Opening a door to be hit with a cold blast of air and a smorgasbord of comfort foods — everything from vanilla ice cream to burgers and fries and waffles and eggs — after a morning at the beach is one of those rites to look forward to each summer. Luckily, there is no shortage of iconic luncheonettes, diners, and greasy spoons in the greater Westhampton area to whet one’s appetite during the lazy, hazy days of summer. Here’s a sampling:
The Eastport Luncheonette
The Glynn family has operated this luncheonette for the past 15 years, serving up everything from omelets to meatloaf platters, not to mention giant cups of coffee in signature mugs. The luncheonette’s charming décor features a long counter with built-in chairs (they spin, too) and a sign with a warning not to let the regulars scare you away. A fenced-in seating area with picnic tables and umbrellas is available outdoors.
Owner Keith Glynn likes to bill the luncheonette as a place to find “some good home cooking” and “a little bit of craziness” in the staff members’ personalities.
The luncheonette is best known for its light and fluffy pancakes that can come as is, or with fruit, such as peaches, strawberries, or blueberries, with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Other customer favorites include the luncheonette’s cadre of homemade soups, sausages, and gravy, and Philly cheesesteaks. But burgers are a big seller here, too.
Glynn says he believes people keep on coming back for the “old time feel” that the luncheonette has. It’s not only the décor that hasn’t changed, it’s the staff as well.
Waitress Kari Hanley of Speonk said Sundays are the busiest, but she believes people keep coming back for more because of the quick service. “I feel you don’t have to wait long for a table,” she said.
The luncheonette is located at 497 Montauk Highway in Eastport. It is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 3 PM, and weekends 8 AM to 3 PM.
Since 1911, the Eckart family has been feeding the cravings of the greater Westhampton area, with the fourth-generation currently at the helm. A former saloon that opened at the turn of the 20th century, the luncheonette features a collection of memorabilia, including antique chemist bottles.
There is also an array of Coca-Cola advertising items, and Life magazines, not to mention newer memorabilia such as the front page of The Independent when the Westhampton Beach High School Hurricanes made football history, becoming All Suffolk Champions last November.
“My grandparents collected a lot of those bottles, and there is still plenty more stored away,” said Danielle Eckart.
Eckart’s is best known for its signature chicken salad, which can be served on a sandwich, or on a platter with a salad and garnishments, as well as in a melt. Erik’s Melt makes a frequent appearance on the specials black board. The dish features chicken salad, bacon, tomato, and melted cheese on rye bread with chipotle mayo.
Other specials include butterscotch pancakes, and poached eggs and grilled asparagus over crab cakes drenched with Hollandaise sauce. If you are looking for vegetarian fare, there is avocado toast: mashed avocado with onion in a balsamic vinegar glaze spread on multi-grain toast.
The luncheonette is also well known for serving up a good turkey club, and some mean milkshakes, and chocolate egg creams, which are whipped up by hand at the counter.
It’s not uncommon to see a line wrapped around the corner in the summer at this popular village eatery.
“We will have 15 to 20 people on the waiting list for hours,” said Eckart.
The luncheonette is located at 162 Mill Road, Westhampton Beach. It is open daily from 8 AM to 3 PM.
Dave’s Bun ‘N’ Burger
Dave’s stays true to its motto — Always good for a ‘yolk’ — serving up diner fare and comfort food to hungry swells of people over the summer. This Westhampton Beach mainstay, which is famous for its charcoal grilled burgers and tasty fries, has not been open as long as Eckart’s, but it is just as loved by locals.
Specials include the hot dog deluxe, which features two beef hot dogs with relish, pickles, lettuce and tomato, and French fries; the clamwich, which has golden fried breaded clam strips; and the tuna burger, which is made of all white meat tuna, and is served with melted cheese on a sesame bun, as well as the chef’s salad, which is so big it’s a meal unto itself.
If you are still feeling hungry after one of those dishes, you can top it off with a root beer float, dish of ice cream, or a slice of pie á la mode for dessert.
This tiny gem is practically hidden in a small strip of stores at 218 Mill Road, Westhampton Beach. It is open daily from 6 AM to 3:45 PM.