FARMINGDALE, New York -- From the moment you walk into My Grandmother's Kitchen, you know you've found a home away from home.
Although the Farmingdale restaurant has been open for just one month, My Grandmother's Kitchen has been quickly turning first-time visitors into regulars.
And that's a dream come true for siblings Jorge and Carolina Contreras, who opened the restaurant as a tribute to their own beloved grandmother.
With their Salvadorian roots and passion for cooking inspired by their grandmother, the siblings wanted her legacy to live on through their food. Indeed, most of the meals come from grandma's recipes, but Jorge Contreras has created his own dishes as well.
"Now she's a representation of a business," Contreras said. "Wherever I go, she's watching me."
And she really is. He pointed to his grandmother's portrait, proudly displayed in the heart of the restaurant.
Customers say they love how family legacy is such an important part of My Grandmother's Kitchen.
"I love the whole idea of having a place that has an antique feel to it, honoring the ancestors," said Elizabeth Grove as she finished her cranberry chicken salad sandwich. "It just seemed like a really warm place and inviting place to come to."
The menu features breakfast and lunch staples, from omelets and pancakes to sandwiches and cheeseburgers.
Jorge Contreras loves when customers send their compliments to the chef, thinking it's grandma herself.
"Everybody goes in and says, "Where is grandma? Where is she," he said. "Unfortunately, she died, but I think she would be happy."
Jorge Contreras is hoping more customers discover his cozy corner of the world, customers like Fernando Pacheco, who is now a regular.
"Every time I come I feel at home, I feel comfortable," Pacheco said. "It's always a wonderful experience here and it feels like I'm just going over to a neighbor's house and they are feeding me. It's what I like about it. It's a good ambiance. It's a good vibe to be around."
Contact Community Journalist Alex Ciccarone