Archives: Kid Friendly

Deal of the Week: Nisen Sushi in Commack

Deal of the Week: Nisen Sushi in Commack

Getting young kids trained to eat sushi at a young age could be a great thing not only for the child, but also for the parents. Fish, seaweed and rolls can be daunting to the untrained young one. As a way to get kids used to sushi and to reward their parents for coming in on a Sunday night, Nisen Sushi in Commack is offering “Kids Eat Free Sundays” every Sunday from 5 to 9pm. This deal applies to kids who are 10 and under and consists of of one kid’s meal for every sushi or kitchen entree (or for a $20 adult purchase).

Kid Stuff for Less!

By Dina Shingleton, Suffolk County Correspondent

If you have children, you know they grow out of clothing and toys at light-warp speed!  Aside from having to purchase fresh wardrobes for every season, there's also the matter of storage!  What to do with the clothing that no longer fits and the toys that no longer grab attention?  

Kid Stuff for Less in Lindenhurst solves both dilemmas.  Kid Stuff accepts gently used children's clothing, shoes, toys, and furniture for resale in the store.  They retail these goods for a fraction of what they would normally cost at retail.  During a recent trip, I was able to unload some of my daughter's summer clothing from last year.  While waiting for the clothing I brought in to be evaluated (Kid Stuff won't take anything stained, color faded, or harshly worn) I took a look around and was surprised at some of the high-quality clothing I saw on the racks, much of it new with tags!

Even the brand-new merchandise if offered at excellent prices- a great money-saving resource when having to stock up on a whole season's worth of clothing for your little one!  I purchased two adorable sun dresses by high-end brand Tea Collection for $8.50 each (they original retail for $27)!

Before blowing your budget on summer wear, try Kid Stuff for Less- they might have exactly what you're looking for!

290 N. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst
631-592-2561
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon- 5 p.m.

My Gym in West Babylon

By Dina Shingleton, Suffolk County Correspondent

Looking for a great place to throw your toddler’s birthday party?  Look no further than My Gym in West Babylon.  This past Saturday my daughter celebrated her 2nd birthday with 15 of her closest friends ranging in age from 1 to 6.  The hour and a half party includes having the entire facility available exclusively to your party with staff.  Tablecloths, napkins, balloons, forks, plates, invites, and thank you cards are also included with the price.  The only thing we had to bring the day of the party was cupcakes, juice boxes, and pizza (and to make the party SUPER easy, there is a pizza place right next door.) 

The facility was super clean (they should open a cleaning service) and the staff was super friendly.  The party was tightly run with just the right amount of activities, songs, circle time, and free play.  I was amazed that the staff got 15 kids to sit around a table and eat pizza and cupcakes without incident!  But the best part of the party?  Going home with a happy two-year old and not having to clean up after 15 kids!

My Gym also offers classes based on age.  After my experience with the birthday party, I am definitely looking into enrolling my daughter because I know she’d love it! 631-669-4043

Harbes Farm, Mattituck: Kid AND Parent Friendly Day Trip

By Dina Shingleton, Suffolk County Correspondent

A beautiful day with nothing planned! What could be more intimidating for the parents of a toddler? Determined to savor the last few weekends of autumn before the weather turns too cold, my husband, daughter, and I made the 50+ mile drive out to Mattituck to check out Harbes Family Farm. We decided upon Harbes as it met a few of our last-minute requirements: u-pick pumpkins, hay ride, and petting zoo.

The Harbes Family actually have three locations to choose from, but the Mattituck location on Sound Avenue fulfilled all three of our day-trip requirements and then some. A concession offered roasted sweet corn, fresh squeezed lemonade, candy apples, and other autumnal treats. The sprawling farm stand had a variety of fresh produce, seasonal flowers, cheeses, jams, and pumpkins for sale (just in case you didn’t want to brave the pumpkin patch).

The hay ride was adorable and featured Farmer Stan, a bona fide, 81-year-old retired farmer, schooling us “city-folk” on the ins-and-outs of Long Island farm culture. A banjo player entertained the kids with folk renditions of children’s songs; he even had the adults clapping and stomping along. Sheep, goats, and chickens waited patiently in the petting zoo; the nearby concession stand had bags of feed available for $2.00. My daughter got a real kick passing bits of feed through the fence to the sheep and goats.

After the hay ride and petting zoo, our daughter played in the play area with the other children. Although not large, it has an adorable wooden tractor with slide off the back. All the kids got a real kick out of it, and were very patient waiting their turn to go down the slide, even my almost 2 year old!

Too tired out from the play area, we decided to purchase a pumpkin from the farm stand rather than force march our daughter through the fields in search of the perfect pumpkin. The stand had plenty of pumpkins to choose from and we settled on a 22 pounder for our front porch!

The leaves are just starting to turn out East, which made the scenery extra pretty! If you haven’t gotten your pumpkin yet, I highly recommend a trip to Harbes’ farm. If you’re sans children, you can check out the Wine Barn (we, sadly, didn’t get to) and also check out Martha Clara Vineyard which is nearby.

Liki Sushi in Amityville

By Dina Shingleton, Suffolk County Correspondent

What’s better than a sushi restaurant opening within walking distance of your house?  A sushi restaurant that actually serves decent sushi, with attentive staff, and trendy atmosphere within walking distance to your house!

OK, so maybe Liki Sushi in Amityville isn’t within walking distance for everyone, but ample parking and it’s location on Merrick Rd make it the perfect go-to spot for a bite after work when you’re too tired to cook.

Last night my husband, two year old daughter (yes, they’re kid friendly too), and I sat down in a private booth with beaded curtains and chowed down.  We started out with the Jalapeno Yellowtail appetizer.  Certainly a nod to the famed dish at Nobu, it was just spicy enough without going overboard.  The yellowtail was just slightly too thick, but maybe I’m used to the paper thin shavings at Nobu that seem to melt away.  Of course, Liki doesn’t charge Nobu prices, so to hold them up to that standard is probably unfair.

We ordered Edamame as well, mainly for Maddie (our two year old).  If you haven’t yet given some to your little one, give it a try!  Maddie pops ’em like candy!  A miso soup and a bowl of white rice rounded up Maddie’s meal.  We dump about half the rice into the soup and let her have at it.  She thinks it is delicious, and we’re happy to oblige!

The husband and I tried some sushi rolls.  I had the Fire Dragon Roll (spicy tuna, cucumber on top with tuna, avocado, and spicy wasabi sauce) and a Negi Hamachi roll (yellowtail and scallion).  The Fire Dragon Roll was done well.  Not too much rice, excellent texture, and not too cold (I don’t like eating ice cold sushi).  My only complaint was that for a roll called Fire Dragon it didn’t seem that spicy.  Fire Dragon is a pretty dramatic name, and I was expecting dramatic spice.  It fell a bit flat, but nothing extra wasabi couldn’t solve.

My husband had the standard spicy tuna roll and a Boston roll.  He said both were rather tasty.  I tried his spicy tuna and thought it lacked spice, but he didn’t agree, so maybe I was just having a bad taste bud day.

All in all I think Liki Sushi is a great go-to sushi spot.  I know we’ll certainly be back either to dine-in or to take-out.

Maureen’s Kitchen in Smithtown

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By Stacey McDevitt, Suffolk County Correspondent

When I first moved out west to attend culinary school some 15 years ago, I knew there would be things I would miss about New York. Family and friends were a given. A real bagel, the pizza, and an authentic New York deli. These experiences would be few and far between in my new home. A requirement of anyone coming to visit me from back east was to smuggle me in the goods on the plane, I would greet them like a junkie with a did you bring the bagels? But I would also miss my list of restaurants that I had developed over the years of living on Long Island the places I loved and were unique to the area, a foodie bucket list if you will. From Manhattan to Montauk, and everywhere in between these little hole in the wall, Mom and Pop type places are not necessarily fancy. I’ve have a separate list for that, I like to call it the when I hit the Lotto list. But they were darn good at what they did and they did it well.

One such place was Maureen’s Kitchen in Smithtown. When I first visited this little place a long long time ago. It was across the street from its present location and quite a bit smaller then it is now. It maybe had a few stools and couple of booths/tables. And who do you think was behind the counter running the show, you guessed it Maureen. Imagine my surprise when I recently moved back to New York and went to see if they were still in business. Well they were all grown up and had moved out too, even if it was just across the street. Neither of us got too far from where we originally started, did we?!

Maureen Dernbach, her family and the friendly and efficient hard-working crew made this place a winner. This location has an open and airy feel to it, like an old farmhouse, complete with a screened in porch. You feel like you’re upstate somewhere, oh did I mention the cow motif? Kind of kitschy but very fitting, considering the town of Smithtown is named after a guy named Mr. Smith who rode through town on a bull, and there’s even a statue of the bull in town to prove it. Well there’s cows out in front of Maureen’s Kitchen too so you can’t miss it.

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But it’s what inside this jewel that makes them line up out the door on most days, and let me tell you it’s worth every minute. Meanwhile you can admire the glass enclosed cow print Harley Davidson motorcycle while you wait. But don’t wait to order the specialty pancakes and were not talking just any old pancakes were talking WOW. Pumpkin, mini chocolate chip and walnut, a crushed Oreo version, very popular with the little people and everything in between with orange, fresh blueberry, raspberry and strawberry, the list goes on and on. There are also the delicious over stuffed omelets, freshly griddled home fries, real bacon, thick sausage links, and eggs every which way. And a thick cut delicious looking raspberry stuffed French toast with a dusting of powdered sugar. I know they do a wonderful lunch too, with homemade soups, sandwiches and gigantic decadent looking desserts too, but to be honest I can never get past the pancakes they are my weakness. I must admit I’m a real big breakfast lover. I look forward to it from the minute I wake up. Along with a steaming hot cup of coffee and a copy of the New York Times I ask you does it get any better then this?! So I recommend that you get there early, read the paper while you wait, make sure you’re hungry and I can guarantee you’ll leave feeling happy and as stuffed as the cows out front. 631-360-9227

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