Thursday, February 23, 2012

Covo, Harlem, NY


New York City, especially Harlem, is quite a bit off of our beaten path, but we went to Covo Trattoria in Harlem for a mid-week wedding. Well, my wife and three of her friends were invited so instead of having them take the train down and deal with cabs and busses in an unfamiliar city I volunteered to drive them. 


The wedding was upstairs in the bar area which easily accommodated the fifty or so people who were there. As we walked through the downstairs dining room to get to the stairs I remarked that the restaurant had a nice feel to it and there was the scent of the wood-fired pizza oven. 

The wedding was nice. The food was excellent. They had a sampling menu for the wedding which gave me the opportunity to try a few dishes. The brucshetta, shown on top, was very garlicky in a good way. The calamari was cooked perfectly with just the right texture. The pizza was brick oven with thin crust and quite good. The Three pastas offered were very good and I couldn't decide on a favorite. The salmon was okay, the lemon chicken very good and the steak overcooked and tough (a victim of the steam table waiting to be served, something that probably wouldn't happen with a regular dinner order).

The service was very good and friendly and the location warm and inviting. They have a website for more information. 

Covo on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Greek Cafe revisited.

Falafel
We stopped by The Greek Cafe in Middletown, NY, I've reviewed them before, and I got some cool pictures of the food. I just thought I'd share them. By the way, the seafood was delicious.  

Lemon Potatoes

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Triumph Brewing Company, New Hope, Pa

Before I start I have to say that I went to a brew pub and I didn't try the beer. I know that sounds a bit odd, but it's because I had a little over a hundred more miles to drive. I did look at the offerings and there was a bitters that looked interesting, as well as a stout. Next time I'll pick up a growler and try it when I get home. I did try the food though, so I'll tell you about that.

After looking over the menus we decided. I got the brewery burger, shown here at $13.00. It is a half-pounder on a fresh roll with bacon and cheddar cheese and a chipotle mayo on the side. I ordered it medium and it was medium. Teresa got a grilled cheese sandwich and black bean soup at $9.00. She said the sandwich was greasy, but she ate it all. I'm not sure what cheese they used.

Our server was good, but once she realized we were drinking only water she wasn't all that attentive. The food did come in about ten minutes of ordering though. I have a feeling the place can get busy, and loud, at night. The decor is what I call modern neo-classical brewpub. Two floors, open space, stage, large bar in the center, wood, windows, blackboard menu of the beers including ABV, etc.

Food was good, service okay, prices okay, beer . . . I don't know yet. I'd go back. There are two other locations, one in Philly and another in Princeton, NJ. They have a website for more information.

Triumph Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Doghouse Gourmet Burgers, Downingtown, Pa.

Doghouse Gourmet Burgers in Downingtown, Pennsylvania is an interesting set-up. It is small with a few tables and stools running along the side, but mirrors make it look a bit larger. They have a fairly good beer selection and their specialty is burgers and dogs. All of their specialty selections are named after dogs and they call the children's burgers puppies. Cute and catchy. 

I ordered the Angus burger with bacon and blue cheese and got it as a combo with a small drink and onion rings. Teresa got the Angus without cheese and she had the garlic fries and drink combo. My son-in-law had the Whippet, a turkey burger. My grandson had a hot dog and my daughter got a black bean burger. 


You order at the counter, pay and take a seat. When the food is done (less than 10 minutes) they bring it to you. There is a condiment bar (very clean by the way) with pickles and hot banana peppers. 

The burgers were good, not great, and I think they started out frozen so I wouldn't really call them gourmet. The default temperature is medium, but I'd call it more medium well. The fries were good and the rings were large and sweet. 

On the way out I looked over the counter and saw that the burgers are grilled and the grills were positioned at a slight angle, probably to allow the grease to run off. That's why they weren't greasy at all. 


Overall impression, not bad. Would we go back? Sure. They have a website for more information.

Doghouse Burgers on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Perkins, Newburgh, NY

The Perkins in Newburgh is clean and bright with good service. I've been there a few times and what I like is the N'Awlans Eggs Benedict. It has shrimp, grilled chicken, sausage and a mildly spicy Hollandaise sauce. It comes with fruit and choice of potatoes (I like the breakfast potatoes) for about nine bucks. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cheeseboy, Palisades Mall, Nyack, NY

Here's a brilliant idea if ever I saw one. I hope it works out well because whoever came up with this is a genius. What it is is total simplicity making comfort food. They make grilled cheese sandwiches, many varieties thereof, and tomato soup out of a mall kiosk. 

I had the special of the month, featured above, which is an Italian sandwich for five bucks. Grilled cheese, basil, pepperoni and tomatoes on Italian bread. The whole thing is done in a press (not a panini press as there are no grooves) so the grease goes away. Good sandwich. Next time I'll try the soup too.

Like I said, sheer genius. Maybe I'll open a peanut butter and jelly restaurant, but it's probably been done already. They have a website for information, menu and locations, as well as philosophy and philanthropy. 

Lakeview House, Newburgh, NY


One of the fun things about  travelling to visit the grandchildren is that we  discover some interesting places and have some great food. Sometimes we don't have to travel far to find a treasure,  like the Lakeview House on Orange Lake in Newburgh, just a few miles from our back door.


We've been meaning to stop for quite a while and I've heard rave reviews of the duck, but we just never got around to it. That all changed when were there with a few friends to celebrate the retirement of one of them and the meal was the gift of her financial consultant. A free meal with old friends (we've known them for over thirty years) at a nice restaurant that I've wanted to try? Perfect.


The inside has a warm sort of 1940's feel to it with plenty of wood, tin ceilings, and windows overlooking the lake. There is a patio as well for warm weather dining. I recommend the Lake Room if you are there at sunset. They do have a large beer and wine selection, but most of the beers are lagers or German beers (sadly no IPA, stouts other than Guinness or porters). The waitress kept bringing me samples of a few beers to get me to find one I liked, but I stuck with water. I do like the fact that she tried though. In fact the whole restaurant was accommodating as one of our party has food allergies and they prepared his dish exactly as he asked. Another asked for her dish done a bit different for dietary reasons and they did so.

I started with the escargot au Provence. Sorry, no picture since I forgot I had the camera with me. The snails were cooked in butter, garlic, parsley, parmesan and some type of wine or vermouth that added a delightful flavor note. That was followed by a small salad with gorgonzola and balsamic vinaigrette. For the entree I had the Long Island duck shown above. It was a half duck with a crispy crust and juicy meat. The sauce changes daily and that day they had an apple sauce which was quite good. I must say that the duck lived up to its reputation. I also ordered desert, something I rarely do but since most of the table got something I followed suit by ordering the chocolate creme brûlée. Quite delicious, but very rich. 


Everyone else had a great meal. Teresa had the red snapper, a few people had stuffed flounder and one had a pasta dish. The overall consensus was very positive. Nice atmosphere, good view, excellent service, very good food at moderate prices (average entree $20 to $25). We will be back again soon, and probably often. They have a website for more information.


Lake View House on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 3, 2012

Big and Juicy Burger, Wendy's

I've seen this one on TV and thought it looked good. In reality it is probably the greasiest burger I ever had. The meat is okay, the bun seemed fresh and the toppings were fresh. It's just that the bun was soaked in grease. 


Now I do have to say that this is better than the standard fare they've been producing, but the grease is too much. The other problem I have with Wendy's is that I've had to wait too long to get to the counter lately no matter which one I've been to. They need to improve the efficiency of the line. I still like them better than MacDonald's and Burger King, and a whole lot more the Hardee's.