lunch

Cafe Sweet Spot

by Anne Maxfield on July 15, 2019

Cafe Sweet Spot Black BoardWhether you’re a resident, or a worker on Poughkeepsie’s Main Street, you’ll welcome Cafe Sweet Spot.

Open for breakfast and lunch, the cafe offers owner Ingrid Hernandez’s dream of recreating “those cafes in the West Village, really fresh ingredients put together very nicely, it’s my kind of comfort food.”

The restaurant is a modern cafe with subtle Caribbean infusion or inspiration. We went recently to check out their lunch offerings.

There are lots of interesting options on the menu, but don’t forget to check out the special board (where we found a lot of good stuff).

Cafe Sweet Spot Jerk ChickenWe shared some jerk chicken, which was great. Lots of spice (the blend is done in house) but not killer. The chicken is smoked, and that nice smoky taste went well with the spices.
Dominican chicken was a new entry on the special board. It had a tangy sauce with complex flavor and was good served over rice and beans.

Cafe Sweet Spot Chop Cheese Chop cheese, on the regular menu has become one of my new favorite sandwiches. It’s made with ground beef coated in melted cheese on a toasted bun. Their version has pickled jalapeños and came with a side of golden-brown fries. Yum!

Cafe Sweet Spot Dominican ChickenSince 2 chicken dishes (and the chop cheese) didn’t seem like enough for us, they sent over the chicken curry for us to taste. It was really good and would be tough to choose a favorite of the chicken dishes as we liked them all.

Cafe Sweet Spot Chicken CurryJust to torment us or something, they then send over a slice of their killer apple cake with caramel frosting. That and a great looking lemon meringue pie were the desserts that day. The cake was amazing and the two of us managed to eat most of it (the rest made a wonderful breakfast the next morning).

Cafe Sweet Spot Apple CakeA friend of ours went for brunch and had their chicken and waffles. She thought the chicken was marinated and fried to perfection. “It came with a sriracha and maple syrup combo dipping on the side to it a kick if you dared to. It was good!! Waffles were crisp and delicious”

We haven’t had breakfast there yet, but Ingrid says “for breakfast we have things we love as well. I love the power punch toast, I love a really good pancake.” There are also items like the caprese egg sandwich with mozzarella, basil, tomatoes and eggs on bread or a roll.

Even the classics like bacon, egg and cheese on a roll gets an upgrade with smoked gouda stepping in for the cheese.

Cafe Sweet Spot wants to have the people in the neighborhood think of it as a place they can come all the time, and for businesspeople to find something they’re looking for and a place where they can feel comfortable bringing clients to.
But mostly they just want to have really good food. “It’s a nice place to come in and shake it up, like the song says.”

Cafe Sweet Spot
296 Main Street
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
845-392-9900
info@cafesweetspot.com

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Pieconic: Pies and More at Main Street Goodness

by Anne Maxfield on May 21, 2018

Accidental Locavore Pie at PieconicPies.
Isn’t that the first thing that comes to mind when you’re a globe-trotting executive looking for a new career?
Pies.
It was one of the first things that came to Christopher Knable’s mind when he was far from home. In fact, he started baking pies overseas when he got homesick.
He got such satisfaction from baking pies and such a good reception for them that he decided to start his own bakery when he came back state-side.
Accidental Locavore Pie at Main Street GoodnessThat morphed into Pieconic, his bakery and Main Street Goodness, the café he started in Chatham, so people would have a spot to sit down and enjoy the pies and other goodies.
The café, a cute stop on Chatham’s Main Street, is open 6 days a week from 8 AM to 7 PM for all-day breakfast, lunch and of course, pies. The menu caters to all tastes and food tolerances, so you can bring your gluten-free, vegans and carnivores and they’ll all find something yummy to eat.
Christopher and his team are constantly tweaking the menu to reflect what’s fresh from local farms, but you can always depend on a few staples. I had a chance to try some of the pies and bakery items and they were all delicious!
Accidental Locavore Pies and MoreEven though I’d had a big lunch, somehow the piece of Thor’s Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate pie disappeared—bite after tasty bite. It’s a terrific combination of oatmeal, coconut and chocolate in a classic crust. The website touts it as being “the coziest pie on our menu” and on a cold, rainy day, it was!
Being appetite challenged, Christopher and his staff stocked me up with a big bag of treats. We happily ate our way through the selection which included their signature pasties (hand pies), both apple and a savory “BLP” with scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes and cheese and both delicious.
Hot out of the oven, a savory breakfast buttermilk biscuit with bacon, was flaky and a perfect way to start any morning.
Accidental Locavore Pies and MoreIf you think Chatham might be off your beaten track, you’ll be surprised to see that besides Main Street Goodness, there are a number of new (to me) and interesting shops that have opened up, making it a nice place to spend an afternoon.
If you really think Chatham is off the beaten track, not to fret, there’s always the Internet and Christopher would be happy to ship you off a pie or two.Accidental Locavore Pies and Christopher

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Jeanie Bean and Family

by Anne Maxfield on September 18, 2017

Accidental Locavore Jeanie Beans InteriorEveryone 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.

Accidental Locavore Birdhouses at Jeanie BeansThere’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.

Accidental Locavore Candy at Jeanie BeansIn 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.

Accidental Locavore Jeanie Beans Fish and ChipsMy 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.

Accidental Locavore Jeanie Beans SandwichThere’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.

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It Started With Olives

by Anne Maxfield on January 25, 2016

Accidental Locavore Green Olives and PitsIt started with the olives…small and green with garlic and herbs. Six, to be savored while sipping wine and waiting for the main course. Well worth searching out.

Accidental Locavore Nice PortTo be truthful, it actually started out the other day when the Accidental Locavore was walking around the port. In another year or two it will once again be spectacular, but for now, it’s a glorified construction zone, awaiting the continuance of the tram. I saw a cute place on the corner and the menu looked interesting, so I filed it away for a future lunch.

Accidental Locavore le Passe Plat InteriorLe passe-plat is an open room, casual, with lamps perched on top of piles of wine boxes. There’s an open kitchen – rare for here, filled with copper pots, mason jars with spices and a handsome chef, Anthony Coppet, straight from central casting, dark hair, piercing blue eyes and two days’ stubble.

I went in, curious about the pot au feu with Thai spices, but ended up with the plat du jour. On this particular jour, it was a veal steak with a wild mushroom cream sauce and mashed potatoes.

Accidental Locavore Veal With Cream SauceThe veal turned out to be grilled and had that great grilled taste. The cream sauce was wonderful, with lots of mushrooms and possibly just a hint of Roquefort. There were a couple of cherry tomatoes as garnish, roasted into sweetness. And what can you say about mashed potatoes? It’s France and they were great!

One of the things I always wonder about here is why most restaurant tables have four legs. It’s what French Morning NY would call a question bête, but here’s my answer – more room for dogs to stretch out. It struck me as amusing that the couple sitting by the window (with a dog) had risotto with scallops, which were served in a dish that had an uncanny resemblance to a dog’s bowl. Just saying.

Accidental Locavore Cheese Board in NiceExpanding on my vocabulary, I learned that the ardoise de fromages was what I was hoping for – a cheese plate, and since ardoise means slate, it arrived on a handsome slab. On the slate were a Brie, a chèvre rolled in herbs, a gooey vacherin and a semi-soft cheese like a mild Pont-l’Évêque. They were all good and worked well together and with the fig compote, but the chèvre was outstanding! Another thing to try to hunt down. I was happy and will be back to try the pot au feu soon.

 

 

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