South Ocean Grill: Small place, huge taste

For a late Valentine’s Day dinner, my husband and I made reservations for South Ocean Grill in Patchogue, New York. I had heard wonderful things about the food and that the location was very small and intimate.

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Inside South Ocean Grill

We took a ride service to the restaurant because I figured parking would be an issue and we wanted to have a few glasses of wine. I believe the only parking is on the street with signs that specify where patrons can park. When we walked in, the desk to check in was right there, so we told them our name and sat right down. The hostess sat us down at a table with two plush round leather armchairs with little red pillows on them for added comfort, and they were really comfortable.

We looked over the drink menu to choose wine and I ordered a Pinot Grigio and TK got a Sauvignon Blanc. I can’t remember the winery for either of them, but they were enjoyable. The waitress poured the wine into our glasses and left us a little carafe to refill at our leisure. We skipped appetizers and ordered our entrees with our wine. I decided on the Pan Seared Jumbo Scallops and Rock Shrimp and TK chose the Palm Beach Ribeye. My scallops and shrimp were served on a bed of creamy risotto. The scallops were cooked perfectly. They were little soft pillows of flavor. The risotto was buttery and wonderfully tasty. I made sure to share some of it with TK because a meal this good is meant to be shared. He agreed that the scallops weren’t chewy at all, like they sometimes are. They were cooked exactly as they should be. He also enjoyed the risotto I shared with him and remarked on the flavor.

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Pan Seared Jumbo Scallops and Rock Shrimp

He shared his ribeye with me and it had a tasty marinade on it. I could taste an Asian flavor and TK reinforced my thoughts and told me that it was marinated in soy sauce and ginger. He loved it, but did say that he didn’t like the amount of fat that was left on the meat. To that, I told him that he should get the Filet Mignon next time, because there will be a next time and he agreed. The Ribeye came with a baked potato and he was pretty happy with that.

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Palm Beach Ribeye

I was finished with my meal before TK because it was delicious and I like to eat seafood before it gets cold. I sipped on my wine in my comfortable chair and waited for TK to be finished with his steak. When he finished, we ordered the Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie to share. Peanut butter and chocolate is my favorite combination and whipped cream is a great addition to anything sweet. Of course, we scooped up some whipped cream to start every bite. It was a great ending to a fantastic meal.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

Fortunately, South Ocean Grill offers reservation options on Open Table. I strongly recommend booking a table at a specified time because I counted approximately 28 table seats at the restaurant. I will be doing so when I plan my return trip. After all, I heard great things about their salads and their flatbreads.

South Ocean Grill, 567 S. Ocean Avenue, Patchogue, 631.307.9999

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

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.

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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 summertime favorite now for every season: Flo’s Luncheonette

Every Memorial Day, I would get really excited that Flo’s was about to open at Corey Beach in Blue Point, New York. However, Flo’s has expanded and there is another location that will be open all year in Patchogue. We have visited several times already and it is only the beginning of August. The staff is really friendly and have even played with my son from time to time, and Connor, the owner is very accommodating. In the Patchogue location, there are indoor and outdoor tables and an indoor bar that serves beer, wine and cider. I’ve taken TK, Jax, my parents, my colleagues and my friend Catherine and her son Joey to Flo’s to enjoy the fresh and extensive menu.

Each time I visit, I try to order something new. At this point, I’ve eaten the Baked Clams, Fried Calamari, the Big EZ Wrap, Fried Beer-Battered Shrimp, Fried Clams, Sweet Potato Fries, Regular Fries, Waffle Fries and Onion Rings. My father loved the Fish & Chips, Manhattan Clam Chowder and the Clams on the Half Shell. My mother gets the Coconut Shrimp every time and Catherine enjoyed the Lobster Roll. I just don’t see how you can go wrong, especially washed down with a refreshing Summer Blend.

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Out of all of the delicious meals that I’ve eaten, I’ve liked the Big EZ Wrap and the Fried Calamari best. I’ve reviewed the Big EZ Wrap before in my post: Summertime Hangout. The Fried Calamari is so good because the squid is soft and not chewy, and the breading is crunchy and flavorful. With the marinara sauce, it is a great appetizer or meal. A side of their thick Onion Rings with zesty horseradish dipping sauce is also a great accompaniment to any sandwich, wrap or seafood option.

Now you can get Flo’s in two locations and even find them at local festivals with their Flo’s to Go food truck. The only negative to the Flo’s to Go truck is that they don’t serve their full menu, including the Summer Blend, which maybe you can tell is quite important to me, but everything is still delicious nonetheless.

Flo’s Luncheonette, 225 West Main Street, Patchogue, NY, 888-FLOS-TOGO.

 

A Quick and Painless Lunch at Bobbique

My colleagues and I decided to have lunch out one day at Bobbique in Patchogue, NY. They have a good deal on lunch with a full menu of items for $6.99 with mugs of tap beer for $3.

I decided on the Watermelon Wheat for my beverage and the Pulled Chicken Salad with Baked Beans for my lunch. The beer was refreshing, but it did not taste like watermelon, unfortunately. I don’t think that many watermelon beers actually do, but I am willing to keep trying them until I find one that does. The Pulled Chicken was tasty and the salad was light. It was an interesting combination because I usually get pulled chicken or pulled pork sandwiches. It fit in with my diet, but I think I would prefer it on bread because carbs are better than lettuce. (No surprise there.) The Baked Beans had a good mix of sweet and smokiness, and I actually preferred them over the Macaroni and Cheese.

My colleagues ordered a variety of other items from the menu and they were all very pleased with them, and not just because they were all lunch specials. The food at Bobbique is great for lunch or dinner, or even a snack out with friends because their happy hour specials include sliders, wings, beer, etc. Perfect.

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Let’s meet at That Meetball Place

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At first, I thought name was a little strange, but then I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised. The outside of That Meetball Place looks like it was cut out of a New York City street and plopped in the center of Main Street in Patchogue, N.Y. Then, you go inside and you feel like you are in downtown Manhattan and not in downtown Patchogue. One night, we went out to “meet” our friends and enjoy a nice meal together.

We started off by ordering our drinks because the menu took a little getting used to. You pick the type of ball you want, then you pick the sauce and then you pick the way you want it. You can also add some extras, like Dynamite Fries and Macaroni and Cheese, or even a dollup of Ricotta. Yum!

I ordered the Vegetarian Risotto Balls with Pancetta Cream Sauce. They were very good. The creamy sauce was a nice pairing with the seasoned rice balls. Interestingly enough, TK ordered the Balls of Fire with Spicy Marinara Sauce over some Rigatoni. His mouth was on fire (hence the name), but he enjoyed them. He also ordered Ricotta to put over the top. Maybe he thought that the Ricotta would save his taste buds from the heat. They didn’t.

I had visited That Meetball Place once before for a business lunch, so we were able to sample the dessert menu. At that time, I loved the PBNJ Sandwich, but on this night, it wasn’t warm enough, so I was kind of disappointed. Usually, the deep-fried peanut butter, Nutella and jelly sandwich is nice and warm and the whipped cream is a cooling and sweet accompaniment. Unfortunately, that was not the case on this night, but I am not one to ever turn away Nutella, so I partook in dessert.

This meal was yummy and the beer selection was pretty good too. If you are looking for somewhere to “meet” friends and have a few bites, this is a pretty good spot. Just try to not get too carried away with ordering extras because your eyes can easily become larger than your stomach.

Mexico 2013

You may not be able to see it from the street, but Mexican Grill 2000 in Patchogue, NY has delicious, and very inexpensive, authentic Mexican food that makes perfect sense. For starts, everything can be made in 15-20 minutes because it is all fresh and on hand.

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Chicken Enchiladas

I was watching Mexican Paradise on the Travel Channel and it put me in the mood for enchiladas, and luckily, I knew exactly where to go and I knew it would be real Mexican food. I ordered the Chicken Enchiladas for myself and ordered a Fajita Style Burrito for TK. He loved his and when I allowed him to try the enchiladas, he liked them too. I usually dive right into foods that I have not ordered before, but he’s usually more hesitant. Not this time.

Fortunately, my enchiladas hit the spot. They had a little kick, but also had the saltiness from the cheese, zestiness from the sauce and the sour cream cooled everything down. It was delicious and I would order them a hundred times more. And, as a bonus, you get chips and salsa with your meal.

Mexican Grill 2000, 703 Route 112, Patchogue, NY, 631-207-6554