A tip from a reader led me to CJ’s Coffee shop, a Rockville Centre institution since 1990. Turns out the place has lasted over two decades for good reason.
CJ's was packed at lunch time the day a friend and I dropped in. Tables were at a premium, but we were lucky enough to snag one. There, I savored a cup of just-rich-enough “cheesy” potato and bacon soup. A panino special – eggplant, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and basil pesto – was meltingly good, paired with homey potato salad. Dessert was a special of moist yellow layer cake with chocolate icing. True, it was made from a mix, but in the house where I grew up, Betty Crocker was about as homemade as cake got.
According to cook and manager John Lawrence, CJ's is only open for breakfast and lunch. Hours are Monday to Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and closed Sunday.
CJ’s Coffee Shop is at 225 N. Long Beach Rd., Rockville Centre, 516-766-9107.