Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Paltz Day 2: The Parade-O-Dinner

Sunday morning we both woke up bright and early to start the day.  Fortunately we'd gone to bed really early, because I had a horrible time getting to sleep the night before.  Too much country noise!  There were bugs and toads chirping and croaking all night and they were so loud!  I couldn't believe they could make so much noise.  Give me ambulances and crazy drunks shouting any day. 
First thing in the morning I snacked on one of the blueberry muffins for breakfast on the balcony.  After eating one Saturday morning, Josh quickly declared them "gross" because I'd made them with apple sauce instead of coconut oil and they were too moist for his taste.  Really, they were too moist for my taste too, but I hate wasting food so much I ate the rest anyway. 
Once we got ourselves up and out, we headed to a restaurant recommended by the owner of the apartment we were staying in, Cafe Mio, which was in the next town over from New Paltz.  It was a "farm-to-table" place, with a list of their source farms right on the menu.  It seemed like the kind of place straight out of the premier of Portlandia, where they know the name of the chicken you're planning to eat and what his favorite color was. 
Unfortunately, all their organic and locally-sourced food didn't manage to come very readily in vegan form.  I ordered the only vegan option on the menu aside from side items - the coconut curry tofu.  (I know ... again!)  I definitely would have ordered something different at Karma Road if I'd known I'd be having it again for brunch the next day ...  And unfortunately Cafe Mio's was really pretty bad.  They obviously hadn't pressed the tofu, so it couldn't absorb the (bland) sauce.  The side salad was good, but nothing stellar.  And the toast was toast ... what can you say?  Basically we came away from Cafe Mio wishing we had just gone with Yelp reviews rather than the Airbnb guy.  And yet we didn't learn when it came time for dinner ... (see below). 
After brunch we headed out to Minnewaska State Park for a big hike.  We hiked for a few hours, taking frequest breaks to take pictures at lookout points and eat hiking snacks.  (I will put hiking pictures in the next post.) 
By the time we got back to the car we were both pretty tired and eager for a shower.  But first we decided to stop back at Karma Road Cafe to get one of the smoothies we'd spotted on the menu the night before.
I ordered the strawberry colada because I wanted to try to get something that was different from the normal smoothies I make at home all the time.  Josh ordered the "chocolate in my peanut butter" (which was exactly like what I make all the time).  Once we sat down to drink our shakes, Josh decided he liked mine a lot better and because I didn't really care either way I agreed to switch with him.  So I ended up with my usual shake anyway - chocolate, banana, and peanut butter.  Oh well!
After we got back and cleaned up, we decided to take a walk through a historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz.  A number of historic buildings line the street, including houses dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.  Apparently some part of this church is also original, but I couldn't tell from looking at it what part that would have been ...  But the sun behind it is pretty, isn't it? :)
When it came time to choose a place for dinner, we forgot our lesson from brunch and spoke with the owner of the apartment again.  He recommended a German restaurant called Mountain Brauhaus.  Using our phones, we could see that the menu portion of their website says they have vegetarian and vegan options, but we couldn't pull up the menu itself.  But because they specifically mentioned vegan options, we thought it would be a good bet. 
Good thing I don't actually gamble ... The restaurant was packed, and when we were told it would be a 45 minute wait we took some time to look at the menu.  Turns out, their "vegan options" is just one option that's not even on the regular menu ... polenta.  It didn't seem exciting, and for $19 I couldn't imagine it would be delicious enough to be worth it.  Needless to say, we left. 
The next stop on our parade-o-dinner was La Stazione, an Italian restaurant that had also been recommended by Mr. Airbnb (we're slow learners).  We were promptly seated here, as there were only two other patrons, and sipped on water while listening to the specials.  After perusing the menu for a few minutes we realized this wasn't going to be an option either.  Since we'd taken the waiter's time and water, we tipped $3 and explained that we would need to go somewhere else. 
By this point we were getting pretty hungry and desperate.  We walked up the main street through New Paltz and finally stopped in at Rock Da Pasta.  The name sounds weird, but they had a menu posted outside and clearly marked vegan options, so it seemed like a good (or at least viable) option.  It was another small and fairly grungy seeming place, but the waitress was nice, and at least we could actually order something! 
I chose the "Hey Jude", which was mushrooms with onions and roasted garlic, herbed cream sauce, balsamic and truffle oil over penne.  The menu advertised that any cream or milk could be substituted for soy or coconut milk.  On the waitress's suggestion, I had mine with coconut milk, which was a little sweet but really delicious.  Please excuse the flash ... dimly lit restaurant and all.  But a giant plate of pasta turned out to be the perfect end to the day.  So I guess it was worth the extremely long wait. 

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