Crofty’s Column February Issue: A Monthly Guide for the HV Pup
Greetings fellow pooches! And humans, I suppose. Welcome back to the place that provides the skinny on all places canine. Once again I, your humble and handsome host, will regale you with my tales of all things relaxation and gastronomic. That is to say, cookies and naps. Last time we spoke I listed some favorite haunts of mine. But this time around, I have a special treat(!) for you. The humans and I spent a night away in the Catskills. We began our brief getaway in Kingston, retired for the evening at the beautiful Glen Falls House in Round Top, and finished our time in Woodstock. So prepare yourself for tales of culinary delight.
Our first stop when heading up north was to New York’s first capitol, Kingston. For whatever reason, my people needed a beer. Lucky for me, they let me into the brewery! Keegan Ales is a long-standing, much loved brewery in the HV. While mostly known for their stellar flagship milk stout, Mother’s Milk, there is a variety of beers to try. They offer a rotating IPA series, Monkey Trials, which feature some juicy options for the hop heads. Also released the day we were there was Sour Dreams, a wood aged raspberry sour with mint. For any drinkers who prefer a pint of easy-drinking domestic light lager, there’s the quaffable Kingston Light.
Our next stop was for some food and comfort. So we headed to Pakt, a comfort food restaurant. Interested in filling you with freshly made southern classics until you’re satisfied. Or at least asleep at the table. I mean, I was asleep next to the table… So while I slept they feasted on hush puppies, a chicken biscuit, and eggs over grits. One of them was almost moved to tears by the grits, reminded of the homemade grits from her childhood daycare in Georgia. Not sure I can top that as far as compliments go. At least they passed me some biscuit under the table.
Finally, before heading back for dinner and "The King" the humans needed to get out of their food comas with caffeine. So off to Monkey Joe’s they went. They would not give me any of their cold brew, but I did steal some biscotti that fell off their laps. So all in all, a successful trip to the coffee shop for cookies for me! Fun Fact: Keegan Ales uses coffee from Monkey Joe’s in one of their beers.
First, the setting. Have you been to the Alps? I have not, as I do not have a passport yet. But if the Von Trapp family is to be believed, they are majestic and beautiful. The Catskills, though smaller, are no less a sight to behold. Coursing through the country roads, the mountains were ever present. Nestling the valley in their snowy expanse. As we passed farm and barn and homes, we saw hallmarks of traditional Alpine architecture. Up to and including decorative edelweiss adornments. Suddenly we were transported to the romantic Alpen chalets, singing with Maria Von Trapp about goats and such.
When we reached our destination, it was a charming white house set against the woods. We could hear the susurrus of the stream that ran behind the house. Inside was no less picturesque. The lobby lead into a wide open dining room with full bar and fireplace. A cozy sunroom adjoined the dining room. Couches and armchairs lined the long space, giving it a welcoming feel perfect for enjoying a warm cuppa and an engrossing book. Our room was cozy and welcoming too. A reading chair sat next to one of the many windows that let in the glowing, morning light. (I guess these humans like to read. Who knew?!) The hotel’s design maintained its rustic roots, but featured pieces (an old HiFi) that complimented that.
Once dinner rolled around, I stayed in the room to relax after a long day out. My people headed down to dinner and a show in the dining room. They told me about menu with a lot of variety, from whole cooked trout to burgers. Looking for libation? There’s a great list of craft beer bottles and cans. Prefer something a bit stronger? Have a martini or a muddled old fashioned. To top it all off, an entertaining Elvis impersonator serenaded the diners in full Vegas-era regalia.
The next morning we spent some time walking the trails in the woods behind house. The Icebox Loop was an easygoing, quiet trek to some frozen over waterfalls that bring a bit of the arctic to the Hudson Valley. There were scenic views of creeks and small falls along the walk. It was a much needed hike after all the consumption the day before. There weren’t any animals to chase, but plenty of snow to roll around in. So no complaints from this pooch.
After a day of eating and drinking too much, they decided to eat and drink some more. At least I got to tag along take some pics. First things first, it was time for beer. So we headed to Woodstock Brewing, which is actually just outside Woodstock in Phoenicia. But fret not, it is a short beautiful drive to the brewery. We even stopped by the Esopus Creek and they let me catch a fish! Not really, but a dog can dream. A dog can dream… The folks at the brewery were very welcoming. The humans were going on about their bright, tropical IPA’s. There’s even a firepit outside enjoying the scenery.
After some pints, we headed into Woodstock proper for a long stroll up Main St. It is tough to make headway through town because there are too many great places to stop. There are some great music venues in town like the Woodstock Playhouse, which features plays, musicals, and live music. Bearsville Theater and Colony also host some really awesome music. No surprise from a town that is the namesake of that famous music fest from ’69.
Of course it was time to grab some food. Are there other things to do on vacation? First we hit Catskill Mountain Pizza for a quick slice. We grabbed a table outside and paired our oversized slices with some creamy Saranac Root Beer. Who knew you could get a good New York slice that far outside the city? Plus I got to eat a bunch of crust. If you are looking for a good pick me up after all this boozing and pizza time, stop at The Mud Club. They have great cold brew and hand rolled bagels! You can post up outside on one of the decorative boulders. That’s where I got to hang.
So we finally get to a place that is for me. Not food or beers for the humans. But treats and toys for me. Am I not the important one here? Wagwear is a boutique for pets. They have fashionable coats and boots, collars and leashes, treats and toys. I finally picked up a camera of my own. This way I can show Jess how I like to snap some pics.
Our last stop of the trip was to Station Bar & Curio. As we found our table on the deck, the sounds of bebop emanated from the bar. There we lounged, recovering from our 48 hour eating and drinking marathon. With a couple more drinks. We drifted away to the music wishing we did not have to return to the real world tomorrow. At least, we have our gluttony to comfort us. Till next month stay wagging...
Fitzkeller Creative & Hessocrofty