Tucked away on Portion Road next to Village Green Mini-Golf you’ll find the recently opened Lake Ronkonkoma Diner. Family-owned and operated, Lake Ronkonkoma Diner offers an extensive menu serving everything from hearty breakfasts to juicy burgers and beyond. The quiet, modestly-sized setting allows for a more intimate dining experience over your typical bustling local diner.
Décor: Inside Lake Ronkonkoma Diner you’ll find a long, well-lit single-room dining area, featuring around 20 booths and additional table space. Warm tan and white tones are mixed with dark brown wooden accents, creating a rich, calming environment that lends well to a meal out with family or friends. Bowl lighting and some interesting curved wall decorations adorn the ceilings, and two LCD TVs set to closed caption are constantly on at both ends of the restaurant.
Drinks: The fridge and tap at Lake Ronkonkoma Diner are stocked with all the necessary basics like soda, juice and water. For a little more pizzazz in your cup, the diner offers Ice Cream Sodas ($3.45), Hot Chocolate ($1.75) and Cappuccino ($2.75) to name a few of the additional options.
What makes Lake Ronkonkoma Diner even more unique is the option to purchase a number of different beers, wines and champagnes to go with your meal. Bottles of Budweiser, Coors, Miller, Heineken, Corona and Samuel Adams await the beer drinker, and bottles of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, along with a number of other options, can be ordered up at a modest price.
Appetizers: With over 17 different options on the appetizer menu, you’ll certainly find something to kick off your meal properly. Start with a cornerstone appetizer like deep fried onion rings ($4.75) or mozzarella sticks ($6.95) or get a little more serious with baked clams ($6.75), spinach pie ($5.95) or popcorn shrimp with French fries ($8.95).
Breakfast: The backbone of any good diner is breakfast, and Lake Ronkonkoma does it properly, allowing you to order stacks of fluffy pancakes or a jam-packed omelet at any time of the day. The simple standards are all available, like cold cereals, oatmeal, bagels and muffins, but the real glory lies within the serious breakfast-eater sub-menus. Order up your pancakes a half dozen different ways, with blueberries ($6.95), chocolate chip ($6.40) and banana ($6.95), or go big with Pancakes Deluxe ($8.45), featuring bacon, ham, sausage and one egg.
The breakfast options are truly too numerous to list here, but you’ll be sure to find your French toast, omelet, hash brown, Virginia ham steak, waffle with two scoops of ice cream, or hearty steak and eggs fix at Lake Ronkonkoma Diner.
Entrees: Give your eyeballs a short rest and your neck a little stretch, because talking about Entrees at a diner is akin to falling down the rabbit hole, but here we go…
To begin, we’ll start with the delicious collection of salad platters available at Lake Ronkonkoma Diner, including Chicken Salad, Egg Salad, Shrimp Salad, Tuna Salad, and for the more adventurous, Salmon or Sardine salad. A variety of salads based more in leafy-greens are also available, like the Chef’s Salad or a Caesar Salad.
Tasty wraps are also served up fresh daily at Lake Ronkonkoma Diner, like the Gyro or Chicken Gyro Wrap ($8.95) served with lettuce, tomato and onion, the Pastrami and Swiss Wrap ($8.95), or the Chicken Salad Bacon Wrap ($8.95) served with lettuce and tomato.
Keeping things a bit on the healthy side, Lake Ronkonkoma Diner also has some heart-friendly options for the careful eater, like the Grilled Lemon Chicken Cutlet with cottage cheese and fruit, or the Vegetable Dinner Platter with four different veggies and a potato.
Moving into more serious ground, the burger menu is packed full of juicy, meaty options like 7 ounce Bacon Cheeseburger ($6.45 standard, $8.70 deluxe), the Texas Burger ($6.75 standard, $9.00 deluxe) with bacon, cheddar cheese, fried onions and BBQ sauce, or intense 7 ounce Chef’s Burger ($6.95 standard, $9.20 deluxe) with ham, bacon, cheese, fried onions and mushrooms.
Lake Ronkonkoma Diner also offers a tremendous selection of chicken dishes, like Chicken Condon Bleu ($14.95), a tender chicken breast stuffed with ham, imported Swiss cheese, mushrooms and cream sauce over rice, and Chicken Pasta ($13.95) which is much more than its simple name lets on, featuring sautéed mushrooms and chicken breast with broccoli in a garlic, lemon and olive oil sauce over linguini.
The menu goes on and on, filled to the brim with delicious specialty options including succulent Italian dishes such as Fettuccini Carbonara with prosciutto, onions and peas in a cream sauce, and fantastic Greek Specialties like gyros. For the sake of length we’ll have to end the entrees here, but be assured there are plenty of other options available for the hungry diner including an assortment of daily and weekly specials.
Desserts: Lake Ronkonkoma Diner features a wealth of awesome desserts to choose from, including slices of cheese cake ($3.25), apple turnovers (2.75), brownies ($2.50), strawberry short cake ($2.75) and many other options.
Bump your post-meal celebration up a notch with some of the more serious dessert choices, like the tasty Oreo Cookie Crunch Sundae ($5.85), with any flavor of ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, whipped cream and Oreo cookies, or the Royal Banana Split ($5.85) featuring 3 scoops of ice cream, along with whipped cream, nuts, bananas and a cherry on top.
Service: Staff at Lake Ronkonkoma Diner is very serious about giving you a good eating experience. Service was quick and thoughtful, and I was continually checked-in on by the wait-staff during my stay, but not to the point of it being overbearing.
Signature Dish: One of my traditional diner-yardsticks is how well they treat the venerable breakfast dish French Toast. Lake Ronkonkoma Diner does admirably, serving up thick cut bread dipped but not soaked in a light batter, dusted with cinnamon and paired with two big strips of perfectly crisped bacon, two tight breakfast sausage links, a ham steak and an egg. The meal was hearty, tasty and filling, and when paired with a tall glass of Pineapple juice, did my hungry stomach justice.
Address: 966 Portion Road, Ronkonkoma