unfortunatly, did not have the time to visit as many local places as I (and the 8 year old) wanted to do. Grandad had us going many places over the break.
Anyway - arrived late friday night to find out that I was going to be cooking Easter dinner for many friends (can you say panic? Grandad said that he helped by getting instant mashed potatos. yuk). Since the fish shop and butcher shop that I knew from many years ago were now defunct (both were apparently outlets for ahem, surplus items from trucks - I did not know it back then), saturday we did a run to Danbury to Stew Lenords and trader joe's in danbury for my supplies.
While there since the outside dining at stew's was closed, we ate at BAMBINO'S having a pizza and couple of standard pasta dishes. very good. very nice people.
Monday grandad had us drive to the CIA in (pardon spelling) poughkeepsie. Unfortunatly, they were on spring break and all resteraunts were closed. Including the gift shop gosh darn it. However, found a small gem called "Dough Boys", off the main road (51 Fairview Ave) that was a local favorite and a gem. great people, great pizza, great wings, decent pasta. And - for the 20 mile drive, the deals at Pricechopper for food more than made up for than gas spent - something that I would do once a month to stock up if I lived in the area. I do the same locally to a co-op where I live in Wisconsin now - $8 in gas but usually save $60 in purchases.
Tuesday and Wed. we ate at NEW BON in Somers Commons. Once for lunch, once for dinner. IMHO, much better than the King's Buffet up the road on rt. 6. HOWEVER - do not eat the raw shellfish. did that on tue and barely made it back the 100 yards to the driveway before bazooka barfing. Staying away from the shellfish the next day everything was fine. There was a pedistrian tray of sushi on the buffet of tuna, salmon etc. that was very tasty. And far cheaper than the local grocery stores for the pre-packaged sushi of the same items. I would definatly recommend the place for a lunch buffet. Very friendly folks as well.
Thursday lunch - the Holy Smoke. I will not forgive the board for suggesting this place - very overrated. IMHO, VERY OVERATED. I used to live in exile in the carolinas. Living in SC and having an every other week commute to NC. So I know the mustard and red sauce from the area. The mustard sauce from Holy Smoke was vile. I did notice that there was a color variation between tables and sampled four tables worth of dispensers. YUK. Since I had come in 4th place at worst in brisket competitions when I started to get competitive, I would rank their brisket as "fair". The BBQ sauce that they had left out actualy had me wishing for a chain -
dave's famous which gives you an idea of my opinion. On the other hand, the pulled pork was decent, the waitress that we had was very friendly, and the kid mentioned that it was the cleanest restroom that he had ever been in for a resteraunt. However, his (expensive) burger was the size of a white castle double, and this was the only place EVER that he did not want to bring the wings home from. (BBQ, not hot). Grandad said that he would go back there for the pulled pork sandwich. ($75 lunch cost)
However, for about 1/2 the price we went to the (sp?) Thayer hotel at West Point - a short trip. Not as elegent as it once was - for lunches now it was a buffet (decent, under $40 for two adults with drinks and a kid) but no menu service, only issue was getting drinks refilled without waving arms. Great view of the Hudson. Excellent dessert buffet.
Finially, Peppino's pizza in Somer's Commons. (the kid revolted, refused to get in the car again, so I walked out the back door to the place). Very good pizza, calamari, salads, and veal dishes. I actually consider their pizza the second best that I ever have had. very nice on the telephone, very nice in person, only issue is the teenaged drivers in the parking lot that have the cellphones attached to the ears and cannot drive in a straight line because of it.
I am glad that they finially got rid of the pollution that the old dry cleaner's dumped into the groundwater which was what held up the building of Somer's Commons for at least a decade (the house that he dumped the stuff from as well behind the shopping center has been condemmed and not been able to sell - houses in that neighborhood have bi-monthly state paid groundwater inspections because of that a**hole).
The other three places that were recommended Grandad vetoed one - Blazer - as a place that my departed mother liked and he would not face the memories. The red rooster we drove past going to a store, but they were not open. Dad did mention that in his opinion they had the best wings in the area. And the "hacienda tres amigos" I quickly drove past - many years ago I think that it was called the dugout, and the owner had a father that was in the same WWI unit as my father's father and I really, really did not want to start up my father's non-stop stories by going in there - just quickly drove past there.
some shopping observations - it is a quick trip to Stew Lenord's (sp?) for decent quality food. While I normally have problems dealing with felons (do a google search on the father and son for IRS charges)
they do have great quality and are a quick trip. The 20 mile trip up north to pricechopper to outfit grandad for a couple of months saved a lot of money. The Shoprite (Somers Commons)had a lot of esoteric products that I have not seen for years. I did hit a couple of the A&Ps which did not have great prices, but at least when I hit them were really fast to get out of. The chocolate shop prices in Somers Commons had me in shock. I purchase a lb of good quality couverature chocolate for less than they were charging for a covered pretzel. (I do my owm chocolates as well as smoking/bbq meats/fish/cheese/salt for contests)
The area has definatly changed from the last time I spent a summer there. The "family" shooting range is gone (and I understand that more than a few murder weapons were pulled from the resevoir when it was allowed to dry). At one time granite springs was supposed to have a bottling plant to sell the natural spring water - I guess that died. But the groundwater if you have a deep enough well is still excellent. The old railroad tracks behind the house have been converted into a very nice jogging trail.
a place that has gown up over the years and I would gladly live in now.
if there are any more places that people would suggest, I would be happy to pass them on.