If you’ve ever seen the Palisades loom over the Hudson in the late fall bright afternoon sun you’ve seen a living work of art. That view from the window of a Metro-North train instilled both a sense of reverie and adventure as ecoRDN hit the northern rails toward Kingston, NY with hopes of uncovering an abundance of plant-based foods worthy of their stunning backdrop.
Kingston is located in Ulster County situated in the stunning Hudson Valley with all-stone-everything buildings, many from the late 1600s hearkening back to Dutch colonization. Originally named Wiltwijck (anglicized to Wiltwyck) Kingston became Kingston in 1669 (after Britain seized New Netherland in 1664). Kingston became New York’s original capital city in 1777 (and tragically was burned to the ground by the British that same year). Kingston rebuilt in the late 19th century and picked up where it left off as the most substantial city in the Hudson Valley.
Fast forward to last week where we sat in awe of the Fall foliage while plotting our mission to discover all things plant-based (and eat them).
Our first stop was Yum Yum Noodle Bar, a tidy, modern noodle shop serving noodle bowls, Southeast Asian street-food “and other Asian specialities”. The build-your-own noodle bowl was too much to pass up. Both intrigued by the house-made seitan, we also chose udon noodles and vegetarian broth (it’s vegan though). All bowls come with veggies, scallions, mushrooms, nori and egg, which we declined. Yum Yum Noodle Bar is quite accommodating to plant-based people and that is awesome!
The seitan tasted great although the consistency wasn’t as we’d anticipated, it was almost like a chunk of really good thick rustic bread sopped in broth rather than a firm ‘meaty’ seitan bite of which we are accustomed (dare we say ‘snap’?). Besides that bump however the food was perfect. You cannot go wrong with a giant bowl of dynamite broth, toothy noodles and ample veg. Definitely visit if you have a hankering for noodles and Southeast-Asian street food.
Our second stop was brunch at Duo Bistro. This place is adorable, crisply illuminated in cool natural light, rustic woods, an embossed tile ceiling, all so inviting and comfortable. The menu is tight, seasonal and shows thought.
We decided on the roasted beet sandwich and the vegan hash. The beet sandwich comes with kale, roasted beets, white bean garlic humus and pumpkin seed pesto between a soft, chewy house made roll. The vegan hash is a melange of brussel sprouts, sweet potato, potato, and rosemary. Both savory meals were fresh, hot and visual stunners.
The one hiccup was that both dishes were low protein meals. The sandwich is served with hummus and pesto (which were brilliant) but we were way below the normal amount of plant-based protein we are accustomed to when we plan meals at home. Duo Bistro at one time offered a side of marinated tofu which would have been perfect for the extra boost with the sandwich. However that one gripe is minimal compared to the overall experience, Duo Bistro is a must-do, the flavors are spot-on.
Some kind locals pointed us in the direction of Outdated Cafe (the ‘Antique Cafe’) for good espresso and eye candy. The place is a sensory overload of near-mint antique stuff. Amazing, both random and familiar, pristine tins and tubes and bottles and buttons stacked from unearthed crates sat untouched for how long? Very cool.
And the espresso was gold!
Sometimes while traveling plant-based you have to find creative ways to uphold your grit (and get the food in your belly). Deitz Stadium Diner is like any family diner we may have ever been to. Not much in the way of plant-based options beyond french fries and white bagels with perhaps partially-hydrogenated peanut-goo. But even the stalwart everlasting diners have adapted. And like a beacon, the veggie burger has become a staple for the road-weary plant-based traveller, and the first in line are those diners that switched to Dr Praeger’s. Dairy-free and no BS ingredients, the burgers are a quick way to fill the hangry voids. Pair with fries for a proper fueled (if not a little GERDy) dinner. Not recommended to consume daily, but good in a pinch for fuel while traveling.
Ever been to Kingston, NY? Ever eaten anywhere we mentioned? What are your thoughts, did you enjoy the food, the weather, the town? Leave a comment below and let us know what you thought. As always, thanks of reading and eat well.
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Sissy’s Cafe is a must-see for us the next time we visit. We weren’t able to make it this time around and we feel our stomachs missed out. All reviews glowing. We’ll keep you in our sights for the next plant-based jaunt to Kingston, NY!