Cafe Pongo, Tivoli, NY
There have been some requests for information about places in the northern Hudson Valley, so here's a first-hand report on Cafe Pongo on Broadway in Tivoli, NY, between Rhinebeck and Hudson. I went there for a late brunch and did the cholesterol special -- country ham and gravy(requested on the side), sage biscuit, scrambled eggs, potatoes.
At $9, that sounds a bit steep when the description mirrors a diner menu. However, I wish I'd had a companion or known how much food there was. There must have been 3, maybe 4, perfectly done eggs, a good sized slice of ham on a huge biscuit, nice, crusty chunks of potatoes, and orange slices on the plate. The gravy (good but too filling)came as requested. The "sage" biscuit had hardly discernible sage flavor but was delicious. Only the coffee was mediocre.
I've not been to Pongo for lunch or dinner, but it's always crowded on weekends and has a good reputation. They sell baked goods, which looked wonderful -- sticky buns, Linzer tarts, cheesecake, cookies, etc.
Pongo, judging from the photograph on the wall, was/is a dog. Don't miss the wrought iron railing with the Milk-Bone motif.
I second your enthusiasm for Cafe Pongo's breakfast.However I had an unfortunate dinning experience about a year ago. I was part of a group of eight for diner on a friday night.I should add we are all 40/50 something locals, not loud or boisterous. At around 9 PM a "folk singer" came out to entertain and immediately said we all had to be quiet or we wouldn't be able to hear her. I should add there are only about a dozen tables in this place and she had a microphone and an amp. Well OK, we listened and watched, but if anybody dared to talk during her performance she'd become incensed and repeat loudly that we should all be quiet or we'll miss her lyrics.This became such an unpleasant experience we vowed never again. Too bad the food was good.
re: Steve from Rhinebeck
At least you guys got food! Took the misses there for mother's day brunch Sunday. Sat right in the middle of the restaurant, square in front of the bar where the guy who looked like he was managing the placing the place was operating from. In forty five minutes we asked the waitress three times what was going on and she apologized for the delay. There were only two unserved tables when we came in, and they were both served while we sat, thankfully with the Sunday paper! The finally blow came at the forty five minute mark when three people who were previously standing and talking to the people next to us for a while sat down and got served in ten minutes! I immediately approached the manager and told him my dilema[it was so slow at one o'clock when we came in I still can't believe he didn't notice that we weren't served.He made some awful excuses, and at that point I said I'd like to see the owner. He came back from the kitchen and said the owner was busy but could he offer us a drink. Anyway, we left and had a wonderful vegetarian brunch a couple of doors down.