Sachem Patch has rolled out an informative feature whereby we highlight an independent business operating in the Sachem Community. This week, we put the Lake Ronkonkoma Diner, located at 966 Portion Road in Lake Ronkonkoma in the hot seat.
Patch: Tell us about your business and its origins.
LRD: My family opened the diner on February 18, 2009, so, about three and a half years now.
Patch: So this is a family business?
LRD: We truly run a family business. My parents, three sisters and I all help out as does my brother-in-law on occasion. Even our staff feels like family and treat the customers like family.
Patch: What is your or your family's background in running a food establishment?
LRD: I've worked at my share of restaurants over the years. I started as a busboy at the age of 15 at my uncle's diner. I worked my way into the kitchen where I learned how to cook, then served tables at a few places which gave me a lot of experience, both in the kitchen and in the dining room. My father, Mike, went to culinary school years ago and has been cooking since I can remember, and though he's not the acting chef at the diner, most of the recipes are his. We've had a few small delis in the past, but had been looking to open a diner for about four years before opening this one.
Patch: How many does your diner seat?
LRD: The diner has 15 booths and three tables and a counter, which is considered small for a traditional diner, but that's what makes it feel like 'home.' We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week, Sunday-Thursday 7am-9pm, and Friday-Saturday 7am- 10pm.
Patch: Do you offer any specials?
LRD: We have breakfast specials that are served with coffee and juice Mon-Fri 7am-11am, then lunch follows from 11-3 which includes a cup of our home-made soup or a salad. Dinner starts at 3pm and everyday we have eight dinner specials, which come with a cup of soup, salad, main entree and a dessert with coffee or tea.
Patch: What is your diner's signature dish?
LRD: We've been told that we have some of the best burgers around, along with our unique coated french fries and cole slaw, which people pick up by the pints. I created a sandwhich called the 'Sachem Special.' It's chicken cutlet with melted mozzarella and bacon on a roll with fries, which has become a big seller.
Patch: Do you have a good recommendation?
LRD: If you were thinking more of a dinner, one of my personal favorites is our Chicken Cordon Bleu over rice. But our menu doesn't stop there. Whether you're craving eggs or pancakes, a burger or a reuben, seafood or a steak, we've got you covered. You can stop in for a take out menu at any time.
Patch: What do you enjoy most about running a diner?
LRD: What I love about this business is my family got to do everything the way we wanted to. We want people to come in and see the same smiling faces and know you're getting quality food at the lowest prices around. We want you to feel like you're eating at home, but you can leave the dishes to us.
*Lake Ronkonkoma Diner is a member of the Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce.