Best Breakfast Spots

Breakfast is, without a doubt, my favorite meal. I love a spontaneous pancakes-for-dinner night and when I’m on vacation I’m most certainly NOT an, “Oh, let’s just grab a bagel,” kind of girl. No. Breakfast should be delicious and fattening and be served with tasty coffee beverages. Here are some of my favorite spots for this very special meal:

1. Toast in Port Jefferson – it’s a hike to get there (for me) and I haven’t been there in ages, but I dreamily think about this place at least once a week. Everything is delicious and they make the best cappuccino I’ve ever had. Seriously, the best. It’s very small and they don’t take reservations (that I know of), but if there’s a wait you can put your name down and stroll around Port Jeff.

2. Thomas’s Ham and Eggery in Carle Place – Thomas’s looks like a diner but the breakfast is definitely not typical diner fare: Croissant French Toast, delicious egg skillet things, etc. There is often a wait but sometimes even when there is a line you can score a seat at the counter.

3.¬†Brownstone’s in Amityville – After many glowing reviews from a foodie friend, we tried Brownstone’s this week and were not disappointed. Friendly service, good coffee, and the Pecan Stuffed French Toast was well worth the drive to Amityville.

4. Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck – Very charming decor, quality coffee and they always have good breakfast specials. The outdoor area is pretty but the seats are ridiculously uncomfortable so opt for inside if it’s available.

I’m certain that I’m missing tons of good breakfast places. Where should I head to next?

Image: Flickr

In what aisle can I find the Asian food?

Tonight I made Eli’s Asian Salmon from Barefoot Contessa at Home. It was pretty good! A little salty, but now I can say I’ve made salmon. To make this recipe I needed items like dark sesame oil, fish sauce, oyster sauce, chili paste – all sorts of things I don’t have.

As luck would have it we have an H-Mart a few blocks away. H-Mart is a Korean supermarket with all kinds of Asian food and plenty of “American” food as well. It has an amazing produce department that’s fresh and very well-priced. The rest of the food is not quite as economical. Want some Triscuits? They’re twice the price as they are in Stop and Shop.

What does it say? No idea.

Here’s the problem: If you’re in your neighborhood Waldbaums and you want to find dark sesame oil, you head to the Asian food aisle. When you’re in an Asian supermarket you go to, well, you look down the um, uhh, you look for the Korean sign that says… exactly. Fast forward a half hour and I did find everything I needed, but not without the help of several salespeople.

The North Fork

As promised, for all the reasons I’m reluctant to live here, there are just as many reasons I’m reluctant to leave.

Reluctant to Leave Here Reason #1

Image: offthevine.us

The North Fork is a BIG reason. Although it’s probably the best representation of what Long Island used to be, being out there now feels like you’re hundreds of miles away. It can certainly get crowded and touristy during the summer months, Halloween, and a few other holiday weekends, but most of the time it’s quiet and filled with delicious food, local wine, and friendly people. You don’t go to Whole Foods for organic fare if you’re living in Cutchogue. Farms are everywhere selling vegetables, meat, livestock, and the like.

Matt and I took our first trip to the North Fork about five years ago. The car ride sounded something like this:

“Ooooh they sell pies!”

“Oh my gosh we can buy a goat!”

“Look at the village barber! And the village cheese shop! And the village coffee shop!”

“Aaaaaaah! The library is in an old country church! And they have a BOOK CLUB!!!”

As you can imagine, I was quite smitten.

Since then we’ve visited probably a dozen times, we spent the two nights after our wedding at Jedediah Hawkins Inn, ate a few delicious lunches at Jamesport Country Kitchen and tasted our way through many of the vineyards until we found a few we really love.

Yesterday we visited our favorite vineyard, Sherwood House, and then had lunch at Love Lane Kitchen. Sherwood House occupies a small, outdoor tasting room during the warm weather months.

Image: Sherwood House Vineyard Website

They are in the process of creating a larger indoor space to be used year round in Jamesport. In the meantime, they have limited hours on the weekends at the owner’s home just up the road.

We felt a little strange walking up the driveway to this seemingly private home.

Once inside however, we were warmly greeted by the staff and we enjoyed six different wines and great conversation for nearly two hours.

After purchasing a few bottles, we headed off to lunch at Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck.

I can’t tell what’s whiter, the wainscoting or my pasty skin.

Eeeek! It looks like Matt’s middle finger got cut off!

Yes, this is actually the street sign for Love Lane.

To give you an idea of Mattituck’s quaintness, this is the entire Mattituck train station.

Getting out here is not as daunting as you might think. From Mineola to Mattituck takes just over an hour without traffic. It sometimes takes us that long to get to Park Slope and that’s only 20 miles away.

In addition to Sherwood House, we also enjoy the wine at Peconic Bay Winery. They have a newly expanded tasting room with a ton of outdoor seating and live music on the weekends. Although I’ve never eaten there, The North Fork Table is apparently¬†wonderful. Finally, if you’re up for the drive, the village of Greenport has several inns, shops, restaurants and activities.

Winter is really the perfect time to visit because most vineyards’ tasting rooms are open, there is no traffic and no crowding. Spend the day out there and let me know what you think!

Tasty Recommendation – Mumon

I accidentally had dinner at Mumon last week. Strange, right? I noticed a Japanese-ish place across from Grimaldi’s on Franklin Avenue in Garden City. I googled “new japanese franklin ave garden city” and came up with Mumon. It opened in 2009, has a great review in the Times, etc. Turns out it was NOT the restaurant I had seen, but it was damn good!

Image: Mumon's Facebook Page

The only problem facing Mumon is that it’s hard to find. The address is 1300 Franklin Avenue, but it is not visible from Franklin because it’s in the back of the new Healthplex/Winthrop building. Although the service was attentive, I appreciated that the waiter left us alone for most of our meal. I am not a fan of hovering servers.

My friend and I each ordered a martini (holy strong drink, Batman!) and two rolls. The sushi was a little expensive but very fresh, the rice had the perfect texture, and the tempura crunch was actually crunchy. The hostess said there are several happy hour specials and they are described on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

I ordered the King Crab roll and some other one with tuna that isn’t listed on the website’s menu. Yum and yum, respectively. The decor is pretty fabulous and the restaurant looks like it would be a great place for a party. It’s definitely worth checking out!