ROCK A TACO
Experience the flavors of Mexico at this Rockville Center joint slinging tacos and other south-of-the-border fare.
While the space is cozy, interiors are bright and colorful, festooned with murals dedicated to Dia de los Muertos and artist Frida Kahlo.
All tacos are served on house-made corn tortillas with fillings ranging from the familiar ground beef ($3.95) to the strangely inventive hot dog taco ($3.95) here nestled with refried beans, caramelized onions, peppers and cheese. The ingenuity doesn’t stop there, as Rock A Taco also pumps out left-field options like the mia-milla ($8.95) a quesadilla stuffed with Muenster cheese, spinach and hummus.
280 Merrick Rd., Rockville Centre. 516-992-0477
Ever see a restaurant that serves pancakes with craft beer? At this breakfast-and-lunch-only spot, all the heavy hitters of the morning and afternoon are plated up with a delightfully left-of-center aplomb.
The decor fuses modern layout with classic greasy-spoon aesthetic, sporting granite countertops and warm, welcoming lighting.
Both the breakfast and lunch menus offer that same diner-meets-gastropub flair, featuring fresh buttermilk pancakes stuffed with Nutella or peanut butter ($12.95), golden-brown brioche French toast slices sandwiched between layers of cannoli cream and chocolate sauce ($12.95) and the flamethrower breakfast burrito ($13.95) packed with eggs, Sriracha-marinated chicken and blue cheese. Come lunchtime, check out the specialty Buttermilk’s chicken sandwich ($13.95), featuring a crispy chicken breast topped with Cheddar, lettuce and tomato and drizzled with homemade ranch.
76 West Main St., Patchogue. 631-654-6455. buttermilkskitchen.com.
At this Mineola eatery, authenticity is the name of the game, as Kaiyo features more than 40 kinds of sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls.
The interior evokes a classic Tokyo sushi house, all clean lines and elegant use of wood and steel, extending all the way to the restaurant’s outdoor seating.
The menu sports various takes on Japanese fare. Order the Fluke usuzukuri ($12) featuring fresh-caught fluke and scallions with ponzu sauce, or for the more adventurous, try the Daruma ($12) with chicken tempura, cucumber and a spicy salmon topping. The menu also features a full lineup of udon noodle dishes, fresh dumplings and the panko breadcrumb-crusted katsu cutlet,($20) with a choice of pork or chicken.
92 Main St., Mineola. 516-739-0093. kaiyo-sushi.com.