By Rachel Rosenstein
Time stands still at the Mediterranean Snack Bar located in the quaint village of Huntington. The same menu, the same decor, and even the same Steve (the owner) haven’t changed in over 30 years! Steve is a gracious host and frequently provides his customers with items from his own garden or fish he caught on his boat to supplement the regular menu. There is something special about a family owned restaurant that makes you feel welcomed as soon as you walk through the door. The restaurant has never lost its old charm from the high chairs, the tall tables in the back, and the delicious aromas wafting through the air. I suppose some might find the plastic covered tables a bit tacky and the artwork less than spectacular, but I think the no-frill atmosphere adds to the charm. The cooks and waiters have been running this iconic establishment forever, and the authentic, classic food is delicious and always consistent. Visit the restaurant, and you can expect fresh food properly prepared, a capable staff, and a menu that won’t empty your wallet.
With all of the intriguing options on the menu, this first one might sound boring, but you MUST start with the hummus. Their perfect dip is made with ground chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and tahini sauce. It is served with warm pita, and I suggest asking for sliced cucumbers to dip in it as well. Trust me when I say it is not the stuff you buy at the local grocery store. It’s truly chickpea nirvana! Next in line is the must-order Greek salad. Their small salad is actually a very generous portion that can be shared. I consider myself a Greek salad connoisseur and can honestly say the salad at Mediterranean Snack Bar is the best I have ever had! The vegetables are so fresh, and there are big slices of plump, perfectly ripe tomatoes. It is loaded with feta cheese that is salty, but not too overwhelming, and the dressing is phenomenal. I have not been able to crack the code on what makes the dressing so incredible, but it’s perfect. It’s so good that I often buy a jar of it on the way out to use on my salads at home. You can order a side of Chicken Souvlaki to add to the salad which consists of perfectly marinated grilled chunks of white meat chicken. It truly elevates the salad to a whole new level. The friendly waiter delivers it with a side of out-of-this-world, creamy dill tzatziki sauce. I recommend putting it on everything you order. The hardest part about dining here is deciding what to order because you want to try everything. The Greek pizza is fabulous! It is a combination of chopped spinach and feta topped with mozzarella cheese. Even better than this is their spinach and cheese casserole. It’s hot, bubbly, and oh-so yummy!
Time to select an entree. If you feel like being healthy, I suggest the salmon, although all of the fish here is delicious. Their seafood is fresh and grilled exactly the way it should be. The entrées are enough for two people to share, and unlike the norm in other restaurants, there is no sharing charge. Someone at the table has to order the gyro because it is better here than anywhere else I have been on Long Island. Put it on a salad or order it wrapped up in a warm pita, just don’t forget to add the tzatziki sauce. The chef’s special that is really worth trying is something called Moussaka. This traditional Greek dish is composed of layers of eggplant, ground beef, and potato topped with a a béchamel sauce. It might not be the healthiest option on the menu, but it is well worth the calories.
There are a few dessert items on the menu, but I usually pass and head straight to one of the ice cream shops in town. After this delicious and very filling meal, it’s nice to stroll around the always bustling town of Huntington.There are many trendy new restaurants in town to try, some last and some don’t, but there is no doubt in my mind that the old Mediterranean Snack Bar will be there forever. Definitely check it out; you will want to go back again and again. The food is addictive!
Mediterranean Snack bar is located at 360 New York Avenue in Huntington. It is open from 11:00am to 11:00pm. No reservations necessary; just walk in and enjoy the experience. Take out is an option as well. Call them at 631-423-8982. The hardest part about taking out from here is the ride home in the car. The food smells so good, it’s hard to wait until you get home to dive in!
Photo by Lauren Peller