My in-laws live on Long Island.  Precisely, in a town called Bellport on the South Shore.  It’s about 45 minutes from the Hamptons, and it’s a town in sort of an identity crisis – the south part has quaint beach houses interspersed with colossal roaring-20’s like mansions tucked just off the main road in a “village”.  The north part has some more rough and tumble areas with eye pollution of run down homes and businesses.  A short distance away using South Country Road, you can get to a town called Patchogue, which seems to be boasting a renaissance of its own.

At the southernmost tip of the town, there’s a marina that is in the Great South Bay.  It stretches the length of southern long island, and is situated between the mainland and fire island, approximately 1-2 miles off  shore.  On the other side of Fire Island rests the Atlantic Ocean – but to access beaches, you need to go to certain beaches and take out a third mortgage for access.  Well..$16 for day parking.

da beach

On the way to begin my 10 day sojourn of peace and tranquility, I stopped at Starbucks on the way, and was faced with this:

Neck

Great.  This adds to my collection of “Date” and “Meat”.

That morning (Friday 7/1), I got some disturbing news about one of my best friends…or rather ex-best friend, don’t really know how the F to deal with that, anyway…I started off the week with some “numb thyself” therapy….killed off my Johnny Walker Blue and had a bit of the Gold.   The Blue was a Christmas present that I only crack on rare occasions.  Sooooooooo smooth.  I know many of you are not Scotch drinkers, but I’m a convert myself about 2 years ago.  The cheap Scotch is where you taste a “burn” from the whiskey.  The good shit goes down like butter.  I’d encourage you to try good Scotch at least once in your life.

Gold

A few days later, we celebrate the 4th!

bella

In town every year, on the 4th, they have an art and antiques show.  The antiques show my family would love, but most of it seems to me to be over priced junk.  Here’s a glimpse….

antiques

I think we call them flea markets where I’m from.  Anyway, we spent some time walking up and down the road to check out the art in the tents.  I was priced out walking into this zip code, which is pretty popular for name dropping.

It’s their culture it seems, which is why I’m presenting it.  Nestled between the Hamptons and NYC, Long Island people tend to know people who know people with some influence.  I’m just some schmuck from Pennsylvania who has no idea who 3/4th of the people they talk about are.

Moving on, I wanted to add some food porn below.  I can just drop some pictures, but I need to explain where I got these treasures and why I keep coming back.  These items are on the check list every time I come.

  1. Papa Nick’s Pizza.  When I called the other day, they asked me if I knew I was calling New York.  I guess they have caller ID and have been pranked one too many times.  These guys make the best Sicilian pie I’ve ever had, and they also serve garlic knots, something I can’t seem to find in PA.  pizza
  2. Ragazzi’s in Lake Grove, NY.  The in-laws had a gift certificate, so we headed there, and WOW.  First, I must mention there are a lot of attractive people on Long Island.  Gene pool is amazing.  Well, the restaurant seemed to have a high concentration of them either working there or dining there.  And then comes in my German heritage…not so pretty people.  The ambience was warm, but not candle light.  Pricing was average for the area.  Service was good – food looked and tasted AMAZING.  Below, check out the remainder of the cheese triangles I waited too long to take a picture of, as well as the chicken parm.

    3. TJ’s sub shop in Patchogue.  Don’t do this for lunch.  You will not be hungry for dinner, trust me.  TJs prices are a little high for a sub shop.  I got an “Italian” as my people call them, a medium iced tea, and a small bag of chips for $16.  They have like 25 different types of subs, and I keep gravitating towards the cold “Italian” as I call it.  Soft rolls, Boar’s Head meats, a nice vinegar and oil dressing – it reminded me of an Italian close to my home growing up which I cannot get anywhere in PA anymore.  TJs

    4. The obligatory Ham/Egg/Cheese with Salt/Pepper/Ketchup.  I got two of these this week from two different shops.  While they taste amazing, I’m a little disappointed that the ham started to get a little thicker, almost of the Canadian Bacon realm.  The Bellport Deli is pictured below…(P.S. why the F don’t we have these in PA? Oh yeah, we don’t have delis).  egg sandwich

    5. Bakery!  In PA, we really don’t have these…or at least not in abundance.  Hard to find, terrible hours, not a great selection.  My wife loves “mocha cake”.  WTF is that?  Well, it’s something they make here in NY they don’t make in PA.  Also had to get the obligatory jelly donut and gluten free cupcakes for the in-laws.  Enjoy the bakery!

 

6.  Bagels – I love my bagels there, but on my way out of town, got a ham/egg/cheese.  Wife got the lox with cream cheese…check out below…

 

Not pictured:

  1. The Brick House.  We got a cheese and cracker appetizer with Brie and two other cheeses along with strawberries, apples, raspberry jam, and crackers.  That was such great execution for 4 of us for an appetizer.  I also got a grilled cheese with gouda and tomato and bacon put on a panini press.  Dear God….
  2. White Castle – we don’t have these in PA.  Normally, I put this on my rounds, but you have to more or less order a “sack of 10” or the like.  I just didn’t have it in me to order a “sack of remorse and regret” this time around.
  3. Harbor Crab.  I really didn’t want to destroy my crisp white shirt with messy seafood, so I got a fliet – which was prepared perfect of course.  They served it with a side of wilted spinach with garlic and I forget what else – but the spinach with the garlic was a perfect complement to the steak.  My wife seems to love the lobster roll there.  This also is in Patchogue.

 

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