Unifying factors these days are difficult to determine – they all seem like the wrong ones to me, well, most anyway. I’ll tell ya a Long Island unifying factor – Diners! Your Grammy can be a gay Eskimo that worships the devil and sit her right along side one of those fire breathing Torah thumping Muslims and they’ll chit chat over a slice of those dizzying, teeth aching – glass enclosed pieces of icing clad pies.

It’s because human nature just wants to connect – and Diners are always there to bridge that gap – to feel the homemade environment. Leave any pretenses in the lot and order a  bacon double cheeseburger and a hot fudge sundae for breakfast and strawberry pancakes with chocolate chips and whipped cream for dinner while resting your ever expanding rump roast on the always overstuffed padded booth seats.

The Signature sandwich was called The Roadhouse – cool movie (even with P. Swazie) and a bouncer of a meal. The roast beef was tender and layered like the walls of the keep of Minis Tirith. It was difficult to get my mouth up and over it’s too to bottom bountiful half poundage – but my right hand pinched and twisted in accordance with the disdain for silverware and class which had my dining partner ordering the check half way thru.

I was so tempted to point to the corner and say “Seabass has graciously offered to pick up our check” #dumbanddumber the thought of calling our waitress “Flo” ceased right quick as she was sweet but underneath the smile looked like she’d smack the silly right on outta me.

Don’t sleep on the starter coleslaw and pickles either, I’d order extra hence forth if-in I’ll find myself out that way in Wantaugh ever again.

  • Photo of Circle M Diner - Wantagh, NY, United States. The Roadhouse

CP Grill – College Point, NY

We couldn’t see it as we viewed CP Grill from across the street and as we approached, as we got nearer, the wispy tops of the front courtyard palms swayed beneath the full moon above like a single spotlight stabbing down guiding our way to the mid summer roses beauty within the privacy of mirrored glass.

Deciding to dine inside, I was taken by the flow of the wall murals of the towns and villages in Greece,  3 dimensional pillars on high ground overlooking seashores and the surrounding white buildings.
Six pineapples upon the bar had my palate dancing and wanting a frosty, icy drink with coconut, pineapple and white rum – my dining partner all but had to yank me off the bar as the under lit shelving lighting wrapped its blue and green arms around me.

The soft leather chairs of black and white cupped beneath me like sitting in the hand of Apollo as the salad arrived – not a Big Fat Greek one but a classic with the star of the show – the cucumber, stripped to visual splendor, red onion sliced very thin, green and calamata olives and red bell pepper — angular 45* cuts into diamond shapes – mastery of the blade.

With the arrival of the light and bouncy Fried Calamari (with two sauces) Chicken, Beef and Pork Souvlaki, Greek sausage and Greek meatballs a top Mediterranean rice – my fingers prowled around the plates like a mantis contemplating his/her evenings preying. Perfect seasonings and proper select cuts – in my next life I want to come back as wooden skewers that are used here at CP Grill.

Owner-operator and all around joyous dear fellow and my new friend Christos came out to talk with us as a fresh fruit Strawberry Daiquiri was set beside me

The evenings will continue to host many themes that will be posted through their social media – so for you all that read me – even if your not local, I encourage you to follow along for the ride of delicious dishes and spectacular events – oh the fun we had that night – I’m so excited about returning — whose coming with me?  

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  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States. Christos, myself and his sister Martha..
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States. Calamari ain't just an Italian thing at all.. that's coming from an Italian.. proper Greeks crush this lovely app..
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States. Even the meatiest if meat eaters out there can't not want summa this beautiful salad..
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States. So soft, no crunchiness -- scooping is more personal - it's all feel. Unlike nachos
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States. Strawberry Daiquiri -- with sweet strawberries
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States. Pina Colada with a cherry on top..
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States. This cocktails name is currently (the morning after) a but fuzzy. Will correct soon, it was soooo good..
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States. Fresh pineapple garnish and -- most importantly and deliciously, into the fun cocktails that C. P. Grill offers
  • Photo of CP Grill - College Point, NY, United States

Plumb Beach isn’t Peaches

Point Breeze some call it and it’s a quick walk to Plumb Beach — ” hey, look over there, it’s Jamaica Bay in all of it’s polluted splendor.

A 10 minute walk to Coney Island that-A-way and over to your left, Breezy Point, a simple community as seen from the Boogie Down Brooklyn side, a great place to hang — it’ll connect you to the Atlantic Ocean.

Doesn’t all of what you see floating around you look and sound appetizing for a Sunday swim, just try not to open your mouth or eyes kiddies – people are pathetic with their personal garbage.
With switch of the mind flip, It’s not unlike the setting for Creepshow (#1) “Something to Tide You Over”. Greatest movie ever for a horror loving little child such as I was — and I was.
“Welcome to the beach…. If you don’t panic, if you can hold your breath —- if you can hold your breath” —
     *****And that’s what the polluted and polluters should have a comin’ to ’em. ****** Take out what you bring in — simple and easy as pie and bless your heart for making any effort, the garbage doesn’t add up, it subtracts down, just try a little harder each time – you’ll be begin to enjoy it and when the big green truck rolls in and takes it all away to a proper facility, the W’s (wins) keep stacking because there’s no stacking W’s when you litter.

Roxbury, Fort Tilden, Riis Park are all out there watching me watch them, all well known beach areas in this area and all graveyard quiet, there’s nobody else here. It was overcast and grey with air dust or pollution and looked like a combination of dirty cotton and wet sugar. The more I focused upwards, the more hesitant and feeble the very pale blueish grey sky looked — as if a painter had washed the color off his brush in a huge tub of water and the water only held one drop of a promise.

Tall buildings & bright lights is knee jerk NY, I know, but take the B or Q train to Sheepshead Bay and you’ll get some quiet time here, at Plumb Beach. It’s 4.1 mile drive from my door for Big Phil and I, so I think I’ll be back again as the summer of 2021 quickly comes to an abrupt halt.\\

  • Photo of Plumb Beach - Brooklyn, NY, United States
  • Photo of Plumb Beach - Brooklyn, NY, United States. Lazybones is the term and poem.. Maine Ballads..
  • Photo of Plumb Beach - Brooklyn, NY, United States. Everytime I've stopped on by -- the parking lot is never busy.
  • Photo of Plumb Beach - Brooklyn, NY, United States. It seems that the crusty ole seagull never saw one of these before. #rhodesianridgeback
  • Photo of Plumb Beach - Brooklyn, NY, United States. Tell ya what -- We don't mind Mondays...

My Rhodesian Ridgeback at Rockaway

Big Phil wanted to mix it up all day in striking contrast to his typically docile demeanor.

He caught my right hand with his teeth when I threw the soft low straight right jab. I’d usually jump him at that point and take him down, but I wasn’t in the mood and my hand was hurting. Score Round 1 for Big Phil

Please take a look at my Water Ionizer on eBay — I bought thousands lol

Mid Hudson Valley Hammy

Please click the king to read my 5 star review of State Line Lookout Cafe:

Dean’s Seafood..

Please click the link for my review of Dean’s Seafood..

A five star review of Deans Seafood by Glenn Van Nostrand..

“Rhodesian Ridgeback walking in Southampton on the beach – Runs Away from the Water.”

Please click the link for a little Memorial Day weekend laugh as Big Phil runs away from the water

I met Cuppone on Austin Street.

“Fine casual” has such a beautiful sound doesn’t it? Just marinate on those two words for a moment – and for myself, I am quickly transported to the trattorias in Romana, wandering around smelling the fresh ingredients where (arguably, yet I believe that there is no argument here) the best pizza in the world is found, where the pizza symphonies play in your mouth after the meal is complete – the satisfying flavors lingering and the thoughts of the return.

 I started with the words “fine casual” because, I am sad to report that this is an uncommon term to me – but I have been awoken. We certainly are a city of multiple pizza establishments, and no to point the un-sauced side of the ladle at anyone, but after my 2.0 pie at Austin Pizza, I am finding all the other pizza places to be in overabundance in terms of – lack of imagination – too greased and predictable.

My preference was always that crispness of the pizza crust, and as I read more about my 2.0 Austin Pizza as I chowed down with Ma Dukes who said “it’s the best she’s ever had (old school Canarsie Brooklyn gal where the best NYC pizza is said to be built) as we scrolled their beautiful website, we began to understand the balance in what Chris at Austin Pizza focused his fifteen year vision on creating. The notion of not over topping – its pizza physics and poise in terms of the slow subtle flavor introductions, just like the symphonies I mentioned.

That bright yet light tingle, tangle, tongle of natural cheeses, modulating and elevating and rocking you into its tasty groove of true Italian pizza, with the classic New York crispy underside by also blending Italian flours and a classic process of fermentation.
I absolutely adored the balance of my 2.0’s not being under topped either as each bite has to be structurally sound for topping weight – supported deliciously with every mouthful.

This is the moment when the toppings really sparkled for me – the moment that I got its beautiful creation of classic meets modern, what customers have referred to as “Neo NYC Style” not just locally, but in the greater pizza world. My best quick snapshot description would be as if you bought a New York slice of pizza in Romana Italy, again, what is universally accepted as the home of pizza – even the little green people will say the same..

Yet these higher costs which are clearly incurred are not noticeable to the price points on any of the pies you can buy. And to run the numbers of Austin Pizzas ingredients versus the traditional standard ingredients would be an exponential difference, but let’s not talk cost, let’s talk more about the pizza. The most popular pizza item on the menu is the Truffle Pie, available by the pie and – the slice. This pie is specially made with ground truffles instead of the standard truffle oil and all of the red sauce pies are made with imported Italian tomatoes which are certified USDA organic — all in an effort to bring the best product to Forest Hills.

I do want to take a moment to talk about the star of the show, other than the fabulously friendly staff — that being the oven. Shipped from Italy to the shores of New York harbor on a special container, then directly to Austin Street, this electric oven is made by hand in Italy. The Cuppone has a beautiful classic design, a beautiful ultra sleek and modern look and it’s full of functionality – I know, I was watching it closely. The fans to regulate the best consistent temperature, the programming to deliver a precise flawless pizza every time – so, goodbye gummy burnt bottoms and hello to crisp and light and tight bottoms.

  • Photo of Austin Street Pizza - Forest Hills, NY, United States. Beautiful Sicilian Pepperoni pie.Beautiful Sicilian Pepperoni pie.
  • Photo of Austin Street Pizza - Forest Hills, NY, United States. Margherita Pesto

JAX Inn Diner

Anyone driven from the north east to Florida? Well, many miles before Dillon S.C. you begin the broadside barrage of highway billboards pitching a Mexican themed establishment called South of the Boarder. Watching my prospective waitresses wandering past me gave me the same feeling, one of confusion and annoyance. So after a few accelerated hand gestures (Italians are particularly skilled at this) towards the front, and after a few tennis volleys of heads, I was properly addressed. And in that twisted mind of mine, I’m disappointed that I didn’t buy enough fireworks, enough to declare war on Canada, so I could really expressed my presence as my wait continued.

I’ve probably consumed enough homefries to write a novel about which would include my continual exasperation of never receiving them extra well done, no matter where I am dining, no matter the server, it’s a worthless exercise. Jax had two peppers inside, green and yellow and that raised my spirits some because the undercooking tradition continues and another notch is scratched into my skin.

Sausage links, here’s another common breakfast attendee of mine, not dry inside, but not moist but a snap to the casing which I always listen for and I’ll put it up to my ear along with hotdogs when I’m alone at home.

Three eggs of magnificent sunshine yellow seeped slowly after a single fork tine incision and perfectly placed rye bread was set to begin phase one of absorbance, home fries securing the outer perimeter. And it’s important to point out that my parents never gave me the ” don’t play with your food” speech.

  • Photo of Jax Inn Diner - Jackson Heights, NY, United States. It's a 3 egg kinda day..It’s a 3 egg kinda day..