August 09, 2011

The Library Cafe

The Library Cafe
274 Main Street
Farmingdale, NY 11735

Also located on Main Street in Farmingdale, The Library Cafe has been around for about a decade and has been serving up good food, better drinks and a city-like atmosphere for suburban Long Island.  Owned by Lessing's, the folks that catered my wedding and also run Maxwell's, The Library has a great feel to it and seems to be a hotspot for people who work in the area to come to for happy hour or nightly specials. The Library Cafe got its name from it's building, which was build as a bank and then converted to a library in the 1950s and eventually into the restaurant in 2000.

I grabbed a seat at the bar and quickly noticed that Lessing's has their own beer on tap, Lessing's Local Ale, and I had to try one.  It is brewed by Blue Point Brewing Company and is a smooth and robust beer that if  I had a few bucks more in my pocket, I'd have brought home a growler ($20).
Lessing's Local Ale
Knowing I was having dinner too, I grabbed the small order of wingshalf; hot and half teriyaki, which they don't normally do, but the bartender (Jimmy) was kind enough to ask for me.  The price was good, $8.95 for a pound and for an extra dollar, you get a half a pound more. The wings were solid with a lot of extra sauce for each flavor.  The hot had a good kick, were flavored well and got the nose a bit runny.  The bleu cheese helped.  The teriyaki were the perfect combination of salty and sweet with just the right amount of sticky.  All were crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and big.
Hot and Teriyaki Wings
What was I going to have for dinner? Shrimp po boy?  Marinated sliced steak sandwich? One of their 4 burgers? Spicy shrimp pad Thai? Blackened crab cake sandwich?  I couldn't decide. On Jimmy's suggestion, I went with the sliced steak sandwich with fries.  The sandwich was tender, cooked to perfection and stuffed with medium rare sliced steak, mozzarella cheese and fried onions.  It was the perfect ending to a long work day.  The waffle fries were also good.  Came with a pickle, which I can do without, but it is a nice gesture.

It still looks good... I want one now!
When it comes down to it, The Library Cafe has an amazing atmosphere, great drink and food specials, awesome wings, tasty food and is definitely Wingmen approved.

August 04, 2011

The Republic

The Republic
"Teach Tabhairne"
217 Main Street

Farmingdale, NY 11735

Although Main Street of Farmingdale, NY is not hurting for bars and pubs, a void did exist when Granny O'Shay's closed. Luckily for Farmingdale, the loss of the Irish pub would be short-lived. The Republic opened just about a year ago and has quickly become a local hangout.  With a solid menu, tons of beer on tap, a rotating beer menu and an outdoor patio, The Republic is a great place to hang out after work or chill for the evening.
The current line-up
I showed up one day after work craving some wings and a burger. That is why I love pubs/bars, they almost always have wings and burgers, and for the most part, they are always good.  After checking out the menu, I was astounded by how much food they offered and the interesting takes they offer on Irish and American fare. From Irish nachos to drunken shrimp, and macaroni and cheese stuffed meatloaf to shepard's pie, there will always be something interesting to try.
Hot Wings
I ordered the traditional buffalo flavored wings. They also have an Irish Whiskey BBQ flavor, but as you know from past reviews, I just don't like BBQ. A few things hit me right away when they got to my table, 1- They smelled hot. 2- they were all wings, no drumsticks.  I have never seen that before. And 3- they came with ranch dressing even though the menu says they are served with bleu cheese.  Upon trying them I noticed a few other things.  They were not very crispy and the sauce mixture was a touch off, almost as if they added too much salted clarified butter. The salty flavor was a bit overwhelming, and really made them hard to eat. I truly think it was just an off night because I could taste a hint of the hot sauce and with more of that and a bit less salted butter, I am sure they would have been much better. Fix the mixture, fry them another minute and I think they would have been great.
The Republic Burger with Sweet Potato Tater Tots
On the other hand, the burger I had was very good.  The Republic Burger has bacon, Irish cheddar, Irish whiskey BBQ sauce and onion strings loaded on top of a 1/2 lb. ground sirloin patty and is served with tater tots.  This was the highlight of the night.  The tater tots, on the other hand, were a bit disappointing to me and me alone.  I am not a fan of sweet potatoes, and these tots were sweet potato tots.  If you like sweet potatoes, then these will be awesome for you.  They did taste like mini churros, with cinnamon bursting out of every bite.  Worth a try.

The Republic wings deserve another try before a final judgement can be made, but with their beer selection and awesome menu of Irish-American food, it won't be hard convincing the other Wingmen to join me for a final assessment.

So... if you go to their website, you'll notice a fascination with Guinness; I had to have one.
Just plain beautiful

August 02, 2011

Sapsuckers Hops & Grill

Sapsuckers Hops & Grill
287 Main Street
Huntington, NY 11743

One of the newest bars in Huntington Village, NY, Sapsuckers has quickly become a local favorite with their craft beer selection, variety of top shelf liquor options and gastro-pub style cuisine.

My wife and I found ourselves here on her suggestion.  She, being the Wingmen supporter she is, and knowing my love for craft beer, had heard about this place from a co-worker and figured I'd want to give it a try.  She was right, as always.

Two Brothers Witbier
I was initially struck by the ornitholigical theme to the place (a sapsucker being a woodpecker common to the northeast), complete with lithographs of birds on the wall and a field guide, not to the birds of the area, but to BEER!  A clever touch to a subtle theme.  The beer selection, which includes cans, bottles and the tap, is extensive and the field guide does help. I had the Two Brothers Witbier and my wife had the Steigl, which is a lager.
Very small wings, big taste
We ordered the wings, which were pricey at $8 for 6 small wings.  They were lightly breaded and were generously coated in hot sauce, served with thin strips of celery and a gorgonzola dipping sauce.  Despite their size, they were cooked well, spiced well and a great start to our meals.  The gorgonzola dipping sauce was a nice variation on the typical bleu cheese, and had a salty and sharp flavor that complimented the wing sauce.

As for our meals, she had the nachos which were loaded with goodies and I had the Sardinian Style Dog, which is wild boar sausage loaded with caramelized onions.  The meals, reasonably priced were very good and are different from anything else you'll find on Main Street in Huntington Village.
Sardinian Style Dog
With the price of the wings for what you get, it's hard to say Sapsuckers is approved for their wings alone, but as an interesting craft beer bar with unique food and great atmosphere, the Wingmen approve the restaurant as a whole.