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Orange County -- A chow tour along 17M in Monroe

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Restaurants & Bars 5

Orange County -- A chow tour along 17M in Monroe

Simon Gruber | Nov 24, 2002 11:06 AM

Anyone know about any good places in Orange County? Here are some I can recommend along the 17M corridor in Harriman and Monroe (all within 10 minutes of the NYS Thruway, exit 16, then find your way to 17M, which is the main east/west drag through Monroe)... starting from the eastern end:

Jackie's Cafe, Latin Home Cooking, 186 Rt. 17M, is a casual and attractive place that offers various Latin dishes. Anyone tried it? I've only tried a few things, but a visit last night for dessert (flan, and a pudding called 3 milks, both good) suggested it's worth more research. Good service, tropical fruit shakes, many entrees, moderate prices. Bring your own wine/beer.

Sea Demon Seafood is a really nice man from Maine named Colin, who sets up shop every Saturday, working from a tractor trailer in the parking lot next to the Bread and Butter Deli on 17M. Yes, he drives down from Maine just to sell 2 days a week, Fri. in Ellenville and Sat. in Harriman. Very good fish and seafood, very good prices, much fresher than the supermarkets (of course.)

Goose Pond Deli Cuts, opposite the Goosepond on 17M in Monroe, is a Polish Deli that serves good soup ($2 a pint), cooked lunches and dinners ($5.95 gets roast chicken or pork, etc., with sides), a wide variety of sausages and other cured meats, and some dried goods. Also, nice cakes that clearly come from a distinct culinary tradition, less sweet and more authentic than typical American, and less fancy than French or Viennese -- I especially like the plum and apple cakes.

The little Mexican place -- the name escapes me -- in a little strip mall just past the Monroe Diner and just before Burger King if you're heading west. Real homestylye mexican dishes, good prices, very casual. Sometimes the jukebox is playing Mexican music, loud. Bring your own wine/beer, I believe.

And -- if you turn off 17M at the intersection with Lakes Road (where Main Street bisects the Goosepond), go 1 block into the original village of Monroe, and there's a good Italian deli, and next door, a nice bakery where old men sit talking late into the mornings. Around the corner, facing the pond, is the Velvet Monkey, a fusion restaurant that I've not tried, but that is supposed to be quite good.

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