My family and I don't go out to eat very often.
If we do, it is usually for a special occasion.
We went out on Sunday, not to anything really special, but we ate at the local Dairy Queen.
Not only is this the local Dairy Queen, but right now, it is the ONLY Dairy Queen on Long Island or in the metropolitan New York City/Long Island area.
There was one in Suffolk County that closed probably 20 or more years ago, but since opening a few months ago literally in our backyard, the place has been busy from the moment it opens each day to the moment it closes.
We are very familiar with DQ, as it is called, from our trips to Florida. We always make at least one stop at DQ during our trips, and even though we won't be making those trips anymore, we have fond memories of the restaurant which we now can experience again just about right around the corner from us.
The place, which operates in a former Burger King, is nice and homey, and the workers are very professional and very pleasant.
Unlike most such restaurants in our area, the food is brought to you when it is ready. You don't have to stand around and wait; you take a number, they call the number, and they bring it to you.
Even if you order ice cream, and you want it after your meal, you just let them know, and again, they will bring it to you.
I am very impressed with the food, and the service, and the ice cream is very, very good. I told my wife that it is good that we only go here occasionally--this is just our second time at this particular DQ since it opened a few months back--because if we went more regularly, we would both look like houses (my son is so skinny that I don't think it would put an ounce on him if he ate this a few times a week).
It is a bit more costly than other fast foods, but at least in my neck of the woods, there is nothing else like it.
Dairy Queen in one of several restaurants that we discovered on our past trips to Florida that we have frequented once they come here.
Another that we go out occasionally to is Buffalo Wild Wings, which recently opened up about 10 minutes away from us.
We had first gone to the one in Orlando, and we liked the food and the atmosphere, although it was a bit loud, as it is really a sports bar.
The ones we have frequented on Long Island are less frenzied, and you can actually hear yourself talk in these places.
And I want to add that I don't even eat the signature offering of the place--chicken wings--but the other food on the menu is good tasting and reasonably priced.
I remember that up until a few years ago, there were no more Arby's on Long Island.
I have always enjoyed Arby's, and was unhappy when they left the area.
They have now been back a few years, and I still like them, although their prices have skyrocketed.
Most Arby's by us are more Express operations than full restaurants, although about two years ago, a full restaurant opened about 10 minutes away from us.
It features the full menu, unlike the Expresses, which only offer a portion of the menu.
The food is good but very pricey, and they don't stack on the roast beef like they used to, so you often taste more bread than roast beef.
But I still like it, and I still like their sauces.
We now have a Sonic within driving distance from us, although I have never eaten at one, even when in Florida. Also, some other restaurants are working themselves back to my area, including Hardee's and Roy Rogers, so I am sure I will at least try them out when they get here.
The first fast food place I ever ate in was a McDonald's in Queens that probably isn't there anymore. It was in the early 1970s, when these places weren't around the New York area too much, and my friend David's brother took a whole lot of us there, telling us that they had a special cheese that melted immediately when it was put on the hamburger. I thought the place was incredible.
Now, I can go to McDonald's anytime.
But I am still waiting for one concept I have not seen in years: fast food kosher deli, an idea which came and went several years ago under the Kosher King name.
It was good, but so high priced that it couldn't really survive.
I guess the original fast food was a hot dog and a knish, and I can go to a kosher deli for that anytime.