If you ever find yourself in the upstate New York area near Poughkeepsie or New Paltz and need a quick meal or a batch of fresh apple cider doughnuts, drive by Brooklyn Cider House for pizzas or burgers at Twin Star Orchards. If you're in the market for a place with a bunch of options for everyone, check out the upstate branch of Brooklyn's Smorgasburg where you can get a ramen burger or something more unique from one of the many amazing local vendors. Maybe you're in the mood to eat a week's worth of food in five hours, in which case you should go to one place right after the other and eat until you can barely breathe, but I wouldn't know anything about that. However you want to play it, I'm showing you what I ate at both places in the area.
Before you start scoping out the main events, stop at the Bread Alone table to pick up a snack so that you don't make any hangry impulse decisions. I got the baklava babka, which was a soft and doughy brioche-like bread twisted with a spicy honey and pistachio mixture.
The main event I was talking about before is the barbecue parfait from The Grille Wagon. It looks a little over the top, but the layers of amazing pulled pork, still-crunchy cole slaw, creamy, buttery mashed potatoes and the perfectly cooked rib on top make for the perfect meal to split with one or two other people.
On the way out, be sure to stop by Jane's Ice Cream for one of their amazing flavors. Above is the salty caramel pretzel, which is a sweet cream base with chunks of chocolate covered pretzels and tons of swirls of super salty, dark caramel. I also got the coconut almond joy flavor- a coconut base loaded with chunks of dark chocolate and almond pieces and the salted peanut fudge- an almost-savory salty peanut butter base with thick ribbons of peanut butter fudge.
Brooklyn Cider House:
Brooklyn Cider House is a small outdoor barn with a wood-fire pizza oven on Twin Star Orchards. It has a small menu of pizza and burgers and a few wooden tables surrounded by apple trees. I got the margherita and arugula fig pizzas, which both had perfectly crispy and chewy, almost-sourdough crusts. The arugula fig had thick slices of fresh figs and huge spoonfuls of ricotta cheese, meaning it was everything I've ever dreamed of.
Crust first, always.
Before you leave, make sure to get a chocolate chip cookie, which was surprisingly one of the best I've ever had. It was crispy on the exterior and the perfect mix of doughy, chewy and gooey in the center. It was slightly warm, so the dark chocolate chips had a little bit of texture, but also managed to melt a bit into the caramelized, vanilla-y dough. The flaky layer of sea salt on top helped deepen the flavors of both the dough and the chocolate. I easily could have eaten a dozen of them.
And seriously, if you go to an apple orchard-or anywhere that has homemade apple cider doughnuts- and don't get the homemade apple cider doughnuts there's something seriously wrong with you. These were everything you'd ever want in an apple cider doughnut with an especially strong apple cider flavor- the perfect way to end the day.