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Five can’t-miss places for great eats north of Main Street

Rudis Mac n Cheese

Everyone talks about the restaurants on Main Street or along the bay or riverfront in Patchogue.

But what if you’re not known to travel too far south of Sunrise Highway?

Let us be your guide. Here are five places to try that are north of Main Street.

Rudi’s

If you want to watch a ballgame, enjoy good food and hang with friendly folks, Rudi’s is the place for you.

Owned by Patchogue-Medford High School alumnus Mike Lauria, this restaurant’s menu reads like a hall of fame for Pat-Med and other known sports figures. Several burgers are named for fellow notable alums like Marcus Stroman, a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays; Derric Rossy, a heavyweight boxer; LT Michael Murphy, the posthumously honored Navy SEAL who was played by Taylor Kitsch in the movie Lone Survivor, and SSG Keith Bishop, an Army Special Forces soldier who lost his life in Afghanistan while on a combat mission.

Mike gives credit where credit is due. If you just want to snack, choose from one of Rudi’s 15 sauces and enjoy some wings. One of their unique sauces is Pineapple Mango Habanero. Try to find that at another local sports bar.

(Rudi’s Mac n Cheese pictured above.)

Mexican Grill 2000 

Wow, readers really let me know that leaving Mexican Grill 2000 off the list of places to have tacos in the Greater Patchogue area was unacceptable — and for good reason.

This place, which is across the street from Nissan 112, makes truly delicious, fresh and fast Mexican food.

But, to defend myself, I always eat the Enchiladas and Burritos because they are just so good. I haven’t had their tacos, but I get it, and I will order them next time. Among the many delicious Mexican options, they have the Burrito “Gigante” (it is pronounced hee-gon-tay). This burrito is the biggest and most expensive thing on the menu, but you can happily eat it for two or more days and mourn when it is gone.

Ristegio’s

The old Pat & Jim’s building on Route 112 now houses Ristegio’s, owned by the Lanza Brothers (Rich, Steve and Joe), who are all Patchogue-Medford natives. The décor is fancy, yet comfortable, and the food is upscale. The menu includes a sushi and raw bar, and popular items like their Sherried Lobster Bisque, Crab-Stuffed Potato-Wrapped Flounder and “Everything” Crusted Yellowfin Tuna.

For Valentine’s Day, Ristegio’s was even listed as a romantic location to celebrate with your honey.

Sweet n Savory

After you choose one of the many delicious options from the Sweet n Savory menu, you can watch the staff make your crepe or waffle. You can select a crepe for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert.

Sweet n Savory’s two most popular crepes are #13 which includes Strawberries, Bananas, Nutella and Whipped Cream, and #25, the Hot Wyngz Crepe (named after the St. Joseph’s College mascot), which includes Buffalo Chicken, Cheddar Cheese, Bacon and a choice of Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing.

There is also a rice pudding bar where you can select from 14 flavors including Pistachio, Cannoli and Black & White. Sweet n Savory is like heaven for folks who like fancy treats.

The owners, Ivan and Kim started their business in Port Jefferson and have found a second home in Patchogue.

Howard’s Café

Longtime locals know this place well, but if you’re new to the area, you might not have taken notice of Howard’s.

Howard’s has been serving enormous burgers on poppy seed rolls for decades at this location in the Staples shopping center. On the burgers, you can choose from sautéed onions, ham, bacon and an assortment of cheeses, among many other toppings that make them memorable and unique.

With your burger, you can get sweet potato, waffle or steak fries on the side, a salad to start and beer or wine for as long as there is food on your plate.

So, pick up your friend who takes forever to eat and bring him or her to Howard’s for a bargain.

About the author: Melissa Kuehnle

Melissa Kuehnle is a Medford resident and lover of all things edible. She blogs about food from the Greater Patchogue area and beyond at yumness.wordpress.com.