A Visit to Mount Gulian – Lunch at “The Pandorica”

As is usually the case for these excursions we decided to have lunch first. It was my friend Ken’s turn to choose “The Pandorica”, a Doctor Who themed restaurant in Beacon, NY. I’ve been watching Doctor Who since it started in 1963 and so was particularly excited to see what the restaurant was alike.

It’s named after the episode: “The Pandorica Opens“. Above the restaurant facade: Note the large ‘Weeping Angel’ in the far window.

On the left “a crack in the universe” and straight ahead the entrance to the restrooms. And no they aren’t bigger on the inside.

A Copy (I imagine) of the painting (supposedly by Van Gogh) , which appears at the beginning of the episode: “The Pandorica Opens”.

In case someone reading this is not a Doctor Who fan this is a Dalek.

A wall of doctors and companions (or at least some of the more recent ones).

Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3.

A visit to the John Jay Homestead – Lunch at the Muscoot Tavern

We were both getting peckish so we decided to eat before we went to the homestead. We decided on the Muscoot Tavern, a quaint, atmospheric old place and the food wasn’t bad. They were getting ready for Hallowe’en.

Interior of the Muscoot Tavern.

Bear in a Bar. Not something you see every day. He/she seems to be enjoying his/her Budweiser.

Taken with a Panasonic Lumix GF1 and Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f4.0-5.6 II.

Saigon Pho

We had a yen for Vietnamese food the other day, and since there aren’t that many Vietnamese restaurants near us we went to one that we knew: Saigon Pho.

Finally, the Asian noodle craze has touched down in Dutchess. Newcomer Saigon Pho is making a splash, bringing Vietnamese cuisine to our doorstep in a spacious, contemporary setting decorated with textural grasses and woven Asian accessories.

Not to be confused with its predecessor, Pho Max, Saigon Pho is in the same unglamorous strip mall location on Route 9. This 52-seat spot is likely here to stay, drawing a steady and enthusiastic lunch and dinner crowd with flavorful fare at smile-inducing prices. This is food that is meant for sharing, so be prepared to order a variety of dishes to split. If you need guidance navigating the waters of Vietnamese food, the soft-spoken waiters are happy to suggest a balanced range of dishes. Most people start with the rice-paper-wrapped spring rolls, great for snacking while perusing the menu. Choose from grilled pork or shrimp ($8.50 for three large pieces that are cut in half, so even six people could have a taste). For the complete experience, wash them down with some green or coconut bubble tea ($3.75, so named for the tapioca “bubbles”), served with an extra wide straw.

Of course, a visit practically demands an order of pho (noodle soup). A staple dish of Vietnam, it comes in a large bowl loaded with vermicelli noodles swimming in a slightly sweet, intricately spiced, aromatic broth hinting of star anise, ginger, cinnamon, and coriander. There are several specialty phos here: shrimp, chicken, tiny meatballs, and even brisket (below) are possibilities (prices range from $8.99 to $10.50). Request more bowls, so everyone can customize their pho choosing from the generous garnish side plate of bean sprouts, fragrant Thai basil, sliced jalapenos, and lime wedges. Shake in some sweet ’n’ spicy hoisin sauce or hot chili, and you’ll be all set. To cool the spice a bit, order a vegetable fried rice ($8.25), addictively tasty with carrots, broccoli, and crisp bits of tofu.

If you’re there for lunch, be sure to try the classic Vietnamese sandwich Banh Mi Thit Nuong ($4.50) — that is, grilled pork served with pickled cucumbers and mayonnaise. It just might replace your favorite deli food. 845-765-2100 (Hudson Valley)

Apart from the brightly colored lanterns it’s not much to look at, but the staff are friendly and helpful and the food (at least what we had) was great.

Taken with a Panasonic Lumix GF1 and G vario 14-42 asph f3.5-5.6.