Everyone should have a place like Jeanie Bean’s in their neighborhood. A casual place where you can always grab some lunch to go, or catch up with friends at one of the charming mismatched tables.
The food is always good and the welcome is warm.
They’ve aimed and succeeded in making it a spot for locals. Michael Korda said in his book about the area, Country Matters, that the best place to run into a missing-in-action contractor was the local Dunkin Donuts, but these days I’d put my bet on Jeanie Beans.
People drop in for breakfast or lunch and to drop off the latest batch of birdhouses made from reclaimed barnwood and there’s always someone running into someone they’ve not seen in ages.
There’s a leaning towards all things British, since the owners hail from there, and while fish and chips are always on the menu, it doesn’t keep them from making a good burger or embracing Taco Tuesdays. During the week, there are daily specials and on weekends you’ve got the whole menu to choose from.
In front, there’s a case full of house-made pastries, cookies and recently, good bagels “imported” from da Bronx. Along the walls are boxes of British essentials — crisps, biscuits, jams, etc. and some local Hudson Valley products. In the freezer there are packages of bangers, containers of soups and other entrees all ready to go home with you.
My go-to is generally the fish and chips. Even when I think about ordering something else, a batch will come out of the fryer and I’ll change my mind (but I usually ask for skinny fries in place of the larger chips). You get 3 pieces of golden fried fish and a pile of fries with tartar sauce and good (recently great) house-made coleslaw on the side and of course, there’s real malt vinegar.
My friend who hails from the UK always adds a chip butty to her order. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a piece of buttered, soft white bread that you use to make a sandwich with the chips and ketchup. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it’s an add-on you’re partial to.
Since it’s been getting cooler out, I’ve been leaning towards more comfort food, like their grilled cheese. There are lots of cheeses to pick from and they’re happy to mix and match. Adding some of their local bacon is never a bad idea either.
Burgers are big and tasty, and like the grilled cheese come with your choice of cheese and bacon if you’d like.
There’s a menu full of classic sandwiches, including some specialties like meatball heroes and a Thanksgiving sandwich with turkey and all the fixings.
If you’re up and out early, there are lots of breakfast options. So far, I haven’t made it there before the breakfast cut-off point at 11:00, so I can’t give you the low-down on exactly what you might find there, but I’ve heard there’s a breakfast wrap that includes all the meaty essentials wrapped around eggs.
As Jeanie Bean says, “this is a deli, not a restaurant” so don’t expect tweezer-plated portions, just good solid food served in a cheerful neighborhood spot (and if she’s taking your order, just go with the flow — she knows what you want before you do).
Jeanie Bean and Family, 2411 Salt Point Turnpike, Clinton Corners, New York, NY 12514. Open daily 7-4.