ByDanny & Rosie/
Lets go back, shall we?
How about to the days of drive-up dining? The days when Ike
was president, Chevrolet Bel Airs were the hottest cars around
and the fastest food came by way of roller-skates and waitresses
with trays in tow. Thanks to Francescos of New York,
at 918 Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station, that option
is available again, minus the waitresses on roller-skates.
If youre staying to eat, alfresco dining is the only
way to go here. The fenced-in roadside setup and storefront
evoke all the wonderful thoughts of being on the boardwalk
with a knish or a hot dog. Francescos follows the family
tradition began by Dominicks and DAngelos
sausage and pepper trucks, which traverse Woodhaven Boulevard
in Queens every day and service Italian festivals and street
fairs. Theyve been doing so for three generations, said
co-owner Gary DAngelo, who runs the operation with his
wife Angela and sister-in-law Celene.
Last time we visited, it was frigid January, and we thought
Francescos deserved a return visit as a summer destination
spot. Were glad we made the trip.
When you walk up to the stand, on its green boardwalk-style
storefront, the scent of sausages, peppers and onions is something
to behold. It was so convincing of a day on the Jersey Shore
or Coney Island that we swore we smelled seawater, but the
delightful aroma must have rendered us temporarily punch-drunk.
Alas, we digress on to the food.
According to Bravo TVs Top Chef, their hot
dogs ($2.50 and up) are among the best in New York, and with
their soft buns, mild flavor and crisp, yet not tough, exterior,
we can see why. The cheese steaks ($7.25), a staple of any
good boardwalk restaurant, were a hit, too we liked
the balance of steak and white American cheese. Neither overwhelmed
the other, and the portions were generous. The sausage and
peppers ($6.75), which come both in sweet and spicy varieties,
were fresh, enticingly seasoned and filling. The spicy sandwiches
come with jalapenos look out for the fire trucks as
you nosh away.
The onion rings ($2.75) stand out as well while theyre
crunchy and slightly sweet, theyre easy to eat. There
was no dealing with scalding-hot onion flying out as youre
pulling a bit of a ring away. And, after tasting the waffle
fries ($2.45) we came to a consensus on the fried foods at
Francescos theyre fried, but not greasy.
While youre there, check out the knishes, seasonal specials,
kebabs, corn on the cob and no-bread combo platters. The chicken
teriyaki ($8.75, with two sides) was a fun fusion of carnival-style
food with its extra pepper kick added to the Asian flavors.
While theyve been in Huntington since last July, we
hope theyll be sticking around for many more summers,
providing a little oasis for some old-fashioned fun on Jericho
Turnpike. Just make sure you dont forget the sunscreen.
of New York
918 East Jericho Turnpike
Cuisine: Sausage and pepper truck staples with classic
Atmosphere: Boardwalk dining, on the roadside
Price range: Inexpensive
Hours: Monday Saturday, 11 a.m. 9 p.m.