There were countless times during high school when I spent hours at milling over standard-sized cups of coffee, chicken finger wraps (with both barbecue and honey mustard sauces), and Greek salads (with extra dressing), just to pass the time before forcing myself back home to finish those homework assignments that just wouldn’t go away on their own.
Even as I grew up and went to college, Candlelight remained a key part of my young adult life. Where else would I go when at 11 p.m. I wanted to meet up with some old high school buds before taking the drive back to Binghamton the next day? And why would I go anywhere else for a morning-after-coffee-and-bacon-cheeseburger hangover cure?
Let’s not forget about their several delectable spins on Eggs Benedict—in addition to the classic they offer Eggs Florentine (with spinach instead of Canadian bacon), and even Eggs Copenhagen (with salmon in lieu of the Canadian bacon). But I should warn you to be wary if you ask for an extra bit of Hollandaise Sauce—they’ve been known to charge for it.
And for Candlelight’s pièce de rèsistance—the free appetizer known only as the mythical “pasta salad”. If you are from Commack and have yet to experience the magic that is Candlelight’s pasta salad then you have clearly been living under a rock for the past few years.
Many have tried to imitate and duplicate this creamy pasta salad (see the by the LIE on Commack Road). But most have failed miserably in their attempts and either over-spiced or over-oiled their tri-colored rotini (again, see the Premier Diner).
My only disappointment to date with the Candlelight Diner is that they stopped serving pasta salad to its late late night visitors, and instead limit its dispersion to lunch and dinner customers only (a.k.a. those who are most likely to actually order a meal and not just mozzarella sticks off of their “Munchies” menu).
For a night owl like myself who frequently attended (and still attends) late night snacks at Candlelight this was a serious disappointment.
In a sense, I feel this restriction of pasta salad has made me appreciate those moments few and far between when I actually get the chance to sink my teeth into those slippery little noodles, crunchy broccoli heads, and bite sized onion chunks.