eat outside under a lovely porch, surrounded by the beauty of the East End. The staff is experienced, efficient and pleasant. Somehow, Bay Burger manages to deliver a perfect burger, in about 5 to 10 minutes, to stay or to go, all in keeping with Sag Harbor's sea-faring theme. This is one place you should not pass up - just look at the pics and see for yourself!!
THE REPUBLIC PUB, Main Street, E. Farmingdale, NY
CANTERBURY ALES, HUNTINGTON, CLOSED
Update: Thanks to our loyal follower Scott who was kind enough to remind me that Canterbury Ales in Huntington closed over a year ago, after a long run as one of the staples around Town for authentic English/Irish fare.
**Please note that the Canterbury Ales Oyster Bar (which used to be owned by the same partners but is no longer) in Oyster Bay, remains open and a wonderful alternative!!
Canterbury Ales, Huntington NY (Authentic English Pub)
Here, you have a restaurant with almost the same name, but a completely different style. (between you and I, there used to be a relationship between the two, which split a number of years ago and they each went
in their own direction) Canterbury Ales is your quintessential English Pub, now celebrating their 34th anniversary in Huntington. When you walk in you can feel the pub atmosphere, touch the real oak walls and booths. Even the entrance is shaped
as an old English arch.
Their menu matches the decor. If you want a little English vacation, go there. Try the "Angels on Horseback" - oysters wrapped in bacon broiled in garlic butter; the Scotch Egg - hard boiled egg, wrapped in port sausage, breaded and deep fried; ale battered onion rings or a basket of pretzles fresh baked and served with mustard.
To complete the experience with your entree, try a Cornish Pastie (boneless chicken and pork sausage mixed with peas, carrots onion and mashed potato, enveloped in pastry and served with brown gravy); Scottish Meat Pies (minced beef, onion and vegetables in a traditional Scottish pastry crust); Scottish Bridie (similar to the meat pie, but enveloped in a traditional turnover pastry) and, don't forget the "Bangers & Mash" (pork sausages served with mashed potatoes and gravy). If you are really adventerous, you can have the Steak & Kidney pie - which I tried and hated. Apparently kidneys taste like liver, so if you like liver, try that. But, not to worry all you simple eating friends, the burgers at Canterbury Ales are fantastic, as are the fish & chips. There is a whole menu of entree salads, seafood dishes, and an excellent prime rib dinner (no kidneys). They even have a kids menu.
Don't miss this one. Its small, authentic and when you walk in its like you're part of a family dinner in England. We have been many times and the food is consistent every time
CHICKEN'S ROAD, Merrick Rd., Bellmore, NY
Ok, do not be put off by the name, or the fact that its small, or that they primarily sell an incredible Latin spiced take-out chicken dinner. Delve a little deeper into this menu and you will find authentic Venezuelan delights prepared by owner Wang Wong who was born there. The chicken is boldly spiced, but occasionally a little dry - quickly remedied by their creamy Cilantro Sauce, served on the side, spicy or mild. We went for lunch, but I ordered the Chicken Meal to go for dinner for the family, 1 whole chicken, perfectly seasoned & 4 sides: The Potato Salad was delicious, mildly sauced and the Grilled Veggies were cooked perfectly.
The true delicacies here are hidden in the rest of the menu. For lunch, we first tried the Black Hummus, which was Fresh Pita served with a pureed black bean spread - absolutely delicious, garlicky yet delicate. I ordered the Pernil Mofongo: A wonderful citrus spiced, melt-in-your-mouth shredded pork, over a crust of mashed green plaintain seasoned with garlic, onion, pork, etc... I have not had a better plate of Pernil anywhere, not even my own! My friend's order of Grilled Chicken w/ Rice & Maduros (yellow plantains) was similarly well presented, and only enhanced by the green sauce served along with it.
I was sorry to have to pass up the Empanadas, because by the time I left, the aroma was permeating the restaurant and I did not want to leave. I'm definitely going back for that; along with the Hallaca (a Venezuelan type tamale of corn dough, pork, chicken, raisins, spices, enfolded in a plantain leaf), and the Arepitas (corn cakes) and, of course, the House Specialty Gallo Rice, a stir fry combination of rice, chicken, pork and vegetables with Venezuelan seasonings.
Definitely a Must Try Again!!!
Miller Ale House, Hempstead Tpke, Levittown, NY
Here is a local favorite that is worth going out of the way for. The Miller Ale House is part brewhouse/pub, part Seafood Shack, part Fine Restaurant. Here, the beer on tap is flowing freely, but ask for a martini and they give you a selection. Their
drink of the day changes daily and I'd only $2.00. Here you can have whatever you crave, whether its a burger or hotdog, cajun pasta alfredo or spaghetti w white clam sauce, a fried fishermans platter, oysters on the half-shell, or your choice of braised all
day osso bucco or prime rib. And every single choice is downright cheap.
I'm not sure how they do it because the food is decent, burgers cooked as ordered, substitutions made without issue and the seafood fresh. They do get busy, and at the height of the lunch and dinner rush the wait could be long and the service slower. But its hard to complain when you're drinking $2.00 Tequila Sunrises! If you get there a bit early, you won't wait for anything.
If you do go, don't skip dessert. One can usually feed 2 to four people. I just get the chocolate cake to go! Take a ride over to Miller once, and you will be back - especially if you have kids.
CHEEBURGER CHEEBURGER, Airport Plaza, Rte. 110, Farmingdale, NY
BISCUITS & BARBEQUE (used to be: Kiss This The Chef), Mineola NY
Bobby's Burger Palace (BBP), Roosevelt Field & Smithhaven Mall (Burgers)
There is something to be said for doing one thing and doing it right. Thank you Bobby Flay! If we couldn't have one of your real restaurants here on the Island, we will have to be satisfied with BBB.
At least we don't have to drive all the way to Smithtown anymore!
BBP is not your regular pub style burger restaurant. In fact, its just a step up from cafeteria style. However, if you've ever had one of Bobby's burgers you know why these BBP's are spreading everywhere.
The restaurant set up is that you order and pay at the counter and you get a number. They are usually crowded but the staff is fast and you can always find a seat. You get your drinks (The milkshakes/malteds are not to be missed) and put your number at the table where you're sitting. Within 5 minutes or so, your order is brought to your table, piping hot.
The menu: Burgers - in amost every way imaginable. Beef, Turkey or Chicken. Crunchified (potato chips on top) or not. Next, there are about 10 choices of flavor combinations, and a burger of the month. The LA Burger with avocado relish, watercress, cheddar and tomato, crunchified please, is one of my favorites. If you like it a little more spicey, don't miss the Dallas Burger which is spice crusted, with coleslaw, monterey jack, bbq sauce and pickles. Also notable is the Napa Valley Burger with fresh goat cheese, watercress and meyer lemon honey mustard. Every burger comes to the table cooked exactly the way you ordered it.
Yes, for those of you who dont eat meat, you can get a salad or even grilled cheese, just don't forget to order the fries and onion rings.
Its important to note that for everything you can get here, the burgers are reasonably priced, from $6.75 - $7.75.
You cannot go wrong here.
A local BBP in Garden City!
A quick note to let you know that Bobby's Burger Palace opened in Garden City in 2012, and has since been one of the highlights of Roosevelt Field, nestled in between Havana Central and The Capital Grille. Don't miss it!
La Bottega, Westbury Ave., Carle Place (and locations in Roosevelt Field and Massapequa Park
If you want a sandwich, a pannini or a good bottle of wine, this is the place for you. There are a number of locations, owned independently (locally at Roosevelt Field Mall and on Merrick Road in Massapequa
Park). But I think the Carle Place location because of its charm. It exists as a "wine bar" - but it seems you can only get Italian wines. Hmm. The atmosphere is there - cozy and warm, as you actually can sit on a wine barrell.
Well, all that aside, the paninis are wonderful. In fact there is no panini that you can dream of that they don't already have on the menu. Vegetarian? Of course: 9 of them including mozzarella, tomato, basil and olive oil, or rosated asparagus, portobello, broccoli rabe, roasted peppers, grilled vegetables & asiago, or eggplant, smoked mozzarrella, olive paste and sundried tomato.
Cured meats? 24 different combinations including ham, prosciutto, sopressata, besaola, speck mortadella and salame, all with different combinations of cheese, spreads and vegetables.
Seafood? Yes. Chicken? Yes. Pork? Yes. Beef? Yes. I guess you see my point.
I do have one reccommendation. Try the slowly roasted suckling pig with tomato bruschetta, provolong cheese and baby arugula on a round rustic roll.
Every sandwich is made on fresh baked artisan bread from Cardinali Bakery next door.
Oh, and you can have soup, salad or a light dinner if you like.
Its a tiny place, but worth the trip.
***Note, I have in fact tried all of the La Bottega's I mentioned above and they each have their own charm. Some nicer than others. But the food is consistent and reasonable. With a menu of over 60 panini, 25 salads and a small extended menu of Italian specialties, this is a good choice.
Pastrami King, Merrick Ave., Merrick (formerly Pastrami King of Queens)
Pastrami King, part take-out, part upscale dine-in, we are very lucky that this long standing establishment eventually moved out to Long Island from Queens in 2002. Their authentic Deli overstuffed
sandwiches of Hot Pastrami, Corned Beef, Brisket, Turkey, etc..., are their claim to fame. The Pastrami King Special (Pastrami, Corned Beef, Roast Beef and Salami is in fact, as they claim, "Fit for a King." The meats are cured cured perfectly and so tender
they melt in your mouth.
Yes, for those of you who are not meat eaters, you can get a salad. But don't! You can also get a number of grilled chicken sandwiches for the weight conscious.
Then again, there is also the Giant Pastrami Burger, Turkey Burger, and my personal favorite, the Ruben Sandwich (corned beef sauerkraut and swiss cheese).
Their prices are reasonable and the food is well worth it. If you are going for dinner and want more than a sandwich, although I don't know why you would here, they do serve Entrees including Turkey and mashed potatoes, Pasta with jumbo shrimp, Chicken, Prime Rib and Fish.
The pickles here deserve a mention. I don't know where they get them, but they are lip-smakin' good. If you have any room left, there are matzo balls, stuffed derma, stuffed cabbage and knishes, amongst many other delectible offerings.
They even have a children's menu. Pastrami King will also cater for you, so check out their website if you are interested in catering.
Go, for lunch, for dinner, they're open all day from 11-9 (10 on Fri and Sat)
SCHMIDT'S SEAFOOD MARKET, Noyac Road, Southampton NY
Here at DebsFood, this is our idea of good "take-out"!!! SCHMIDT''S has taken over the location that used to be known to us locals as "Sal's Market," a local deli and dairy store. Been going there since I was, oh, probably since I was born. Sal's sold a few years back, and has now evolved into Schmidt's, one of the best seafood markets out here on the East End. Even better for us, Schmidt's sells a host of prepared seafood, to order, including their Famous Friday Evening LobsterBake for 2. This special, even at the recently raised price of $35.00 is quite a deal, especially since I bought it just for myself!!
This is my very quick review, because I ate too much to keep writing: the Lobster was sweet and tender (1 extra for tomorrow), the Pan-fried Potatoes were super-incredible fantastic, the Butter was unsalted but hot, it needed salt (yes, butter needs salt, unless you're baking), the Corn (well, I ate too many potatoes to try it!). Definitely a do-again. Takin' a nap now... Making a Lobster-Bake Salad tomorrow with the leftovers!
Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, Old Country Rd, Mineola (and in Woodbury)
I am tring to make it a habit not to review "chain" restaurants, however, Anthony's is not you're average restaurant chain. Anthony Bruno, the owner and a transplant from Brooklyn, began his restaurant in Florida (if
you can believe it). After significant success in the South, just this past year or so, Anthony's opened in Carle Place. I had my doubts about going into a pizza chain for lunch, but I figured it would be quick. I was incredibly and pleasantly surprised.
As with BBP above, when you do one thing, do it right. Everything at Anthony's is in his own 800 degree coal-burning oven, and every pizza is "well-done." Whether you like it or not. And like it you will.
The pizza comes in small or large, with a choice of the traditional toppings, or your choice of about 8 specialty pies. The Eggplant Marino and Meatball & Ricotta are excellent. The pies come out with a thin crust, hot and crispy, steaming and bubbling to your table. Every bite is a treat. You can also get coal fired wings. Dont miss them. There is also a small menu of Ribs, Meatballs, Salad and 2 sandwiches. Thats it. Just get the Pizza!!
Eddie's Famous Pizza, Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park, NY
Ok, I'm already prepared for the backlash from all of you who love Eddie's. Every review is wonderful, there are fans both local and around the country, famous and non-famous alike.
And, ok, I admit that the food is good. The bar pies are thin and crispy and if you are on a diet, the salad and pie is a great lunch combination. The assortment of toppings is extensive, and they have a number of entrees that also look good.
But on every visit I made to Eddie's (and there have been a few because my friends love it) I have had the same comment. Eddie's smells. It doesn't smell of pizza. When you walk in the front door, it smells musty, damp and smells of cleaning liquid, bleach or disinfectant of some sort. Every time. I have been told that's a good thing, that it means they are clean. I don't think so. Its very unappetizing and it makes it difficult to enjoy that world-famous pie you read about.
Well, I'm in the minority here, so go to Eddie's and judge for yourself. Or better yet, skip it and go to Anthony's.
ZimZari California Coastal Grille, Massapequa NY (Texmex)
It was suggested we go here by a friend and, frankly, I never heard of it and I thought she was crazy. I still think she's a bit crazy, but this restaurant is perfect for a family looking to be able to afford to feed the kids, or later on, for a couple or group of friends. When you walk in, you are greeted warmly and shown to a table, of your choosing if possible. They offer to get your drinks quickly and efficiently, and their sangria is excellent. Sirits run high and tabs low at ZimZari California Coastal Grill in Massapequa Park, Not just low but, to my surprise, ridiculously low for the quality of food you get. In fact, I couldn't serve one of my kids on the tab for 2 that night.
"Zim Zari is freedom. It’s calling in to work and heading for the ocean. Ordering boat drinks while in the middle of the city. Wearing shorts on a weekday. Zim Zari is camaraderie. Cooking the catch of the day over a beach bonfire. Sharing your surf wax with a stranger. Passing the pitcher of sangria to a new friend. Zim Zari is the day well spent. Whitecaps crashing on a jetty. Salt spray on your cheek. The wave that was made for you." (from Zimzari website). So now you get the feeling, lets move on to the food:
The Cowabunga: "Bang bang" shrimp - batter-fried crustaceans coated in a spicy mayo-like sauce - are winsome relatives of rock shrimp tempura. I also detect an Asian accent in the Laguna Beach lettuce wraps, diced grilled chicken with vegetables and caramelized mango in a zippy soy sauce, accompanied by wrap-and-roll lettuce leaves. The do have habañero edamame (soybean pods lightly tossed in habañero pepper-infused oil and plated with cilantro lime salt) but I'm not a fan. I did think the citrus-glazed chicken strips dotted with sesame seeds were excellent. By all rights, the chicken and avocado sun roll (think of a tortilla-crusted egg roll with chickenavocado filling that also involves chipotle cream cheese) shouldn't work. Somehow, though, it does.
There are a number of salads, including a Southwest steak salad with wood-grilled and spice-blackened slices of smoky meat set atop a mix of romaine, roasted corn, pico de gallo and fried onion wisps tossed with a creamy chipotle Parmesan dressing. There are also fajitas of all kinds. Note: guacamole, has to be requested as an extra, so don't forget it because its worth it.
B K SWEENY'S UPTOWN GRILLE, 636 Franklin Ave., Garden City.
BK Sweeney's (its only Uptown because they have another location in Bethpage) underwent extensive renovations in the summer of 2003, and now the Uptown Grille is as beautiful as it's entrees are delectable. A wide range of choice is available for every palate, appetizers, soups, salads, burgers, innovative sandwiches, entree salads, steaks, chops & grille favorites, plus daily specials prepared by our executive chef Richard Banfich.* as noted on their website.
In my personal opinion, Sweeney's is the hot place to be at lunchtime 12:30-2:30 when the offices and other personell get out. But the rest of the time its the perfect quiet spot for traditional American burgers, the enviornment is casual and they have a ton of booths for families. On the other hand, the work- lunch and/or after-work crowd can be a blessing when at times the noise is all the better to drown out the occasional loud child as well!
The menu is wide and varied, and you can find something for everyone, from their soups (excellent) and appetizers to their salads, wraps and burgers. In fact, the burgers are so big and delicious, I take half of it home, and its still delicious the next day!
The service is excellent. They can somehow get you in and out in a lunch hour, or they will let you linger long past 2 if you desire. The staff is friendly and accommodating and managed by Ian Bigam & Lysa Jaramillo. Thank you Lysa, for not making me stand in an empty restauraunt until the rest of my party arrived!!
Food? ok, try the BK Sliders - in hamburger or cheesburgers, crabcake, filet mignon or pulled pork. (3 for an average of ($9.00). My favorite wrap is the oven gold turkey wrap w/ honey mustard. I know, its kind of sedate. But I have also had their burgers and they are delicious, cooked exactly to order. I hear that their chopped salads are all the rage. But their menu its far too extensive to relay here. Go, take the family. There is parking in the back, behind the restaurant. Enjoy this one.
Rookies, Huntington (Sports Bar & Pub), 70 Gerard Street
How about if you are in the Huntington area (a restaurant mecca of high priced, un-family friendly restaurants, and you want a burger and a place to watch the game? What to do? Step on over to Rookies: its like the sports bar where you guys can bring your wife and kids. I'm not sure why I've never run across this one beforel
The food is fantastic, with all the staples like wings, ribs, burgers, and pizza. Well, to be more specific, their menu includes exclusive dishes sure to satisfy all, including delicious ribs, six different flavors of buffalo wings, a distinctive variety of thin crust pizzas, and many more tastes you CANNOT find anywhere else!
And for you sports fans, the food is offered in a cool, casual, and sports filled environment complete with 10 televisions.bring you a unique and ground breaking experience that the average sports bar simply cannot offer. I'm not going, but I understant you can watch up to TEN GAMES at once and choose the audio for the game you want to watch with your table’s individual speaker! DO NOT GO any major game day, unless you plan on waiting a while, but otherwise, there's usually plenty of seats, including booths.
Just bear in mind that you are in Huntington, so a plain cheeseburger with fries is $10.99, all the way up to the Huntington Hamburger (a bacon cheesburger served between 2 grilled cheese sandwiches) at 13.99. Its not unreasonably priced, but priced higher than some others if you're taking the kids. The nachos are $13.00, and they charge you for chips and salsa!
But in the end, the food is good, and that's the point. Check out their website, because they do offer specials like "wing night" or "rib night" at www.rookiesny.com . Its worth the trip for a family outing