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3 restaurant meals worth the extra calories

Time to break that first resolution about dieting.

This already is looking like a big year for big appetites, so you might as well dive in. Here are a few restaurants where you definitely won't mind adding a few extra calories along the way.

Ben's Deli restaurants celebrate 40 years of fressermania. That's a lot of pastrami and corned beef, plus an incalculable number of hot dogs. There are three Ben's in Nassau, another in Queens. And if you're in Manhattan or Boca Raton, you'll find one, too. Yes, they have salads. But consider the alternatives: stuffed cabbage, braised brisket, chicken or beef in the pot, knishes, hot sandwiches and the essential overstuffed sandwiches and combinations.

The Nassau branches are in Carle Place, at 59 Old Country Rd., 516-742-3354; in Greenvale, 140 Wheatley Plaza, 516-621-3340; and in Woodbury, 7971 Jericho Tpke., 516-496-4236, bensdeli.net $-$$

One of last year's stars, Arata Sushi in Syosset, has made some additions to the menu. They include tuna with edamame and crisp tuna somen with seaweed. The chef's choice, or omakase, now is available in a more restrained five-piece serving as well as the popular 10-piece production. So you can order two. The crabmeat samosas and the fish tacos just make you want to keep eating.

Arata Sushi, 18 Cold Spring Rd., Syosset; 516-921-8154. $$-$$$

And it's important, periodically, to sample the combination plates at Smokin' Al's barbecue eateries. The trio of baby back ribs, St. Louis-style ribs and "monster bones" of beef requires full concentration, as does the union of baby backs with barbecue or smoked meats. You'll also be partial to the pulled pork.

Smokin' Al's, 19 W. Main St., Bay Shore, 631-206-3000; and 4847 Merrick Rd., Massapequa Park, 516-799-4900, smokinals.com $$

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