For four decades, Benkert’s Classic Delicatessen has been loading patrons with ample portions from a menu of breakfast eats, salads, sandwiches, and hot-lunch dishes. Customers can jump start their day with two eggs any style ($2.50) while gulping complimentary coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and surfing the free WiFi on a free wireless surfboard. For midday breaks, specialty salad sandwiches cover beds of bread in quilts of egg ($4.25) and shrimp ($6.25) salad. Gourmet wraps and sandwiches ($6.95) include the Fat Tony, packed with six cold cuts, mozzarella, peppers, greens, and vinaigrette, and protected by a hero bun toasted for its noble deeds. Hot sandwiches such as the barbecue chicken ($5.75) are hearty enough to scare away the most intimidating hunger hauntings. Accessorize entrees with sides of mac 'n' cheese ($4.99/lb.) or mozzarella sticks ($3.99), and cross the finish line with a sweet slice of pound cake ($1.95).
Though Bud's Ale House lives up to its name—its locations boast up to 80 beer taps, more than 16 bottled varieties, and up to 60 televisions—this versatile eatery has something for everyone. As tasty brews pour from taps, including a daily special of $2 Bud and Bud Light drafts, bartenders deftly mix up top-shelf margaritas, colorful martinis, and classic cocktails. These adult libations wash down a hearty menu that spans the entire spectrum of American cuisine: habanero barbecue wings, steamed local clams, and meaty burgers are served up daily alongside gooey quesadillas and German-style bratwurst. Bud's desserts threaten to steal the spotlight, capping feasts with deep-fried Oreos and tangy key lime pie.
For 25 years, Long Island's crew has made bagels using an old-fashioned water-kettle approach, purveying the doughy treats well beyond their breakfast boundaries. A menu of breakfast edibles urges early eaters to slather an assortment of hand-rolled, freshly baked bagels ($0.90)—in varieties including poppy, onion, cinnamon raisin, and oat bran—with their choice of up to 17 creamy toppers ($1.75+) including vegetable, chocolate chip, and roasted garlic and herb. Coffee ($1.45+/12 oz.) gives nerves the jolt that early-morning fire breathing fails to provide, and french toast lightens spirits when drizzled in streams of liquefied giggles ($5.50). Lunch options allow midday munchers to fill their food processors with dishes including the Bubbalicious ($6.79)—made with fried chicken cutlets, melted mozzarella, bacon, and spicy barbecue sauce, all piled on top of a bagel—or the more heart-heartening bagel-embedded tuna fresco salad ($6.49).
There’s love in Fanny Cakes: love for baking, love for surprising the tongue, and love for family. As a young girl, chef Kristyn spent long days baking alongside her nana, Fanny. Those hours spent in flour and those moments waiting by the oven planted seeds in Kristyn that sprouted into a passion for baking and, eventually, the start of Fanny Cakes—named in honor of the woman who inspired her. Kristyn now relies on formal culinary training as well as the lessons learned from her nana while she crafts personalized treats for birthday parties, wedding receptions, and everything in between. She pays further homage to her nana as she works by using the sorts of ingredients Fanny loved—sweet creamery butter, belgian chocolate, and natural citrus zests—but finds inventive and eye-catching ways to showcase their flavors.
The fondant-draped tiers of Kristyn's full-size cakes conceal flavorful fillings such as lime curd or coconut custard. Cupcakes also feature inspired combinations, such as strawberry daiquiri with rum-spiked buttercream and snickerdoodle with a dusting of graham crackers and cinnamon sugar. Even with all of these flavors speaking for themselves, Kristyn still commits to presentation, designing cakes shaped like everything from a Gulfstream jet to an electric guitar. She also expands her menu beyond traditional bakery offerings by creating treats such as grown-up cake shots with doses of liqueur and cupcake push pops in plastic cylinders. She even shares her techniques with the public by leading classes that teach students how to decorate cupcakes without covering them in old two-cent stamps.
The chefs at Eddie's Pizza forge a menu's worth of classic pies and assemble an array of catering trays filled with family-style Italian eats. A duet of regular pizzas arrives studded with traditional toppings such as pepperoni, extra cheese, or meatballs, and a dozen garlic knots befuddle even the most nimble-fingered Boy Scout. An accompanying two liters of soda put out mouth's rooftop fires. Alternately, creations from the catering menu satisfy groups with half trays, serving six–eight people, and full trays, serving 8–10.
At Mamma Cucina's, murals of terra-cotta-roofed buildings and climbing vines create the illusion that guests are dining in an Italian courtyard. Plates brimming with pastas, marsalas, and calzones contribute to the impression that they are on a Mediterranean vacation; pizzas prepared in the style of Naples or Sicily can be devoured on the spot or shipped home as large, edible postcards.