Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beer Battered Bacon

A friend challenged me to do this after she saw something similar. 

For the batter-Combine the ingredients and mix well. This produces a nice thick batter. Feel free to add any seasonings, dry mustard might be good, or try a different beer. 

1 cup flour
1 cup beer, I used Pabst Blue Ribbon
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground garlic

Cut the bacon strips in half, coat with flour, coat with batter and immerse in hot oil until golden brown (three to five minutes or so)

I used buffalo blue cheese dressing, but I think a home made spicy remoulade, or a satay would have been better.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Poughkeepsie Ice House

Bridge Music Burger
The Poughkeepsie Ice House is a new place on the Poughkeepsie waterfront in an old building that was once a working ice house. Harvesting ice was once a very important, and dangerous, business prior to modern refrigeration. The building spent some time as a snack bar at Waryas Park, between the Mid-Hudson Bridge and the Walkway Over the Hudson. While the outside is unassuming, the new owners must have dropped some serious change in the interior remodel. The place is exposed brick, stone floors, wood and windows overlooking the Hudson River. I don't think there is a bad seat in the house.

They have been reviewed by North County and Hudson Valley Rambler and Hudson Valley Magazine. Having read both articles, I put it on my short list of places to visit. It was a rainy day when we went, giving an interesting view of the bridges and the ice flowing by. 

We were seated quickly and given menus and ample time to look them over. It took a while for our waitress to come. We both ordered the Bridge Music Burger at $11.50. I took the fries with mine and Teresa had the side salad. Mine was ordered medium and hers medium-well. Both came out close to well done. That said, the burgers were quite good with cheese, crispy bacon and aioli on a toasted brioche bun. The fries were really good.

They have a fairly good beer list (including Icehouse Beer), and wines, but I don't think they have a full liquor license as yet. This would be neat place to visit in nice weather to watch the boats passing by and walk along the water, which is what we intend to do. Definitely worth checking out, so pay a visit and see for yourself.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Benedict Burger, Beaver Creek Tavern, Downingtown, PA

What you see above is the Benedict Burger, a fried egg, Canadian bacon and Hollandaise sauce sitting on a half-pound of quality beef. It sounds like an odd combination, but it is amazing. 

I wanted to try this beast the last time we went to Beaver Creek Tavern, but I was a tad under the weather and I went with a regular burger. This time there was nothing holding me back so I went for it, as did my son-in-law. We agreed that while we both ordered with mild trepidation, it was a good decision to try it. The fried egg and the sauce gave a delightful moistness and flavor to the beef. Turned out to be a winning combination.

I would order it again, but there are a few other combinations I'd like to try first. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

PBR Onion Rings

I got this recipe from Eclectic Recipes, just click on it and you'll see how easy it is to do. She used a wheat beer, I used Pabst Blue Ribbon and the rings came out great. I think the next time I'm going to see what happens with Guinness. That might add just a bit more flavor punch, and make them darker in color.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Crew Restaurant Bar, Poughkeepsie, NY

And here's another place I've driven past for years. Actually I've parked in front of it several times as it is located next to Half-Time Beverage Store on Rt 9, one of my favorite places to buy beer. From the outside I'd always thought it was a small bar and didn't give it much thought. I decided to look it up online and found that it was quite well rated, and they'd won a few Hudson Valley Magazine 'Best of' awards. I think the category was soup.

Inside it was much nicer than I'd imagined. There is a bar in front and another section where you sit at a counter and can watch the chefs at work, tables and booths on the side. We got there at about five-thirty on a Saturday evening and it wasn't too crowded, but by the time we left almost all of the seats were taken. I did notice that the noise level was rising while we were there, so if you go at a peak time be prepared for some noise, and some crowding. 

The dinner menu is a bit pricey, the top items being in the mid-thirties, but there are some interesting offerings such as; duck breast, steak frites, a few pasta dishes and more. I was bouncing between the duck and the burger. 

I finally decided on the burger with jack cheese. The meat was Pat La Frieda's blend (a top quality meat purveyor in Jersey), grilled with fries, salad, coleslaw, a pickle and your choice of cheese for $16, I chose pepper jack. That's a bit high for a burger, but look at the photo above and see what came with it. I gave Teresa most of the salad, and some of the cole slaw because I was full. 

That burger was good, darn good, just a step below life changing. I ordered it medium, and it came a perfect medium with no grease. Clean, fresh taste with no aftertaste. It was a burger where you just feel good after eating it, not heavy and bloated. The fries were crisp, hot and good. The cole slaw was home made and fresh and the salad had a very nice vinaigrette dressing. 

Teresa got the Club Salad which was a fairly large salad with chicken, bacon and cheese for $10. I took a taste and it was good.

Overall, good food, nice ambiance (if a bit noisy) and excellent service. We'll go back again sometime. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Main Line Diner and Pizza Company, Maybrook, NY

Many years ago this was called the Maybrook Diner and when the railroad was in town it was a hopping place. After the Railroad died out, so did the diner and it sat vacant for quite a few years. It was purchased by a couple of guys who own a pizzeria in the area and they did some renovations. They took a few years to do it, but hey, they did reopen the place.

Greek Omelet with Gyro Meat
The interior got a good cleaning and a sprucing up, but they left the charm of an old fashioned diner, especially in the front section where the chrome just glistens at you with that cool art-deco look. The back dining room is big and bright with a ceiling that pays homage to the region and its roots as a rail town and transportation hub. 

This was our second visit. The first was a couple of weeks ago after church when I did not have a camera. On that visit we had paninis, mine was a Rueben panini that was quite good. Teresa had a chicken panini on which there was a bit too much balsamic vinaigrette making it a soggy. Overall it was good, but it take some time for the food to come. Since they'd only been open a week at this point it wasn't a big deal, they just needed to get the kinks out. 

Spinach Omelet
This time we stopped by on a Friday morning as winter storm Nemo approached. We decided to get out of the house before it hit. I had the Greek Omelet with Gyro meat, shown at the top, and Teresa had the Spinach Omelet. Both were quite good and quite filling. Service was fast and pleasant. It looks like they got those kinks out.

I really hope they do well here. They have a good menu, good food and what seems to be a good staff. This is something the area needed. Stop by and give them a try, support a couple of local guys. We'll be going back again, I want to see how the burgers are.

Update- We've been back a few times since I wrote this and I have to say they are consistently good. I've tried the burgers and liked them but I think my favorite so far was on the special menu. It was a crab cake with macaroni and cheese (shown below). For $11.99 I got this huge portion as well as a salad and a bowl of soup. The crab cake was fresh and the mac and cheese got better as I ate it which tells me it was freshly made as well. No, it was not real crab meat, it was of the imitation variety. Oddly, it was an improvement over most of the crab cakes I've had as it was moister and more flavorful. 

Main Line is fast becoming my favorite diner.

Crab Cake with Mac and Cheese