Think back to a time in the 1950s when sock hops and ice cream socials were all the rage. The poodle skirts and the shiny black shoes…One place where you can go and have a flashback like that is the Modern Snack Bar in Aquebogue on Route 25, where the setting is an old-timey diner, and the food is “just as good as mom used to make.”
Owned and operated by the Wittmeier family since 1950, not much has changed. The food is still delicious and affordable – a source of pride for the Wittmeiers. Now, of course, the menu has grown from just burgers and milkshakes. They serve Long Island roast duck, an array of seafood as well as many other delights.
The day I journeyed to the Modern Snack Bar with my grandmother and aunt was a dreary one for July, but I guess that made it a good day for a ladies luncheon. We were greeted at the door by a friendly face and escorted to a table in the back. A jolly man, Otto Wittmeier, who reminded me of Santa Claus, introduced himself and recommended the soft shell crab.
After taking a look at the menu and ordering a few glasses of Pindar Chardonnay, I decided to try the fried soft shell crab sandwich and jumbo onion rings.
When it arrived at the table, the crab was lightly fried and atop a poppy seed roll. I added a little tartar sauce on top and dug in. The crab was crispy on the outside and still moist inside. The onion rings were dredged through a light batter, which made them nice and crunchy. My grandmother ordered the prime rib special, and it was a very generous portion. The meat was tender and topped with brown gravy. My aunt had the roasted duck. That was also a decent size, considering it was a quarter of a whole duck. The meat melted in your mouth and was not greasy at all. Both my grandmother and aunt had the Snack Bar’s famous turnips on the side, and now I know why they’re so popular. They were creamy – like mashed potatoes with a tad bit of sweetness. Delicious, but I didn’t have the heart to tell my grandmother that they were better than hers.
It was time for dessert, and the Snack Bar has many offerings on the menu, but I went with a traditional chocolate milkshake. It was very chocolatey and not too thick, just the way I like it. My grandmother tried the blueberry cheesecake with white chocolate and a brulee top, while my aunt had the chocolate peanut butter pie. The cheesecake was luscious and had a strong blueberry flavor, and the pie was like a giant peanut butter cup with thick layers of gooey chocolate and peanut butter.
So, if you’re in the mood for a blast from the past with some home-style cooking, check out Modern Snack Bar. It’s sure to be a swell time.
The Modern Snack Bar, 628 New York State Route 25, Aquebogue.