A recent dinner at Houston’s in Roosevelt Field renewed my faith in the restaurant, not only as the source of what has to be Long Island's supreme vegetable burger but also as a place where customer service is first-rate.
It was that kind of service that had been missing on a prior visit about two years back. Yet recalling how obliging the kitchen had been on other occasions, I decided to make an unusual request: Could the chef pull the insides out of my brioche bun before toasting it?
Wish cheerfully granted. There was now just a thin, lightly crisp layer of buttery brioche bun on top and bottom, allowing the big, smoky and delectable vegetable burger ($16) — topped with lettuce, pickles and gorgeous sweet tomatoes — to predominate. Fringe benefit: a cut in calories.
A worthy accompaniment was couscous, the grains dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, mixed with radish, scallions, tomatoes, fresh mint leaves and almonds. I would travel miles just for a plate of that.
Houston’s is at Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Rd., Unit 1047, Garden City, 516-873-1454.
Above: Customized vegetable burger at Houston's, Roosevelt Field