East End Eats: Back and as Good as Ever

The Fairway restaurant at the Poxabogue Golf Center
The Fairway restaurant at the Poxabogue Golf Center in Sagaponack has reopened, a bit spruced up but with the same reasonable, tasty, and filling meals it always had. Durell Godfrey

    Each village out here has its reliable, diner-like breakfast and lunch joints. Southampton has Sip ’n’ Soda, Bridgehampton has the Candy Kitchen, and Montauk has John’s Pancake House. But none of them comes close to the friendly and bustling Fairway restaurant at the Poxabogue Golf Center in Sagaponack. An institution for over 20 years, it was recently, temporarily (and almost permanently) lost. I’ll spare you the details of the saga, but it involved money and mildew. The good news is the Fairway is back, with a few structural improvements, and once again under the professional guidance of Dan Murray.
Perched on the highway at the edge of a driving range and golf course, the Fairway has indoor and outdoor dining. There is a pretty patio in the back with a border of flowers. Whiskey barrels full of bright and cheery marigolds line the driving range. Not much has changed on the inside, just a bit of sprucing up. The interior is creamy white bead board with olive green trim. There are a lot of windows all around. Low stools surround the counter, and there is a new tile floor and a flat-screen TV. The menu remains reasonable, tempting, and has everything an all-day breakfast lover could want. Omelets? Huge, and only $10.50 with home fries and toast. Buttermilk pancakes, bagels, hot chocolate, and so on. There are fresh soups daily and plenty of grilled and fried delights.
    Upon entering, you will most likely be greeted and seated by Mr. Murray himself. He is everywhere at once and imperturbable.
    On a recent visit we began our meal with the summer squash soup and taco salad. The soup was light with a tomato base and had plenty of chunks of zucchini and squash. The taco salad was very nice, lots of romaine lettuce, cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes topped with chili with beans and cheese. The tortillas served with it were flour tortillas, deep-fried for added crunch. It was a huge portion for $13.95, and very fresh and tasty.
    We then moved on to a BLT on a Thomas’s English muffin, a reuben, and the fish and chips. The menu advertises BLTs “with a larger than usual portion of bacon.” This is true, and it was cooked to crisp perfection. The reuben was very good as well, served open-faced with lean corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese. Some very good creamy coleslaw was served alongside.
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Fairway
3556 Montauk Highway
Sagaponack, NY
631-521-7100
Breakfast and lunch every day
Breakfast all day
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The fish and chips were probably the best of the three. The fish was three big wedges of cod, moist on the inside with a very crunchy coating similar to tempura. The fries were thick cut with skins on.
    I didn’t see it on the menu, but one of my guests, a Fairway regular, informed us that there are free refills on beverages. Who does that anymore?
    Fairway is always packed. Packed with families, couples, people having business meetings, and plenty of those of us on the back nine of life. Service on our visit was friendly and professional.
    Prices are $6.95 to $14.50 for breakfast items, $4.50 to $13.95 for soups and salads, $10.50 to $16.50 for sandwiches and grill items, and $6.95 for desserts. There is also a very reasonable children’s, or “junior golfers” menu.
    There are three choices for desserts, a banana split, strawberries and blueberries with vanilla ice cream, and a warm brownie sundae. We chose the brownie sundae, which was made with a big square of homemade brownie full of chocolate chips and some good quality vanilla ice cream, all topped with fresh whipped cream.
    Danny Meyer, the founder of Union Square Restaurant Group and author of “Setting the Table” is America’s foremost expert on the hospitality industry. If Mr. Meyer were to walk into the Fairway and meet Dan Murray, I believe he would say, “This is how it’s done.” Good food, good value, and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.