Food | The Reconnoisseur

First stop in the Hamptons: a rickety roadside café

From Manhattan madness to a breakfast bolthole

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First stop in the Hamptons: a rickety roadside café

July 10 2010
Mark Ellwood

Spending each summer in The Hamptons, it isn’t the swanky parties or benefits I beeline for on that first weekend – it’s a rickety roadside café in Sag Harbor. Estia’s is my breakfast bolthole, the perfect place to slough off a week of Manhattan tension. I ditch the sceney spots in Southampton and around for brunch at this throwbackishly homey greasy spoon – the busboy is barely a teenager and picking up pocket money, the sauces are in squeezy bottles and the waitresses in worn T-shirts smile chirpily at anyone who walks through the door.

The menu is Mex-inflected American staples such as pancakes and hash; I always opt for Happy Harold’s Breakfast Burrito, a tortilla filled with scrambled eggs, peppers and andouille sausage that I douse in the homemade hot sauce ($12.95). Doubtless it was named after a regular customer, as many of the menu items are – and many of those loyalists are boldfaced names: Big Al’s Burrito ($12.95) is Alan Alda’s staple order, for example. I’m just hoping to become enough of a mainstay to snag my own namesake item. Maybe by next summer.