(We know what we like)
By Cecily & Frederick Faux Gras
And Nick & Patsy Fagioli
(The Amateur Palate, written exclusively for Pawling Public Radio, features local restaurant reviews by four people who just like to eat. They claim no professional food knowledge, but “know what they like,” and hope their opinions will encourage others to try new food establishments and different food pairings.)
If you’re looking for fine dining, don’t go to the Pawling Tavern. If you’re looking for plush surroundings and loads of ambiance, don’t go to the Pawling Tavern. If you’re looking to see and be seen, don’t go to the Pawling Tavern.
However, if you want a fabulous burger and excellent wings, in a laid-back casual atmosphere, get thee to the Pawling Tavern.
The extremely casual surroundings may put some people off, but the straightforward food and honest drinks are good and well priced.
On a recent night the four of us were joined by our friend, Frankie Falafel, a lover of plain, simple food.
We started off with drinks and shared appetizers. Frankie’s dry martini (stirred not shaken) was not as dry as he usually likes, but got a thumbs up anyway. Beer on tap was served in chilled mugs and bottles, and my 7&7 was large and potent.
The potato skins with cheese and bacon were straight forward and similar to ones you’d get at any other bar – (possibly commercially made). The Boneless Buffalo chicken wings were crispy chicken strips in Frank’s Hot Sauce, and just what I was hoping for. The surprise was the homemade macaroni salad served on the side. It was great! No sweet, gooey deli version here, but elbow macaroni cooked al dente with real mayonnaise.
Our guest enjoyed his 6 oz. steak “cooked just the way I like it.” Frankie was also happy with his real mashed potatoes and mixed veggies that were prepared “soft” as requested.
Patsy’s hamburger was huge, juicy and tasty, and the Tavern Fries served with all our meals were hand cut and nicely cooked, if a bit over-salted.
Nicky enjoyed his fried chicken, but also commented that the chicken was too salty.
Fred chose the open-faced steak sandwich with mushrooms, onions and garlic. He said the steak was tasty, the bread fresh, and the flavorful toppings were excellent.
I tried the Tavern’s McKensy – an opened faced turkey sandwich on rye topped with tomato, bacon and melted cheddar. The turkey was moist and appeared to be hand cut, not deli sliced. Another surprise was the side of coleslaw – again, homemade and very flavorful.
We’ve been to the Tavern many times for drinks and wings. Depending on who your server is, you may or may not get what you ordered. On this night, while the orders were kept straight, our server wasn’t very sure of what came with which meal, how things were prepared, or what the specials were.
Usually the food is good, and what you would expect in a pub. The Tavern is known for its hand-formed burgers, excellent chicken wings, and Tavern Fries. A few times we’ve found the chef to be a little heavy-handed with the salt, other times, not enough. Recently, they have begun serving daily specials, which are usually posted on their front window.
Food aside, the Pawling Tavern is a good place to gather with close friends for a few drinks and easy food. You can be entertained by the colorful clientele, Karaoke, or local bands.
The Pawling Tavern
42 Charles Colman Boulevard
Pawling, NY 12564-1117