The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
The first Long Island branch of the Delaware-based Jake’s Wayback Burgers is now serving up handmade burgers, house-made potato chips and marvelous malteds in the Massapequa Park strip mall spot that used to house Fatburger.
Big improvement. Instead of the dull, gray meat patty recalled from that address, the junior cheeseburger I got was juicy and beefy. Potato chips — tasting of nothing more complicated than potatoes and salt — had admirable crunch.
The attractive contemporary-looking spot serves a hot dog that's split lengthwise before being grilled, doubling its crusty surface area. Remind you of the way it's done at Five Guys Famous Burgers & Fries? There are other similarities (if you order a Jake Burger, you'll get two patties instead of one) and differences (fries, while not bad, are the previously frozen variety, unlike the hand-cut wonders at Five Guys).
A nice surprise was the burger of the month, a "turkey dinner" on a bun comprising a juicy, well-spiced turkey patty plus stuffing, cranberry sauce and a little mayo. Messy, yes, but surprisingly good.
As for the coffee milk shake and chocolate malted sampled: pure nostalgia, sweet and simple.
Coming soon: More Jake’s Wayback Burgers, in East Meadow and East Northport.
Jake’s Wayback Burgers is at 5288 Sunrise Hwy., Massapequa Park, 516-799-6100, waybackburgers.com.