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.
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