Noon Mark Diner (Essex County, NY)
Nestled in some of the most dramatic landscape New York has to offer, Noon Mark Diner is a kitschy place to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner. I'd gladly drive the 250 miles from my home to get another slice of their squash pie and another bowl of their black bean soup. I'd probably skip the hot roast beef sandwich I had on my first visit and try one of their other soups -- they have four homemade varieties a day.
The generous bowl of black bean soup ($2.45) seemed to have thousands of tiny black beans in a rich, complex broth, deeply flavored by salt-pork, but also tasting of cilantro, chili, and smoky peppers.
Squash pie is like pumpkin pie but made with something other than hubbard or pumpkin squashes. The waitress wasn't sure what squash this rendition used, and I don't really care except that if I knew they had the exact same pie today I'd jump into my car. The pie was firm, moist, and aromatic with nutmeg, mace, and deft touches of clove and allspice. The crust, absolutely made by hand, was tasty, flaky and moist.
Squash pie isn't on the list, but Noon Mark Diner ships more than 25 other variety of pies, most in a regular and crumb version. They also ship other baked goods and homemade jams. The link below takes you to their home page which has links to their whole menu.
Noon Mark Diner [Essex County]
1770 NYS Rte. 73, PO BOX 794
Keene Valley, NY 12943
I ate there last week and can report that the pies are still flying out the door. People were lining up at the register for pies and breads, plus I observed a guy buying half a dozen jars of their relish.
I had the best blueberry pancakes I ever tasted. Twice. I spent a good part of my first breakfast trying to figure out what made them so great. Excellent flavor, texture, consistency. Man! I was thinking maybe some buckwheat flour in the batter? I don't know. Good syrup, too. Went back a few days later - the pancakes were still sublime, and I was no better at deciphering their secret. I checked the mail order menu and was sad to see they don't offer their pancake mix. Probably someone here will write and deflate my euphoria by telling me that it's Aunt Jemima or some industrial-level dreck, but it tasted like the real deal to me.
I know I'm replying to old posts here, but I figured there's no harm in reviving them. Plus, as the thread stood before, it wouldn't have come up in a search on the terms "Adirondack" or "Northway Exit 30" (or 31). Now it will.
I agree with what everyone's saying here...I just don't want people to get the wrong idea from the OP's use of the word "kitschy". The sign outside saying "A Mountain of Home Cooking" is definitely kitsch, but other than that there's nothing cutesy about it. Just a good, solid diner. Really good spinach lasagna. As for the pies: we had apple crumb and stawberry rhubarb with a regular crust. Both fillings were delicious; the crumb crust was better than the regular, which I'd call "pretty good."
Great food, too many flies (we counted 5 & they seemed to really love our corner best). Don't appreciate their adding a mandatory 20% gratuity for parties of 6 or more, either. I thought this was usually applied to dinner where drinking (& neglectful tipping) occurs. They're believing their own hype too much.