The latest poll results from Capital Region Living came out, and a few local places made it on the list. I don’t really consider Columbia County and points south as being in the capital region, but it’s nice to see some local hotspots out here get some recognition.
Bagel Tyme, which has locations in Kinderhook, Greenport and Hudson, came in second for best bagel. When Scott and I moved to Valatie in 2009, we were admittedly skeptical. Being from Long Island, we’ve got very high standards for bagels. We like big, chewy bagels that can hold generous portions of bacon, eggs, and cheese (and SPK, please) and many upstate bagel shops can’t hold a candle to institutions like Bagel Boss on Long Island. (oh my stars, you can order them online? Scott’s birthday is coming up..) Bagel Tyme makes a decent bagel. They’re big and chewy and aren’t like the stiff, small hockey puck types you can get at other places around the area. Their chicken salad isn’t too bad, either. Happy to see them make the list.
I was also happy to see Golden Harvest once again take the top spot for cider donuts. I drive past there every day on my commute to work and I have to muster all my willpower not to pull in and buy a big sack of freshly made donuts. Scott managed to get one right out of the fryer the other day and said it was one of the best things he’s ever eaten. I keep meaning to figure out a Golden Harvest cider donut cocktail that uses some of their spirits. Hmm.
Tierra Farm came in third on the coffee list, where they really should be at the very top. Don’t believe me? Stop in at their new retail store on Rt. 203 in Valatie for a free taste. Scott and I probably go through 4-5 pounds a month of the Honduran blend.
I gave some thought as to what businesses I think should take the top spots from my area.
Beer Selection would go to Kinderhook Beverage. This place reminds me of the bevy I’d go to with my dad on the weekends to return empties or to pick up some beer. I liked hanging out in the cooler. They even fill growlers now, which is pretty sweet. They carry all the regular beers you’d find anywhere, as well as many microbrews and specialty beers. The best thing about KB is that they have a nice selection of cold beer. But if you’ve got some time, browse the warm stuff as it’s a different selection.
Bread would have to go to Our Daily Bread in Chatham. No contest there. They recently opened a restaurant that has amazing brunch, or you can just walk in and buy a bunch of loaves and assorted salads and such to go. On the weekends we’ll go there for breakfast, or to pick up a loaf of bread and a few types of salad to nosh. Good eating.
Breakfast, Diner, Dining on A Budget, Kid Friendly, Take Out, and Sandwich all unequivocally go to the Main Street Diner in Valatie. I think one of the biggest reasons we bought a house in Valatie is because this diner is just so good and so cheap. The service is fast and great, the portions are big and it’s delicious. You really can’t go wrong with anything here, but I’m partial to the greek salad. My husband always gets the chicken bacon etc. wrap. Other than going for breakfast, I don’t think he’s ever ordered anything else from there. Their reuben is incredible, too. They do take out, too, which is great because we’ll call when we get off of Rt. 90 and pick it up on our way home. Easy peasy.
Before it closed, I would’ve given best sandwich and mac n’ cheese to Lippera’s Chatham House. They made this incredible BLT with house made sugared bacon and brie that was heavenly. I am so disappointed that they closed and sold the restaurant to the same folks who own Four Brothers, the owners of which are facing a class action labor lawsuit from their employees.
Comfort food would go to the Carolina House. I love the black bean burger with smoked gouda and sweet potato fries. It’s so warm and filling. They also have a surprisingly nice beer list and we’ve never, ever had to wait more than 5 minutes for a table because the accommodations are pretty spacious.
Ice cream goes to Samascott’s. I kind of wish they never opened, because it’s so good. The red velvet ice cream is amazing.
Pizza easily goes to Park Falafel in Hudson. I think the owner is from downstate, because he does it LI/NYC style – thin and crispy. There is nothing that is not tasty in this restaurant. Get a huge slice, a knish (with mustard, you heathens) and a macaroon, and roll yourself out of there.
Pub is another easy one – the Niverville Pub is a lovely local institution, with great food, a decent beer selection, friendly locals and good music. Scott’s band Oobleck played there a few years ago and they were very welcoming and there was a good crowd.