This time of year, conversations at Chow Bella staff meetings tend to turn to who's eaten what and where. With the summer travel season winding down, we bring you one last Food Tour.
Gino's Restaurant & Pizzeria 16 W Park Ave, Long Beach 516-432-8193 www.ginoslongbeach.com
We're not going to get into a long debate over who has the best pizza on Long Island, but Gino's in Long Beach is certainly toward the top of the list in our opinion. For one thing, the slices have that combination of gooey cheese, scalding toppings and crispy thin crust that keeps its composure when you hold it horizontally. We're not sure how the rest of the food is, but when you can just get pizza and Italian ices, why would you order anything else? For that matter, we're not sure we've ever had anything other than pepperoni, sausage, and/or mushroom on a slice of pizza. Oh, and did we mention that it's right next to the beach?
See also: 10 Things to Eat and Drink in Chicago
Peter's Clam Bar 600 Long Beach Rd, Island Park 516-432-0505 petersclamhouse.com
The best news we got after Superstorm Sandy passed through the area was that Peter's Clam Bar was still mostly intact despite being precariously perched over the water. The iconic Island Park establishment has gotten a bit pricier over the years and added a completely unnecessary fancy-ish "restaurant" portion to their casual spot, but that doesn't change how amazing the paper-plated seafood is. In our many experiences, it doesn't really matter what you get from Peter's as long as it used to live in the ocean. If you really made us pick, our favorites are the fried clams and either the raw oysters or the fried flounder.
Woodro Kosher Deli 1441 Broadway, Hewlett 516-791-4033 www.woodrokosherdeli.com
There are some places in Phoenix that can be considered "Jewish delis" in the most general sense of the term. While Chompie's is certainly better than nothing, if you're looking for a real top-notch pastrami sandwich or bowl of matzoh ball soup, you probably have to go to the East Coast for it. Woodro isn't just a Jewish deli in New York, it's a Jewish deli in New York that people will drive from the City to eat at. Order a sandwich and stuff your face with tender corned beef or pick an appetizer with a side of egg barley as an alternative. You really can't go wrong, we've never had anything bad there. An older woman from Queens once told us that Woodro was "the only thing on Long Island worth going back to Long Island for" and we certainly understand why she would feel that way.
Marinara Pizzeria & Restaurant 1308 Peninsula Blvd, Hewlett 516-791-5205 www.marinarahewlett.com
Honestly, Marinara isn't one of the best Italian places on Long Island. It probably isn't even the best Italian place in Hewlett. It just so happens that Marinara is very good at one thing, pizza. Hardcore New York pizza snobs will probably tell you that Marinara's crust isn't thin enough or that its wide variety of untraditional toppings means it's not "real" pizza. Well, let them eat their slices elsewhere, and get yours at Marinara, where you'll find everything from plain cheese slices to eggplant parmesan slices and our favorite, buffalo chicken slices.
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Wall's Bake Shop 1336 Broadway, Hewlett 516-374-3771
Let's put it this way, we were going to take a photo of some of a box of cookies from Wall's, but our friends and family couldn't stop eating them for long enough to let us get a picture off. There are bakeries, and then there are bakeries where the recipes have been passed down and improved upon by three generations of the same family, with the males of all three generations still present in the store. A family business if ever there was one, Wall's is a must-eat for everything from loaves of pumpernickel raisin and corn rye bread to chocolate danishes and cookies of all forms. Everything from the taste to the mouthfeel of the foods from Wall's are like nothing we've ever consumed before. Personally, we refuse to leave Long Island without eating an entire chocolate chip marble ring cake and a chocolate pecan babka (a sweet bread swirled with dark chocolate and pecans). We also bring a box full of lace cookies and chocolate leaf cookies home on the plane, just for good measure.