Yup, that’s what happened to me tonight!  Speaking in front of a crowd of people and my dean…my brain cramped up and I started freezing up.  Anyone who knows me knows I have no problem with speaking in public, except for tonight…oh, well, I guess that’s what happens when you try to tone down a hyper chickie and make her sound normal!

Anyhow, it’s going to be a relatively short post as it’s a holiday week, and though the bars will be packed Wednesday night, there’s not a whole lot going on.  Instead, I had gotten an email from the New York City Newswire asking about great cheap eats here on the Island, and I figured that as some people just aren’t into turkey in all of its various incarnations, I’d run with that theme tonight.

Burgers, brews, and BBQ

I’m doing my first Turkey Trot this week, and as meat has not been my friend as of late, I’ve been avoiding these places like the plague and loading up on carbs (rice and beans, anyone?).  However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t know where to grab some reasonably priced carnivore chow and brewskis to wash them down!  Forget Checkers, Burger King, and other big chains…check out some of these reasonably priced local spots!

All American Burger is a longtime favorite of mine…burgers, dogs, fries, and killer shakes can be gotten here and definitely won’t break the bank!  Be prepared to wait on line, though!

American Roadside is another great burger joint that gets rave reviews from my honey and friends…

Peter Pan Diner makes EVERYTHING good!  The Royal Oak is a close runner up when it comes to burgers, though!

Howard’s Cafe is a place you can often find my honey and me on the nights we don’t feel like cooking.  Killer burgers, awesome steaks, and free sangria, soda, salad, and certain tap beers make this sports bar a popular place with locals.

Spicy’s is THE place to go for great BBQ when out East…with locations in Bellport and Riverhead, this joint is always jumping!

As long as you avoid the $16 specialty microbrews at Bobbique, this affordable blues joint has meat platters such as pulled pork, smoked sausages, and ribs cooked the real pit BBQ way.  Make a point of stopping down on an evening when there is music playing…you’ll be back!  (My pick?  The Caesar salad with pulled pork…you’ll have plenty of leftovers!)

Smokin’ Al’s is my pick if you aren’t going to travel quite as far out…with two locations, this place is still always packed but worth the wait…get the Burnt Endz–you won’t be sorry!

For the non-burger crowd

I’ve mentioned Gallo Tropical on here many times, with good reason.  Once I bring my friends here, they always want to come back.  Reasonably priced Colombian food, cafe style dining, and huge portions are the standard here.  Make sure you try the Five Milk Flan, and the spicy green sauce!  Even my non-adventurous parents like this place.

Fried seafood.  Oh, so unhealthy, but oh, so good!  Watch the ferries come in from your seat at The Steamroom!

Looking for something a bit healthier on the fishy front?  My long time go-to place is The Village Fish Market…get the cole slaw, too!

Looking for something a bit more exotic?  Try The Curry Club!  Indian food at its best–in the evenings, check out the Velvet Lounge as well!

Pub fare

I’ve got a long list of places I’d like to list here, and I’ll get around to it eventually, but I’m going to list two that come immediately to mind…Skipper’s and Two Morrows.  Make a point of checking them out!


And lastly, two places that won’t break the bank for a steak dinner:  J and R’s Steakhouse is a growing chain with coupons on their website; and a great place to check out after holiday shopping in Suffolk County is The Good Steer.

All for now, you kooky cats!  Got something that should be here?  Let me know at cheapdateli@gmail.com!  Happy Thanksgiving!




Slip sailing away…

November 22, 2009

TONIGHT!  The event that has been a topic of controversy here in Patchogue…the Christmas Holiday Boat Parade!  6PM, tonight, on the Patchogue River.  Where to catch these festively lit up vessels?  The Off Key Tikki, the Harbor Crab Company, The Oar, and the Waterfront. See you there!

I think most of us have gone through times in our lives when it seems like someone truly special coming into our lives is just never going to happen.  The websites show the same old tired profiles (and seriously, I think some of those folks are going to be single for the rest of their lives…it may just be the anonymity of the Web, but if you’re trying to meet someone, acting like a flake is NOT the best way to proceed!), and bars…well…beer goggles are not always our friends.  I think that some people have forgotten the best ways to meet other singles with similar interests, and sometimes the best relationships don’t start with a spark but with a smile.  So before I get into listing some great events, here’s some sound advice from a gal who never stays single for long:

1. Get involved.  I can’t tell you how many great singles I have met from doing volunteer work.  Let’s face facts–if you’re looking to meet someone who likes the same things you do, it’s a lot easier if you join a group of some kind where you will meet others with the same interests and passions.  Join an arts council, volunteer at a shelter, help out on a campaign.

2. Save the drama for your mama!  Nothing turns off a potential partner faster than airing out all your dirty laundry!  It’s one thing to be truthful, but it’s quite another to spend all your time whining and crying about loves gone wrong, financial problems, and workplace woes.

3.  Hygiene.  Need I say more?  Most people are incredibly turned off by nasty teeth, bad breath, greasy hair, and unkempt clothing.  If you haven’t been on a date in a really long time, this may be a factor!

4.  Being selfish or too selfless.  A partnership is about two people…don’t be too pushy and don’t give in all the time, either!

5.  Being a disaster.  If you can’t get your act together, a quality partner is not going to spend their time doing it for you.

6.  Don’t judge too harshly.  I see way too many folks who won’t date someone because they don’t look like a model.  Most of you who read this are a little more mature anyway, and trust me, ain’t NONE of us perfect.

7.  Trying too hard.  This is another one I see all the time from my “admirers”.  Incessant emails, calls, and offers to do things ALL THE TIME can get a bit trying, to say the least.  Act like a friend, not a sick puppy in need of attention.

8.  Do NOT spell out in detail all the things you’d physically like to do to a potential mate.  I can’t tell you how many guys have sent me some pretty graphic messages over the years…including one who kept emailing me EXACTLY how he’d like to make me the mother of his children.

9.  Manners and decorum.  This should go without saying.

10.  Don’t lie.  It may be tempting to “dress up” some things to impress a mate, but trust me–in time, all will be revealed.

Don’t get me wrong–there’s nothing that beats the euphoria of a new relationship.  However, that burning flame will soon fizzle if it’s not based on something more substantial.

Have a great “bad date” story?  I’d love to hear it!  Email me at cheapdateli@gmail.com and the “winners” may find themselves featured here (anonymously, of course!).

Mine seems to be a recurring thing and doesn’t qualify as a date, but I seem to attract the “gentlemen” (I use that term VERY loosely) who out of nowhere grab me around the waist, bend me over backwards and plant one on me, telling me and my friends, “I decided I was going to kiss the prettiest girl here.”  Um, yeah, newsflash, you morons…that does NOT get a girl’s heart all a-flutter, and doing that has just ruined your chances with every other female in the place.  Look ahead before you liplock, ok?

I’m lucky enough to be in a relationship with a great guy, but it’s amazing the things I see when out with the galpals!  Guys, I’m sure you have a few things to add…let me know!

And now, for something completely different…

Like wine?  Want to meet singles?  The Singles Cafe was kind enough to let me know about two great events this week!  (Thanks, Loretta!) One, they are having a meeting this Thursday at Middle Country Library…I’ve met some of the folks and they are really nice.  It’s definitely worth checking out!  Two, they are offering FREE tickets to a Singles Mingle this weekend at Martha Clara Vineyards…check out their blog and get your tickets by clicking here!

Not sure where to find groups that you might be interested in joining?  Or maybe you would like to start one of your own as you don’t know of other people who share your interests?  MeetUp is a great social networking tool that has groups for foodies, folkies, wine nuts, wired-ups, and more…and VolunteerMatch has listings of all kinds where you can help others!

Question:  Do you think Cheap Date should start its own MeetUp group for no pressure single mingle events?  From events that range from nature walks to cinematic events to wine tours?  Let me know!

Looking for someplace to go for Happy Hour that isn’t your typical bar scene?  Blue Point Brewery has a tasting room with free samples and affordable pints of microbrew, and often features live music, events, and more.  Check their website for info.

Like live music where the performers can play more than three chords and no one is screaming profanities at you?  (Yes, I am getting old…) Acoustic Music Scene is my source for finding out the best gigs!

While we’re on the topic of music, don’t miss this great event this weekend!  The Patchogue Theatre’s Second Annual Folk Festival has something for everyone…make sure you catch the afternoon showcase of the best local singer/songwriters for FREE (the evening show, however, still has a few tickets available!)

All for now…I’ll be back next week with some great Thanksgiving week events!

This has been a big week for change–so many people I know are making some kind of job transition (including me…it’s my last night at the library), people I know are splitting up or getting together, the guy who sits in his underwear watching me at night is no longer doing so…wow…and for the most part it’s all good things!  I don’t want to jinx it…I just hope that the momentum keeps going!

Speaking of change, I’m making some huge changes myself.  Getting rid of twenty years’ worth of antiques, actually.  I’m keeping some, but for the most part, they are going.  It’s not that I’m a pack rat, but I’m at the point in my life where it’s time to get rid of things that have tied me to my past and move on.  If anyone is interested in vintage pieces at reasonable prices, let me know.  (And no, I’m not one of those lunatics who prices things astronomically thinking that what I have is worth a fortune.  I went to NYU for Appraisal Studies and know EXACTLY how much things are worth, and am listing them far below fair market value.)  Some items I am getting rid of include a typewriter the same model as found in the JFK Library, a church pew, Johnson Bros. Old English Chintz chintzware, possibly a Depression Era china cabinet, and more.

Take a hike, pal!

One of my absolute favorite things to do is to go hiking by the water.  The smell of the bay and the wind on my skin make the stresses of the day just melt away.  Add to that it’s great exercise!  Now, the streets, trails, and beach I go to several times a week are private property that I sneak onto (ooops!), but there are some great trails all around our Isle of Long that are worth checking out.  Click here for a list of great North Fork trails and make sure you bring a camera with you, as you never know when that picture perfect moment will come along!

Wine me, dine me…

Like wine?  Like The Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead?  This event is for you!  The Reckoning will be playing at Martha Clara Vineyards this Saturday!  $5 tix must be purchased online before Friday.

Guitar hero

By now, y’all have to  know there’s nothing I like better than live music and a nice microbrew.  Too bad I’m broke this week…I may have to miss out on some of these great gigs!  This Thursday kicks it off right with the Second Thursdays Concert Series featuring John Wort Hannam at Astoria Federal Savings Bank, West Main Street, Babylon, 7:30PM,  FREE.

On Friday, Ken Korb and friends will be playing at a Miss Chris fave, the Grey Horse Tavern.

Miles to Dayton is back to performing and will be at the Homegrown Music Café, a new monthly series, at St. Gerard Majella Church in Port Jeff Station this Saturday night!

And, to close out the week, Gathering Time will be playing at the Port Washington Library this Sunday…hey, that show is FREE…I can afford that!

(Hey, on a serious note here…I want to start taking guitar lessons again!  I can’t play at all…long story short I learned to play righty on a left handed guitar, which I no longer have.  I went out and bought an Ibanez classical and I now have to unlearn everything and relearn.  I barely got through “Ode to Joy” when I ended up working insane amounts of hours and had to put it aside.  If there is anyone out there who can be patient with a 40 year old who plays like she’s five…let me know!  I will now have some time to have a life again and do some of the things I really want to do!)

Who knew?

Did you know that our feline friends can catch the H1N1 virus (Swine Flu) from humans?  This is not a joke or something you’ll find on Snopes, it’s been documented and has made national news.  If you’re under the weather and your kitty catches cold, don’t waste time!  Get her to the vet so that she can get on antibiotics as well!  Click here for Swine Flu updates for us two legged folks, and here for low cost vet care.

All for now…if you’re interested in some of the pieces I mentioned, or if you have something that should be here, email me at cheapdateli@gmail.com!  Chat soon, you kooky cats!

My bad!

November 3, 2009

The Songs for Stacy entry was for yesterday…not this coming Sunday.  I goofed, I should have read the email a bit more closely–however, if anyone would like to know more about this cause, let me know and I will find out for you!

I’ll come back to my opening quote in a little bit.  This is a GREAT week for live music, so that is where I am starting today!

Rock me gently…

Wednesday night, Acoustic Long Island hosts both Jann Klose and one of my faves, Dan Mills…this FREE show is definitely worth checking out!

This Thursday, get your olde-timey and bluegrass on with Free Grass Union at Patchogue Theatre’s Live in the Lobby…$10 gets you in.

On Friday, Peacesmiths’ Topical, A-typical, Folk Music, Poetry & Whatever Coffeehouse features Sonny Meadows and Bob Westcott. $7 suggested donation.

This Saturday, the Folk Music Society of Huntington presents its First Saturdays Concert Series with David Jacobs-Strain and Joe Iadanza…this gig is a bit over Cheap Date limits, but is definitely worth checking out!

Two great shows this Sunday…one local, one not so much but for a good cause.  The Patchogue Walking Arts Festival will be kicking off at 1PM at the Patchogue Theatre with an artists’ reception…don’t miss this FREE event !  Also, Glen Roethel was kind enough to email me about this fundraiser: “I’m performing with Gathering Time in a special concert to raise funds for a local family faced with rising medical bills. It’s just a $5 suggested donation. Music starts at 2:30pm; Gathering Time performs a 40-minute set at about 4:45. Songs for Stacey–Join us for an afternoon of music! WHEN: Sunday, November 1st 2:30pm – 5:30pm WHERE: Reformed Church of Bronxville, 180 Pondfield Road, Bronxville.”  If you are in the area, make a point of checking out this incredibly talented band!

And, um, Glen…if you read this, remind the Chantey Man to email me his gigs…

Feed me, Seymour…

It’s Long Island Restaurant Week!  Click here for participating restaurants!

Home movies

The Found Footage Festival…one of the strangest, most disturbing, and sometimes hilarious things I have ever come across.  Definitely worth checking out!


It’s the harvest season, and what could be more appropriate than a pumpkin brew?  This weekend I had the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale on tap…all I can say is get yourself a growler today!  Yummy!

Home is where the heart is

For some reason, many people think that I make lots of money and that I am just cheap.  I’m frugal…there’s a difference–and you learn how to be frugal when you’ve gone through things in life that make it tough to pay the bills or even just get by.  Hence, I have done a lot of research on resources that come in very handy when living on a very stretched budget.  I am lucky enough to be doing ok right now, but we all know it just takes one emergency to push many of us over the edge, so I am going to list some resources here that I hope some people will find useful.

HEAP (the Home Energy Assistance Program) is officially up and running for the 2009-2010 year.  If you are having trouble getting by and need help with your heating bill, this is a great resource!

The Long Island Housing Partnership has some wonderful programs, such as credit counselling and mortgage assistance that make it possible for those of us who work hard but are not wealthy find quality affordable housing (a.k.a. workforce housing).  I myself participate in this program, and think it’s a great opportunity for working class folks to get into homes we might never have been able to afford without a little help!

And, finally, getting back to my quote about shopping–I only recently started shopping in stores like K-mart and WalMart as I always favored mom and pop stores (and still try to shop in those as much as possible as it’s good for the local economy!); however, I am now hooked on K-mart’s Country Living collection!  I am now buying everything from the Classic Vintage grouping, and I have to say I couldn’t be happier with the quality (in fact, I’m shocked!).  If you’re trying to spruce up the house in time for the holidays, it’s definitely worth checking out!

All for now, you kooky cats!  Have a gig or event that should be here?  Let me know at cheapdateli@gmail.com!