Meals on Wheels: Sampling the Best Local Restaurants for Chaminade Commuters

FBy Kyle Burgess ’17

For the typical Chaminade commuter, the early morning train ride provides a variety of opportunities to cram for tests and quizzes, chat with fellow classmates, or catch up on some much needed sleep; however, train commuters rarely enjoy a filling and nutritious breakfast before dashing out the front door at sunrise to make the train to school.  Likewise, those commuter students who stay after school for events or sports practice may find themselves hungry while awaiting their train.  Luckily, the Village of Mineola boasts a diverse array of hometown restaurants that offer everything from egg sandwiches in the morning, to pizza, burgers, and tacos after school.  With several eateries located within easy walking distance of the Mineola Station, the Flyers have many excellent food options.

Like sleepwalking zombies, commuters follow the scent of freshly brewed coffee and scrambled eggs with bacon to the entrance of Station Plaza Coffee Shop.  A sea of young men clad in red Chaminade jackets crash against the front counter, eagerly awaiting their hot breakfasts to exit the kitchen.

The Station plaza dinner and it’s eggs are a favorite of Chaminade students.
The Station plaza dinner and it’s eggs are a favorite of Chaminade students.

Station Plaza Coffee Shop conveniently sits across the street from the train station and is a hotspot for students to grab a quick bite on the way to school.  Students love giving Station Plaza Coffee Shop their business, as the deli staff recognizes the students’ need to arrive in time for first period and allows them to “cut the line” ahead of other incoming walk-up orders.  In fact, many Chaminade commuters call (516) 746-5150 from the train to Station Plaza Coffee Shop to place their breakfast orders.

“There’s nothing better than getting right off the train in the morning and having a warm egg sandwich already waiting for you a few steps away from the train station,” says Nick Cioffi ’17.  “Enjoying your sandwich on the way to school only brightens up your day before remembering your tests and quizzes that you will soon have later in the day.”  

Originally opened in 1980 on 85 Mineola Blvd., Station Plaza Coffee Shop moved to its present location on 206 Station Plaza North to attract the large numbers of morning commuters, including Chaminade students.  Proprietor Bill Liakonis prides himself in his establishment’s daily deliveries of fresh ingredients, speedy and proficient preparation, and friendly service to customers.  “We use only the best ingredients for all of our menu items,” Liakonis said.

One menu item of particular interest to Chaminade students is the classic bacon, egg and cheese sandwich with hash browns.  Made with freshly prepared eggs, crispy bacon, and gooey cheese at only $3.60, it is no wonder why these sandwiches sell like hotcakes, and, by the way, hotcakes are on the menu, too!

For classic breakfast food items at a convenient location with reasonable prices, Station Plaza Coffee Shop is an essential stop on any commuter’s route to Chaminade High School.  

Burrito Blvd’s store-front can be found right near the Mineola train station.
Burrito Blvd’s store-front can be found right near the Mineola train station.

Fans of Mexican grill cuisine can finally say, “¡Hola!” to homemade burritos at Burrito Blvd. on 98 Mineola Blvd, a short walk from the train station.  Only open for a few months, Burrito Blvd. is already building a reputation for itself through its friendly service and authentic Mexican menu items, ranging from nachos to tacos to burritos and everything inbetween.

The staff of Burrito Blvd. takes pride in its meticulous preparation and use of fresh ingredients.  They believe that this preparation sets them apart from other run-of-the-mill fast food giants such as Chipotle and Taco Bell, as these chains do not put the same effort into their menu items.  In addition, the staff firmly believes in service with a smile and greets many customers by name.  

Some of the employees of Burrito Blvd. gather behind the counter for a mid-shift photo.
Some of the employees of Burrito Blvd. gather behind the counter for a mid-shift photo.

Burrito Blvd. offers many different toppings and specialty hot sauces, ranging from Easy Street (mild) to Smoke and Fire (extremely hot) for the more adventurous customers.   Furthermore, Burrito Blvd. is already seeing a rise in orders placed with carnitas (pulled pork) as toppings in salads, tacos, nachos, and burritos.  

Open weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., aficionados of Mexican food should definitely put this unique burrito joint on their radar.  

Commuters in search of the North Shore’s best pizza can look no farther than Plum Tomatoes Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant, only two blocks from Mineola Station on 230 Old Country Rd.  The aroma of delicious Italian meals can be smelled from the sidewalk, even before entering this welcoming family-style restaurant.  

Bob Bernam, owner of Plum Tomatoes pizzeria, stands near some of the restaurant’s seating.
Bob Bernam, owner of Plum Tomatoes pizzeria, stands near some of the restaurant’s seating.

Plum Tomatoes began as the hobby of Bob Berman, one of the establishment’s current owners.  Originally working in the advertising field, Bob realized that the industry’s shift to digital equipment cut the time it takes to complete a project from two weeks to half an hour.  During his free time, Bob would visit his friend’s pizzeria in nearby Suffolk County and began to learn the ropes of the pizza trade.  Eventually, with his son out of college and unsure of a career path, the two decided to begin a family business together and opened Plum Tomatoes three years ago.  

Plum Tomatoes has already made an impact on the pizza industry of Mineola by winning over the taste buds of many Chaminade students.  With the Nassau County Executive Office nearby, Plum Tomatoes sees a large number of lawyers and policemen stop in for a delicious slice.  Even legislator Ed Mangano has been in more than a few times!  Plum Tomatoes was recently voted as Best Italian Restaurant and Pizza by Blank State Media for 2015-2016.

The sign above the door proudly displays the name the Mineola pizzeria, Plum Tomatoes.
The sign above the door proudly displays the name the Mineola pizzeria, Plum Tomatoes.

Chaminade students can enjoy a 10% discount on any orders they place.  There is a dish for any kind of appetite, from the popular Penne ala Vodka for $12.95 to the go-to slice for $2.95.  

From the most important meal of the day to a snack on the run, local eateries close to the station have the Chaminade Flyers covered!