Mara's Too (Wantagh, LI)
Finally made it to Mara's Homemade's sort-of satellite location in Wantagh, Mara's Too.
I say "sort of" in that Too is made in partnership with the main location, though I'm not certain of the exact role the people from the Syosset restaurant have with it. The menu is a little smaller, without the oysters on the half shell or similar items.
I'd been to the Syosset location exactly once and been disappointed, though I should point out the obvious that a single experience shouldn't absolutely condemn a place. Still, no one who'd gone there with me at the time had been thrilled, either. The main problem that sticks out from my memory was that the brisket I'd ordered had the taste of texture of leather.
The difference compared to my recent experience was considerable; this brisket was moist, tender, and flavorful. Smoked sausage, while not as good, was tasty enough, though I would have preferred a little more snap and chew to it. A side of rice & beans was OK, and I only say that because it didn't match my personal expectations: the beans were basically baked beans (a dish I'm ambivalent about at best), which isn't the way I'm used to how r&b is prepared--usually much less sauced and differently seasoned.
Had my one and only experience at Mara's Syosset been like this, though, it would have been on my return list; I'll definitely be going to the Wantagh location (which is closer to home) again.
As I've said before; Syosset is great for fish/seafood stuff and the crawfish cake is a standout. I, too, have always been disappointed by meats from the smoker/bbq, but I love the place for oysters, seafood, turducken and their sauteed (but not regular) collards.
Bonus points for the warmth of the greeting and service by Mara, family and staff.
I have been a Mara's fan since they were on E 6 St in Manhattan.
I love the New Orleans offerings especially the oysters and blue crabs.
The last time I was at the Syosset location I had the most amazingly big steamed crabs. Expensive but worth it.
Mara's daughter was running the place. I rarely get to Wantagh so I doubt I'll try it.
I was waiting for a review by a Chowhound on this place in Wantagh.
I declared after just one visit to Syosset that Mara's Homemade in Syosset was "not a Chowhound destination". I had some awful rendition of what they described as "gumbo". If it were good I'd ask why the teaspoon sized serving. Thankfully it was only a teaspoon sized serving and I never returned.
Wantagh, Mara's Too. My first visit. No liquor license yet. Root beer was "made from Louisiana Cane Sugar".
PO' BOYS AND SANDWICHES
The fish is dusted in seasoned cornmeal, fried crisp, dressed with Mara's Remoulade sauce, Crystal sauce, pickles, tomatoes and lettuce
Po' Boy was small with tiny, tiny shrimp, and crawfish and lots of Mara's Remoulade sauce and Crystal sauce. More sauce than anything else. Very little shrimp, as tiny as they were, and maybe a crawfish was thrown in. Winter tomatoes that were diced didn't help and the pickles were the only saving grace. The manager told me that everything on the menu has a bit of a "kick" to it. I did help myself to the three shakers on the table, especially the orange spice powder concoction. I nearly emptied it. If it wasn't going to be IN my food, I'd just add it ON my food.
Over $20 later I left a bit hungry and wanting something seasoned and bigger.
I am not a fan of most of the stuff that passes as "BBQ" here on LI, but I may give it a chance, given Scott_R's description.
All the Best! Ciao!