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Friday, June 9, 2017

The Hoot Owl Restaurant in Pine Bush


Many locals are more than familiar with the location of the Hoot Owl or "The Hoot," but for those who are not, it is located at 26 Awosting Road outside of Pine Bush.  Some may have known it as a dive bar, but now it has had a remodel, redo and updating that made me very curious.  So, I grabbed one of my best friends and made the quick trip to take look, have a taste and see if I would be Fed Well.



It was easy to meet owner, Arif Khan, as he was working the front of the house and waiting on tables. Once I introduced myself and my friend, I asked if he could decide what I would eat, and so it begins...


Notice that purple hummus? How could you not? Well, it was just as appealing in taste as it is in appearance.  The beet taste was mildly sweet, the consistency lush and smooth.  The naan (I may be wrong as it is listed as pita on the menu) was pillowy inside with a few crisp edges to hold the weight of the hummus.  Garlic was the middle flavor and romesco (red pepper) round out the offerings.  A perfect sized appetizer for two to share and I made quite certain I had my share.  In fact, I would go back just for this starter.


I love olives.  All colors.  Pits, no pits, in my Tito's martini, on a plate, in a bowl, I like them here and I like them there. You get the idea.  Well, fried olives? I've never. Loved it. Another welcome food surprise.

   

For those who either simply prefer a burger, or are not familiar with some of the Indian menu offerings, a loaded cheeseburger with home-made fries is the answer (along with other available options).


For me, the Creamy Chicken Curry or Murgh Makhami, with rice and yogurt sauce, was warmly seasoned and so satisfying.  The chicken was tender, the rice was appropriately firm and the cucumber yogurt provided that bit of refreshing coolness when needed.  If I had more pita, I probably would have sopped up more of the sauce from my dinner.

Dessert? Yes, of course.


A wonderful sweet treat for one or for us, it was lovely to share - flourless chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

If you remember The Hoot, this is not simply a new version of the old bar.  So, go and enjoy The Hoot Owl Restaurant and be Fed Well.  We ran into several people we know so don't be surprised to see friends and neighbors at the next table.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hacienda in Goshen, NY

Regardless of our age, women friends with other women are always known as "girlfriends." Sometimes it's funny to me that with a vocabulary available to us of over 171,000 words in the English language and about 25% of them being adjectives, we don't identify our adult friendships with women, regardless of age, years known or other information, any differently than our childhood counterparts, the girls we jumped rope with at recess.  Although, thinking about it a little further, maybe all I really need is better terms for new versus "been my buddy for awhile" rather than anything to do with gender. Sigh.  Labels are silly after all and I wouldn't introduce you to either of them in this manner at all, I'd simply say, "Reader, I'd like you to meet So and So."

Well, a newer friend/acquaintance, a close lady pal who is a mutual friend to us both, and I all decided to meet up for dinner.  One of us requires gluten-free options and so, Hacienda in Goshen, NY was our destination.

I have to admit, I was a bit confused by my GPS since I remembered the restaurant to be visible from Route 17 although I had never eaten there.  I was pleasantly surprised to realize the location is the previous site for La Masquerade and La Nieves - ok, so if you really work at it, you realize I am of a certain age if I remember those spots.  Bottom line, the building is large and modern with ample outside cafe-style seating available in nice weather.

I love the outside decorations; ready for St. Patrick's Day, Mardis Gras, and a nod to Mexican Skull Art and Calaveras, in both female and male renditions.


 



The interior is bright, fun, clean and welcoming.


Ah the creamy deliciousness that is guacamole.  Prepared right before your eyes, allowing you to both customize the ingredients and ensure the freshness of your order.  Lovely.

 

Shredded Beef Tostadas.

The best interpretation of this dish I have had to date.  The shells were crisp. The meat was soft to the mouth, yet nicely seasoned.  The lettuce and tomato were chilled as were the rest of the toppings.  Absolutely wonderful.

 

Camarones.  What a fun word.  Shrimp.  This happy diner enjoyed every last bite so I think it is safe to say it was prepared to her liking.

What do three adults with grown children discuss at dinner? Their parents (two have moms with the same birthday), their families, a little bit about work, hobbies and of course, looking forward to better weather in the Hudson Valley.

Time for dessert:

 


Something about sharing a sweet something after a meal... above is an example of sweet chimichangas, and below is a mango cheesecake.  Take a moment and try to imagine how decadent these desserts were and I will tell you, they were even better than your imagination.


 

Well, we even had a brief discussion about politics without anyone's feelings getting hurt and we do span from left to right in thinking, but the difference is we are accepting of the opposing point of view when it can be rationally discussed.  Sprinkle a bit of emotion when discussing our current political officer holders (from local level to the White House) and you could be in for an unpleasant experience.

Hacienda, thank you for allowing us the place to meet up, share thoughts, enjoy wonderful food and drink (did I mention the classic Margarita with extra salt was amazing?) that left us all feeling Fed Well.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gaby's Cafe in Ellenville, NY


For years, if you asked me what my favorite foods were the answer would somehow include pasta and seafood.  Mexican food wasn't even in my top ten because my only experience was home made tacos that included the use of a cardboard yellow box kit.  Nothing wrong with that - I've made that meal countless times for my only family, but the point is, I had no real experience with Mexican food and a bunch of preconceived and false notions that it would be too spicy.  Period. Spicy. Avoid.

Over the last ten years, Mexican food, in general, has moved right up to the top five favorites.  I even have a few Mexican restaurants that I like and use as benchmarks (I won't mention them here because that's not the point) and Gaby's Cafe has been recommended to me countless times, so here we are at Gaby's. The dining room is full, almost to capacity, and we are greeted then seated quite quickly.


It really is mandatory to begin with guacamole.  My preference is for fresh, tableside preparations, and least desirable is something that seems like it was covered and refrigerated for an undetermined amount of time.


Looks pretty darn good, doesn't it? Freshly green, cilantro, tomato, creamy goodness and a full basket of chips.  Ah.


The decor is eclectic fun and the light fixtures include tequila bottles as shades over the bulbs.  


I do not normally order soup at a Mexican restaurant, in fact, I only did it one other time, but this winter night was cold and I simply craved the warmth I knew it would bring.  It was a chicken soup with fresh herbs and I was happily surprised.


I was also craving pork. Although for some reason I imagined it to look different, the taste I wanted was there alongside a healthy serving size of rice, and beans.


My younger son enjoyed classic steak tacos.


The Mr. stretched and flexed out of his regular comfort zone and ordered this giant burrito.  He was pleased with the results and ate every bite.

We watch families celebrate birthdays and special occasions, date night couples and groups that could be friends or relatives, but the common theme is everyone truly seems to be enjoying themselves and their food.  The service was quick and efficient without feeling rushed and the restroom was clean (I feel this is so important, but not always commented on).

Gaby's Cafe provided us with a nice break from our regular routine and though it is a bit out of the way for us geographically, I'll be sure to make the effort to be Fed Well.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Crawford Craft in Pine Bush

Brunch? In Pine Bush? In the location that was formerly the Grasshopper on Main Street?  What?

Yes, it's true.  I met one of my dear friends for brunch at Crawford Craft in Pine Bush.  

We were welcomed by one of the owners, Mike Moriarty and the congenial attitude he, as well as his partners, conveyed was refreshing.  While taking our drink order we were offered brunch cocktails including Mimosas or Bloody Mary's.

Here's how it looked:


A more industrial decor punctuated with unique art, contemporary light fixtures and a smaller, reworked bar.  We approved.

The menu:


Certainly some new, modern options and distinguishable from other establishments in town.  We opted for the same thing, the Biscuits & Sawmill Gravy.  The soup of the day was a potato kale and I did consider it as well.

Biscuits & Sawmill Gravy

Biscuits topped with poached eggs then smothered in gravy, topped with a sprinkle of green onion.The portion size was appropriate to large.

It was quite a brisk Sunday so the hearty, warm meal was satisfying.  While I'm not a huge grapefruit fan, I wonder if the grilled grapefruit, or similar dish, could have also doubled as a way to end this particular visit. Next time.

Once the diners thinned out a bit I was able to take a few photos of the eclectic art.




For those who enjoy a craft beer, here are some of the options displayed during our visit:


My friend and I talked about life, our families and of course, the food.  We decided we would go back and it fit in nicely with her New Year's resolution regarding spending more actual time with friends. Overall, the Crawford Craft is a nice addition to the Main Street fare.  Take some time to do some small business shopping and stop in.  It's likely you will leave feeling Fed Well.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Town Hall Eatery in Pine Bush

Finally had a chance to try the Town Hall Eatery in Pine Bush for lunch this past week with one of my favorite girlfriends and partner in crime.  

Ordering at the counter is how it begins and once you pay, you are given a number to display on your table then your food is brought to you.  I ordered the soup of the day (Lobster Bisque) and a hamburger with sweet potato fries.


We chose a table upstairs.  It was a scenic choice and since we were slightly after the lunchtime rush, I was able to take plenty of photos without anyone noticing.


I made an unusual choice for a drink from the cooler by the register...the Shirley Temple seemed fun and colorful. It was just as sweet as you may imagine and in fact, maybe just a smidge sweeter.

Another view of the second floor dining room

The Lobster Bisque

Hamburger with sweet potato fries

Chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries

Not good or bad, but I was unaware of the fact that my soup and burger would be brought out at the same time.  I understand some would very much prefer to have their soup with a sandwich or other choice, but my preference is to enjoy one while hot then the next. The young man who delivered my food did apologize and in the end I sampled a bit of the soup before having it packed up to go.

The burger was juicy and prepared the way I requested.  I appreciated the arugula rather than iceberg lettuce on a brioche bun. The sweet potato fries were delicious with or without the honey-chili dipping sauce.  While I did not sample my friends chicken, she did let me know that it was delicious.

The second floor lighting

I had to wait until the table to my left was empty to take the photo above but felt it was worth sharing the fun fixture of Edison lights...I think of them as large fairy lights.  

We ran into a mutual friend's mom and posed for a quick picture that was later posted on social media.  What's more fun than going out to eat in small town? Well, not just any small town but the one we were raised in...Pine Bush.  

We were Fed Well and yes, I would return for a casual meal with friends or family.  Maybe I'll see you there.