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Strawberries are here, North Fork LI

Just in time for the festival: juicy and sweet!

 
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    1. Yeah it's around the corner from my house but I don't think they actually grow them. I could be wrong, but the farmers out here seem to "share" a lot of their bounty.

      Mill Rd, north of Home Depot just before the stop sign. No name, but you can trust them.

      27 Replies
      1. re: coll

        They were really good last year. I'll take a trip out next week. Thanks for letting us know!

        1. re: EM23

          Just wanted to mention, if you go to my stand he has very nice tomatoes up from South Carolina, after a winter of hothouse varieties they taste like heaven. Peaches too, I didn't get any this year yet but they are usually excellent.

          1. re: coll

            Bonus! Plus the blowfish that Erica mentioned. Next week looks to hold some good eats. Thanks, Coll. :-))

            1. re: EM23

              I just love all the local fresh food this time of year. Bon apetit!

              1. re: coll

                We picked up some goodies yesterday thanks to your recommendations – delicious Georgia peaches and local strawberries and asparagus from the Mill Road stand; another quart of strawberries and lettuce from Schmitt’s; and eggs and garlic scapes from Ty LLwyd (sweet baby cow licks from Stella were a bonus!). We skipped the fish run because I forgot to bring the cooler and we had a few stops planned for the return trip. We ended with a good lunch on the deck at the Old Mill Inn, with a lovely view on a gorgeous warm day. Staff were very friendly, no attitude like some have encountered. Thanks for your recs., Coll.
                Now waiting impatiently for tomato season to kick in...

                1. re: EM23

                  The little Fourth of July tomatoes will be here any minute I bet. It's like heaven for sure. I will check Davis for local peaches, they usually arrive beginning of July and things seem to be catching up (including the corn, we'll see).

                  Stop in any grocery or 99 cent store for a Styrofoam container and bags of ice, they know what you need!

                  1. re: coll

                    I like to cook fish asap after buying it and as we were pretty full from lunch, we wouldn't want dinner and tonight we are headed to a bbq. Next trip for sure.

                    The Georgia peaches from the Mill Rd. stand are lovely and juicy if you need something to tide you over. They will be cozying up with some Jersey blueberries for a slump tomorrow evening. :)

                  2. re: EM23

                    We went to the Old Mill Inn recently and they have done a complete turnaround. Back to being a friendly local place without the Manhattan hype and attitude.
                    Word has it that two of the three partners are gone. It's one of the best al fresco restaurants on he North Fork.

                    1. re: Motosport

                      That was the vibe - casual, friendly, not a scene and not an air-kisser in sight.;-) We ordered cheeseburgers and fries and they were really good.
                      Are there any other casual spots for al fresco dining that you recommend? We loved getting fish tacos at the Southhold Fish Market and sitting out on the benches overlooking Peconic Bay, but that’s sadly gone now. Sometimes we get a SnoFlake cone and a slice at Roadhouse and sit at the tables in the back by the river.

                      1. re: EM23

                        Try Joes Garage down in Riverhead by the river, they have tons of outside seating.

                        1. re: coll

                          Joes Garage has excellent food. The problem is that it can get very LOUD in the evenings. Singles bar music for an older crowd. Even eating outside, the noise level is very high. Their pulled pork is tasty and moist. They could use an improvement in their barbecue sauce.

                          ~Fred19

                          1. re: Fred19

                            Last time we went we arrived before 5 and it was fine. By the time we left it was jumping though. I am surprised how quickly they became so popular.

                            Never got BBQ there though, not with Maple Tree BBQ right down the road ;-) They have seating and also local beer/wine/hard cider this season.

                            1. re: Fred19

                              Yes, way too loud for us old folks but otherwise excellent.

                          2. re: EM23

                            "Al Fresco!" I went to school with his brother Bruno!
                            My list from East to West.
                            Billy's By the Bay
                            Blue Canoe
                            Touch of Venice (have not been)
                            Old Mill Inn
                            Pace's on the Mattituck inlet
                            Bayview Inn
                            Turquaz
                            Joe's Garage
                            Cooperage Inn
                            Buoy 1
                            TRP
                            In Hampton Bays:
                            Canal Café
                            Cowfish
                            Rumba
                            Not Al Fresco but:
                            Comtesse Therese (Tom Shaudel & daughter) has new owners and is fabulous
                            My all time favorite al fresco early breakfast: Junda Pastries and coffee at Iron Pier Beach.

                            1. re: Motosport

                              I think Bayview is gone, or close to it. We went for lunch late last year and although the doors were open, no one was to be found in the entire building. Sad but true, and I haven't returned since. If I am wrong someone please let me know. I have seen it advertised in the local For Sale ads though.

                              1. re: coll

                                Did you go on a Tuesday? They are closed Tuesdays.

                                1. re: Motosport

                                  No it was a Weds. I haven't been back this year yet so don't really know, just hoping someone else has been there recently.

                                  1. re: coll

                                    I called the Bayview Inn recently and they are open.

                                    1. re: Motosport

                                      Thanks, good to know. Next time I'll call ahead though ;-)

                              2. re: Motosport

                                Wowza! Thanks for this, Moto.
                                Happy 4th, everyone! Once the storms pass, it's gonna be a beauty.

                          3. re: EM23

                            Just picked my first home grown tomato, from on the porch; a big plant I bought not long ago at Best Yet. It was only one tomato, so stopped at Mill Rd for supplements. He told me their tomatoes now are from Jersey, but in a week or so he will have his own July Fourths. A few weeks late, obviously!

                            1. re: coll

                              Thanks for the heads up, Coll. How was the Jersey tomato? And the corn from Rothkampf?

                              1. re: EM23

                                The tomatoes are very disappointing, don't bother. But so were my own, my first born. But the corn, oh the corn! I did the Coleman cooler method and brought them to a big party on the Fourth, and I keep hearing that it's the talk of the town!

                                1. re: coll

                                  Too early for the maters, I guess. I sent that Coleman idea to my friend's husband. I hope he's going to do at their bbq tomorrow.

                                  1. re: EM23

                                    It's wonderful, and the cooler didn't melt in the car on the way as I feared. But I'm a worrywart. The corn was perfect on arrival, and still warm about six hours later when we left.

                                1. re: Motosport

                                  Oh man, me and Jersey highways do not get along for some reason.

                  3. Thanks, Coll. And I'll save you the trouble of telling folks where to pick'em:

                    http://pages.cdn.pagesuite.com/b/a/ba...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: emarcus

                      I'm too lazy to pick 'em, I just like to eat 'em!

                    2. I took a look at the website:
                      http://mattituckstrawberryfestival.or...
                      and again it looks like the only strawberries are those sold by the Lions club. Past years, they'd been using bulk boxes from Driscolls in CA... nothing local.

                      And it looks like the food will be be pretty pedestrian street fair stuff: the "international food court" will have "gyros, funnel cakes, roasted corn, sausages, hamburgers, french fries, pizza, ice cream, non-alcoholic beverages and coffee."

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Scott_R

                        They're usually local when available, that's really what the festival is about; you can ask the vendors and they will tell you. I know some people that were there last night cleaning the organic locals for one booth. But in the meantime, here is their website; the one or two years the strawberries weren't ready to pick yet, they did let the public know. I don't see any mention of that at all. The farmstands are selling them so I don't foresee any shortage. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mattit...

                        This is the fair's 60th year, so it's sort of appropriate that the food is old fashioned. The fireworks at 9:30 are fun if you come at night. Not that I'm trying to talk you into coming, it's crowded enough as it is ;-)

                        1. re: coll

                          Just saw a mention in Newsday:
                          http://long-island.newsday.com/events...

                          I don't know when the shot was taken (obviously, not this year's), but if you look at the box in bottom/center, it's clearly labeled "Driscoll's."

                          1. re: Scott_R

                            There was one year they announced they were using Driscolls ahead of time, due to the crop being late. Maybe three or four years ago, I don't remember exactly. There are different vendors and the ones that don't specialize in strawberry might take a short cut. If I go it won't be til tomorrow but I will do a recon for you if I do!

                            1. re: coll

                              Thanks, Coll. I wouldn't be able to make it until Sunday, anyway.

                              1. re: Scott_R

                                I'm hoping to make it tomorrow but not even sure. I heard something about a shuttle from Martha Clara if the traffic is as usual.

                                1. re: coll

                                  The weather and traffic cooperated so we made the scene. As you enter, they are selling the real thing (confirmed by my local farmer later as he was running down there all day restocking them). Now if you wander into the rented booth area, there was only one place I saw selling chocolate covered berries and a couple of other strawberry products, and the Driscoll boxes were in plain sight. But for boxes of strawberries, or strawberry pie, it's definitely local.

                                  The other thing that struck me, regarding again the vendors who don't really count (remember this is a fundraiser as much as a foodie thing), I saw a pallet of Idaho potatoes sitting right in plain view. Guess it's a good sign they make their fries from scratch at least. There were a couple of trucks with some interesting fare; one had a smoker and was doing Italian sausage and braciole, smoked, both looked delicious. But the place we would have gone if we were hungry was a local truck, they had fish tacos, shrimp burritos, lobster rolls and I don't remember what else. I bet next year there will be more of those kinds of trucks, because they were mobbed.

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  1. re: coll

                                    I am so excited about the local banana festival next weekend!!!

                                    1. re: Motosport

                                      What, it's April Fools again? ;-)

                        1. re: MacTAC

                          I picked up this fantastic dark chocolate balsamic vinegar from The Crushed Olive
                          http://thecrushedolive.com/
                          that is splendid lightly drizzled over fresh strawberries.

                          1. re: Scott_R

                            Too late, just made all of mine into jam. Next up, blueberries and peaches?

                            1. re: Scott_R

                              Next time I'm in Huntington I'll check them out, though this batch will likely be long gone. Shortcakes baking in the oven now for breakfast tomorrow...

                              1. re: sbp

                                Sorry I missed your post last night.

                                Patty's Berries & Bunches on Sound Avenue in Mattituck. Right across the street from Harbes. Consistently the best I've found. Been buying there for quite a few years now, they are always picked ripe, no orange or white or pink.

                                1. re: MacTAC

                                  Thanks, couldn't make it out today anyway. I live in Huntington - I do SO wish local supermarkets (especially the really local ones like North Shore Farms) would carry local berries. I'd certainly pay extra for these than the gigantic California Driscolls. (Though the California strawberries have had more berry flavor lately - must be better engineering).

                                  1. re: sbp

                                    Check Fairway and Whole Foods - both have been stocking local and/or upstate strawberries for the last couple of years. One of Fairway's employees said the get them in closer to the weekend.