JeJu

Hidden Hamptons Gem: Eckhart’s Luncheonette

In food on 10/24/2011 at 12:55 pm

Finally, at long last, work has begun on our future kitchen! The other half hatches the ideas, we confer, executive decisions are made, I supervise when I’m not napping. Actually, if it weren’t for the other half’s tireless efforts, nothing would be done.

We had built a bump out wall in the ‘great room,’ mostly to house a new third window for light and grandeur when we peel back the ceiling to the attic. To accommodate the kitchen/island, we had to build the kitchen first and snake the gas line to the oven before we could close up the walls. It’s a chicken and egg conundrum. Soon though, we will have a finished countertop gas stove, separate electric oven, but bare walls. Yep, it’s a fixer-upper.

Recently we have scoured the Hamptons for a great many gems, and lo and behold, the harder you look, the more ye shall find. For our wedding two weeks ago, we collected a bunch of local delights and presented them to our guests. In fact, we have been overwhelmed with the bounty of the Hamptons of late. I really need to catch up on my postings.

Once a week, I venture to Westhampton for work, and finally one day last month, the other half met me for a bite at Eckhart’s Luncheonette down the road. I’d always wanted to eat here, but the rule of luncheonettes as opposed to diners is that the former closes soon after lunch. That’s really a shame because there’s a dearth of good diners to begin with in these parts, and sometimes, you really just want to bask in that authentic Americana glow.

A snippet of their own description: This original old fashioned soda shoppe style luncheonette combines yesteryear decor with today’s cooking. The original setting of tin ceilings, wooden fans, tiled flooring, mahogany booths, marble counter tops with a tile basin which holds old fashion soda jerk handles, root beer barrel and coke machine is surrounded by mahogany wood cases filled with an eclectic array of antiques. A magazine rack is filled with antique magazines and newspapers. The original wooden phone booth still stands along with a 1920s cash register. Much to see and enjoy while dining on fresh delicious food.

Like our favorite diner in New Jersey, Eckhart’s also has a naturalistic mural on the back wall, which you should see for yourself: The right side of a mural depicting Catalina Island, California painted in in the back of the luncheonette. The left side of the mural showing Avalon, which today is used as a movie theater/hall. The story is that many years ago a local man was in need of food and drink, but did not have the means to pay for it. My grandparents traded his craftsmanship for theirs. Today, we are left with this work of art and he was left with a full stomach.

This place has the works: the local family lore, the display of old knicks and knacks, the no nonsense attitude, the tasty burger and crisp fries. It has everything that’s lacking in the brand-spanking new fancy big-name chef-owned LT Burger (diner) in Sag Harbor. I would come here every week after work if I could if the logistics were in alignment. I even found a new thing to try: gravy burger, which is a hefty burger served with brown gravy on the side. I could get used to being here.

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