There’s a cornucopia of culinary bargains to be found in the Valley, and we’re here to help you track them down
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The West Taghkanic Diner’s chicken tortilla certainly draws a crowd
Rte. 82 at Taconic Parkway, Ancram
The deal: Mexican Fiesta Night
This landmark diner, with its neon Indian-chief sign, has been turning out classic eats in a classic Art-Deco-meets-the-’50s setting since 1953. It’s such a classic, in fact, that several movie scenes and TV commercials have been filmed here.
Lhyussine Siba bought the diner 18 months ago, and wisely changed nothing except to replace the worn blue booths with new red ones. (“Call me Siba, it’s easier,” says the Moroccan-Portuguese native, whose first name kicks off with not one, but two silent letters.)
West Taghkanic Diner chef and owner Lhyussine Siba
As in most diners, the menu is pretty cheap anyway, though this place has the distinction of having had its freshly made food and generous portions praised by Michael and Jane Stern, the duo who long traversed the United States sampling the best regional fare for their Roadfood books. Jane was partial to the turkey dinner, but other travelers on the Taconic often opt for the Big Chief Breakfast, a $6.25 plate piled with eggs, buttermilk pancakes, bacon (or sausage or ham), home fries, and toast — enough calories to hold many people until dinner. Since breakfast is served all day long, it can even be dinner, if you like.
Another draw for several years has been Mexican Fiesta Night on Saturdays (and sometimes Wednesdays, too, but call to check). All the usual south-of-the-border suspects are available — burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, tacos — as well as drunken pork chops and tequila lime chicken, and all for prices ranging from $5 to $8. “There’s also a Mexican steak for $10.99,” notes Siba. “It’s a big steak and the only thing that’s expensive.” Sangria at $2.29 a glass adds to the festive mood.
» Next stop: Momiji, Stone Ridge