One of the challenges of owning a café that fronts the Glen Head Train Station is that often, customers are in a big hurry. “It’s a challenge,” says owner Lisa Desanti who, along with her brother and co-owner, Charlie Jennette, opened Home Fries in May of this year. “Especially when commuters come in to place their order as the train is roaring down the track.”
But the sister-brother team is up to the challenge: “We always do the best we can to give the fastest service and I don’t believe anybody has missed a train yet—or, at least I hope not.”
The tiny café serves breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday from 7 am to 2pm. “We have a small outdoor seating area, that is a great place to relax with friends or just have a quiet meal alone while you relax and unwind,” says Desanti.
While the Home Fries name suggests breakfast as a heavy hitter, the café’s menu is diverse and creative. Everything is prepared homemade “not something warmed up in the microwave,” says Desanti. “Our most popular breakfast item is, without a doubt, a scrambled egg, American cheese and bacon, on a crispy roll with a little salt, pepper and ketchup,” she says. But, there are also daily lunch specials: two of the most popular are Sloppy Joes Tuesdays and Crab Cake Fridays. And, the daily menu features additional specials including BBQ pulled pork, chicken parmigiana, and grilled chicken with melted cheese and fried peppers—to complement regular menu goodies such as omelets, waffles, burgers and smoothies. And, with the anticipation of fall and winter, Desanti says, “I am excited to bring in an array of soups, as well as hot oatmeal, for those cold wintery mornings.” Bonus: Customers can visit the website (see below) to print out a coupon for a 10 percent discount. And, senior citizens always receive 10 percent off.
Desanti has been it the food business since a young girl. Her uncle owned a well-known restaurant in Manhattan where her mother was the general manger, her aunt the weekend manager, another uncle the bartender and all of her cousins, as well as she and her brother worked throughout the years as wait staff, assistant managers and delivery people. “I remember those times as fun and educational,” says Desanti. “I learned what good, home-style food was all about.”
Desanti says that her brother has always dreamed of opening his own place. “We are both beyond thrilled that his dream has become a reality. My brother had been looking for a place for a long time that was in a good neighborhood, that was manageable in terms of size and that was financially doable. He spotted the café listed on Craigslist, spoke to the previous owner on the phone and he knew in his heart that this was the place for him, sight unseen.”
Desanti lives in the same Whitestone, Queens neighborhood where she grew up, as does Jennette. However, that may change. “I will say that not if, but when, I decide to move to Long Island, I will be moving to Glen Head. I really like it here and I cannot say enough about the business owners in the area, like Gem Craft Boutique and Extravagant Realty. We feel very blessed and thank them for all of their help and support.”
In addition to new menu items for the fall and winter, Desanti is considering a frequent coffee buyers’ club to serve the daily commuter crowd. The café may also extend hours to include Saturdays. “We feel that busy moms and dads and locals who are running around and taking their kids to sports events and running errands may just enjoy a cup of our great coffee and a bite to eat.”
Home Fries is located at 1 Station Plaza, 516-399-2255
- Hi, I am Deborah and "I LOVE NYC". I was lucky enough to move back for 2 years 2010-2012 and lived like a tourist in NYC for those two years in the Hudson Yards area at 505W37. Right now I reside on Long Island but stay at different hotels in NYC a few times a year. I hope to move back soon.