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KB's Burger Shack

Santa Fe burger at KB's Burger Shack, Patchogue

Santa Fe burger at KB's Burger Shack, Patchogue Photo Credit: Joan Reminick

It's an endless summer at KB's Burger Shack, a beachy-casual eatery where the menu is all about American comforts at comfortably low prices. The crew is friendly, the bar lively, the music catchy, the dining rooms -- upstairs and down -- populated by a multigenerational crowd.

Be forewarned, though, that in this century-old building, caution should be used navigating the long, narrow staircase.

UPS

House-made potato chips are thin, crisp, salty -- truly irresistible. I take pleasure in the deep fried shrimp "lollipops," skewered and served with a lively lime dipping sauce. And the "pig in a blanket" (a long hot dog wrapped in puff pastry, topped with mustard and sauerkraut) is, unquestionably, a kick. Baked clams have a nice smoky quality, thanks to the addition of chopped bacon.

A place calling itself Burger Shack should serve a fine burger, and this one does. Witness the thick, juicy, beefy Santa Fe version served on an English muffin and topped with avocado and caramelized onions in a balsamic-garlic-chipotle reduction. Ornate, yet surprisingly good. The Mykonos burger, grilled ground lamb flecked with fresh chopped mint and crowned with cucumber, dill, feta and yogurt, is unconventional but hyper-flavorsome. A few notches below is the respectable (if somewhat boring) fresh chopped salmon burger.

Tops among comfort classics is that old favorite, mac and cheese. Here, it gets a boost from chunks of ham, peas and a thatch of fried onions. I'm taken, as well, with the soul-satisfying meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Worthwhile endings: moist cupcakes and a terrific chocolate milk shake. Vanilla works, too.

DOWNS

Sadly, fries are previously frozen. A turkey burger -- ground poultry mixed with onions, peppers and Jack cheese -- turns out dry. And a special of ribs and chicken has that telltale reheated flavor.

BOTTOM LINE

The food at KB's may not dazzle, but it sure does gratify.

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