Dining Detour: Restaurants near Nassau Coliseum

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You should find easy parking as well as satisfying eats at the following restaurants, all within close range of Nassau Coliseum in East Garden City.

It doesn't get more convenient than strolling from the Coliseum to the two restaurants at the Long Island Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 101 James Doolittle Blvd., Uniondale, 516- 794-3800. Champions Sports Bar Restaurant is a casual and cavernous sports-themed place for burgers, wings, salads, sandwiches and steaks. The more formal hotel restaurant, Prime Seasons , offers such fare as an Atlantic seafood stew and porcini crusted sirloin.

The Dominican Restaurant , 1019 Front St., Uniondale, 516-292- 5700, is a diner-like spot serving the lively fare of the Dominican Republic. Try the hearty sopa de res (beef soup) or crisp chiccharon de pollo (fried chicken).

Just a short drive away is Garden City, where there are large municipal parking lots behind the restaurants along Franklin Avenue. One compelling spot is Taste , 660 Franklin Ave., 516-663-5140, where chef Ed Witt (formerly of the River Cafe in Brooklyn and Veritas in Manhattan) now features Sunday brunch (think house-made sausage with biscuits and gravy) as well as dinner (grilled pork chop with cheese grits, bacon and collards). At Grimaldi's Pizza , 980 Franklin Ave., 516-294-6565, the coal-oven pizza has a well-blistered crust and may be had with any number of toppings. For something Japanese, think of Sushi Ya , 949 Franklin Ave., Garden City, 516-873-8818, where the sushi is impeccably fresh and you don't have to sit at the communal hibachi table to order a hibachi dish. If Turkish food intrigues you, head over to Wild Fig Mediterranean Grill , 829 Franklin Ave., Garden City, 516-739-1002, where the brick oven turns out fragrant pides (savory stuffed pies) and there's a kebab for every taste.

If you jump onto the Meadowbrook Parkway, you can be at Roosevelt Field mall in a matter of minutes. A prime spot there is Houston's , 630 Old Country Rd, Garden City, 516-873-1454, known for salads, burgers and entrees. The vegetable burger is a smoky revelation, second only to the beef burger, one of the Island's best. Next door is Legal Sea Foods, 516-248-4600, where you can always get a good bowl of chowder and a fresh and simply grilled piece of fish. A few steps away is the Grand Lux Cafe , 516-741-0096, a palatial spot whose encyclopedic menu goes from Vietnamese summer rolls to burgers to salads to Jamaican pork tenderloin. Order the baked-to-order apple pie when you sit down, and it will arrive hot from the oven at dessert time. It's a real treat.

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