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May 13, 2010 07:20 AM

Having breakfast on Long Island

About once a week, I go out for breakfast.

For me this means more than scrambled eggs on a roll or a donut. I like to find interesting creations that I can sit and relax with (and I don't have much of a sweet tooth). I try places in part based on where I had to be at the time, part of a desire for variety.

Following, then, is a list of some of the more recent experiences; thoughts and comments are welcome:

Thomas' Ham and Eggery, Carle Place: is where I'm sitting right now; it's the second time I've managed to get here. I'm eating a disappointingly bland frittata with chicken sausage (they same homemade) and tomato and leek. I guess the watery coffee wasn't a good omen (though they must consider it precious, considering how difficult it is to get a refill). The waitress has one of the attitude where the customers are a necessary annoyance she must deal with to get through the day.

Jo Jo Apples in Lido Beach: a happily very different experience. The spicy corn frittata was very tasty; service was friendly. An omelet from a different visit was almost as good, and still several cuts above average.

Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck: I like this place quite a bit, but it's breakfast menu doesn't really equal its lunch. I've been going there once a month when I go out east to pick up a winter CSA share and, strangely, the breakfast specials have remained exactly the same since November (or maybe it was December). I always enjoy what I have here, though I wish there were more variety (especially as things like Banana Nut Pancakes with Nutella Maple syrup are way too sweet for me).

Tim's in Northport: another underwhelming breakfast: a mushroom/spinach/goat cheese omelet. The spinach consisted of flecks of green; it took me some checking to find the goat cheese, and I'm still unsure if there were mushrooms. All-told, a rather blah omelet (chewy rather than fluffy). I like crunchy bits when it comes to home fries, but these potatoes went rather overboard with that; aside from the flavor of carbon, they had little taste. Wait service was indifferent.

Park Avenue Grill (formerly Rebecca's) in Amityville: always a very pleasant breakfast in all ways, and a solid choice--the sort of no-brainer where I know I won't be disappointed.

Maureen's Kitchen in Smithtown: what can I say? Who doesn't know about this place?

Glen's Dinette: the poor service at this place has overwhelmed my memory of the food. One time I observed disgusting, unsanitary practices; the other (going back when it wasn't busy and I thought they'd be more careful) it was almost impossible to get service. No one refilled my coffee or asked how I was--the only time they came over was to take my order (I had to go up to the counter to get a bill--they were busy chatting).

Winnie's in Bay Shore: I had an awesome French-style omelet one day (disappointingly, they absolutely will not make omelets after 11:30). Pancakes didn't impress another time, thought that's more likely my tastes than anything they did (though I don't like sweets, every now and then I'm curious).

Cook Room in Middle Island: very nice omelet and home fries, friendly service. Wish there were more omelet choices, though.

Toast (Huntington): a place I've always been basically OK with. No complaints about what I've had (of course, it's been a while, so I don't REMEMBER any problems)--all well-executed--but I've never oohed about the choices. The "create an omelet" some places, like Toast, do doesn't impress me (It's like they're not trying to be creative), especially when the choices are pedestrian.

Mundays: been quite a while since I've been there; I remember being impressed with the French toast, but I don't recall not much more.

Sweet Mama's in Northport: a thumbs up. Interesting and delicious options, and I like that they put a little pot of coffee on the table so you can refill several cups on your own.

More places to come as I try them, or remember places I've been.

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  1. Re Sweet Mama's - I went there for breakfast last summer with the kids. Most everything was pretty good, but I had a god-awful corned beef hash. It was virtually pureed - like dog food consistency. Maureen's is tops - too bad everyone in North America seems to know about it already.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sbp

      I don't know that I've ever been pleased with hashes; I make it much better than any place I've been to. I rarely bother to get it.

      1. re: sbp

        Re: Sweet Mamas. Went there last week after a 6th grade graduation for brunch. Disappointing food. Decor is very cute wish we could eat it. All our meals looked scraped together. My pancakes were tasteless, my husbands omelette of sausage and bacon was also tasteless. How is that possible? My daughter's ham looked like boiled ham thrown on the plate and didn't even look cooked. I had 2 pieces of rye toast and they gave me a heel. I don't even eat a heel at home! It wasn't even up to the standard of diner food. And we had to wait for the privilege of eating there. The place was packed nonetheless. Go figure.

      2. i'm actually surprised at your thomas experience. until i moved, i was a regular there and didn't have any of those problems. the coffee is good, the omelets are good, the specialty waffles, pancakes and french toast are amazing. as far as the refills, they always come before i ask. maybe it's just an off day.

        3 Replies
        1. re: davmar77

          Had another interesting experience today at Thomas': the couple two tables down complained that one of their coffee cups had lipstick on it. The guy filling the coffee took it away, and brought her coffee *in the same cup*! (I myself saw him do it). The lady told the waitress what had happened and she gave a somewhat indifferent apology.

          Another thing: I went up to the register to pay. I added a dollar to the $20 I was handing over and asked for $10 back (thereby including the tip making my change even and simple). The guy tossed the single back, muttered something about "I don't know why you gave me this" and gave me the full change. I started to explain what I'd done, but he turned away.

          Considering what a PITA parking is there, I think I'm crossing Thomas' off my list.

          1. re: Scott_R

            Having an omelet in Cook Room right now. Eggplant, asparagus, tomato, pepper, mozzarella, and probably something I'm forgetting. Very good. Home fries a bit underseasoned but not bad. Service is friendly and attentive.

            1. re: Scott_R

              I agree with Scott R's assessment of Thomas's (that's how it's spelled on the sign). Highly overrated. I went there on a recommendation and I won't be going back. I found the same indifferent service and the parking is so crazy its not worth it. You'd be better off at almost any other LI diner. And lets not get too crazy about expectations when going to a diner. They're usually OK, but in my opinion, one shouldn't expect gourmet food and stellar service.

          2. We always go to Thomas' We love it there and never had the problems that you described. Actually, we were less impressed with Maureen's Kitchen- everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

            Maureen's Kitchen
            1 Larson Ave, Smithtown, NY 11787

            1. RE Mundays in Huntington: The food here is always delicious. Breakfast (omelettes, pancakes and french toast) really stands out. Service is always great, usually experienced middle aged women at breakfast/brunch time. They cleaned the place up a bit but it is still a little dumpy... what can you expect for a local breakfast place? Going for the authentic look I guess. Worth the wait when it's busy.

              1. JT's in Smithtown. Hopping place for breakfast, has unique menu items and food is always delicious and service is always good. They have a dessert - a homemade "funny bone" - yummy!!

                2 Replies
                1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                  Is this is?

                  A puzzling menu. Under the "Omelettes" heading is "The Pile: Three buttermilk pancakes, topped with two eggs any style and choice of meat with homefries and choice of toast" and other non-omelette items. And I've never seen "Potato Pancakes" listed with breakfast pancakes I suppose they technically are (pancakes that is, if not breakfast pancakes), but it's still odd.

                  1. re: Scott_R

                    Yup, that's it! Delicious, consistently yummy food, attentive service. The menu is puzzling, and it takes me forever to decide, but the payoff is great!