Two of the biggest culinary trends of the last few years are 1950s-era style burger shacks and tacos stands. In Westhampton Beach, two establishments are working toward satisfying these trendy niches, one a long-standing business, the other a new kid on the block.
Most Popular: Fried Oreos; $5
Signature: Fat Tony; market price
Chef’s Favorite: Green Hornet; $7
Boom Burger, which opened in October 2012, is entering its first summer season.
The restaurant, which is decorated in a vibrant red-and-white color scheme, with walls lined with chalk boards and comic books illustrations, perfectly reflects the personalities of the two owners. Anthony Catanzaro and Anthony Cicogna are larger-than-life veterans of the restaurant world. After working at another burger joint together, said, “Hey, we can do this ourselves,” they reported.
And that is exactly what they did.
As a child, Mr. Cicogna was a portly 300 pounds. His mother sent him to fat camp. But after getting caught stealing white bread and butter and giving it out to other campers (he also sold them Snickers bars at $10 a pop), he was kicked out.
He’s slim now, but it’s no surprise that he owns an eatery with his best friend Mr. Catanzaro, he said.
The two cooks/entrepreneurs saw the shortcomings at their former job, they reported. It was there that they realized there was a niche for fresh local food at a reasonable price, thus Boom Burger was born.
“We scrimped and saved, that’s how we opened,” Mr. Cicogna said.
For the most popular dish, the Fried Oreos, the cookies are prepared in traditional carnival-style batter, fried, and topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
“You can get fried Oreos lots of places, but we’re confident ours are the best,” Mr. Catanzaro said.
The signature dish is a monstrosity created by a fictional character that lives inside the two Anthonys’ heads, they reported. This special sandwich can be found on the “Beyond Board,” a listing of over-the-top specials. The hero has a layer of mac-and-cheese, onion rings, thousand island dressing, six American cheeseburgers, bacon, mozzarella sticks and chili and is topped with fried eggs.
“Fat Tony doesn’t cut his sandwich, he’s not a sharer,” Mr. Catanzaro said when asked how many it feeds. “If it was up to Fat Tony everything would be on there, but we had to narrow it down.”
The Green Hornet, the chef’s favorite, is a much more reasonable dish in comparison. The double burger comes with double cream cheese, double chorizo and double jalapeños.
“Thinking outside the box as far as burger toppings, you can get lettuce, tomato, onion anywhere, we want ingredients that enhance each other,” Mr. Catanzaro said.
The beef is ground fresh daily in Westhampton by Cow Palace with an 80/20 blend specific for Boom Burger. All of the produce comes in fresh from local purveyors, and healthy options, such as salads, are offered in addition to the big burger bombs. The restaurant also makes a killer milkshake; try the peanut-butter, the owners said.
Most of the menu items are late-night creations, according to Mr. Cicogna.
“Me and Ant are always here, that’s what it’s all about,” Mr. Cicogna said of the source of inspiration, and for he and his partner to keep their customers satisfied.
Boom Burger is located at 85 Montauk Highway. Breakfast is served from 6 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Burgers are served from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Most Popular: Chicken Quesadilla; $15
Signature: Red White and Blue Tacos; $17
Chef’s Favorite: Crispy Chicken Tacos; $15
Margarita Grille is entering its 14th season on the main drag in Westhampton beach, offering Tex-Mex- and California-style Mexican food.
Amie Cancellieri, the general manager, has been working there since she was 13 years old, making this her 12th season. When it comes to the numbers of orders, Ms. Cancellieri said the Chicken Quesadilla is by far the customers’ favorite dish.
“It’s a classic chicken and cheese quesadilla. When people order it they say, ‘I just want chicken and cheese,’” the manager said. It also comes with a side of house-made guacamole and sour cream.
The Red White and Blue Tacos, perfect for the Fourth of July, are also a staple of the eatery.
“We are a California-Mexican-style restaurant. Red White and Blue Tacos really represents that food, and is a mixture between both,” Ms. Cancellieri said.
The tacos are filled with crispy rock shrimp, topped with salsa rojo, queso fresco and guacamole and are wrapped in a blue corn tortilla.
The chef’s favorite dish is the Crispy Chicken Tacos-almond-and cornflake-crusted chicken that is topped with a fresh mango salsa.
“He uses it as his most creative dish,” Ms. Cancellieri said. “He likes it because of the contrast between the chicken crust and the cool refreshing salsa.”
A trip to Margarita Grille would not be complete without a margarita with a little something special, according to the GM.
“Our house margarita on the rocks is unique because it comes with a sidecar,” Ms. Cancellieri said.
Margarita Grille is located at 83 Main Street. It is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight.