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Eaters Digest: New Hot Spots in Mineola, Great Neck and Glen Head

Conveyor Belts, Portuguese Hot Sauce and Small Plates

The Carousel
20 S. Station Plaza, Great Neck

The term “kaiten” means “revolution” and it’s used to describe the conveyor belt method of delivering food to patrons at certain Japanese restaurants. Naming themselves The Carousel is a much better label, seeing that an alternative definition involves suicide submarines used in WWII. They further define themselves as “Asian Tapas Kaiten” and bring this NYC/LA mini-trend to Long Island.


Why are small plates, trucking slowly by for your approval and possible selection, so much fun? Maybe it reminds local baby boomers of Hamburger Choo-Choo, the long-gone counters in Huntington and Glen Oaks where cheeseburgers would chug over to your place by model trains. The refrigerated belt here offers more than sushi: Mainstays like teriyaki and tempura are joined by stewed pork belly, thick seafood soups, short ribs, smoked duck breast and much more. Don’t see it moving by you? Then ask for it by name.

Piri Piri
100 Herricks Rd., Mineola

Piri Piri is named after a Portuguese hot sauce and the menu at this month-old restaurant—with separate bar—has little red peppers all over it. Hidden away where Herricks Road ends and Old Country Road begins, it joins a growing community of Mineola Portuguese-dining establishments; at least a half dozen at this point.

Order anything that benefits from being grilled on the hot wood charcoals and it’s a safe bet you’ll be content. My drive-by included a special of a whole grilled Dorado fish (aka mahi-mahi) charred crispy and perfectly juicy within, with mixed vegetables and boiled potatoes. Barbecued chicken (Frango de Churrasco a Piri-Piri) has some of the signature hot sauce. Various cuts of steaks, plus bass, salmon, fluke and cured cod (bacalhau) are also available, all at very reasonable prices.

Fork & Vine
21 Railroad Ave., Glen Head

After a successful seven-year run, the owners of On 3 change things up, morphing into the popular small plates and good wines by the glass concept that’s sweeping the island.

Some of the more unique offerings include: Falafel Crusted Shrimp, Philly Cheesesteak Spring Rolls, Sweet Potato Nachos and Lamb Three-Cheese Quesadillas. There’s also a full complement of steaks, chops and seafood entrees.

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