By Pete & Rosie/
Summertime. It’s about baseball, watermelon
and trips to the beach. And for many, it brings on a regular
The Shack is that seasonal summertime eatery located on Route
25A in Centerport best known to some for the clot of cars
that line the road at the intersection.
Foodies and insiders know The Shack as a fun-loving, casual
stop for clams, burgers, seafood and a beer. Its name is the
best description. It’s basically a shack – and
a busy one at that. Securing a table at times can be as tough
as parking, and at peak times you may end up sharing one of
the dozen or so picnic tables that surround The Shack.
Casual being the theme, the tables are topped with plastic
tablecloths where recycled Corona six-pack holders are used
to stash the ketchup, mustard and hot sauce. Service is strictly
paper plate and plastic, and you’ll come pick it up
yourself after placing orders to a window at the left.
The food is the kind you wish you could get at a casual waterfront
restaurant – if Huntington had one. Steamed Littlenecks
or mussels, clams on the half-shell, fried clams or catfish
sandwiches, even salads, are a few surprising notches above
the kind you’d find at the typical roadside eatery.
If it’s not too hot, Clam Chowder ($4.75) is a briny
version with generous chunks of clams. When available, the
steamers ($13.95, check the specials board) are simply prepared
and served with bowls of broth and drawn butter for dunking.
Raw littlenecks on the half shell ($12.95 dozen) are as fresh
as they get. We usually add a drop of Tabasco and a squeeze
of lemon to jazz up the otherwise ordinary cocktail sauce.
Other favorites from the Apps list are Baked Clams Oreganato
($8.95), Fried Calamari with a surprisingly good marinara
sauce ($8.95), and spicy Buffalo Wings ($7 small, $12.95 large).
We basically stick with anything on a bun when eating at The
Shack. The Lobster Roll ($13.95) is everything it should be,
with chunks of fresh lobster meat and a light dressing that
call for nothing more than a squirt of lemon. Fried Clam Roll
($7.95) hits the spot when that’s what you’re
craving, but go for the platter ($10.95) to savor the Shack’s
French fries. They cook a lot of fries and do it well.
The sweet potato fries served with Kathy’s Catfish Sandwich
($13.95) are dark and rich; they nicely complement the slightly
sweet fried catfish.
Seafood lovers will also enjoy the Centerport Seafood Sampler
($15.95), comprised of fried clams, jumbo shrimp, fish fillet
and crabcakes. Cajun Popcorn Shrimp ($10.25) is also a favorite.
There are reliable chicken and burger selections as well as
a growing list of salad choices.
Kids are more than welcome at The Shack, and the kids menu
offers what they want – hot dogs, burgers and fried
fish sandwiches — at a wallet-friendly price.
Owner Mace Colodny is current caretaker of this Centerport
institution, and sister Kathleen Colodny-Failla keeps it running
like clockwork. The season runs May through October.
1 Stony Hollow Road
Cuisine: Clams and a beer, fried seafood, sandwiches,
burgers and fries.
Atmosphere: Roadside clam shack
Price Range: Inexpensive