The towering windows that line the walls of Senix Creek Inn provide breathtaking views of the Senix Marina waterfront—but the scenery isn't the main attraction. The casual restaurant's seafood-centric menu blends global culinary influences: staples such as clam chowder, stuffed fish, and lump crab cakes are served alongside more exotic dishes such as kung-pao-style calamari. Marinated steaks and hearty pastas round out the offerings. To complete the restaurant's seaside aesthetic, the dining room features soft lighting, rustic bare-wood floors, and exposed rafters.
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.
Curry Kebob House expands beyond the bounds of its name with a diverse menu of beef, chicken, and lamb dishes, all made with halal meats. Helmed by chef Sameer Ahmad, the kitchen team slow-cooks shredded beef and lentils for a dish called haleem, dappled with blackened onions and lemon, as well as whips up plates of creamy and tangy chicken tikka masala. Delicately spiced Pakistani specialties include karahi gosht—goat cooked in a thick tomato sauce with chilies—and chicken karahi, which is cooked in an iron wok with ginger and spices.
The Indo-Pak restaurant is modeled after the casual eateries in India and Pakistan, with red tablecloths draped over petite tables and traditional artwork adorning the exposed-brick and wood walls. Strings of twinkling lights dangle at the entrance, signaling to diners that they’ve found the right place and confirming that fireflies are very cooperative after being fed kebabs.
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.