THE BEACH FOR BBQ
You don't have to be a member of the Sands Beach Club in Atlantic Beach to eat at its new restaurant, The Beach. True to its name, the place offers patio dining close to the pounding surf. If you call 24 hours in advance, you can even have a table set up on the sand. With lights, too. The restaurant is only open to the public for dinner Thursday to Sunday.
The real surprise here is the menu, which focuses on the slow-smoked barbecue repertoire of chef Joseph Festinger. Festinger won a pitmaster championship in Georgia and also took classes at celebrity barbecue chef Myron Mixon's cooking school.
On his barbecue menu, you'll find burned ends of brisket ($7.95), baby back ribs ($15.95 half rack, $23.95 full rack), half a barbecue chicken ($12.95) and a trio of barbecue sliders that includes pulled pork, pulled brisket and chopped chicken ($10.95). Some non-barbecue choices: cedar-planked salmon ($17.95), watermelon salad ($7.95) and blackened fish tacos ($12.95).
The Beach at the Sands is at 1395 Beech St., Atlantic Beach, 516-371-4000. -- JOAN REMINICK
BATTLE OF THE BBQ BRETHREN
This weekend, Long Island's biggest barbecue event will be taking place on the verdant grounds of the Maples in Manorville: the sixth annual Battle of the BBQ Brethren. More than 40 teams will compete for $10,000 in prize money and an invitation to the American Royal World Series of Barbecue in Kansas.
Barbecue vendors will be on hand to sell food to the crowd, and cooking and grilling demos will take place throughout the weekend, some of them given by DJ chef Marc Weiss, who will be emceeing the proceedings. For the kids: face painting, magicians and caricatures. Look out for the Zumba flash mob!
On Saturday, it's live music with WBAB's Joe Rock and the Allstars, a custom car show presented by Eastern Long Island Cruisers and a "Chopped"-style grilling shootout against a "mystery chef," a TV food-show alum from one of New York's best barbecue restaurants.
On Sunday, Lisa and the Leftovers perform, then it's on to the heart of the event: a New York State championship in which the teams will compete in the four standard categories: chicken, ribs, pork butt and brisket.
The Battle of the BBQ Brethren is 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at The Maples, 10 Ryerson Ave., Manorville. Admission is $3 (free younger than 10). All proceeds go to the John Theissen Children's Foundation. For more information, go to bbqbrethrenbattle.com. -- ERICA MARCUS
Bad Dawgs, the takeout wiener spot on Gerard Street in Huntington Village, has closed. The little storefront opened two years ago and, during its tenure, branched out from serving inventively topped hot dogs to offering burgers, too.
Also, the 56th Fighter Group flies its last mission this month. General manager Robert Johnson said the restaurant's 30-year lease is expiring and the WorldWar II-themed restaurant will close Aug. 12.