Babylon Bean

coffeecake

The Babylon Bean has excellent taste. And I don’t just mean the food and drink! They have an eye for decorations and a good ear for music! Whether I’m hear catching up with a friend over a good cup of coffee or working on a paper, this spot is without a doubt one of my favorites in Babylon.

Although I love my starbucks, there’s nothing quite like a traditional coffee shop. I’d much prefer the mismatched drinkware or the piping hot herbal teas paired with a freshly homemade pastry. Now that’s what I’m talking about. The Babylon Bean has ample parking in the back and on the street so you won’t have to worry about nabbing a spot. And inside, they have small tables or large couches to choose from. It has a cozy yet funky kinda vibe with the unique artwork hanging up on the walls. Best part is… they’re local artists which is very cool.

As for their drinks, how can you go wrong? I’ve had their chai latte, “almond joy” latte, hot chocolate, regular coffee… and it was all excellent. As well as, last time my friend and I came we shared their chocolate coffee crumb cake which was heavenly. (I think we managed to get every single crumb!)

Looking forward to attending one of their open mic nights! Rock on Babylon Bean! This adorable spot is a must-try.

17 Fire Island Ave

Babylon, NY 11702

(631) 587-7729

thebabylonbean.com

Advertisements

Looking Back On 2014…

Hello my fellow food friends,

I hope you had a fantastic holiday season and New Year Celebration. Looking back, 2014 was a crazy year filled with amazing memories, a trip to Italy and of course delicious eats! I’ve had the opportunity to explore Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island more than ever. Along the way, I’ve discovered my love for new foods thanks to the help of my friends and food-lovers.

This year I’ve tried:

-Kangaroo

-Xiao Long Bao (Soup dumplings)

-Hand-pulled noodles

-The famous DKA from Dominique Ansel’s bakery (no cronut yet…. it’s on my list)

Etc., Etc., Etc. (to name a few!)

To my readers…. thank you so much, for taking the time to hear what I have to say. I hope you enjoy my perspective and maybe someplace I visit will become your next stop! So here’s to another year of GREAT food, WONDERFUL people and LONG LASTING memories.

Cheers,

Katie



me 2

Vittorio’s

Vittorios

Vittorio’s is a restaurant noted for their vast wine selection. Zagat’s rated and recipient of an excellence award from Wine Spectator, this place is first-class. With over 70 wines to choose from, you’re sure to have a great night.

Low lighting, rustic decorations and warm ambiance makes this restaurant welcoming. There’s a smaller bar area (pub style) where you can either get a drink while you’re waiting for your table or you can have bar service and eat there. *For the dining area, you need reservations. Since we did not know that, we settled for an equally delicious meal at the bar.

Wine costs about $9-12 per glass (for most selections there). They bring you huge slices of homemade bread and olive oil which was nice. We all ordered different meals and (with my family) we aren’t afraid to share. So I can give you a bit more insight!

I had the: Marinated Skirt Steak. WOW. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that was the best skirt steak I’ve ever had. It was perfectly charred yet tender and the flavor just resonated throughout it all. It’s 20 oz. which was a bit much for me but I was glad to share. It comes with the silkiest, buttery mashed potatoes and steamed/season veggies. Simple plate done right.

Other plates my family got:
-Penne with Prosciutto: giant chunks of tomato and roasted red peppers. And the prosciutto really made the dish unique.
-Shrimp Scampi: lightly breaded shrimp atop of sage risotto. Another stellar dish.

Vittorio’s is a star in the fine-dining world. Great Italian/American style food that’s simple yet elevated. This restaurant is perfect for any occasion. Date, family-night, friends… you name it.

184 Broadway Amityville, NY 11701

(631) 264-3333

vittorios.biz

Ooh, The Witches Brew

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What’s not to love about the Witches Brew? This gothic/eclectic styled coffee shop was the home to many high school hangouts several years back. There is a pretty diverse crowd here which is nice to see. The Witches Brew is everything I look for in a coffee house:
-Oversized comfy coucheswitches brew food
-Vintage decorations
-Funky menu items (food & drink!)
-Smooth music
*Awesome friends.
They have STELLAR teas here. Me being such a big Tea-Drinker, I know that every visit will be a great one. During the fall season, the pumpkin and chai make it’s guest appearance. My favorite! The cookies, cakes and other assortments of snacks are enough to convince me to travel to Hempstead anytime. Don’t forget this is a CASH only place! I have to make sure to go back here soon. It’s been a while and I’m waaay overdue for a nice chai latte and a giant ooey-gooey cookie.

Weekends can bring the crowds, so plan to wait a bit. And yes, the drinks may be a tad bit pricey but you’re paying for the ambiance, the service and good company! And as you can see by the other reviews, this coffee house is loved by many.

*I could totally picture the cast of FRIENDS hanging out here. This is like the hip version of Central Perk.

311 Hempstead Tpke

West Hempstead, NY 11552

(516) 489-9482

Sufiya’s Grill

sufiyas

For my first Persian/Iranian food experience, I’m so glad it was at Sufiya’s. From dining there, it has a predominant Mediterranean feel but with those additional cultural influences. I pass by here frequently, but never noticed this place! The shopping complex is currently renovating their storefronts, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled when driving along. It can be easily missed.

First impression? What a classy, cozy spot. Beautiful paintings/decorations with a spacious feel. And since it was a nice night outside, they opened up the front doors and let the cool brisk air in. That was a nice touch. Even though I looked at the menu briefly beforehand, I still couldn’t decide on what to eat. Oh, the choices! They have a dinner special (Mon-Thurs) after 3pm for $12.95, you can choose from an array of entrees with white or basmati rice. Very reasonable prices here.

I ended up on getting the Lamb Shish Kebab which came with Green Rice (seasoned with Saffron and other spices), a grilled tortilla and roasted veggies — onion, peppers, tomatoes. It was fantastic. To be honest, that’s the best lamb I’ve had in a long time. It was seasoned and salted perfectly. And I really enjoyed the grilled veggies… it added a healthy touch to the meal. The portions were also a good size. I couldn’t finish my meal.

We also ordered the Falafel appetizer which was very good. Crispy and flavorful. The dusting of paprika and parsley was a nice addition too. The staff were helpful and patient with my questions while I was ordering. And they really made me feel welcome there as a first-timer. I will DEFINITELY be back and I’m looking forward to trying their other menu items!

P.S. They have belly-dancing on certain nights. Sounds fun!
P.P.S. I was too full that night, BUT if you check-in to Yelp, you get a free dessert.

Pies, Pies, Pies!

pie2

Ever hear of that phrase “little slice of heaven”?
Ever experience perfection in a pie?
No? Okay. Hop on a bus, temporarily kidnap your friends car, take a hot air balloon, … whatever you need to do… to get to Briermere Farms in Riverhead.

All jokes aside, I would drive all the way out from Seaford to Riverhead just for these treasures. They’re that amazing. The little store/shack is open your typical 9am-5pm* hours with an extended 1/2 an hour on the weekends till 5:30pm. All of the pies are baked right on the farm from scratch. There’s no pre-prepped ingredients or fillings. All the fruit is grown on site. Could you ask for more? Talk about fresh and local.

How can anyone doc a star from here? Okay, yes they may be a bit pricey… ranging from $15-$22 per pie. But the quality speaks for itself. It’s lip smacking good. Briermere’s flavors range from the common apple, blueberry, cherry, peach… to strawberry rhubarb, boysenberry, apricot and coconut meringue! Every pie I’ve ever had was nothing short of delicious.

pie1

My typical experience visiting Briermere’s: **
I’m driving along Sound Ave, counting down the minutes until I reach the farm. I manage to find a spot somewhere on the grass (probably by someone’s corn field) and dodge traffic like a pro. I usually arrive mid-day, so by this point all the popular flavors are slowly dwindling. As I reach the front, there’s one Apple Crisp left. I see from the corner of my eye… someone trying to cut ahead. The next thing you know we’re in an all out brawl. Fruits are flying everywhere, people are cheering, and there’s just no going back.

The fruits are juicy&tart and the crust is a perfect foundation of flaky&buttery goodness. This is a true gem of Long Island. Been coming here for years and I’ve never been disappointed. I hope you love them as much as I do.
__________________________________
*Yeah they SAY 5pm, but you better get your butt there sooner because they run out fasttttt.
**Okay this never really happened. But I’d like to think I’d go to these lengths for a Briermere pie. Dramatic license people.

This Place Is My Jam!

PC: Jam Website

PC: Jam Website

Since I really enjoyed their sister restaurants Good Life and The Phoenix (see reviews), I knew I was going to enjoy Jam. They’re all under the same ownership, so I expected their food to have great flavors and with a unique twist. It’s located right along Main St./Park Blvd in Massapequa Park (near Good Life). It has a cute exterior with plants built right into the facade. As for the inside, its country meets modern. They are only open for breakfast and brunch (but doubles as a catering venue in the evening), so get there early to avoid those crowds! Hours are 6am-3pm.

It was decently crowded but we were seated right away. After perusing the menu, I decided on  the Classic Breakfast: 2 Eggs, Choice of Bacon, Home Fries & Toast. I wish they had Turkey Bacon, but oh well. The eggs were fresh (over easy) and the bacon was very crispy. But out of that meal my favorite items were the Home Fries and the homemade bread. *Sigh* that bread. It was super thick and fluffy. Very different from the bland, thin, sometimes burnt toast you get at diners.

breakfast-jam

Their Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad: Super flavorful. The meat was moist and had a good mayo to chicken ratio. I liked the addition of celery leaves and lettuce to add that extra crunch. And with whole grain mustard aioli and the homemade wheat bread… fantastic.

chicken salad-jam

The waitress explained to us that the dough for their bread is made off-site at Sugar Rush Bakery but they bake it on the premise. I opted for the whole wheat/grain. Delicious. BUT! What made it even MORE delicious was their homemade jam. (If they’re naming themselves Jam, they must have good jam. Obvious choice.) I chose the Blueberry Ginger. It came in the most adorable little cup. I didn’t think it warranted a $2 sticker, but it was worth it and I’d get it again. You could tell it was very fresh. Like picked off the bush fresh. I was tempted to ask them for a jar of it! Seriously.

Throughout our meal, our water glasses and coffee cups remained full. And by the end of our meal, our bellies were too. This cute, quaint little place is a great addition to the village. I will most definitely be back. Those Banana Candied Walnut Pancakes are callin’ my name.

Side note: Their eggs are all hormone/cage/antibiotic free. How’s that for quality?

1025 Park Blvd
Massapequa Park, NY 11762

(516) 797-2000

jamonpark.com