In an ideal world, everything you eat at restaurants would be made with care, from scratch. The reality, though, is that chefs often take short cuts and rely on commercially produced items -- especially at modestly priced eateries. Here, to varying degrees, are three exceptions.

SAPSUCKERS HOPS & GRUB, Huntington

This cozy Huntington gastro pub makes a "Sardinian" hot dog using wild boar sausage made in-house and serves it on an excellent brioche roll.

287 Main St., 631-683-4945

ROAST SANDWICH HOUSE, Melville

At this inventive counter-service sandwich spot, virtually everything is made in-house, starting with roasted meats. Hand-cut fries and roasted fresh vegetables are the rule. Only the bread and the Tater Tots are brought in from outside.

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827 Walt Whitman Rd., 631-629-4869

JACK'S SHACK, Glen Head

This "green" fast-food place, owned by Food Network personality William "Jack" Degel, makes most of what it serves -- including salad dressings and ketchup -- from scratch. But while plantain fries are freshly cut, regular and sweet potato varieties are prefrozen.

671-A Glen Cove Ave., 516-676-7001