It was my Summer of Selfishness; I haven’t been sharing my Fork Finds as promised.
Maybe I didn’t want to fight crowds of loyal NYCR-ers who’d run to my recommendations causing longer lines and a survival of the fittest reality TV-style contest to see who’d get the last blueberry cream pie. (Ooops, that already happened.)
Since Lenn reminded me our readers are courteous and less likely to throw a punch over pastry than your usual winery visitor, I am back.
And since I’m spilling all of my secrets, I might as well blow up one of my favorite spots on the North Fork: Orient Country Store.
If you haven’t made your way to the end of the North Fork peninsula, you’re missing out. The tension in your shoulders melt away as you wind along the road along side tide pools and remote farm stands. Orient Village proper has some of the most charming houses just sitting there waiting for you to respectfully gawk while walking through town. Feel the breeze and lust after historical homes before making your way into the center. The heart of the (very) short main drag is a store that as the name suggests has a little bit of everything.
Deep River Chips.
Bound up a few stairs across a wooden porch and swing the screen door into a cabin chock full of the kinds of items that cause you to gnash your teeth when you realize you’ve forgotten to pick them up back at the IGA miles back in Greenport. Hot Sauce with varying different levels of heat. Canned Goods. A hero or supplies for a picnic. Today’s Wall Street Journal. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. Fear not, you don’t need to go back to civilization. It’s all right here.
I didn’t visit this collective of all things small towns should be before Miriam Foster and Grayson Murphy took over in 2011, but I cannot imagine the store without Miriam’s baked goods (oatmeal cookies with sea salt and zucchini bread are a favorite) and Grayson’s deliciously simple cooking. Though I don’t live extraordinarily close to the Country Store, I think the charm and care that go into the place oozes into everything I buy and it’s worth the journey.
The Orient Country Store is more than a sum of its Boar’s Head parts.
It’s neutral territory between the two competing real estate broads. A pit stop for bicycle tourists or Cross Island Ferry riders. And for me, a place to get my favorite breakfast sammie while sucking down molten lava coffee discussing everything from Plum Island to Lady Gaga to Syria with others at the communal table tucked up front near the window.
If it’s your first time, don’t leave without a random retro style postcard.
Orient Country Store
950 Village Lane, Orient, NY
Monday–Saturday: 7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.