Saturday we went for a ride and wound up eating eggplant parmesan and spicy wings at Uncle Sonny’s Italian restaurant in Pine Plains, which is just north of nothing and has an excellent tractor dealership in the heart of town. We knew it was an Italian restaurant because the out of focus printed paper place mat told us so. The waitress was beautiful, the wine drinkable and it was fun to be in that foreign country of upstate NY. Jeff made best friends with a group of guys in the parking lot as he bummed a cigarette and they talked motorcycle maintenance.
Next stop was the Bangall Country Store where we met the chef/owner Artie. Artie and I started talking about hydration methods for bread baking, he made some excellent espresso and we chatted about life in general. By the time we left, we had sampled his outstanding homemade challah bread and then he gave us a loaf of his bread, claiming that he didn’t need two loaves, so we should take one. We had him autograph the bag, and we left, hoping that our travels would one day take us back to the Bangall Country Store. We followed the setting sun and found ourselves in the chi-chi town of Rhinebeck. Oh look, we had left behind the world of 15-cent wings and re-entered the world of the $7.50 glass of mediocre wine….and in such a short distance. We went window shopping, visited the lobby of the Oldest Inn in America, and headed back home. A fine Saturday.
P.S. Artie makes a damn fine loaf of bread.