Brew with a Wurst Chaser at Hofbrau Munchen

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Bavarian Bierhaus Pretzel

We went out for a friend’s birthday at Hofbrau Munchen on West Main Street in Patchogue, New York. The location was a J&R’s Steakhouse prior to closing down for several months and reemerging as Hofbrau with a whole new look. J&R’s sold Hofbrau beer on tap when they were open and then, I guess, the owners focused on the beer and replaced the steak with a menu of German specialties, like they serve at all of the other Hofbrauhaus locations in the U.S.

Everyone in our party, except for me and the other preggo, ordered either a liter or a half liter of beer. They had a tap and a bottle menu for beer and a wine list as well. I ordered myself a very tasty Root Beer and was very satisfied (there’s still beer in the name). I also started my meal with a very large Bavarian Bierhaus Pretzel and alternated between spicy mustard and melted cheese dipping sauces. It arrived warm and soft with a thin crispy crust. If you don’t know how much I love a good soft pretzel, then you don’t know me well enough. And, I am not talking about those carcinogen twists that you can get on the streets of Manhattan. Those are gross. I am talking about the pretzels, pretzel rolls and pretzel bread that you can buy and eat fresh and soft with the right amount of salt sprinkled on top. Pure pretzel perfection.

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Wurst Sandwich with Fries

OK, enough about pretzels (even though you have to get one when you go to Hofbrau). My friends kept drinking and I kept eating, so I then ordered a Wurst Sandwich with Kielbasa. I wanted something with sauerkraut and this definitely had it, along with grilled onions, cheddar bier cheese and mustard. I prefer my brats and sausage sandwiches with just mustard and sauerkraut, so I scraped the rest of the items off. Before you start getting snarky, I tried one bite with everything and decided it was all just too much. I found solace in the crispy fries on the side and had to share them with my friends because fries go great with beer.

When everyone was ordering their close to final beer, I ordered the Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae. I have my own version of fun and that’s called eating. The sundae had three scoops of vanilla ice cream and was covered in whipped cream, caramel, chocolate and melba sauce (whatever that is). It was a great ending to a fun meal.

Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae

Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae

One problem that I did find with Hofbrau Munchen or Bierhaus Patchogue or Hofbrauhaus or German Restaurant of Long Island is that no one knows what to call it and where to find it online. Fortunately for you, I found their website and linked to it in the first paragraph of this post and below as well. You’re welcome, and you owe me a pretzel.

Bierhaus Patchogue, 32 West Main Street, Patchogue, NY, 631.475.9200.

A Double Date at Hotoke

For a holiday double date, my friends, TK and I decided to head out to Hotoke in Smithtown, New York for dinner with a 6:30 p.m. reservation. Usually, our go-to place for sushi is Sumou in Patchogue, but we thought it would be a good idea to branch out to see what specialty rolls other locations are serving.

Fortunately, when we arrived, the restaurant was practically empty, so we sat ourselves at the bar to wait for our friends. In a matter of five minutes, our friends arrived and we were seated.

We started off with some Pork Gyoza and the Tuna Tower. Being that I was pregnant, I had to abstain from eating any raw fish, so I enjoyed the Gyoza. It was crispy at the edges and salty in the soft center. They enjoyed the Tuna Tower because it was just layer upon layer of soft tuna.

For my entree, I ordered the Beef Negimaki dinner with Steamed Rice, Salad and Soup because I had to eat a completely cooked meal. I asked to substitute the Miso Soup for the Mushroom Soup because I think Miso tastes like dirty water. I just really do not enjoy it and think that the Mushroom Soup has a much better flavor. The salad was cool and fresh with a sweet ginger dressing. When my dinner came, the Beef Negimaki was steaming hot and drenched in the delicious, tangy teriyaki sauce. The rolls were pretty large so I stuffed my mouth every time I lifted my chopsticks. With Japanese food, you just have to muscle through it and not look like a newbie. No one bites sushi, or Beef Negimaki for that matter. Just eat it. I really enjoyed my food, but I couldn’t finish the large portion and didn’t think it was a good idea to take it home either. Who knows how that would reheat?

Everyone else got their fair share of specialty rolls and they were every color of the rainbow. They all looked delicious, but I tried not to look at them too long because I don’t like to torture myself while pregnant. They all loved everything that they ate and each one was more creative than the last. They all tried each roll and I didn’t hear a bad comment from anyone.

To top it off, we all got some yummy dessert. TK and I shared the Peanut Butter Mousse Cake, because we had to (Pregnant, remember?) and our friends got the Cheesecake. We enjoyed our desserts, but our entrees were the highlight of the meal, of course.

Hotoke, 41 Route 111, Smithtown, NY, 631-979-9222.

Disney’s Must Eat or Drink List (1-60)

As you may already know, I’ve been to a Walt Disney theme park 14 times in my life; 13 trips to Walt Disney World in Florida and one trip to Disneyland in California. Each time I go, it is a necessity that I eat my favorite foods and try some new items that I just might add to my list of menu items to revisit. Fortunately for you, I keep track of what I love and what others love in order to share these delights with you.

Sleepy Hollow

Nutella Waffle Sandwich

To keep up, I will break down the information a little bit for you. I mean, you need to know exactly how and where to get them, if you need them.

Each listing will look like this: Food/Drink Item – Location Name, Area of Park (if there is one), Park or Resort, WDW (Walt Disney World) or DL (Disneyland).

Red items have been eaten by me and the other items are still waiting to be eaten, and there are plenty.

My Must Eat or Drink at Disney List:

  1. Tipsy Duck – Joy of Tea, China, Epcot, WDW
  2. Lobster Roll – Crew’s Cup, Yacht Club, WDW
  3. No Way Jose – Beaches & Cream, Beach Club, WDW
  4. Dole Whip Float – Aloha Isle, Adventureland, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  5. Naan Bread Service – Sanaa, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village, WDW
  6. Zebra Dome – Boma, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, WDW
  7. Profiteroles au Chocolate – Chefs de France, France, Epcot, WDW
  8. Crab Legs – Cape May Cafe, Beach Club, WDW
  9. Minnie’s Bake Shop Cookies – Any Resort Souvenir Shop, WDW
  10. Pulled Buffalo Chicken Sandwich – Trilobites, Dinoland U.S.A., Animal Kingdom, WDW
  11. Nutella Waffle Sandwich – Sleepy Hollow, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  12. Brioche French Toast – Flo’s V8, Cars Land, California Adventure, DL
  13. Beignets – Mint Julep Bar, New Orleans Square, DL
  14. Jolly Holiday Combo – Jolly Holiday Cafe, Main Street U.S.A., DL
  15. Cheese Fondue – Territory Lounge, Wilderness Lodge, WDW
  16. Peanut Butter Sandwich – Pooh Corner, Critter Country, DL
  17. Pulled Pork Nachos – Tambu Lounge, Polynesian Resort, WDW
  18. Butterfinger Cupcake – Starring Rolls Cafe, Hollywood Studios, WDW
  19. Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake – Liberty Tree Tavern, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  20. Peanut Butter, Banana and Candied Bacon Pie – Boardwalk Bakery, Boardwalk Resort, WDW
  21. Grapefruit Cake – Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood Studios, WDW
  22. Mickey Pretzel – Various theme park pretzel stands, WDW
  23. Strawberry Shortcake – Sunshine Seasons, The Land, Epcot, WDW
  24. School Bread – Norway, Epcot, WDW
  25. Grey Stuff Cupcake – Be Our Guest, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  26. Berry Cream Puff – Kringla Bakery, Norway, Epcot, WDW
  27. Peanut Butter & Jelly Milkshake – 50’s Prime Time Cafe, Hollywood Studios, WDW
  28. Frozen Hot Chocolate – Hilton Bonnet Creek (a good neighbor hotel that is not on property), WDW
  29. All American Sundae – Plaza Ice Cream, Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  30. Ice Cream Martini - L’Artisan des Glaces, France, Epcot, WDW
  31. Gold Rush – Ghirardelli, Downtown Disney Marketplace, WDW
  32. Viking Mousse – Kringla Bakery, Norway, Epcot, WDW
  33. Cookie Bottom Sundae – Ghirardelli, Downtown Disney Marketplace, WDW
  34. Peanut Butter Heaven – Pooh Corner, Critter Country, DL
  35. Bananas Foster Bread Pudding – Ohana, Polynesian Resort, WDW
  36. Rocky Road Brownie Mousse – Smokehouse (Food & Wine Festival), Epcot, WDW
  37. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake – Contempo Cafe, Contemporary Resort, WDW
  38. Filet Mignon with Macaroni and Cheese – Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House, WDW
  39. Sticky Wings – Kona Cafe, Polynesian Resort, WDW
  40. Cronut – Refreshment Port, Future World, Epcot, WDW
  41. Apple Pie – Carnation Cafe, Main Street U.S.A., DL
  42. Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich – L’Artisan des Glaces, France, Epcot, WDW
  43. Monte Cristo Sandwich – Blue Bayou Restaurant, New Orleans Square, DL
  44. Grand Marnier Orange Slush – France, Epcot, WDW
  45. Lobster Nachos – Cove Bar, Paradise Pier, California Adventure, DL
  46. Pommes Frites – Cafe Orleans, New Orleans Square, DL
  47. Cinnamon Roll – Main Street Bakery, Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom, WDW
  48. Pretzel Bites with Cheese Sauce – Troubadour Tavern, Fantasyland, DL
  49. Cinnamon Roll French Toast – Carnation Cafe, Main Street U.S.A., DL
  50. Peanut Butter Brownie Sandwich – Earl of Sandwich, Downtown Disney Marketplace, WDW
  51. Margherita Pizza – Via Napoli, Italy, Epcot, WDW
  52. Shrimp & Grits – Boatwright’s, Port Orleans Resort, WDW
  53. French Onion Soup – Chefs de France, France, Epcot, WDW
  54. Macaroni & Cheese – Yachtsman Steakhouse, Yacht Club, WDW
  55. Almond Crusted Cheesecake – Narcoosee’s, Grand Floridian, WDW
  56. Bread Pudding – Raglan Road, Downtown Disney Pleasure Island, WDW
  57. Bailey’s and Jack Daniel’s Mousse – Coral Reef, Living Seas, Epcot, WDW
  58. Spicy Kazan Roll – California Grill, Contemporary Resort, WDW
  59. Chocolate Melange – Blue Zoo, Dolphin Hotel, WDW
  60. Pumpkin Beignets – Mint Julep Bar, New Orleans Square, DL

So, there are my first 60 items that need to be eaten on your next trip to a Disney theme park. Did I forget one of your favorites? Do you need to know about an item because it sounds so good? Let me know in the comments.

Emily’s is a Treat

While in Williamsburg, Virginia to visit Christmas Town, we made sure to stop at a place that I found online and then stalked on Facebook. All of the photos on the Emily’s Donuts & Cafe Facebook page made my mouth water. I knew my family would feel the same, so I shared the page with them and waited for comment. Of course, they were all in.

One morning, we headed over to Emily’s for breakfast and we were all pleasantly surprised by the selection of donuts and other sweet treats. I had a regular Chocolate-Frosted Donut and my family members all sampled their own sweet specialty. Every donut was fresh, soft and frosted, filled or glazed perfectly, and we all savored them.

I was so glad we got to try Emily’s and I fought the need to head back there after lunch, but you should definitely pop in whenever you are in or near Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg or even Water Country USA. It is a real small business treasure.

Emily’s Donuts & Cafe, 7123 Merrimac Trail, Williamsburg, VA, 757-345-3602

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BBD’s is Rock N’ Roll

I read about it and I heard about it, so I needed to try it. BBD’s (Beers, Burgers and Desserts) was everything I saw on Facebook, their website and read in Newsday. From the outside, BBD’s is very unassuming, but as soon as you walk through the door, you notice that this place is all about beer, food and rock n’ roll. All of the servers are tatted up and the decor is very industrial, but active and inviting, and everyone is super nice.

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BBD’s Bar

In 2010, my husband and I traveled to Downtown Scottsdale and were impressed by the character of each of their individual bars, so when we see restaurants or bars that stand out on their own, we get really excited. BBD’s is unique and the soundtrack is all ACDC and Linkin Park.

First, we had to start with beverages, of course, so I got a Birch Beer and TK got a Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale with cinnamon sugar coating the rim. My Birch Beer was so crisp that it was almost effervescent. TK chose the Pumpkin Ale from the beer menu that served as a geography textbook of beer with pages and pages of craft beers from all over the world.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

For appetizers, we got the Boneless Buffalo Drumsticks and the Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings. The Drumsticks were more like buffalo chicken cutlets that we were able to split between the four of us. Each cutlet had the smokiness and sweetness of a buffalo wing, but without making you do all the work it requires to eat wings. We just needed a fork and a knife, but we could’ve used our hands, if we really wanted to forget our table manners. The Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings were full of crunch with added saltiness from the bacon. It came with Creme Fraiche (I guess to be fancy) and Maple Sugar and Apple Tamarind Brown Butter Dip. Creme Fraiche doesn’t taste too much like anything, but the Brown Butter Dip was pretty tasty.

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Boneless Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks

Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

Bacon Wrapped Onion Rings

For my dinner, I got the Chicken & Waffle Burger. The chicken was a fried patty and had great flavor. The waffles were less crispy and more soft and sweet. The burger was topped with Pear Slaw, Maple Malt Mayo and Honey Butter. The burger was good, but I would have liked some savory toppings instead of sweet on top of sweet. The Crinkly Fries were a great addition.

Chicken & Waffle Burger

Chicken & Waffle Burger

TK ordered a burger from the customization menu. He added Hickory Smoked Bacon, American Cheese and Whiskey BBQ Sauce. The bacon was very smokey and the Whiskey BBQ was served on the side for dipping or slathering. He really enjoyed the combination he chose, and I am sure he will decide to try other options whenever we decide to visit again.

Steakhouse Burger

Steakhouse Burger

We were all full, so we didn’t get dessert to complete the acronym, but there is a full menu of sweet treats to end your meal, like Mini French Toast Apple Pie or Liquid Brownie Cake or even a XXX Shine Salted Caramel Whiskey Milkshake, if you are feeling spunky.

If you are in the mood for a good burger and something a little different, try BBD’s, and try to stay for dessert.

BBD’s, 49 Route 25A, Rocky Point, NY, 631-849-1620

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BBD’s Brand

Made it a Point to Try Five Points

After a few years of passing it on Main Street in Sayville, we finally decided to give Five Points Cafe a try. We heard it was good, but never had the chance to stop in. The restaurant is small, but it is intimate and clean. The service was fantastic and our drinks were never even able to reach empty before the waitress would bring another. There was an acoustic guitarist next to us that my mom as afraid would be loud, but he definitely wasn’t and he added to the atmosphere. At one point,  he even performed “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” from Frozen and he did a pretty good job.

To start our meal, we ordered Guacamole and Chips. The Guac was creamy and the chips were fresh and crunchy. We didn’t end up finishing it because my son’s Macaroni & Cheese came and he needed to eat. He enjoyed his meal too!

Guacamole and Chips

Guacamole and Chips

TK and I both ordered the same thing, the Downtown Burger. It came with three different cheeses, bacon, a pile of onion straws and zesty Five Star Sauce. The burger was juicy and messy, just how I like it. It had plenty of crunch with the onion straws. I added ketchup to the burger because I wanted it even messier than it already was, and I had plenty of napkins because our waitress was on the ball.

Downtown Burger

Downtown Burger

My mom ordered the Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Sandwich and she really liked it. She liked it so much that she finished it and that rarely happens. The sandwich included a panko-breaded chicken breast, roasted red peppers and pesto mayonnaise.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Sandwich

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Sandwich

We noticed the dessert menu on the table while we were eating and made sure to save some room. We all decided to share the Deep Fried S’mores. They were rich and soft, but the marshmallow wasn’t as stretchy and melted as I thought it would be. I guess I just like stringy s’mores. It was still a good dessert because, DUH, there was chocolate and whipped cream.

Deep Fried S'mores

Deep Fried S’mores

When we were finished and full, we all decided that we would definitely come back because we all enjoyed our meals, even our toddler.

Five Points Cafe, One Main Street, Sayville, NY, 631-567-5655

Much More Than Cows at Maureen’s Kitchen

My husband and I were actually awake during breakfast, so we decided to celebrate the end of a crappy week with a meal at Maureen’s Kitchen in Smithtown, New York. Maureen’s doesn’t have a website or a Facebook page, but they really don’t need it because the place is always packed. Good luck getting in there on a weekend. Oh, and make sure you bring cash because they are kind of old school and don’t take credit cards. When you pull up, you’ll see a large cow out front. You may have a hard time finding a parking spot, but there is an overflow lot across the street, adjacent to CVS, for your convenience.

Maureens Sign

Maureen’s Kitchen Street Sign

If you are lucky enough to get a seat without a wait, like we were because it was a Friday, make sure you check out the specials board. Your waiter or waitress might even take it off of the wall and bring it right over to your table. They want to make sure you see it because there are at least five very interesting specials available every day, like an array of omelets or Cannoli-Stuffed French Toast. And, there are cows everywhere (hence the title of this post)! You will feel like you should take a look around for Maureen and say, “Good morning” because you actually feel like you are sitting in her kitchen.

Maureens

Maureen’s Kitchen

Fortunately, they serve juice in pint glasses, not wimpy little juice glasses, so there was no reason for me to order a refill during my entire meal. TK got the #2 Breakfast which came with two perfect sunny-side-up eggs, two fluffy pancakes, two pieces of salty bacon and one well-done sausage, and he got a hearty dish of home fries on the side. He enjoyed all of it, but forgot to order toast. Oops. I tasted the home fries and they were a little smokey. I wasn’t a fan of that, but TK liked them just fine.

Breakfast #2

Breakfast #2

Home Fries

Home Fries

My meal was a special. I got the Pumpkin Walnut Pancakes with Bananas. They came out piping hot and soft. The pancakes tasted like cinnamon with the extra crunch of the walnuts and sweetness of the bananas. I could only eat half because there were three stacked up and they were rather large. It was a very warm, comforting meal and sometimes you just need to be spoiled in the morning. A few years ago, I visited Maureen’s with my aunt and had the Apple Cinnamon Pancakes. I remember that they were also delicious.

Pumpkin Walnut Pancakes with Bananas

Pumpkin Walnut Pancakes with Bananas

Many have tried Maureen’s Kitchen and everyone I’ve spoken to has enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ve heard anything bad about the food ever, but some people don’t like the crowd or the wait. It is so worth it, though, so be patient. Note: there aren’t any waffles on the menu, so you may want to head over to another breakfast spot if that’s what you are looking for.

Maureen’s Kitchen, 108 Terry Road, Smithtown, NY, 631-360-9227