Harbor remains a local favorite sandwich shop
In most towns across the United States, it is easy to find a road called Main Street, and even easier to guess the businesses lining both streets—a pizzeria, a bank, a few restaurants, a pharmacy, a deli, etc. In the town of Port Washington, its most important thoroughfare is its charming Main Street, which leads down and past its Town Dock overlooking Manhasset Bay, and on its way, passes the Harbor Delicatessen & Caterers located at 306 Main Street.
The tagline for Harbor Deli poses the question “Why go anywhere else?” and for many regulars, that is a valid question to ask of anyone who doesn’t grab a sandwich or a salad at this beloved eatery.
“We have high-quality food, we serve nothing but the best. Whatever they [the customers] ask for, we try to provide for,” says owner Harry DeFeo in describing what has made his deli a regular dining stop.
Harbor Deli has been fulfilling its role as the town’s go-to delicatessen in its spot on Main Street for decades, first as a take-out place. After the DeFeo family, longtime Port Washington residents, took it over in 1997, it was expanded in 2003 to include tables and chairs so customers could eat there as well.
Although its exterior blends in with the many buildings that line the street, and its interior, though clean and bright, is similar to most delis, the element that makes Harbor Deli stand out from all the rest is its incredibly large and detailed menu. With Wednesday specials and soups; breakfast (including sandwiches, French toast, pancakes, homemade muffins, bagels and rolls and create-your-own omelets) served until 11:30 a.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. on weekends; dozens of special sandwiches and wraps; Philly cheese steaks; signature and Xtreme salads; BBQ pit plates (with ribs, pulled pork or brisket of beef, plus fries and slaw); specialty burgers; seafood and fried platters; snacks; desserts; salads and Boar’s Head meats and cheeses by the pound; plus endless options to create-your-own sandwiches, salads, personal pizzas, burgers and wings, it’s nearly impossible to sample the entire menu.
“There’s a huge variety of food here,” DeFeo says of the menu. “Whatever you want, we have.”
As typical of most delicatessens, the specialty sandwiches are a huge draw; the most popular ones are displayed in the glass cases, and according to DeFeo, that includes #56, the Runts, which is chicken cutlet topped with bacon, melted American cheese and mayo or Cajun mayo and #55, the Rowdys, made up of hot and spicy buffalo chicken, melted jack cheese and ranch dressing.
Interestingly, one of the most popular menu options is the create-your-own salad bar. The popularity of these regular or chopped salads is due to the myriad toppings available—including sunflower seeds, crunch noodles, horseradish pickle chips and blueberries—and also because they are unlimited, with no extra charge.
Even if customers are undecided, there are tons of specialty items to choose from. For example, the Xtreme Salad 3, made of grilled peanut chicken, pecans, mandarin oranges and apples over iceberg lettuce with peanut dressing; the Insano Burger with stuffed jalapeño poppers, waffle fries and spicy ranch; hot dogs, which come two per order, can be grilled, deep fried or nuked, and include crunchy mac & cheese hot dogs; and French, sweet potato and curly fries and panko-crusted avocado stix.
Harbor Deli is also great for catering platters of delicious food, various party heroes, sandwich baskets and hot and cold salad buffets. DeFeo also mentioned that Harbor’s BBQ Crew will grill, serve and clean up a barbecue so you don’t have to.
With a deliciously long menu and endless tasty options for any meal of the day—and officially back to their regular hours of Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends—stop into Harbor Deli so you, too, can start asking, “Why go anywhere else?”
Port Restaurant Guide
Burger joints have always been a staple in American culture. As Port Washington’s organic burger joint, Bareburger boasts that their produce is free from pesticides and GMOs and that their proteins are humanely raised. Their menu consists of healthy, vegan and gluten-free options, like salads, a taboulleh bowl and sweet potato & wild rice or black bean & roast corn patties.
Like any delicious burger chain, “shares” include fried pickles and rings and sweet fries with smoke sauce, habanero mayo and curry ginger ketchup, and sandwiches like Wham Bam Chicken Slam: buttermilk fried chicken, aged cheddar, black forest bacon, wild mushrooms and wham bam sauce on a brioche bun. Milkshakes include original flavors as well as Mexican chocolate: chocolate ice cream, cayenne cinnamon spice and torched marshmallow.
Bareburger is located at 42 Main Street; www.bareburger.com; 516-708-9920
Finding a restaurant that serves authentic, home-style Japanese food on Long Island is a rare thing to behold, which is why Restaurant Yamaguchi has been a well-loved mainstay since 1988. Patrons get a true taste of Japan with seasonal special appetizers on the menu. Dishes currently include Nuta, which is octopus or squid with green onion and seasoned with vinegar and miso, and Kamo Rosu, or Japanese roast duck.
The menu also has lunch and dinner options, categorized into soups & salads, appetizers, sushi & sashimi, main dishes and noodles, plus nabemono, which are special dishes prepared at the table for a party of two or more, reservation required. Yosenabe is one casserole dish of assorted shellfish, fish, chicken and vegetables in broth. There are also individual sushi rolls and nigiri.
Restaurant Yamaguchi is located at 49 Main Street; www.restaurantyamaguchi.com; 516-883-3500
It goes without saying that every town should have a pizzeria that is a long-standing staple in the community. Established in 1980, The Original Carlo’s Pizza has since been the go-to stop on Main Street for a slice of classic New York pizza that regulars and residents swear by. Their regular and specialty pizza pies and slices are known for their crispy crust and excellent cheese to sauce ratio and include their well-loved margherita pizza, as well unique options like their spinach dip and deep dish pies.
The menu also offers calzones & rolls, soups, salads, hot heroes, including pepper and eggs, classic pasta dishes served with the choice of spaghetti, ziti or penne, and entrées like shrimp, chicken and eggplant parmigiana. Although a perfect place to take-out or stop by for a quick slice, Carlo’s Pizza also delivers and caters.
Carlo’s Pizza is located at 109 Main Street; www.carlospizzapw.com; 516-944-9754
f.i.s.h. on main
Housed in a building that has stood since the year 1900 as the Bank of North Hempstead, f.i.s.h. on main is modern and fresh in both its atmosphere and Mediterranean-style food. The seafood grill’s menu consists of “from the sea” starters and entrées, like branzini and black sea bass, a fresh catch of the day,
whole Maine lobsters and seafood dishes like seafood pasta, which is half a lobster, salmon, shrimp, clams and mussels over linguine.
Those looking for land dishes will find spinach & feta pie, dips that include babaganoush and spicy feta, various salads and kebabs, baby lamb chops and chicken medallions. Pair with hand-crafted cocktails, like Vanilla Crush, which consists of vanilla vodka, muddled blackberries, mint, lime and a champagne float.
f.i.s.h. on main is located at 286 Main Street; www.fishonmain.com; 516-883-1515
Ayhan’s Mediterranean Marketplace & Café
A popular gourmet deli not far from the Town Dock, Ayhan’s Mediterranean Marketplace & Café caters to patrons and their needs seven days a week.
The breakfast menu is served from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and offers fresh omelets, high-energy breakfast platters, sandwiches, pancakes, French toast and fresh fruit. For lunch and dinner, there are salad, homemade soup, panini, burrito, burger and pita pizza options, including signature sandwiches like the falafel sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and tahini sauce in pita bread.
Catering is popular, too, with deluxe, premium or elite packages or small/large trays that feed groups of people with hot and cold appetizers, chicken, meat and seafood entrées, salads, pasta, heroes and fresh baked desserts.
Ayhan’s Mediterranean Marketplace & Café is located at 293 Main Street; www.ayhansmarketplace.com; 516-767-1400
Schmear Bakery & Market
Already known as the “Heart of Port” due to its location in the middle of town, Schmear Bakery & Market is anew but booming business offering a delicious spread for all your breakfast, lunch and noshing needs.
Open at 5 a.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. on weekends, early-rising customers can order brewed and iced coffee, provided by Toby’s Estate, that can be made with specialty milk (soy or almond), plus espresso, a small tea selection and an impressive selection of syrups. Schmear’s bagels and baked goods—including chocolate cigars, raspberry sticks, cupcakes, muffins and linzer tarts—are all baked in-house. There are plenty of schmears, including walnut raisin cream cheese and apple butter. Breakfast and lunch sandwiches are served all day and can be made to order.
Schmear Bakery & Market is located at 83 Main Street; www.schmearmarket.com; 516-439-4077