With family all over the place, we tend to travel for just about every holiday. While I love seeing family and mixing things up, it can also be a bit of a slog to always have to hop in the car for a traffic-laden ride or to deal with airport crowds during the holiday season. Making fun little stops along the way on road trips can make them feel a little less like a chore and more like an adventure.
On our way home from Christmas in New Jersey, we found ourselves hungry just over the border in New York state, and when I say hungry, I actually mean my blood sugar dropped and I needed to EAT now or harm someone. That happens to everyone, right?
We pulled off the highway in Newburgh, New York expecting to land at a Dunkin’ Donuts or diner, something that would be quick so we could be on our way again. Instead we drove right past North Plank Tavern, a sweet old house with a bright, friendly OPEN flag flying from its doorway.
The cheerful outside against the gray December sky called to us, and since we had plenty of time before dinner plans in Boston, we decided to have a sit down meal and to take our time, something I am not very good at.
We walked inside and were instantly charmed by the narrow doorways and dark wood. We popped our heads in the dining rooms first and finally settled into the empty bar, where we were soon welcomed. My photos aren’t great as I was trying to not have my phone out during a meal, something I want to get better at, but they do give an idea of this historic tavern’s look and feel.
According to our host and the North Plank Tavern website:
The Tavern has a storied past. It was originally built as a hotel along a plank road, and became a Tavern and boarding house. During prohibition, the Tavern continued to serve alcohol and operated as a speakeasy.
The boarding house was owned by Mrs. Sauer, whose name and photo can be seen in photos above. The space was enchanting; I love history and trying to imagine what things were like in different periods. It also felt a wee bit creepy; I am a strong believer in lingering spirits and always hope to encounter them in old houses! Except my own that is. . .
I love the above photo from the restaurant website, a trap door with Prohibition-era liquor underneath.
For an old tavern, I expected the menu to match, with classics and pub-type food. We were pleasantly surprised at the gourmet aspect of the restaurant.
The brunch menu featured an INCREDIBLE truffled Burrata salad with oven-roasted tomatoes. It was absolutely to-die-for and even better because it was NOT what I expected when we stopped for food.
My husband had the slab bacon (naturally) with eggs and home fries, all also excellent. The North Plank Tavern has a big smoker out back, where the bacon was made, it the bacon was delicious. So smoky, meaty, tender, so much better than regular old bacon.
The service was lovely, and the vibe was relaxed. We’ll be planning drives around meals here in the future. I can’t wait to check out the dinner menu,