Stagnant Employment & Wages? Not in the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Biz!


You may live here and probably know. It is not hard to notice. Seems like everyday we see a new restaurant, brewer, food maker or purveyor etc. popping up in the Hudson Valley.

Recently we got the real stats.  Presented at the exciting 2015 Hudson Valley Beer, Wine, Spirits & Cider Summit, an annual event of the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Alliance “fueled by” Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation.

So the news is this, over 57,000 people are employed by HV based Food and Bev businesses which represents growth of 20% in employment numbers over the last five years with a healthy 7.5% growth rate in wages.

Why does this make us happy? Continue reading Stagnant Employment & Wages? Not in the Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Biz!


We Enjoyed Dining at Kitchen Sink in Beacon

Kitchen Sink Dining Room

I don’t remember where I saw a mention of this place, but I immediately knew it was likely to be a restaurant we would like. And sure enough it is.

It is thrilling to see great new places opening up in Beacon. Harry’s Hot Sandwiches; The Vault which we plan to try soon, and Kitchen Sink, Chef Brian Arnoff’s inspired restaurant that opened in August.  Continue reading We Enjoyed Dining at Kitchen Sink in Beacon


Vietnamese Dining, Saigon Pho – Wappinger Falls

Sai Gon Pho Dining Room

We had a good “Cheap Eats” dinner at this Vietnamese restaurant in Wappinger Falls. It has become a Friday night ritual to drive up Route 9 to do some shopping for the weekend at Adams, and maybe one of the other big box stores up there, and then try one of the many restaurants.

This trip also include a stop at the beer super store, Half Time, in Poughkeepsie and Target. Honestly we hate leaving our quiet Garrison neighborhood and avoid the highway whenever we can so try to combine all our shopping in one trip.

We love Vietnamese cuisine and I had read good things about this place so we gave it a try. Diana liked it a lot more than I did. It was good, some bites very good, but we have been spoiled by exceptional.

Crispy Shrimp Spring RollsStarted off with these crispy shrimp spring rolls. Tasty, loved the contrast in textures. The dipping sauce was tasty and balanced.

We read on Yelp that this restaurant did not serve alcohol so we brought our own, a great German Riesling that I was dying to try.   When we got there we saw a small card offering beer and a wine. Nothing we would want. We asked if we could open our own but were told no.  Disappointing. Something we really miss about New Jersey, all the BYOB restaurants there.

It looks like they are starting to create a bar here, I saw a wholesale wine distributor catalog on the main counter.  I also noticed too late that they had other beers and perhaps other wines beyond what was on the small list on the table but the waiter did not know this when we asked.

Saigon Pho Bar to beAnother thing the waiter did not tell me was that the dish I ordered which was described on the menu as being made with chicken was actually made with pork. I ended up taking it, but some would have been put off by that. Someone of a higher level came over and apologized and I am sure would have replaced the dish. But I decided to stick with it. It was fine.

Sauteed Pork with Vermicelli
Diana loves her Pho, (noodle soup) the staple of Vietnamese dining, and ordered the beef brisket version. She loved it on this cold fall night.

Beef Brisket Pho

Phos always come with the side of greens, sprouts, mint, basil and lime that you use to accent the dish.

Greens for Pho

Saigon Pho is in yet another ugly strip center, we are slowly resigning ourselves to this reality. They have decorated the place to look nicely stylish in some areas, like the photo above, but the back has the brightly lit menu signs like a take out joint.

Sai Gon Pho Dining Room and Counter 2

Saigon Pho

1582 Rt. 9; Wappingers Falls; 845-765-2100

Google Maps took us on a wild goose chase to find this place, it is next door to First Wok, in the strip center right on the highway. Don’t go into the Home Depot lot. It used to be called Pho Max.

HV Mag Review

Poughkeepsie Journal Review



Jewel of the Himalayas, an Evening Back in Nepal

Jewel of the Himalayas MomosDiana spent three weeks in Nepal with work for a Walls that Unite project, more on that in a moment.  She fell in love with the Nepalese people and their cuisine. You don’t find dining as exquisite as this everywhere in Nepal, yet it did bring back such fond memories for her.

One of her favorite dishes were Momos, pictured above. They are a type of dumpling from neighboring Tibet, thought to be from the people of the Newari civilization who’ve dwelled in the Kathmandu valley for may centuries. Continue reading Jewel of the Himalayas, an Evening Back in Nepal


Beacon Pantry a Touch of Paris in Beacon NY

Beacon Pantry Beacon NY Entrance

In all our years of travel something we always enjoyed was finding that perfect little cafe for a quiet coffee and perhaps some breakfast to start the day. We’ve been intrigued by the well designed store front of this shop, Beacon Pantry, and stopped by yesterday. Turned out to be the kind of place we love. Continue reading Beacon Pantry a Touch of Paris in Beacon NY


Family Dinner at The Tomato Cafe Fishkill

The Tomato Cafe Fishkill Lively Staff

Diana’s parents were up from Florida for a week visiting our beautiful Hudson Valley.  One item that is on the itinerary for every trip up north is pizza, good New York style pizza, which is tough to find down south.

We suggested “The Tomato Cafe” in Fishkill, a place I’ve wanted to try since we moved here and so we went. When we arrived around 6:00 the restaurant was mobbed. Thursday is “Pizza Special” night.

The menu here offers a wide array of Italian American dishes and daily specials. We enjoyed two salads and three pizzas, some of which came home. I love the playful yet classy design of this restaurant, the staff is super friendly and effective.  The food was good.

Our favorite dish was the Pizza Con Carne, their traditional pie loaded with pepperoni, sausage, meatballs and bacon.

The Tomato Cafe Fishkill Pizza Con CarneWe started with a big Caesar Salad, a typical rendition, with pre made dressing, and a Tomato Cafe original, a grilled eggplant salad that was a big bowl of crisp mixed greens topped with grilled eggplant tossed with some pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, house made croutons and  olive oil and lemon juice, finished with tasty crumbled ricotta salata. Very good but some of the eggplant was not grilled well enough for me. These two salads were plenty to share among three adults and two hungry college-age boys.

The pizza here is made with good quality ingredients, it makes a difference, it far excels what you find from the national chains. I am partial to true Napolitano pizza cooked with a wood fire in one of those striking dome shaped ovens they use. This was classic NY and my in-laws and the boys loved it.

While the pizzas we had were enjoyable, the pesto pizza to my taste was good not great, the third pizza, BBQ chicken, we thought had too little chicken and a sauce that had too little spicy flavor. I’ll qualify all that by saying we are very demanding diners. Based on other reviews I’ve seen I’d say most everyone loves this place. Besides lunch and dinner they seem to have a very popular brunch.

 The Tomato Cafe

1123 Main St, Fishkill, NY



South of the Border, Down Peekskill Way

Taco Dive Bar GuacamoleSouth of the Putnam-Westchester border that is, you will find fabulous Mexican fare, cocktails and beer at the newly opened Taco Dive Bar by the river, near Riverfront Green and the Peekskill Train Station.

Restauranteur Louie Lanza, has another winner with this fun and fabulous place, and to that we say muy bien, gracias!

We started with a cocktail and a beer and the instantly fresh house made guacamole,  pico de gallo and chips.

Taco Dive Bar Cocktails

The menu is small plate appetizers and salads, and a bunch of delightfully creative tacos which we devoured. Up until now our favorite places for Mexican were in Mexico or our beloved Taqueria Autentica down in Bloomfield, NJ. We thrilled to now have Taco Dive Bar as well.

Taco Dive Bar Kitchen

Lanza brings 25 years of experience creating successful restaurants in New York City, and as they say “If you can make it there…” It shows, this place is perfect at every point, the staff is friendly, engaging and effective. Thanks Emily and Zachary (Hope I got your names right)!

Taco Dive Bar Dining RoomThis place rocks! The music is loud, but that drowns out the trains blairing horns.Taco Dive Bar Beer Oculto

Many beers, standards and originals, several on tap many more in bottle and can. Great cocktails, and a good selection of wines, if that’s your pleasure.

Taco Dive Bar Beef Brisket TacoFood is delicious and creative, Brisket taco was crispy onions was Diana’s favorite. Gluten free is indicated.

Lanza and his wife Joni have a farm in Garrison and source as much as possible locally. I hear that their first restaurant in Peekskill, Hudson Room, has been a great success. I’m embarrassed to say we have not been their yet, but will be soon.

Taco Dive Bar Beer Bottle Lights

Taco Dive Bar

55 Hudson Ave, Peekskill, NY – 914-788-TACO


Tasty Event This Weekend Cold Spring

The Pantry Marbled Meat Event 7-25-26

Here is a great event for foodies, beer lovers and music fans alike.

Saturday 7/25 and Sunday 7/26 oysters by the dozen and lobster rolls for sale to go from @brooklynoysterparty and small batch artisan chocolate from @raakachocolate (starting at 10am and 11am) with live music in the evening @7pm paired with raw bar and grill food from @marbledmeatshop

If you are interested in having seafood permanently at the market, stop by and show your support start with pre-orders!

Marbled Meat Shop

The Pantry Cold Spring



Boss Burgers and Beer at Poppy’s Beacon

poppy's Beacon Burgers EnhancedWe are true burger aficionados that can chalk up tasting experiences the likes of which include an hour of arousing contemplation waiting on line in Madison Park to savor an authentic Danny Meyer Shake Shack Burger and the dramatic sensation of the Foie Gras as we cherished one of the artful burgers at db Bistro Moderne, and so many other fabulous burger places around the country. Corner Bistro, Smash Burger, In-N-Out, we have done so many.

There is a moment of truth as you are about to taste what you hope will be your next great burger, when the question looms — “Will this one delight or disappoint?”  You see the down side of enjoying so many great ones is that it becomes harder and harder to delight, yet Poppy’s burgers won!  We loved them both.

It helps of course if you have a happy and charming server like Kelley! She knows just what to do and more importantly when you are out for a great burger and beer, knows her beers!poppy's Beacon Beer enhanced

Poppy’s has a few locals brews on tap and more in can and bottles. This one from Single Cut in Queens, NY was awesome.

You won’t be completely happy unless you order a mountain of the perfectly prepared Poppy’s fries. We added a side of the house made aioli. Love mayo on my fries.

Poppy's Beacon Fries Enhanced

What makes this food so good? Very well sourced truly natural ingredients, food that tastes good and feels good. Makes you happy.

The seating is comfy in the simple interior or the cozy backyard garden.

Poppy's Table enhanced

There are vegan options on the menu if meat is not your thing. But at a place like this come on, indulge!

Their mission “to provide affordable, farm-fresh food in a casual environment. We source the best local grass-fed beef. All of our produce is Hudson Valley grown whenever possible. We also proudly serve the best veggie burgers in town and micro-brews that complement our burgers.” Done, Done and Done!

Poppy’s Burger & Fries
184 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508
(845) 765-2121 Hours
Monday: 11am to 4pm
Wednesday: 11am to 4pm
Thursday-Sunday: 12pm to 8pm