Toast to Toast

IMG_7042The folks in Patchogue were impatiently waiting for Toast to finally arrive on Main Street. Everyone kept harassing Terry, the owner, every time they saw him asking, “When are you opening?” He’d say, “Next month,” or “Next week,” and then finally, it was, “Tomorrow!”

Their other location in Port Jefferson, New York is known for their delicious breakfast and fondue. Unfortunately, right now the Patchogue location is only open until 3 p.m. on weekdays and 3:30 p.m. on weekends, so no fondue … yet. My fingers are permanently crossed.

You may have to wait on line to get a seat because this new spot is so popular, but it will be worth it. The decor is really eclectic with canvas paintings of farm animals in formal clothing, an old school electric chair and some steampunk details. Take a look around.

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Each time I eat at Toast, I find a new favorite. I decided pretty early in the game that I would not order the same thing at any of my visits until I have exhausted all of the items that I want to try on the menu. I visited three times so far, so I ordered three different items.

The first time, I ate the Three Cheese Trio and it was crispy and creamy. The three types of cheese are Cheddar, American and Swiss, and they are layered with tomato between two slices of toasted multigrain bread. I got a salad on the side instead of fries because I was pretending to be sorta healthy.

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Three Cheese Trio

The second time, I had the Chicken Salad Wrap. It was fresh and cool, and I ordered a Greek Salad on the side because once again, I was trying to be sorta healthy. The salad’s welcome crunch and sweetness came courtesy of some apple slices tossed in. I always order chicken salad when I go to lunch, but I have never had apples in it. I don’t usually mix my veggies with my fruit, but I made an exception for this yummy wrap.

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Chicken Salad Wrap

And, the third time I dined was during Lent, so I ate the Sweet Potato Pancakes. They were fluffy and were just like a warm hug for my belly, especially with the sweet honey butter.

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Sweet Potato Pancakes

Everything sounds and looks so delicious on the menu that I already know what I am going to decide between on my next visit: The Krispy Nutella French Toast (strawberries and Nutella) or The Graham Cracker French Toast (peanut butter, bananas and caramel). At the Patchogue location they even have exclusive Eggs Benedict dishes called The Splendid Benedict and The Haberdasher’s Delight, which I am actually also considering. At this rate, I will probably have to visit a dozen more times to be able to taste everything I want, and then wash them down with the variety of fruity Mimosa options.

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The Bad Larry

I highly recommend breakfast or lunch at Toast and will continue to check off items on the menu. Fortunately, Toast allows you to order online and pick up your food, so there’s always that option. On their website, it says that “Eating Toast makes you happy,” so go find your smile.

Toast Coffeehouse, 46 East Main Street, Patchogue, NY, 631.654.7091

So Glad Local Burger Co. is Local

I love burgers and the messier they are, the better. I am always looking for unique burger joints that put all kinds of toppings on their patties, and Local Burger Co. in Bay Shore is one of them.

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TK ordered the Return of the Mac. It comes with homemade mac & cheese, cheddar cheese and bacon on it. The mac & cheese wasn’t overpowering and the burger was not dry. He thought it was excellent and it was one of the better burgers he’s had. This burger may not be on the menu at the location, so you may have to ask for it, special, from your server. He also ordered the Southern Style Baked Beans and loved them because there is meat in the recipe.

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I ordered the Smokeshow and it had pulled pork, slaw, pickles and the house BBQ sauce. I really enjoyed this burger. The sauce was zesty, the pork was sweet, the slaw was cold and the pickles were sour. It was a great mix of flavors and the beef was top notch. I also asked for the Sea Salt and Truffle Fries. The taste was subtle on the fries, but they are fresh cut and great.

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Local Burger Co. even had a fountain soda machine behind the bar that had a number of appealing flavors, such as grape, lime and black cherry. My brother got himself a Root & Rye which combined Widow Jane Rye and Saranac Root Beer. Many people aren’t aware that Saranac doesn’t only make beer, they make soda too. They actually survived through prohibition by making and selling sodas. Their root beer was one of my pregnancy favorites. Order yourself a flavored soda, a unique burger and a tasty side because a meal at Local Burger Co. is really a treat and you won’t leave hungry.

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Local Burger Co., 62 E. Main Street, Bay Shore, NY, 631.647.8300

Holy Chiddy’s Cheesesteaks

I was introduced to cheesesteaks at Penn State, but being that Philadelphia is three hours from State College, I’ve never had the original in Philly. But, don’t feel bad for me because I have had Chiddy’s.

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Chiddy’s is a food truck stationed in the parking lot of the Bay Shore Best Buy on most days. Usually it’s Monday-Friday from 11 a.m-6 p.m. with some Saturdays and closed on Sundays, but they also work evenings at local breweries and events.

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I ordered the Chicken Cheesesteak with American cheese and lettuce, and WOW was I pleased. The sandwich had soft bread, moist chopped chicken, salty cheese and cool, crisp lettuce. Yep, I ate the ENTIRE thing. I also ate a little of the Cheesesteak Fries and those were really good. Crisp fries paired with shaved ribeye and creamy cheese really make you feel like you are cheating on a diet that you may or may not be on.

Chiddy’s serves up a variety of cheesesteaks, some with eggs, mushrooms or potatoes, and also chicken fingers, hot dogs and empanadas. Oh, and salad, but who wants salad when you can have cheese, steak and fries?

Chiddy’s Cheesesteaks, 631.813.4022

AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese Shop

Grilled cheese may be one of the most basic, yet delicious meals. In Bay Shore, AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese Shop is putting bread and cheese together to make something tasty.

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No grilled cheese is complete without a cup or bowl of Tomato Soup. So, I started off with a small cup of my own. They even offer Grilled Cheese Sticks to dip into the Tomato Soup, if that’s your thing. Of course, I wanted a full sandwich, so I ordered the Big T. It added sliced honey maple turkey to cheddar and two slices of sourdough. The turkey added saltiness to the creaminess of the cheese and the crunch of the bread. It was a truly great sandwich.

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All sandwiches come with Homemade Potato Chips and they make a dipping sauce for them and for their tater tots as well. I ordered the tater tots, but they were pretty basic. However, the chips were crunchy and tasted fresh. They are a great bonus to any sandwich.

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TK also ordered a side of Lobster Mac & Cheese that had huge chunks of lobster in it and curly noodles. We also got regular Mac & Cheese for our son that I ended up eating a few days later.

If you like grilled cheese, there are 13 different varieties at AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese and you need to get started. Wait, make that 14 if the Special of the Month is a sandwich.

AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, 182 W. Main Street, Bay Shore, NY, 631.647.9292

My Valentine at Luso

My husband is a big fan of Brazilian steakhouses or Churrasqueira. What he likes most about them is that they offer an array of meat and it keeps on coming until he decides he’s had enough. This all-you-can-eat style is called Rodizio and the meat is brought over to the table by a collection of waiters who add one delicious meat after another to your dish and then make their way to the next carnivore.

For Valentine’s Day, I wanted my husband to try a local Churrasqueira, so we went to Luso Churrasqueira in Smithtown, New York. He chose the Rodizio, obviously, and I chose Spare Ribs. The sides are served family-style, so the waiter comes over and covers your table with dishes and bowls full of accompaniments. I received my Spare Ribs and they were seasoned perfectly. I ate them with a fork and knife at first because I had a dress on and was trying to act like a lady, but then I had to make sure I didn’t waste any of the meat, so I had to use my hands, like I normally would.

TK’s meat started to arrive and first there was Sausage, then Spare Ribs, then Turkey Wrapped in Bacon, then Skirt Steak, then Beef Shank, and just when he thought he couldn’t take it anymore, the waiter brought over some Sirloin. But, that wasn’t the end because some Chicken made its way onto his plate too. His favorite was the Sirloin, followed by the Sausage. All of the meat was seasoned and tender, so he couldn’t pass on trying them all.

After all that meat and all of its friends, we were so full that I couldn’t even order the dessert that I admired at another table.

I probably wouldn’t recommend Luso to a vegetarian or a vegan, but if you like meat—a lot of it—give it a try.

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Luso Restaurant, 133 W. Main Street, Smithtown, NY, 631.406.6820

A New Disney Favorite at Boatwright’s

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After a full day at Legoland in Florida, we returned to Walt Disney World property to arrive for our dinner reservation at Boatwright’s at Port Orleans Riverside. My parents have eaten at this restaurant and RAVE about it. By rave, I mean that my mother said that the Shrimp and Grits is the “best thing” she has ever eaten. Well, challenge accepted, Mom.

I don’t know what came over me, but I ordered the Amelia’s Salad to start my meal. Now, I am not the biggest salad fan and this salad had items in it that I was not a fan of. It was a spinach (like) salad with bleu cheese crumbles (don’t like), sliced apples (like), pumpkin seeds (like) and a house vinaigrette (like). The mix together wasn’t my favorite, but I know some of my girl friends would like it.

Then, the pièce de résistance arrived! The melding of the flavors from the smoky Tasso ham, the creamy cheese, the sweet shrimp and the blend of herbs and vegetables made the Shrimp and Grits simply delicious. I’ve had grits before, but they were never as flavorful as these. I would go back every time just for this dish.

Everyone else enjoyed their meals, and obviously that includes Mom. When we returned home, TK said that the General Fulton’s Prime Rib was the best meal he had all week and that’s a pretty lofty statement.

Boatwright’s will now be a staple when we visit Disney World. Well played, Mom.

Boatwright’s at Port Orleans-Riverside in Walt Disney World, Florida

 

A Tropical Treat at Kona Cafe

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On our first night at Walt Disney World in Florida, we dined at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Village Resort. I love the theming of the resort because it reminds me of my honeymoon in Hawaii and I have a lot of fabulous travel memories from that trip.

We had to wait a few minutes for the hostesses to accommodate us, but we showed up with more people than my reservation listed, so it was appreciated. Our group of 11 was seated at a very long table and we all fit nicely, and we are not a small family by any means.

I started my meal with the Samoan Corn Fritters that I was excited for, but they had a little bit of a soapy taste, so I ended up giving them away to my cousin and aunt who liked them. I did, however, taste one of my uncle’s Sticky Wings and those were delicious. I like saucy wings, so they were sweet and enjoyable with a good amount of meat.

For my entree, I decided on a sushi roll because I read the menu before my trip and got excited about the choices. I ordered the Crab Rangoon Roll because I usually like Crab Rangoon from Chinese restaurants, so I thought this would be an interesting twist on the dish. Everyone’s food came and my dish was still missing, so the manager paid me a visit. He told me that they dropped my roll on the floor and were making me another one. I was glad that they didn’t choose to serve me the dirty one, but that would be the complete opposite of the Disney way. Not one minute later, the waiter showed up with my roll and it was piping hot.

This sushi roll was not like other rolls because it was deep fried. That’s right, deep fried in tempura batterThe crab salad on the inside was creamy, and the tempura shell on the outside had a great amount of crunch. I loved it because I need a little texture to my sushi and I also don’t like when the seaweed is the first item to touch my tongue. I unselfishly let TK try a piece and he said it was not real sushi. Well, it was definitely rolled up and cut into pieces, so that was enough for me to consider it sushi. I immediately regretted sharing it with him.

I washed it all down with a Kona Longboard Lager and it was the perfect beer and reminder of my honeymoon days in Kona. This restaurant is a great escape to the tropics.

Kona Cafe, Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida