Is it snooty to be distrustful of people’s tastes in food when they live in small towns? This might be the snobby New Yorker in me talking, but tell me that’s not what New York does to its inhabitants. We are spoiled with the most diverse array of cuisines and such a high concentration of food establishments that intense competition quickly weeds out inferior ones within a few months of opening.
That doesn’t mean I am not proven wrong every so often. Our excursions to Sweet Sue’s in Phoenicia and The Country Inn in Olivebridge both originated from a local’s recommendation. We found Red Onion online, and though we were wary about its fine dining reputation, we were quickly reassured by Brooklyn friends who had a house up there that we couldn’t go wrong with Red Onion. Good.
In 2005 we visited a cousin in upstate New York and became intrigued by the idea of a possible weekend house where the dog could run and we could flex some home improvement muscles and perhaps even landscape a yard. We first searched in Ulster County, in the towns surrounding Woodstock, with the help of a cooky real estate agent named Sharon whose canned responses and car conversation idiosyncrasies we still repeat to this day. During one of these Saturdays spent driving from one house to another, Sharon took us to Sweet Sue’s for lunch, raved about everything on the menu, and I had one of the most memorable meatloaf meals of my life. We vowed to go back, but somehow never got around to it. We bought a house in Sullivan county in late 2005, sold it by mid-2007, and only returned to Sweet Sue’s last weekend during our (blush) mini-honeymoon seven years later. Time flies.
Blue Monkeys – Buttermilk pancakes with blueberries and bananas. (Sugar packet placed alongside for size comparison)
But WOW. We never even tried their pancakes before but have always known them to be good. Continue reading