Update for Hudson Valley Newburgh/Eastern Orange County
- Bruce B
Here's my first update for 2006 based solely upon food quality and service. Price and atmosphere are not taken into consideration here at all. There have been quite a few changes since I last posted. As you probably can tell, we eat out VERY often. Enjoy
For Dinner -
Excellent - Yobo, Pamela's on the Hudson (at the Newburgh Yacht Club)), Lakeview House, Frontera's (formerly Chianti), Beeb's, Vesuvio's, Cafe Piti, Schlesinger's, Cosimo's-on-Union, Cavu.
Very Good - Canterbury Brook Inn, Blue Martini, River Grill, Banta's, Loughran's, New Orleans Steakhouse, Youngest Brother, Benvenuti's, Gus' Tavern, Havana, Machu Picchu.
Good - Capri, Torches, Dana's Uptown Grill, Savory Grill.
Fair - Painter's, Itzmi, Villa Italia, Diana's.
Disappointing - Cena 2000, Il Cenacolo.
Brother Bruno's - Mid Valley Mall, Newburgh
Brother Bruno's - K-Mart/Big V Plaza, New Windsor
J&F Pizzeria or Stella's Pizzeria - Broadway, Newburgh
Leo's - Union Avenue Newburgh
Domenico's - Rte 32, Plattekill
Great Sandwiches,Delis and BBQ's -
New Windsor Deli - Union Ave./Rte 300, New Windsor
New York Deli - South Plank Road,Newburgh
Barnstormer - Ames (Target) Plaza Rte 17k, Newburgh
Maio's Deli - Rte 9W New Windsor
Schlesinger's Deli - Rte 207, New Windsor
Joe's Deli - South Plank Road, Newburgh
Chinese Take Out -
New China - North Plank Road (best by FAR!!), Newburgh
Green Garden - North Plank Road, Newburgh
Shanghai Palace - Rt 208 Wallkill
Diners - ranked from Best to Worst (no surprises here).
3. New Windsor Coach
4. Hudson Diner
5. Johnny D's
Thank you so much for your post. I live in New Mexico but work in NY several times a year, often in Orange, Co. (fly into Stewart or Albany). I have tried several of the places on your list and now, greatfully, have more options. Machu Picchu is one of my favorites.
Dana's food is cooked to your specs while you wait. If you don't see what you like, ask and the chef will probably make it for you. in the 5 or 6 years we've been eating there, we've always had great meals although you may have to wait.
Separate dining room from the bar. Drinks are very good.
I've got to register a bit of disagreement with some of these. New Orleans Steakhouse is pitifully bad, so much so that I believe it has closed. The Barnstormer WAS fantastic barbeque--far better than the highly-touted Hickory BBQ Smokehouse in Kingston--but now sucks, as the motivated partner of the two is concentrating on another restaurant he owns and the place now uses significantly inferior meat to that which was formerly the case.
As the "more motivated" of the partners at the Barnstormer, I am very sorry that you had a bad experience there. I can assure you that we are not using any different meat or suppliers than we have in the past. However, we unfortunately lost our sous chef of the last 2+ years. Since the 3rd week of September, we have been training 2 new cooks. They are still adjusting to the way that we do things. I appreciate your input here and would be more than glad to answer any future questions that you may have regarding Barnstormer BBQ.
re: Geoff P
My girlfriend and I have been loyal patrons of Barnstormer for the last several years, and have introduced countless more to some of the best BBQ we've ever had. While I don't feel there is any "inferior meat" being used, there have been quite a few noticeable differences in the quality of the food and service over the past year or so.
I can recall three of the more "extreme" examples of this: During one sunday afternoon visit the kitchen ran out of wings (which are usually the best) and a hamburger we ordered was so badly cooked it was well done on one side and almost raw on the other. On another occasion our wings came to the table very soggy and undercooked. Finally, and why several of us have not been back to often in the last 2 months, was because of some of the worst service we have ever had the misfortune of experiencing at a restaurant. Our waiter completely ignored our table after we received our food, and when one of us had a request we had to ask a different waiter, and he still didn't check on us. He finally appeared with a check to place next to the dirty plates he never cleared. It's never a good sign when the conversation at a table is focused on how angry everyone is.
Overall the food is great, addictive, and probably the best BBQ in the area. However consistency has been a problem of late. I understand the Barnstormer has been undergoing many changes lately, and I'm confident that with a little work on improving simple things, it will eventually be one of the best spots in the Hudson Valley.
re: Geoff P
Geoff, I appreciate your response--sorry I didn't see it when originally posted. My disappointment was pretty deep. Though I'm a Chester native, I lived in Florida and worked all over the South for several years. Until I went to your place I hadn't found anything in the North to compare to Memphis, and here it was in Newburgh! I went all the time, and turned lots of friends on to it, too. Then encountered a horrible rack of ribs that never should have been sold on two consecutive occasions, once at the restaurant and once w/takeout. This was well before September. Based on your response, I will give the Barnstormer another try soon. Hopefully things are better than I experienced on my last encounters.
re: Geoff P
Not to seem like I am aiding in an attack, the decline in quality is very true. But nothing compares to the absolutely horrid service. I went twice within the last 2 months. And while I loved the pulled pork, the ribs have gone south. They were too hard both times. Neither time could I or my boyfriend eat the fries. They were dark as if they were cooked in dirty oil and greasy and soggy. I will give the credit for the response chef issues are present. But know the difference can be tasted. But like I said, nothing can save you from losing customers if you do not replace your entire serving staff. I understand most are young and probably inexperienced, but that may be the problem. Both times I had to ask whom ever was around (and even then I waited) for things as simple as extra sauce. The waiters/ waitress disapeared as soon as the plate hit the tabe and neither my server or any other were around to help. MY parents went two weeks ago with friends and spent almost $200 dollars. Without telling them of my experience, they came home complaining about the same exact thing. How they were desperate to leave from waiting for so long and how it got to the point they had to get up and find someone to PLEASE GIVE THEM THE CHECK SO THEY COULD GO. I consider giving the food another chance since I know it can be better, but I have no clue when I will risk dinning in again.
re: Geoff P
Finally got back to the Barnstormer last weekend (personal circumstances had precluded a visit sooner). Had a half-rack of ribs with sweet potato fries and cornbread. All the food was comparable to what had originally drawn me to rave about the place before experiencing disappointment. Really good and crave-inducing. I definitely will go back, in hope that consistent high quality has returned. But....
Service indeed is an issue. There really isn't any. It needs lots of work, starting with the staff simply paying attention to the dining room as opposed to hanging in the kitchen. Second would be running a carpet sweeper around the place every so often during the evening and truly cleaning up around tables once diners have departed so that there aren't straws on the floor and crumbs on seats.
I'm a fan of this place and would really like to see it rise to the level it's capable of, continue to succeed, and build on what was a very solid reputation that many feel has been tarnished.