Avocados Restaurant is known for its generous portions. Each heaping burrito is piled high with rice, beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole, as well as a choice of filling such as roasted pork or grilled shrimp. Diners can also opt for fajitas, quesadillas, tacos, and wraps.
Maybe it's the food—classic burgers and fries with rugged upgrades such as Jameson whiskey sauces, jalapeño and chipotle mayo, or crispy onions and pepper jack cheese. Maybe it's the drink menu, which ranges from craft brews on tap to flashy cocktails served in fishbowls. Maybe it's the decor, which features tin ceilings, unfinished wood walls, an array of hubcaps, and furnishings made from vanquished beer cans. Or maybe it's just the restaurant's habit of spelling everything with a Z. Now under new management, there's something about CANZ that makes an old-fashioned road warrior feel right at home.
The Old Olive Tree Restaurant first opened its doors to diners in 1980, as a celebration of rustic, homestyle Greek cuisine. In addition to following time-tested family recipes, the chefs also recreate familiar Mediterranean flavors by hand-making spanakopita, grinding lamb for their kebabs in-house, and wrapping to-go dishes in first-edition copies of The Odyssey. Other Attic flavors include greek sausages with hints of orange and cinnamon, golden-brown falafel patties, and saganaki with melted greek cheese.
Karl Ehmer in Patchogue has proffered fine American and traditional European meats for more than 40 years, and current owner Steven Fahner draws on his southern German roots and a lineage of butchering expertise dating back more than five generations. Starving carnivores can curb recurring dreams about running through fields of deli meat with a variety of made-to-order sandwiches ($4.50–$5.50), enjoying fresh-cut turkey, smoked ham, pastrami, or liverwurst piled between two pieces of rye or shoveled in by the fistful. An array of authentic german sausages ($7.99/lb.) such as bratwurst, knockwurst, and weisswurst rest alongside USDA Prime steaks such as filet mignon ($21.99/lb.), porterhouse (12.99/lb.), or rib eye ($12.99/lb.) and Karl Ehmer's famous smoked hams ($5.99/lb. bone-in; $9.99/lb. boneless). The shop's sauerbraten special packs in 3.5 pounds of sauerbraten with marinade, a dozen ready-to-cook dumplings, a 24-ounce jar of red cabbage, instructions for cooking, and proper etiquette for licking one’s chops ($39.99).
"Treat folks special." That was the mantra of Country Kitchen's founder, Bill Johnson, a mere teenager with an eighth-grade education when he moved to Cincinnati in the 1930s. But by the end of that decade, both Bill and his aspirations had done a great deal of growing up. With some experience flipping burgers beneath his belt, Bill and a friend opened their own restaurant—Country Kitchen. It was the first time Bill could put his treat-folks-special philosophy into practice as he pleased.
Today, Country Kitchen no longer sells burgers for a nickel apiece. But Bill Johnson's legacy still lives on in friendly customer service at each of the restaurant's locations—they now span the country. And Bill's preference for simple, homestyle grub is still apparent in the menu: pancakes for breakfast, burgers and sandwiches for lunch (or supper), and country-fried steak or roast turkey for dinner.