Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Is there anything good to eat in Long Island?

If you're wondering why I haven't reviewed any NYC restaurants lately, it's because I've been in Long Island (pronounced "Lawn Guyland" by the locals) visiting with the in-laws almost every weekend this month.

I asked hubby Kris whether he knew of any foodie destinations in his old neighborhood and he drew a complete blank. A search on chow.com also came up pretty empty. So I put myself in the capable hands of my in-laws, who happily took me around to their favorite Long Island haunts...

Krisch's, Massapequa NY
This 50's style diner is my mother-in-law Barbara's favorite place to enjoy a vanilla egg cream. Each spring, Krisch's converts half their restaurant into "Bunny Land - the largest selection of homemade Easter chocolates and novelties in New York." On a busy Saturday, we waited 1/2 hour for a table at lunchtime. But we easily passed the time in Bunny Land, tempted by parades of chocolate bunnies and other homemade confections.
For lunch I ordered a vanilla egg cream (yum) and a mushroom turkey burger with swiss cheese, substituting onion rings for fries. I also stole a couple of sweet potato fries from my in-laws. Tasty food and large portions - I took half of my meal home with me.

On our way out I picked up a couple pieces of $1 fudge (chocolate and cookies 'n' cream flavor) for hubby Kris who couldn't join us because he was at his fantasy baseball draft (bane of my existence).

Overall, I found Krisch's a tad expensive (around $17 per person for lunch) but the soda-fountain atmosphere and listening to my mother-in-law wax nostalgic about her favorite childhood place made it worthwhile.

Milleridge Inn, Jericho NY
After lunch, we took a ride to the historic Milleridge Inn to stroll through the charming shops in the Milleridge Village. My father-in-law Bill immediately disappeared into the General Store to refill his supply of hard candy (I highly recommend the rootbeer flavor).My mother-in-law stopped at The Bread and Jam Shoppe bakery to pick up a huge apple stollen - I swear that thing weighed a ton and it only cost $7! There's also a cute toy store in the village carrying some unique items.While I haven't eaten at the restaurant recently, I do recall enjoying a delicious bratwurst plate during their Oktoberfest celebration several years ago. The Milleridge Inn is one of my in-laws' all-time favorite places, so I'm sure I'll be back soon.

Babylon Fish & Clam, Babylon NY
Took my in-laws and our friend Irene Sullivan, winner of the Irish Soda Bread showdown, to lunch for my father-in-law's birthday this past weekend. Sorry, no photos - my head was spinning from extreme motion sickness thanks to stop-and-go traffic during our 3 hour ride to Long Island (I know, can't take me anywhere!) But I recovered just in time to enjoy some fried oysters with a side of rice pilaf (kinda pricey though at $18.95). Pretty, breezy location by the Babylon Village Dock.

After lunch, we went back to my inlaws' house for birthday cake and cookies. The cake was from Giacomo's Italian Bakery in Lindenhurst (646 Wellwood Ave). Yummy strawberry filling I wanted to scoop out and eat by itself. Icing was a little overwhipped but Kris didn't seem to mind it.

I'm usually suspicious of desserts from wholesale clubs like Costco, but I actually love these white chocolate covered cookies from Costco's house brand, Kirkland (Signature European Cookies with Belgian Chocolate).

Applebee's, Farmingdale
We met Kris' childhood friends, James and Frank, at Applebee's for a "boys' night out" last Saturday. I felt honored to be the only gal present, so I agreed to do the unthinkable - critique chain restaurant food (gasp!).

Appetizers are half priced after 10pm (times may vary based on location), but that was a bit too late for us old married people! So we met at 7:30pm and the place was packed - we waited 1/2 an hour for a table. Despite the crowd, we didn't feel rushed at all during our meal and our server was really friendly.

Over a lively discussion about the requisite Long Island "uniform" back in the day - gold chains and cavaricci pants (think A.C. Slater in Saved By The Bell) we all shared a generous portion of yummy nachos nuevos. Kris and I also split the Ultimate Trios appetizer combo - cheeseburger sliders were heavy on the bread and chopped onions, but pretty tasty after I threw away half the bun. Boneless buffalo wings had a nice bite, but I was disappointed with the steak quesadilla towers - flavor was bland, tortilla was too thick and chewy.

Overall, we had a blast due to the awesome company - thanks boys!

Bollinger's Family Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor, Farmingdale NY
The night was still young when we finally left Applebee's, so we searched around town for a coffee shop with no luck.

Luckily Bollinger's was still open and there's always room for dessert!

I had a huge scoop of homemade pistachio ice cream -wasn't too sweet and had real pieces of pistachios in it, but I was thrown off by a few ice crystals found in a couple bites. But I loved the cute decor and reasonable prices so I'll be back one day to try their diner style food.

So that's it for my eating tour of Long Island (for now).

Hey Long Island - did I leave out your favorite restaurant? Wanna share a food item unique to your Long Island neighborhood? Leave me a comment!



Anonymous said...

The ice cream store and the inn are so cute! I've never been to Long Island but will bookmark this in case we will go one day.

Anonymous said...

It may not have been my Weird Wednesday fix but it was a fun read nonetheless! I loved the icecream parlor - it looked a bit surreal.

Passionate Eater said...

What a comprehensive restaurant source for Long Island! You definitely treat your in-laws well. Also, thankfully, my hubby doesn't do fantasy baseball (which I heard is REALLY time consuming), but he does do fantasy basketball.

And I didn't know that AC Slater pants were actually "cavaricci pants," but when I saw the picture that you linked to, I was instantly transported back to the early 90s!

Linda Tagliaferro said...

Sure, there are lots of great restaurants in Long Island. There's the Babylon Carriage House in....um, Babylon, Louie's in Port Washington, Charlotte's in Cold Spring Harbor... just to name a few seafood restaurants.... and there are lots more!

Linda Tagliaferro