Our Wandering Eye blogger, interior designer Carey Maloney, and his husband, architect Hermes Mallea, are principals in the Manhattan based design firm M (Group). He signed on with Rural Intelligence early on to document the restoration of their neighbor’s historic manse, but over time his mind and his eye have wandered to topics further afield.
Our new favorite lunch spot, on Route 9G in Germantown.
OK, I have written one restaurant "review" in the past. I’m not a Foodie. Hermes says what I eat should not actualy sustain a “normal" (air quotes) human. But it seems to work for me. My body is a temple.
My mantra is Proximity. I have driven past Valley Harvest Ice Cream and Grill on Route 9G for years and never stopped. For no good reason. I love me some ice cream, but obviously not enough to pull over.
Tout Germantown turns out. Baby Russell is sleeping in that car, which sort of explains why they chose to park it "in" the outdoor restaurant.
Then Frankie and I made the leap, stopped for a burger and fries, and I jumped on the Valley Harvest bandwagon. That was one excellent burger. And the fries are real, recognizable potatoes. The seating is al fresco so Frankie could legally hang out by the table — the big hook for me.
Jon does the double-fisted chocolate shake delivery.
Last week I shared my find with parent friends who have a place in Tivoli. On Saturday, low and behold, there they were, with sleeping baby parked adjacent in the car, chowing down on burgers, hot dogs (amazing looking), onion "petals’" and fries. We joined them, and Hermes tried the chicken Caesar wrap and raved. Me, I stick to what I know, the burger. All agreed (and two were real foodies) that the food was good. And both commented that the lady who did the cooking had been concerned that all was well: “She’s so nice!" These were unexpected developments.
The owner, Loretta Fisher, has
owned and run Valley Harvest for nine years. A Germantown native and a graduate of Columbia Greene Community College, she has been in the food industry all of her life. Her focus is on fresh, local produce. She told me, proudly “We only have one frozen item on the menu: mozzarella sticks for the kids." Then she added, guiltily, “I guess I could do them fresh." No need, Loretta. Save your energy for the adults. Childrens’ little palettes aren’t very developed.
Look at those fries. Damn... and that lettuce looks like lettuce!
Local and fresh are too rare in our neck of the woods. Years ago the Germantown Fire Department or garden club or some organization put together a cookbook. I turned to Apple Pie -- the county is covered with orchards, right? Well, the recipe started with canned apples and things went downhill from there. (Who knew they made canned apples??)
Valley Harvest is fast and inexpensive too -- but not too fast or too cheap. Each order is cooked after
you order. Me, I find it reassuring that the food doesn’t emerge 30 seconds after you pay. In the city, when I Seamless.com my Chinese takeout, I can barely exit the site before the doorman calls up, “Food delivery." That speedy execution always worries me.
Peppermint Chocolate Chip rendered in plywood. LOVE.
Sit outside and admire the nice little tables and potted plants. Watch the cars on 9G. Read the paper. Or Rural Intelligence.
Valley Harvest Ice Cream & Grill
6 Palatine Park Road, Germantown, NY
Weekdays (except Tuesdays) 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Weekends noon to 9 p.m. Nine p.m. is way sophisticated for Germantown.