If you want a little old fashioned fun, head over to Toasted Chicks Café, a new hidden gem tucked away in Main Street Nursery on West Main Street in Huntington. The décor and the recipes are charmingly old. It truly is like stepping back in time.
Partners Eileen Lesser Adikes and Julie Lesser Barkan, oddly enough, are not related despite sharing the same maiden name. They have been neighbors and friends in Fort Salonga for more than 30 years.
Barkan ran a small, private catering business, while Adikes ran a horse farm. Eventually, Barkan asked Adikes if she wanted to help out. Soon they became partners and have been working together for 20 years. In addition to the catering, they started a product line that includedes salad dressing, homemade marshmallows and caramelized pecans. Their sweet balsamic dressing contains no preservatives and has a shelf life of one year.
Sweetie Pies on Main in Cold Spring Harbor started selling their products this past January. They’ve also become familiar faces at the Hampton Classic Horse Show. The two partners decided they wanted their own space, and while they were looking around, they stopped at Main Street Nursery to see if they would be interested in selling their products. They got to talking, and as luck would have it, Main Street Nursery had an available space which they offered to them. In April, Eileen and Julie’s dream came true, and Toasted Chicks Café was born.
“This space was perfect for our needs,” says Adikes. “We were looking for something old fashioned. Everyone who comes in says they feel like they are out east or in Vermont. We’ve had such a positive response from customers.”
Antiques and retro-style tables, chairs and signs adorn the quaint space where you have the option of dining inside or out. A working antique refrigerator holds ice cold sun brewed tea made exclusively from SerendipiTea in Manhasset. The most popular brew at the moment is called Black and Blue Blueberry Tea. If you prefer coffee, hot or iced coffee is available, and is made from Georgio’s Coffee. Healthy salads, wraps and grain salads are available, as well as a variety of delicious homemade baked goods.
“The blueberry buckle is from an old cookbook from an aunt in Maine,” says Adikes. “And the sugar cookie recipe is from my sister’s mother-in-law. All our baked goods are from family recipes.”
There were so many things I wanted to try, so I started with a miniature bacon and cheddar cheese scone, which was delicious. If you’re a chocolate lover, definitely try a chocolate frosted chocolate cookie. Simply divine! Housed under a glass covered cake plate were the biggest Rice Krispies treats I’ve ever seen. They are made from homemade marshmallows. An assortment of marshmallows are also available and include marshmallows dipped in chocolate and sea salt and coconut marshmallows. Peppermint marshmallows are available during the holiday season.
I decided to sample the marshmallows and the homemade graham crackers by ordering the “s’mores board” which includes a lit Sterno pot, marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate and skewers. You make your own s’more right there. How much fun is that?
Prior to the s’mores board, I ordered the most popular item, the “Signature Chick Board,” which contained some of my favorite noshing foods. There was a terrine layered goat cheese, nutless pesto, sundried tomato spread and a Kalamata olive spread served with a delicious red pepper jelly. Also on the board was creamy hummus, a corn and black bean salad, grapes and mini toasts to spread everything on. It was the perfect snack.
Almost everything in the café is made from recycled materials. “Where we can, we go natural,” says Adikes. “Some containers look like plastic, but they are actually made from corn based material. This includes our forks and knives. We use Vegware, which is completely compostable, as well as bio boxes for the lunches. It was an important aspect of our business to be environmentally conscience. We try not to be wasteful.”
Even food scraps are not wasted; they are given to a friend who keeps chickens. Instant chicken feed!
The boards used for the s’mores and signature boards are made from repurposed material by a friend. Each is unique, and a picture of what the item previously was is shown on a tag. The boards are for sale and make the perfect hostess gift when paired with some of the Toasted Chick products. They’ll even wrap them up for you.
Toasted Chicks Café is a destination. It’s a quiet place to relax or work while enjoying a bite to eat. It’s been popular among mothers looking to gather for a playdate. While the kids are outside feeding the animals, moms enjoy a glass of sun tea and a scone.
The space can also be rented out for small parties. This fall they are contemplating “Tea Thursdays,” where they’ll offer a three-course afternoon tea. Menu items are always changing and always fresh.
“We have fun playing with food,” says Adikes. “It’s a mix of old and new. We love to create something different from that.”
Toasted Chicks Café is open Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer, and in the fall they will be open on Sundays. If you can’t make it to the café, you can also visit them every Saturday at the Northport farmers market.