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Potatopia

Went there with a fellow potato lover last night. I orderd smashed hit with bacon and he got the frequent friers. It was potato bliss.

The potato powers that be might be reading here or tweaking the idea because both portions were big and almost too much to finish.

One thing we missed we saw other people getting was Mashed Pie. It's not listed on the signature dishes section and it's buried in the Pick Your Potato section of the menu (though missing on the website). Looked great.

Nov 15, 2013
Paul Trapani in Manhattan

New gelato place in West Islip, Long Island

All made in house, not sure if the base is bought or not but the flavorings are all done there. No web site I could find yet and no cards or anything yet. I'm sure I'll be back there soon and will post more details.

New gelato place in West Islip, Long Island

New gelato place, New York Gelato just opened today on Montauk Hwy, just east of Robert Moses Causeway (cross street is McCall). They're giving out samples of many flavors, so got to try quite a few. Ones I really liked:

Bananas Foster
Chocolate Grand Marnier
Mojito (was expecting the worst but it really works)
Chocolate Brandy Caramel

Other flavors too mostly all good. Only one I tried that I didn't like was honey lavender. He did warn me in advance it was for lavender lovers only.

After samples, I got a cup of the Bananas Foster and thoroughly enjoyed.

There's a pretty steady flow of people already so go soon if you want to get in on the tasting.

He said there will be 40 flavors changing daily (or at least as quickly as they sell). They will also have sorbetto though none there when I was there.

Place will also have coffee, espresso drinks and teas.

North Fork Long Island 2013

I was lucky enough to get some on Sunday and it was awesome. Thanks for the tip!

Taste of Africa in Deer Park

i was there a while ago and had jollof rice and peanut chicken stew both delicious.

North Fork Long Island 2013

Was out there recently...

Golden Earthworm Farm, Jamesport
https://goldenearthwormfarm.squarespa...
I don't know why but their yellow cherry tomatoes are incredible. Also the best garlic I have every cooked with. Worth driving out just for the tomatoes and garlic (other stuff is also awesome especially the beets), but, they are also at Islip, Huntington and Port Washington Farmer's Markets. Get to the farmer's market early because they sell out of stuff quickly. One bonus at the the farm, the day I was there they were selling homemade chocolate chip cookies.

The Village Cheese Shop, Mattituck
http://www.thevillagecheeseshop.com/
Great cheese shop with great staff. 8 year aged Canandian Chedder is a standout, but other great cheese. They also have sandwiches. Kept hearing great things about Love Lane kitchen across the street, but I have not tried.

Wood Side Orchards, Aquebogue
https://www.facebook.com/WoodsideOrch...
New place making cider. They have four varieties, $8 for a tasting includes a pint glass you take home. No bottles yet, but you can buy a growler. I liked the traditional style which was not as sweet and the apple-raspberry.

Greenport Harbor Brewery Tap Room, Greenport
http://www.harborbrewing.com/
Great beers and a great tasting room. As with the cider comes with a glass you can take home. For commuters, I was stoked to see a couple of days ago that the beer tap line in Rosa's Pizza had Greenport's Harbor Ale on tap.

Wickham's
http://www.wickhamsfruitfarm.com/
Pies are bit different in style than Briermiere, more buttery of a crust, works well with cherry pie. In the past I've gotten great tomatoes there, but this year's batch seemed a little flat. Of course, still infinitely better than supermarket ones and overall still a good tomato. They have great asparagus in the spring. Peaches are good here as are the apple cider donuts.

Snowflake Ice Cream
http://www.snowflakeicecream.com/
It's getting to be that I can't come near Riverhead without stopping here for an ice cream. Great down to earth ice cream. They use local stuff when possible without getting religious about it. Great flavors of the week (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Snowfl...).

Roast Pork Sesame Pancake Sandwich 14th St near Artichoke Basile's

Stopped by Vanessa's Dumpling's on my way to try the famous Artichoke slice at Artichoke Basile's (loved it). It's crazy to eat before the pizza, but the sesame pancakes they were making caught my so I got a roast pork sesame pancake sandwich. Service was annoying slow, but the sandwich was great. I had to stop myself from eating all of it to save room for the pizza. It's a good deal too at $2.99. Also saw some eggs being made on for the egg version, looked worth trying also.

Aug 15, 2013
Paul Trapani in Manhattan

Pho Shop Farmingdale (fka The Rolling Spring Roll) to open Wednesday

Was there yesterday had summer rolls and the beef pho, both excellent. The peanut sauce for the summer rolls was maybe a touch too sweet, but still enjoyed it. Noodles in the Pho were a bit overcooked for my taste, but I haven't had enough Pho to know if that's how they should be. Didn't matter too much the Pho broth hit the spot.

Sadly I never got to try the truck, but look forward to further eating at this place.

Some decent beer to be had a few doors down at the Republic Pub (besides craft stuff at Republic try the Guinnes makes a big difference when it's done right) and across the street at Croxley's. I like the Six Points Righteous usually on tap at Croxley's. Also I doubt anyone would be still hungry after a bowl of Pho, but Croxley's also has good wings.

Great Burgers on South Shore of LI? (Suffolk)

Dynasty Cafe on Union Blvd behind Southside Hospital in Bay Shore is easy to miss (you might mistake it for a house, bar or realty office) This is a good old fashioned luncheonette (I think they close at 3:30 pm during the week) with awesome burgers cooked on a cast iron grill (nice fries also). Service is slower than a diner because everything is lovingly made to order, but it's worth the wait. Great breakfast spot also. Open Sat and Sun, but they close around 2 or so.

I'll vouch for Reese's burgers also. Was there for the first time in a few years and burgers were as good as I remembered. It's a small place so there's a wait for a table at busy times but like Dynasty Cafe it's worth it.

I haven't been yet but I keep hearing good things about the burgers and wings at Evenflow in Bay Shore.

Winnie's in Bay Shore on Main has nice burgers also cast iron grilled, but they seem to be continually closed for renovations.

Branchinelli's Long Island Old School Pizzeria Food

I was hanging out with a friend at great LI beer bar Tap n Barrell and we decided to get some dinner. Ciro's Pizza next door has good round pizza, but working in IT we were a bit pizza'ed out. i asked him what he wanted and he said shrimp parmigiana. I thought of nearby 1960's type Italian place Cafe LaStrada which serves up those dishes admirably, but we weren't feeling like the full blown sit down spend bucks kind of night.

i remembered Branchinelli's which I hadn't been to in years. We went and after a short wait (was a busy Friday night) had a great meal. He got the shrimp parm and I ordered meatball parm which you can see in the pic. We both got platter style not on a hero. The sauce cheese meatball combo hit the spot. Bread served before the meal also great. One regret we passed on ordering a salad and then noticed everyone was having them and greatly enjoying.

The Boulevardier

Try adding a couple of dashes of orange bitters if making with bourbon. The vermouth matters too, I bought a bottle of Carpano Antica Formula based on liquor store woman's reccomendation and have been trying it in various drinks. It can make a big differrence. Just used in bourbon Boulvedier and am enjoying the results.

Apr 14, 2013
Paul Trapani in Spirits

Diagnose My Flat-Tasting Pasta

Yikes! You're supposed to be making pasta not soup!

A couple of thoughts (personal viewpoints of course).

You're not using nearly enough oil. Use 2-3 tablespoons, some will stay in the pan, some on the plate.

Onions should not be sauteed overly soft, but only softened and rest of cooking would soften them up.

Give the vegetables a good sizzle in the oil before adding any liquid.

The onion and vegetables (and garlic if you add) should flavor the oil, then the oil flavors the sauce.

As GH1618 points out, make sure you're using enough salt. Taste the pasta water, should have a slightly salty flavor.

Too many ingredients.

If you added stock to the pan you didn't need to also add pasta water and probably should have drained most of pasta water. Add pasta water when the sauce is not too liquidy.

Jan 12, 2012
Paul Trapani in Home Cooking

Herrell's Ice Cream in Huntington, NY from the guy that created Steve's Ice Cream

I was excited to find this fairly new place (they said they'd been there two years) in Huntington village across from the movie theater. This is a new franchise from Steve Herrell the guy behind Steve's Ice Cream. They helped popularize the concept of premium ice cream (i.e. not loaded with air) and the idea of mixing stuff like Heath Bars into the ice cream. I used to devour the stuff a pint at time. The ice cream is made in store and looks like they rotate flavors with 20 or so available at a time (from a stable of 200), You can also get a smoosh-in where you pick stuff to be mixed in to your ice cream. Those of you thinking about Cold Stone, forget about it, Steve was doing that stuff years before anybody else.

It looks like this is one of three in the country, but hopefully there will be more soon.

http://www.herrells.com

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Herrell's Ice Cream
46 Gerard St Unit L, Huntington, NY 11743

Organic Farmstand in East Islip, NY

169 Washington Street
East Islip,NY 11730

This is a great hidden farmstand (next to a small farm!) in East Islip. The heirloom tomatoes were hearty enough to to make a sandwich out of with nothing else (using great bread of course). I also recommend the broccolini if there's any left. The guy running it has been farming since he was a boy in Sicily. I need to get back on a Saturday or Sunday, because they have fresh pies and breads. It's open 7 days a week from 9 to 6.

http://www.organicstodayfarms.com

LI, Beer and Wine

Two new interesting places just opened. One with a long list of beers and the other with a long list (100!) of wines by the glass

beer in Bay Shore:

http://tjfinleys.com

and

wine in Garden City:

www.novita-ny.com

At Novita I liked the prosciutto panini, but not the pasta fagioli that I ordered with it.

Indian in Nassau county

Madras Woodlands is great. I believe they used to have a place in the city. Be sure to try the Madras Coffee after your meal. Also, recommended Masala Vadai, Dhal Fry and Onion Chili Rava Masala Dosa. The lunch buffet is a good deal and all the food is extremely fresh.

Check out Punjabi Kabab house on 107 in Hicksville (old Mr. Sausage location). It's my current Hicksville Indian of choice. Kebabs are always great. Other dishes are good to great based on who's cooking.

Farm/Orchard Pie Jim leff used to write about

There's also a new place worth checking out in Jamesport. I haven't tried any of their pies, but they make great berry muffins and amazing apple strudel. You can buy 1/4, 1/2 or a whole strudel. Buy the half or whole the quarter goes too fast.

Junda's Pastry
1612 Main Road (Rt 25)
Jamesport, NY 11947
631-722-4999

It's in a converted house.

New Soul Food Place in Hempstead, LI

No, Riddick's is a couple of blocks past V & T on Front Street. Jade's is on Franklin a few blocks up from V & T.

Is there another place in the V & T shopping center?

New Soul Food Place in Hempstead, LI

Yes, I've been there a couple of times. The chili is excellent. It's worth checking out for other dishes as well. They have a big Sunday buffet brunch that I want to try out.

Also, I'm hot on the trail of another soul food place in the area. There used to be a place called McKeller's on Franklin Street in Hempstead. Unfortunately I never got around to trying it, but there's a new place in it's spot, called Jade's (Jahday's not Jayde's).

New Soul Food Place in Hempstead, LI

Mr. Riddick has taken command of what used to be a fried chicken and fish place. He's added a cosy sit down section and a steam table full of "dynamite dinners" (and "delicious side orders"!).

Mac'n'cheese was different the two times I've had it. Once it was dry and cheddary, another it was creamy and laced with cayenne. Neither one lasted too long under my fork. The sweet tea is great, plenty of sugar with no trace of bitter tannins.

Riddicks Kitchen & Catering Restaurant
213 Front Street (just West of V & T)
Hempstead, NY
516-483-1060