This joint has undergone some make-overs through the years, but the newest iteration, Oakdale Brew House, is definitely the best so far. They have a lot of great local beers on tap, and a nice selection of bar food, even live music.
Definitely worth parking your ass here instead of a place like Applebee’s or Friday’s if you’re out this way in the ‘burbs.
OAKDALE BREW HOUSE
927a Montauk Hwy
Oakdale, NY 11769
If you’ve been following along with my meat adventures on Instagram, you might have seen me tag or mention Babylon Village Meat Market in some of my posts since the summer. This market carries some really high quality beef, including rare beef from Japan like snow beef, olive fed wagyu, etc. Marbled to holy hell.
In addition to the rare stuff, they also have plenty of prime, dry-aged steaks, and everything else you might expect to find at a village meat shop, from salami to sandwiches, from porchetta to potato salad to produce to prepared pasta. They’re even launching their own brand of jerky, which is insanely tender and delicious.
Below is a nice unboxing video I made, from when the owner sent me a care package wishing me good luck in the new apartment. I was blown away by his generosity.
I can’t wait to dig into more of this stuff!
BABYLON VILLAGE MEAT MARKET
85 Deer Park Ave
Babylon, NY 11702
I used to hit this place way back, about 20 years ago or more. It’s out in Riverhead, Long Island.
This place is known for their special marinade, which they apply to both their steaks and burgers upon request. I always liked the flavor they got with it – definitely some soy and worcestershire happening. The sugars in it make for a really charred crust.
And a delicious puddle of juices at the bottom.
I really like it. For $15 (lunch portion, about 12-14oz), you can’t go wrong. What would be a 7/10 gets bumped to an 8/10 due to the value here.
The patty melt is a pass, however. Unless you switch it up from Swiss to something like American. The cheese was just too overboard.
I loved the 5-olive martini though.
Next time you’re out this way, give Cliff’s a shot.
313 E Main St
Riverhead, NY 11901
Hoi Ming has been feeding Long Islanders in the Oakdale/Sayville area since the 1960’s as far as I can tell.
The earliest notation I could find online about this place was something about it opening in 1971, but my folks seem to remember it being there in the 60’s. In any case it’s borderline ancient. There’s even a New York Times review of the place from 1976. Click the image below to view the article.
Not much has changed inside the place from what I remember back when I was there in the 80’s. Wood paneled walls. Lots of red. And an awesomely dim and cavernous tiki bar of sorts.
My whole family came here again recently to celebrate my parents’ anniversary. Basically, we just ordered a bunch of apps, but I was surprised that everything was actually pretty good.
Here’s the famous pupu platter – nothing has changed about this from my childhood memory of it.
Inside the foil was minced and spiced chicken.
The boneless spare ribs are generously portioned and delicious. My nephew calls them “red chicken,” not to be confused with the actual chicken that’s red in the pupu platter tinfoil.
And the shrimp toast is tasty as well. Pardon the blurry photo. My dad grabbed the plate and asked if I needed him to hold it for me.
I didn’t shoot anything else, but the menu is pretty standard. This place keeps its prices fair and provides a level of certainty and consistency for the locals who frequent the establishment. I guess that’s why it’s been there for 50 years.
Mannino’s is a local Italian joint near my parents’ house on Long Island. It’s gotten a lot of buzz in the last few years, and the food is pretty great. I’ve been there several times, but this time I decided to document the meal.
We started with octopus salad:
Stuffed and fried zucchini blossoms:
And an order of fried calamari:
The fried calamari was a bit on the small side in terms of portion size, but if you’re taking it down all by yourself, then it’s probably just the right amount. The squid was fried to a nice crisp, but still tender on the inside.
The zucchini blossoms were stuffed with ricotta and were a little more dense than I expected, but still tasty nonetheless. I wished there was four in the order, since we had a table of four. We made it work, however.
The octopus salad was good. The squid was tender, and the acid from the citrus cut nicely across the dish.
For my entree, I had pork parmesan. I’ve been dying to dig into some of the incredible looking bone-in chicken parm dishes I’ve been seeing lately in NYC, so this pork version was the perfect way to get my fix.
The meat was incredibly tender, pounded flat and fried up to a crisp. Good cheese coverage and melt, and the sauce was delicious. Great dish.
My wife had the beef braciola. This is beef that’s pounded flat and rolled up with cheeses, pine nuts, cured meats and raisins. Really nicely executed.
Get over to Mannino’s if you live in the area and haven’t been there yet. And keep an eye out for their tomahawk steak for two; they have it on special some nights.
1575 New York 27A (Montauk Highway)
Oakdale, NY 11769
One of the most fun bar scenes you will ever experience in Manhattan is Zum Schneider for Oktoberfest. Yeah, yeah, yeah (or, should I say, Ja Ja Ja) I know it gets mobbed in there, and you have to stand on line to get in, but it is SO worth it. The beers are excellent, the food is tasty, and the company is fantastic, always.
This year they are offering the festivities under a huge tent on the Hudson River (at 23rd Street), so we will see how that pans out.
If panned out wonderfully, from the little that I can remember. Check out some pics – it was even a good time in the rain:
A short video of the Ja Ja Ja’s into tune:
Another year in the bag, as a return to the big tent on a very similar weather day brought even more fun:
This time I sampled a lot more of the food, like this nice meat and cheese plate. The blue cheese was good and funky, and the meats were nicely cured (there was even some head cheese).
I saw these fuckers roasting outside, so I had to try one:
It was a simple preparation. Just some seasonings plus char. I liked it.