Weekend picks: All-American
If you're planning to observe Presidents Day weekend at traditional American eateries, here are establishments where the cuisine definitely has the flavor of regions and history:
Barbecue is the main event at the two branches of buoyant Smokin' Al's. Sample the pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked sausage, baby back ribs, St. Louis-style "grand" ribs, "monster" beef bones. Add some chili, plus a supporting cast of fried onion straws, hush puppies, fried pickles and, of course, chicken wings. Yes, burgers, too.
Smokin' Al's is at 19 W. Main St., Bay Shore, 631-206-3000; and 4847 Merrick Rd., Massapequa Park, 516-799-4900.
Oysters highlight the fare at Canterbury's in Oyster Bay. Pine Island, Malpeque and Kumamoto are among the choices. If you'r not a purist, try the Buffalo-style oysters, complete with sauce suitable for chicken wings. There's competition from Long Island clam-and-corn chowder, Maryland blue-crab claw crab cakes, Cajun jambalaya and bacon-wrapped filet mignon.
Canterbury's is at 46 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay; 516-922-3614.
Tweeds in Riverhead is a "restaurant & buffalo bar," which is to say that the kitchen sends out plenty of bison. You can have the lean meat in a grilled kebab or a burger, a rib steak or a hanger steak, among other preparations. Dissenters can go for the crab cakes with citrus sauce, Aquebogue duck two ways, the New York strip steak and a straightforward hamburger.
Tweeds is at 17 Main St., Riverhead; 631-208-3151.
Photo: At Smokin' Al's, Massapequa Park.