The Caesar Salad is a hard pick, since it's on the menu
of nearly every restaurant, it's real hard to do a
comprehensive assessment. I try to get it everywhere I
can, and it's one of my favorite dishes, but I have
been astounded by this dish's CONSISTENCY among places.
Some use romaine, some iceberg, some sprinkle with
parmesan - a couple used Reggiano, but they all taste
largely the same - uninspiring.
Thus far, since they have all been so ordinary, I need
to make my assessment on price. Prima Pasta, a nice
little Italian joint with 2 locations on Long Island in
Westbury (Old Country Rd.) and Wantagh (Merrick Rd.)
has one that is truly a "meal size" portion, an
enormous heaping pile of fresh green romaine lettuce,
glistening with a well mixed dressing and spotted with
tiny slivers of parmesan, for like $3.75. Just to
reflect the mediocrity of the others, my 1st runner up
would have to be Wendy's, where their salad, for 99
cents, complete with a cold packet of Wendy's Caesar
dressing, is about as good as anything you'd get at any
sit-down restaurant, and the price is much better.
Now, Pizza. A few years ago, this was a no brainer.
Gasparino's in Plainview was the hands down best. They
disappeared around 1993 and were never heard from
again. Now Newsday sez that Umberto's in New Hyde Park
is best in Nassau and Emilios in Commack is best in
Suffolk. (The latter having a delicious marinara
sicilian pie.) Putting aside my many differences with
Joan Reminick (her columns are all starting to look
the same lately, has she started using a checklist?)
and that guy named Peter-something, I do agree with
Emilios, and Umbertos is good, but so are a hundred
others in Nassau. Gasparino 's was truly something