mid-Hudson Valley - roadside stands, cheesemakers, etc.?
I'll be spending the weekend in the mid-Hudson Valley, staying in New Paltz. I've read the restaurant reviews, which sound great, but I have not read about roadside farmstands, cheesemakers, jam makers, honey makers, and other artisinal foodmakers in the area. What should I drive out of my way to visit/eat?
You can check out Water Street Market (http://www.waterstreetmarket.com/) right in New Paltz. I like the Mudd Puddle Cafe. You can visit The Cheese Plate and Artisan Sweets. I'm not sure if you want to drive 30 minutes south, but Sprout Creek Farm (http://www.sproutcreekfarm.org/defaul...) in Lagrange is wonderful.
10 Main St, New Paltz, NY 12561
Sprout Creek Farm looks exactly like the type of thing I'm looking for. Are there other places like that out there that I should be visiting?
Also, what about bakeries -- are there any outrageously good bakeries in the area? I'm willing to drive from town to town, if that's what it takes.
thanks for all your help.
Just so you know, Sprout Creek Farm is on the other side of the Hudson River. They also sell Jane's Ice Cream which is local and if you get there in the mid-morning (10 AM or so), you can eat your cheese with some fresh bread right out of their ovens. Not the best bread in the world, but nothing like freshly baked bread and with a hunk of cheese. You also get to see the cows, goats and pigs. The goats are especially friendly.
There are a several PYO farms close to New Paltz. Prospect Hill Orchards in Milton might still have some peaches (http://www.prospecthillorchards.com) and most places have started apple picking as well. The Ulster County Tourism Board website has a full list of local farms (http://www.ulstertourism.info/landing/farms). Just make sure you call the farms before you go because they do get picked out.
Just south of New Paltz, you can visit Tuthilltown Spirits and taste some local whiskey (http://tuthilltown.com/category/store/shop/).
Also, you have a bunch of wineries. Again check the Ulster website (http://www.ulstertourism.info/landing/wineries-and-breweries). Nothing particularly exciting, but the guy at Stoutridge Vineyard (http://www.stoutridge.com/) is making wines without filtering and sulfites which is different.
If you're in New Paltz on Sunday (10:30 AM - 4 PM), stop by the small farmers' market (http://www.newpaltzfarmersmarket.com/index.html) and sample some of the unusual heirloom tomatoes at the Four Winds Farm stand- tomatoes called TC Jones, White Beauty, Valencia, Black Pineapple, Yellow Mortgage Lifter, Aunt Ruby's German Green and on and on.
If you're going to cross Hudson, then you can go to Wild Hive Farm (http://www.wildhivefarm.com/) where they mill their own grains to make cornmeal, flour, etc. They were written up in the NY Times as well (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/nyr...). They have a nice little cafe there, so you can grab some lunch if you want. Nearby, you can also visit Clinton Vineyards and Millbrook Vineyards. I prefer Millbrook's wines.
We just returned. Sprout Creek was definitely a highlight. We bought four types of cheese and shared a scoop of their coconut ice cream. All are wonderful. I've eaten a couple hundred types of cheese in my life and I can definitely say that the Sprout Creek cheeses rank favorably. These are objectively fine cheeses, well executed and well constructed. The smoked ossau was really good.
We went to Water Street Market and shared a nice pot of tea from Mudd Puddle -- nice little place. The Cheese Plate and Artisan Sweets stores were fine, but not terribly inspiring. We were there early, so maybe they needed to get set up for the day still.
The New Paltz farmers market on Sunday morning was nice, but smaller than I expected. The pretzel people had a pretty good product, though I'm a sucker for pretzel rolls. The goat cheese stand was pretty good, especially their feta. And the maple syrup guy was great -- good deal, good product.
The Rosendale farmers market was bigger and better than New Paltz. Wonderful tomatoes this time of year. There was one stand that had a bountiful assortment of peppers, tomatoes, melons, greens, and everything else -- really a great show of diversity on one farm.
Wild Hive Bakery was a good place. The corn muffin was really good. The little cookies were a bit uninspired. We stocked up on spelt, whole wheat flour, and other grains that can be tough to track down and are likely never as fresh as this. That'll keep us baking bread for a couple months.
We had dinner at P&G's in New Paltz. Good, busy place. Waffle fries kick ass.
We had a lunch at Alternative Baker in Rosendale. I had the house special goat cheese sandwich, which was good. My wife had the egg-cheddar-dijon sandwich, which she is raving about. They had a plum frangipane, which was excellent, as well. That town, though, could use some life because it offered all the energy of a graveyard.
10 Main St, New Paltz, NY 12561