Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Union Square, Newburgh, NY

Union Square is one of those places we've been to a lot in the past, but haven't been to in a while. The food has always been good there, never really great, but good. The service has always been excellent however, and they have a range from burgers to gyros to seafood. I always thought of it as the type of restaurant that used to the mainstay of the area, Continental in nature. You know, steaks, club sandwiches, and a cocktail. Actually, if you go back far enough this was a Howard Johnson's and we went there on Fridays for the clam sandwiches and a milkshake.

Well, we decided to go out to dinner to celebrate the last day of freedom before returning to teaching (we're worse than the kids sometimes) and debated where to go. Union Square won out, and we won out too as this was the best meal I've ever had there. In fact it bordered on great.

What am I raving about? The Shrimp Carbonara, which was one of the specials to celebrate their twelfth anniversary. Take a look at the picture and see. Not that the picture is all that great since I left the Nikon home and the point and shoot flash washed out the light colors of the food an the white plate. I adjusted the color post-facto, but it came out nowhere as pretty as the original. It came with choice of soup or salad, a choice of a glass of beer or wine (the beer was Miller light so I took the wine), and fresh, warm bread for $16.95.

That Shrimp Carbonara was delicious. It had plenty of bacon mixed in, tomatoes and plenty of properly cooked shrimp over penne pasta with a delightful sauce. Did I say bordering great? No, they hit great on this one. Teresa had a chicken dish at $15.95 that came with all of the above and a side of rice pilaf. I tasted her chicken and it was cooked just right.

Oh, they make really good pizza there too and you have a choice between traditional and brick oven, I recommend the Greek pizza. I don't think they have a website, but you can find them at 93 New York 17K in Newburgh, right near the intersection with Union Avenue. The phone number is (845) 567-3800.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Terrazzo Trattoria, revisited

We've been here before and I did a nice review last year, but I had to share this dinner. I had one of the specials, the Ciopino Fra Diavolo (I may not have spelled it right) and it was better than most pescatore style dishes, in fact the only one I like better is at the Nu-Cavu, but that's about eight-hundred miles north of Terrazzo's. Just the right amount of heat and the calamari was cooked just right. Teresa had the Eggplant Lasagna, also a good choice, and we both added the salad.
We shared the coconut cake, a favorite of the staff and regular customers. A woman next to us looked over and said, "They have the cake? I love it, but they don't have it all the time." I could see why she was glad to see it, it was light and tasty.

Freskada Mediterranean Kuzina, Exton, PA

I know I've said this before, but I like Greek food and it's always nice to find someplace that does a good job. Freskada Mediterranean Kuzina in Exton, PA is one of those places. The menu isn't extensive, but they had quite a few good choices on it. I debated on a few dishes and finally decided on my favorite, the gyro. But first, a dish of stuffed grape leaves, or dolmades, to warm up.

The gyro was as delicious as it looked and it was full of thick-cut gyro meat in a grilled pita. The sauce was good as well. The fries were a bit lacking though, they could have been crisper, but they weren't bad. I should have substituted a Greek salad instead.
Nicole had the Grilled Chicken Roma sandwich and Teresa had the Grilled Hummus Chicken sandwich at $8.95 each. Bpth were good too. They actually had to take some of the chicken off as there was too much on it. They don't skimp on the meat here. Between the extra chicken on the two sandwiches, we brought home enough chicken to make another meal.

They have a website for info and the menu. Pay them a visit next time you're in Exton. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Zaxby's Chicken, Wilmington, NC

I only had Zaxby's twice before, and only when someone else had gone there and had some left over. This time when my daughter and son-in-law wanted a quick bite I suggested the Zaxby's on Gordon Rd in Wilmington, and I tagged along. We did the drive-up and got the twenty piece chicken nuggets and an order of fried pickles, shown above.
Well, the chicken was good and we got it with the Zax sauce (very much like Mac sauce) and an extra hot sauce (that one was real good). The fried pickles at $2.75 were tasty too.

Zaxby's is a Southern chain, started in Georgia back in the '80's. They have a web site too for more info.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stewart's Drive-in, Ringoes, NJ

Stewart's Drive-in in Ringoes, NJ is another one of those places that we've been driving past for some time now and kept saying we should stop in. Well, today the timing was right since we were passing at 12:30 and it wasn't crowded.

There are two windows to order from, one for ice cream, and one for food. We just hit the food one. I had two hot dogs, a chili dog and a bacon cheese dog and we shared an order of onion rings and a medium root beer. Three dogs, rings and a soda for thirteen dollars. Not bad prices and the food was good. Plus, it was like a nostalgic trip back to the days when places like this were all over. You know, when an ice cream stand was the only fast food.

Here is the corporate website.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Main Street Bistro, New Paltz, NY

People have been telling me how great Main Street Bistro in New Paltz is for quite some time and we finally tried it. After having experienced it, my advice is to finish reading this and go there. This place is great and is one of my new favorites.

I had the Guaca Baca Burger, guacamole, bacon and muenster cheese on a fresh kaiser roll with lettuce, tomato and pickle, for $6.50. That's right, only $6.50 and it came with choice of regular fries, sweet potato fries or salad. I opted for the salad and there was plenty. Teresa had the Bistro Barn Burger, bacon, cheese and salad for $5.95. Total bill was under seventeen dollars tax and tip included. The burgers were not just cheap, they were very good too. I ordered mine medium and it came cooked just right.

They have a breakfast menu and a dinner menu too that include pastas, sandwiches and a whole lot more. Check out their website for menu and hours.

Update 9/18/10- We stopped by today and I got the same burger, even though I wanted to try something different. I just couldn't pass up this amazing burger and it was every bit as good as the memory of the first one. This may be the best burger I've had in the Hudson Valley, and I recommend a Hurricane Kitty, a hearty IPA from Keegan Ales to complement it. If you haven't been there yet, what are you waiting for?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Maya Cafe and Cantina, Fishkill, NY

About a year ago we visited Maya Cafe in Wappingers Falls and really liked it, so we decided to try the Fishkill location. Turned out to be a wise choice. They are located on Route 9, just below the Hess Station across from the Dutchess Mall, or what's left of it, in what used to be a bar many years ago.

Maya Cafe is brightly decorated inside and the staff is very friendly. Our waiter, Alejandro, was sincerely polite and accommodating, as were everyone else. They give you a bowl of salsa, just a hint of heat, and warm nacho chips. The problem we had was that there were too many choices on the menu.

After some deliberation I decided on the Tacos Camaron (shrimp tacos) at $10.95. Two deep-fried tortillas with shrimp, pico de gallo, and avocado. It came with rice and black beans. You can get the dinner portion as well, which is larger and comes with plantains for $14.95. Very tasty and the lunch portion was quite filling, but I had room left to order one of the interesting looking deserts. Or so I thought.

Teresa decided on the Tacos Barbocoa at $9.95. This was a delicious marinated steak that had a slightly spicy, slightly sweet flavor to it. There were three on her plate and I had to eat one of them as two were enough for her. So much for that desert idea. Next time I'll leave room. Although I could have sat there until I was hungry as they don't rush you. Not that they are slow, they just give you space, which I like, while making sure everything is good. A nice balance.

Needless to say, Maya Cafe is becoming a favorite. Try them sometime, you won't be disappointed. They have a website for more info.