Saturday, February 1, 2014

Thomas's Ham and Eggery Diner, Carle Place, NY

Ordering from the menu at Thomas's Ham and Eggery here in Carle Place, NY, the best breakfast place on Long Island.  Lots of choices, but I really need to make the best one.  Everything is made to order at Thomas's and everything just tastes so darn good.  Pancakes light and fluffy, omelets cooked to perfection. 

Sign inside the diner above the kitchen

Built as a stand alone diner, Thomas's has been a staple for breakfast since 1946.  During that time, the place has been owned by only two families.  When the original owner died. the current owners took over 20 years ago.  

Nothing about it has changed in all that time, except for the menu, which has been updated for 2013 to include some new items. Tommy, son of the current owner, is always around to help and was kind enough to speak to Rob, Susan and myself.  Tommy is aware of his competition and strives to make to be the best the diner can be. Even the manager, Alex, filled us in on information.  Everyone there is kind, helpful and willing to answer any questions you may have.

Some of the kitchen staff

We were there early in the morning when it wasn't crowded.  But don't be fooled. On the weekends, the place is packed and the lobby of the diner has lines out the door.  Coffee and tea are delivered when you are seated, and take it from me, the water is hot.    All the eggs are served in skillets and there are specials at great prices.    

Inside the diner, facing west.  If you look closely, you can see Susan siting close to the camera, taking notes.

The inside is decorated in the 50's style with posters.  Magnets, that have been lovingly collected by family are hanging on the wall, behind the counter.

Ah, here it is.  My order finally came.  Look at the skillet

 So if you're around the area, visit Thomas's Ham and Eggery Diner.  The staff is there to serve to serve you. Enjoy.  You can't go wrong at Thomas's.  

Link below connects to a copy of Thomas's extensive menu

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sweet Mama's Restaurant, Northport, Long Island, NY

Here I am enjoying some of Rob's entree, Mama's Pancake Special.  Susan had Chips Overboard, 2 pancakes topped with peanut butter and chocolate chips sprinkled on top and inside. Normally, they come with 3 pancakes, but the kitchen will accommodate you any way they can.

And without a problem or extra charge.

According to Laura, one of the regular managers, Sweet Mama's began as a chicken farm, somewhere in the late 1800's.   It was originally owned by the Smith family, a very prominent name on Long Island (see my blog on the Smithtown Bull).

The chicken farm was converted to an Italian restaurant, Salvatore's. It was in business for 50 years until Smitty's took over, which ran for 8 years.  The house closed down for two years and didn't reopen its doors until 2006 when Sweet Mama's took over.  

Sweet Mama's three spacious rooms are decorated  in 1950's style.  Posters, pictures, knick knacks and period music bring you back to a simpler time in America's history.  The counter is spacious and, if you get a special corner, you will feel as though you are being catered to.  There are hooks below to accommodate a jacket or anything else you wish to hang there. 
Wait staff is friendly and as I mentioned before, will make sure that your order is filled quickly and correctly exactly to your specifications.  The specials of the day are neatly written on boards in all three rooms where you can get a good look at them.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served and there are weekly specials to enjoy.  The prices are reasonable and there is hardly ever a wait. In the summer, you can enjoy their lovely outdoor patio. 

 So go and enjoy some great food at Sweet Mama's when you're in the neighborhood or just go for a wonderful breakfast.  You'll be glad that you did.

As usual, here are some links

Sweet Mama's own website

Here you can check on their menu and catch their daily specials.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Flo's Famous Luncheonette, Blue Point, Long Island, NY

Here I am enjoying a Flo's Fizzle.  It reminds Susan and Rob of what they used to call a creamsicle.  Actually, it's just vanilla ice cream mixed in with orange soda.  Absolutely delicious and perfect for a hot day in the summer.

You can get it, along with other great menu items at Flo's Famous Luncheonette in Blue Point, Long Island, NY.  Rob and Susan stopped off there yesterday and enjoyed their fried scallop wrap with a side of waffle fries. They were surprised at how much food there was.  The wrap was overstuffed with wonderful juicy scallops.  There were so many waffle fries, they were brimming over of the small cardboard holder.  And for desert, we had one of the best egg creams that we ever tasted.

Flo's Famous began in as a seafood barge located in Bay Shore which was sold and moved in 1926 to its present location in Blue Point on Middle Road.   

Flo Kimball would open up her stand every season beginning in early May and shut it down in late September. She would open for lunch and would stay open until the early morning hours so that she could accommodate the late comers from the theatre. 

Flo ran the white frame building until her death in 1950 and a former employee, Betty Edmonds took over.  Since that time, Flo's has gone through several owners and is currently run by the Vigliotta family with Connor Vigliotta as its manager. 

When Rob and Susan drove up yesterday, they had no idea the place existed, it was always closed down. Even so,  many Long Islanders have fond memories of the place.  What actually attracted us was the crowd of people sitting and enjoying their meals at long picnic style tables with colorful tablecloths and umbrellas.  It is by far the best bang for the buck so to speak, with overstuffed sandwiches, wraps, burgers and even lobster rolls, all at reasonable prices.  Flo's slogan was "Meet and Eat", a slogan which still stands today.  Flo would be proud to see that the tradition she started 80 years ago has lived up to her standards.  

So if you're in the area, stop by Flo's Famous during the summer months.   You won't be disappointed.

Here is a link to their website below.  There is some extended history from their placemat in pdf format and a copy of their most recent menu, also in pdf format.  There are plenty of pictures old and new in their gallery for you to enjoy.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Montauk Manor, Montauk, Long Island, NY

Here I am at Montauk Manor, located in Montauk, Long Island, New York where Rob and I attended an Italian car show, which included everything from old and new Fiat's to Ferrari's.  There even was a Mini Cooper there.

Here you see the elegant Tudor style of this graceful and historic hotel, but you've got to check out the inside to fully appreciate this National Landmark.

Montauk Manor began in 1925 with industrialist Carl Fisher, who wanted to create "the most fabulous summer resort ever imagined in the western world."  And in 1927, the Manor opened to the public.  Built entirely on Signal Hill, this beautiful luxury resort includes a spa, tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a fitness and recreation center.  You can enjoy a leisurely game of golf, spend the day fishing or travel by jitney to the beach or any of the surrounding parks. 

Recently restored and renovated to all its former glory, Montauk Manor is open all year for everyone to enjoy it's magnificence.  It can accommodate your every need, whether it be business or pleasure, this place has it all.

You can take advantage of the Manor's 140 condo apartments or enjoy the deluxe hotel services that this hotel has been famous for since 1927.

So come out to visit Carl Fisher's dream of a "Castle on the Hill" in beautiful Montauk, Long Island, NY, also known by locals as "The End."

As usual, I'm including my usual links at the bottom of the page.  Rob took some great pics which I will also include.

 Here is the official website of Montauk Manor, which will explain in detail the history of this beautiful hotel.  Please enjoy the virtual tour. The website will explain everything you need to know about the hotel and the surrounding area.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gourmet Burger Bistro, Port Jefferson, LI, NY

Look at that burger!  You'll never find one that will be its equal. 

We are at GBB, otherwise known as Gourmet Burger Bistro.  The burger that's in front of me is the Napa Valley burger that Rob and I shared.  The meat is marinated in cabernet with a minced shallot patty. It is topped with fresh basil, red onion, tomatoes and Monterey  Jack cheese with a pesto mayo.
 It's also served with lots of delicious onion strings and  a pickle.  The fries are served separately, but believe me, you get plenty of onion strings and that fits the bill.  If you do get the fries,  which is what we did the second time we were there, you won't be disappointed.  Everything there is delicious.  That night, Susan had Spinach Feta burger without the bun (and you have three choices to choose from, btw) which is a chicken patty mixed with crumbled spinach and feta and covered in cucumber yogurt sauce.  Yum yum. 

GBB was started in 2008 and is family owned and operated.  In a time when burgers were gaining in popularity, GBB had only one goal in mind and that was to "serve the finest burgers with the freshest ingredients."  Each burger is made to order and is uniquely all their own creations. They have a wide selection to choose from, chicken, turkey, veggie or seafood. And I can tell you that their crabcake burger is phenomenal!  You can even build your own burger and it can be done at affordable prices.

Only one side of the eating area
It is located in beautiful and historic Port Jefferson, which overlooks Long Island Sound. Walk around the town, shop, watch the ferries arrive and depart, but most of all soak up some history. This town is famous for it. Then sit back and enjoy the finest burgers this town has to offer. 

The other side of the bistro
All the servers are courteous, friendly and will answer any question that you may have. We didn't have a long wait (and we've been there 3 times already) especially if you are there early and believe me, you will never be disappointed. Mike, owner and chef, is very personable and friendly and will go out of his way to make you feel at home.

This is the owner, Mike.

If you are in the neighborhood, please check out Gourmet Burger Bistro, located in historic Port Jeff.

Here are the usual links:

Here is their website:

Verizon Fios1 news video spotlighting GBB

Village of Port Jefferson website

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Underground Railroad Center, Christiana, PA

This is Historic Zercher's Hotel located in Christiana, PA and is now the site of the first public Underground Railroad Center. Opened on September 11, 2006, it tells the story of the Christiana Riot, which took place not far from this location 161 years ago on September 11, 1851.  This is considered to be one of the first confrontations that led up to the American Civil War.  
You can't see me unless you blow up the picture, but I'm sitting on the bench on the far left.
The story actually begins at freed slave William Parker's residence where Maryland plantation owner Edward Gorsuch and his son, Dickinson came to retrieve 4 of his runaway slaves that had taken refuge in Parker's home.  The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 gave permission for a slave owner to take back his property (runaway slaves) wherever they were found and in the process arrest those who had harbored them or prevented them being returned to the owner.  

When Edward Gorsuch called for Parker to return his property to him, Parker resisted and thus began the fighting.  Four Quakers and 34 former slaves stood against Gorsuch, who was killed in the riot. His son was critically wounded, but not killed.  He was taken into the nearby farm of the Pownell family, where he recovered. Parker was actually a tenant of the Pownell's and his house was on their property.
This sign marks the site of freed slave William Parker's residence where the resistance began. The house was demolished in 1895.  There are no remains.
Meanwhile, Gorsuch's body was brought here to Zercher's Hotel. This is also where a government inquest began regarding the Christiana Riot. 
Monument commemorating the Christiana Riot.
The hotel was built in 1830 and is now the offices of the Charles Bond Corporation who have been at this location since 1915. They are the producers of industrial gears and gear boxes.   The company started off as the Christiana Machine Company which began its operation in 1834 until its sale to Charles Bond in 1915.  It is adjacent to Zercher's Hotel historic site.  One of the first railroad lines in the nation ran through here, the Columbia to Philadelphia line, but there is nothing left of that to be seen.  However, there is a railroad bridge not too far away.  We didn't go, it had just rained the night before and we were warned by our guide, Mark, that the trail to walk there would be muddy.  

The museum is free, but it is only open by appointment on the weekends.  The rest of the week it is open from 9 am to 4 pm.  It is a self guided museum with interesting exhibits regarding the riot.   This is highly recommended.  Mark was extremely informative and spoke to us for over 2 hours that Saturday morning.  This is definitely the place where freedom began.

Updated:  There is something that I forgot to mention and I'd like to add it now.  Dickinson Gorsuch had a younger brother whose name was Thomas. He was only 15 years old when his father was killed and was left an orphan.  He and his family were devastated when a not guilty verdict was rendered by the jury.  Thomas complained bitterly to a friend who would later refer to Thomas as his "bosom friend" and about how Northern abolitionists left him an orphan. It also weighed heavily on his mind that his father's  killers were set free without punishment and that these were "injustices that called out for revenge."  That friend who Thomas confided in was none other than John Wilkes Booth who would shoot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre 14 years later. 

As usual, there are more links down below:

Christiana Underground Railroad Center as listed in the Lancaster County online guide.. 

Article on the history of Zercher's Hotel and the history of the Christiana Riot. It was actually a press release for the opening of the Underground Railroad Center.  There are pictures of the opening ceremony on September 11, 2006. 
Records and history of the Christiana Machine Company

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Maureen's Kitchen, Smithtown, LI, NY

I'm sitting at my table with Rob and Susan on the wraparound porch at Maureen's Kitchen in Smithtown, waiting for my pistachio pancakes to arrive any minute. I've been told by our server, Carolyn, that this is the only place that serves up these unusual pancakes.

The original Maureen's Kitchen in 1985 photo
   It is known by the regulars as the best breakfast place in Suffolk County, but Maureen's also serves lunch. They have daily specials that make your mouth water. This is the third time for Rob and Susan and each time they've gone there, they've always had something different.

Maureen Dernbach started serving breakfast and lunch from this small house in 1985. The tiny kitchen could only hold 10 people. When it burned down eleven years later, she moved across the street and built the lovely Victorian house we ate in today.   You can see the house in the picture below.

These days, it is run by son Kevin and daughter Christine and it's a thriving business.  They are open Monday through Friday from 7 am until 3 pm.
Present day Maureen's Kitchen across the street built in 1996
Rob and Susan visited for the second time last Wednesday.  They arrived around 11:30 and, although it was crowded, there was no wait at all.  Although we were able to pick where we wanted to sit, we were given seats inside the restaurant.

But this cannot be said for Saturday and Sunday.  The hours over the weekend start at 7 am and end at 1:45.  This morning, we arrived a little after 8 in the morning and, again, although it was crowded, we were able to get a seat on the coveted wraparound porch.  As we were on our way out, we noticed a group people waiting in their small, but heated waiting area.  My recommendation is DO NOT ARRIVE AFTER 10, especially on Sunday, if you do not like to wait.  It can be up to an hour wait after that time. 
The waiting area.  The entrance to the wraparound porch is through the door straight in front.The entrance to the restaurant is on your right

The wraparound porch
Maureen's is decorated in what I like to call early cow.  There are cows all over the place, from the tablecloths and chair coverings to the motorcycle in the waiting room.  There are cows all over the place, on the walls, on the shelves, outside the restaurant and inside the bathrooms. Christine tells us that these cows are donated from people from everywhere.  

The counter and inside seating area

Inside the restaurant from another angle

Carolyn, our server, went out of her way to recommend the pistachio pancakes and Jerry, the head waiter, was very kind and informative.  He answered all our questions about the history of the restaurant and whatever he didn't know, he recommended to ask Christine or Kevin.  

Very moderately priced, Maureen's Kitchen does do great breakfast and was very helpful and patient with us this morning.  Another recommendation is the croissant french toast and the special.  It is different and delicious and not to be missed. It goes along with those great pistachio pancakes that we had this morning. 
I have included this link to yelp at the bottom of the page. Unfortunately, there is no online menu.  If I do come across one, I will add it.

Tons of reviews from yelp