The Long Islander

By Leah Weinstein

A youngish mood surrounds you as soon as you enter Batata café. With boldly colored paintings, comfortable leather couches, and a menu that is creative without being overly fussy, Batata brings something unique to Northport.

“What you see is what you get,” said the owner, Nicole Nappy.

A 1993 graduate of Northport High School, Nappy spent a few years living in Austria and traveling in Central and South America. Her café is noticeably eclectic and culturally motivated. A mosaic under the coffee bar depicts a South American market place and was created by one of her friends.

Paintings by various artists are hung all over the store, reflecting the overall style of the café. The current artists hanging are Giovanni Galeila, Guiseppe Diliberto, Glenn Fischer, and Eti Grifel.

Batata was opened in August 2005 but before that, it was a Barrister’s chocolate for 25 years owned by her father, Nick Nappy.

Once a month, the store stays open and a small stage in the corner turns into an open mic night drawing performers from throughout the area. The next one is on Friday, January 19.

“People have responded to it well,” said Nappy.

Nappy prefers to use organic ingredients but if she can’t, she does her research to make sure she is buying the best. Everything is prepared on location with fresh ingredients. All breakfast burritos ($5.75) include eggs and other ingredients inside a wrap, served warm. The options range from a Veggie Burrito to a burrito with bacon, cheese and home fries. Next time I go back, I want to try the PB & More wrap, which includes chunky peanut butter, granola, sliced banana, low fat vanilla yogurt, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.

Customers close enough to make it to Batata during lunchtime should take full advantage of the long list of hearty sandwiches, Panini’s and salad’s that can also be made to order.

The daily soups always include one Vegan option and many of them run out by mid-afternoon. When we were there, only three of the five daily soups were left.

One of the most frequently ordered item is the Main Street sandwich ($7.95) with chunks of chicken breast tossed with fresh tarragon, walnuts, celery, apples and mayo.

The Radishy Roast Beef ($8.95) is one of the few items to include beef. It is topped with blue cheese, mixed organic greens, sliced tomato, red onion and a tangy homemade horseradish mayo.

The panini’s are hot pressed on a double sided grill and served warm on either a white crispina triangle or a whole wheat square.

The sweet and spicy turkey ($7.95) included roasted turkey breast, Brie cheese and fresh baby spinach with mango, pineapple sweet & spicy spread.

Batata’s staff will gladly transformed any salad into a wrap. The Bleu Raspberry salad ($7.95) included mixed organic greens, crumbled blue cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

For $7.95 you can choose to combine two of three options: a 12 oz soup, a half-salad, or a half-sandwich of your choice.

Batata’s outstanding coffee drinks, including a delicious mocha latte, plus healthy smoothies, make this café as versatile as the art on the walls.

The biggest hit of the evening was one of the 100 percent all fruit smoothies ($4.45). The PB & J smoothie, as well as every other, is made with fresh and frozen fruit, with no added sugar or mystery ingredients, a health food lovers dream. The PB & J was filling enough to be a refreshing meal with strawberries, a scoop of real peanut butter, fresh bananas and apple juice.

Side orders of the Batata fries homemade sweet potato fries are only $3.45 and can be added to any sandwich, panini or salad for $1.75. Everything at Batata was fresh and tasty. A repeat visit is definitely in order.

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