Woody’s in Cornwall: wholesome food on the go

Author: Coleen McDonald
Posted: Tuesday, June 17, 2008
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After a long day at work I didn’t feel like getting all dolled up to go out to eat, so instead I threw on some jeans and a t-shirt, grabbed a friend, and drove a little ways down the road to Woody’s Burgers & Fries in Cornwall. Even from the outside, Woody’s embodies that hometown feel – a nice, relaxed, inviting atmosphere that greets you as soon as you open the door.

Although small, the dining area is bright and airy. Scattered across the yellow colored walls are paintings by local artists of Hudson Valley scenery. There are a variety of places to sit – cozy corner booths, high counter stools, tables for two, or the just-opened outside dining deck with wooden picnic tables under shady, green umbrellas.

But before we could pick out a seat, we stepped up to the counter and placed our order. The friendly “counter intelligence” (as the sign read on the cash register) asked for my name and then for my order.
There was so much to choose from for a burger joint and there were even alternatives for vegetarians!

The menu boasted valley salads, grilled cheeses, Portobello mushroom sandwiches, chili, hot dogs and BLTs. We decided on the homemade chicken vegetable soup, a cheeseburger (how could I not, after all?), a chicken breast sandwich, hand-cut French fries, and ‘black dirt’ onion hay.

After I paid, we found a table and waited for our order to be brought out.
We found a table for two in the middle of the dining room, and while we waited for our food I surveyed the area. Sitting at the booths and tables were families, teenagers, young couples, mothers and daughters, and businessmen on their way home from work.

From time to time I glanced over at the kitchen to see how the cooks were doing with our order. The kitchen is open and visible from the whole restaurant.
After a short wait, a server brought over a tray with all of our food. We decided to split everything so we could each get a taste for our different selections. There was more than enough in each serving to do just that.

We started with the chicken and vegetable soup. That alone could have been my whole meal. The broth was so rich and filled with so much chicken and fresh vegetables that I was glad we were sharing it because I wouldn’t have had room for my burger afterwards if I had eaten it all myself!
For our main course, the burger and the chicken sandwich, I can’t tell you which I liked better.

The burger was satisfying – much better than something you would grab on your way home at the drive-thru; however, the chicken sandwich was also filling and flavorful. Both were served on a multi-grain roll, with a choice of pickles, onion, lettuce, tomato, and spiced or herbed mayo. Even better were the fries and onion hay, which were surprisingly non-greasy and very addicting. I was getting full, but everything was so good that I couldn’t resist finishing my plate.

How could I go to a hometown burger joint and not get a malt shake? Despite being full from our meal, we each ordered dessert. I chose a chocolate malt and my friend ordered a strawberry shake. It was the best chocolate shake I have ever had – not too watery, not too thick. It was rich and creamy and perfectly refreshing for a warm summer evening. My friend agreed that his strawberry shake was the perfect touch to a tasty home-cooked meal.

What I loved most about Woody’s was that all of the food served was from the Hudson Valley, and all of it was organic. The beef is grass-fed and grain-finished from 3C Farms in Chester, Prospect Hill

Farms in Pine Plains or Pineland Farms in Maine; the chicken is free-range and hormone free from Sullivan County; the onions are from Pine Island in Orange County; the mushrooms are from Pennsylvania; the hot dogs are from Saugerties; the bread is from Sullivan and Rockland counties; and even the milkshakes are made using Jane’s Premium Ice Cream in Kingston!

When you go to Woody’s you’re not only getting fresh, tasty, home-cooked food, but you’re also supporting the agriculture and economy of your own neighborhood. The atmosphere is casual and warm, the food wholesome and delicious. The service is fast but friendly, and what’s best is that none of the nutritional value is lost through efficiency.  You can rest assured that you’re getting great, healthy, locally grown food even though you’re on the go and on a budget.
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