Saturday, June 25, 2011
A week or so ago we drove through Fishkill, after having already eaten, and noted that a few new restaurants deem to have popped up on the main drag near route 9. I made a mental note to stop back sometime when we were in the need of food, and today was the day.
I found a spot to park on the street and we looked at a few restaurants to decide where to eat. The first one we looked at, The Tomato Cafe, won out because the menu looked interesting and there was a nice smell to the place. The aroma of fresh sauce filled the air. We were seated and given water and menus.
Looking at the menus there were just too many options to choose from, and the prices were reasonable. I decided to go simple and ordered the BLT on sourdough rye and added a cup of tomato soup. They are called the Tomato Cafe after all. $6.95 for the sandwich and $2.50 for the soup. That soup (pictured above) was delicious. It had a nice texture to it and there was just a bit of heat added, as well as some basil. The sandwich was good with plenty of bacon. I originally ordered a salad in place of the fries, but after I realized my sandwich was going to be a salad sandwich I quickly changed it to a side of fries. I also added a bottle of Hurricane Kitty.
Teresa had it narrowed down to two choices and the waiter recommended the Chicken Sandoval. She ordered the half portion, at $8.95 plus a caesar salad. I tasted the chicken and a piece of the pasta and it was delicious. Our waiter was right. She thought at first that the portion was small, but then she said that if it were the full size she would have brought half of it home so I guess it was just right.
Service was excellent, food delicious, prices reasonable, free wi-fi and clean bathrooms. I recommend you stop by and give them a try. I know we'll be back. The website will give you the menu and directions.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
A personal favorite of mine is Ward's Bridge Inn in Montgomery, NY. I don't get there near often enough, but every time I've been there the food has been delicious. I've reviewed them before. Today I was there for an end of the school year lunch with some colleagues. Most of my dining companions got the special, a filet medallion steak sandwich, but I wanted the burger. Look at the picture and you'll see why.
This is the Cowboy burger, one of my favorites and quite possibly one of the finest burgers I've ever had anywhere. It starts with good quality beef and perfectly cooked. I ordered it medium and it was perfectly that with a bit of red in the center and cooked on the outside. That wonderful beef sits atop a fresh kaiser roll with cheese and bacon and a whole bunch of crisp onion straws. They gave me the option of fries, salad or Caesar salad. I got the Caesar salad and it was quite large.
My friends were all as pleased with their meals, especially the steak sandwich, but mine was perfect. If you haven't been there yet, make it a point to stop in.
Posted by Chris Forman at 3:23 PM
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I haven't done a beer review in a long time now, and since the title is Burgers and Brews Food Reviews it is about time. Add to that the fact that I have found my new favorite beer and here we go.
Victory Brewing Company is located in Downingtown, Pennsylvania and my daughter and son-in-law live in the area. I've been there quite a few times and I've done a review of the restaurant there, as well as this one of the beer. The food is good, especially the pizzas, but the beer is great. My favorites are; Storm King Stout, Hop Devil, Hop Wallop and Uncle Teddy's Bitter. They have a few beers on cask as well and what a difference it makes.
At any rate, I sampled their newest offering, Headwaters Pale Ale, a few months ago and loved it. I had a draft of it at the brewery and it was even better. It seems to me to be a cross between an English Pale Ale and an IPA. Smooth, slightly hoppy, and crisp. You can have a couple of them since it is only 5.1% and no after taste. This is my new favorite beer.
Check out the companies website for the beer.
Posted by Chris Forman at 6:08 PM
Monday, June 13, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I don't do hotel reviews, but perhaps I should on occasion since this blog is about eating and travel. At any rate I'll start with one about a hotel in Bedford Massachusetts that I feel you should avoid.
I was traveling with 146 teens and 10 other adults on an overnight trip to Boston followed by a day at Six Flags in Springfield. We used a booking agency and told them the dates, number of people, number of rooms needed and price range we were willing to pay. They put it out to bid and hotels bid for our business. The best bid came from the Bedford Plaza and after looking at the web site and calling, we booked them. Keep this in mind, they wanted our business and knew they were renting to a school trip.
The hotel is built on an island formed by two streets and with the small windows takes on the appearance of a converted factory, or an institution. Finding the main entrance can be tricky as it looks as if it were inserted as an afterthought in a corner. Inside we found that the pictures on the website were taken by a very good photographer as the pictures far exceeded the actual appearance.
We checked in with no problem and my teens were a bit loud as they sought their rooms, but not bad. Within a half hour the manager threatened to "put us out on the street" and I informed him that the kids had a ten o'clock curfew, thirty minutes from then. I guess he forgot that he had booked 46 rooms to teens. He yelled at me and the kids. We complied. My students were quiet for the night, as they always are after curfew on a trip, and I heard not a peep from them until the morning when we went for the complimentary breakfast buffet. More about that later.
Now, about the hotel. The rooms were mediocre at best. One student said there was a broken window in their room and another said there was sludge in the bathtub that looked like . . . I'll leave that to your imagination. The Air-conditioning wasn't adequate and the rooms were hot. The free wifi was not working. I took a shower at six AM and ran out of hot water, my wife took a cold shower. The others related similar stories. Breakfast was on time, but they had trouble keeping up with it (they did know that 146 teens were staying) and it was okay. Well, adequate at best.
Bottom line . . . look for a better place to stay. The staff is okay, the regular workers that is, but I don't think the management treats them all that well. The hotel isn't all that clean and it doesn't have that warm fuzzy feeling.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Quincy Market in Boston reminds me a little of Piccadilly Circus in London. In fact, the whole city of Boston reminds me a bit of London. It is full of tourists, the people are dreadful drivers, and people speak with an accent.
There are plenty of places to eat there and my friend Steve and I decided to take a sampling tour. We started at the doghouse. I got a cheese dog and he got the chili cheese dog. Both were good dogs with a snap to them.
We tried clam chowder at Boston Chowda! after that and it was not bad, but a bit bland. We were warmed up now and wandered around
Next stop was Fisherman's Net where I had fried Calamari and Steve tried the fried oysters. The Calamari was cooked right, but I could have used a marinara sauce on the side instead of ketchup or tartar sauce. I tried the oysters and they were very good. Nice spice to them, but not overpowering.
After that we wandered around and found a guy making crepes at an outdoor stand. I got the Nicoise (strawberries and nutella) and Steve got one with bananas. They were okay, but nothing like the one I had in Montreal.
I looked at what our traveling companions were eating (we were with nine other adults and 146 teenagers) and they found interesting food as well. Chowder bowls, burritos, cookies, etc.
Our feeding frenzy ended, we wandered around the outskirts and discovered a few nice looking pubs, but alas we were chaperoning so that was out of the question. I'll be headed back to Boston over the summer with Teresa, without kids, and try some other places in the area.
Posted by Chris Forman at 5:31 PM
We were on a trip to Boston with 146 teenagers in three buses. Our intention was to take them to the garage in Cambridge, but the bus drivers got the signals wrong and we wound up at the Galleria. Not too bad as there were quite a few choices to eat and the kids got to stretch their legs.
Posted by Chris Forman at 5:22 PM