Cheap Eats

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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Fred’s Place

11 Lohmaier Ln., Lake Katrine

The deal: Three-course meals for $13.95

If you’ve driven on Route 209 near the Saugerties exit, you’ll surely have spotted Fred’s Place across the grassy verge, although how to actually get to it remains a mystery to many. “I know. We’re putting up signs with arrows,” says the owner, Cynthia Wadnola.

For many years, the sign on the building was “Cynfre’s,” Cynthia’s well-regarded bakery and catering company that she closed in 2000. Fred’s Place, which is now four years old, is named for her husband, a retired naval lieutenant commander whose 26 years in the service you’ll see reflected in pictures of ships and other memorabilia that makes up much of the restaurant’s decor. (Nowadays, you’ll find him a genial host, tending bar.)

Everything is made in-house. “And I’m Italian,” Wadnola says, “so the Italian food is excellent”

Fred’s favorite foods make up much of the menu, too. “He’s been my inspiration for 42 years,” says Cynthia. Fred’s top favorites are dishes beloved of most red-blooded American guys: meatloaf and pot pie. Cynthia, who is a certified executive chef, sometimes takes off in fancier directions with the eclectic fare she describes as “new-fashioned home cooking. (Think grilled salmon in an apple, panko, and pecan sauce.) Everything is made in-house, using local produce when possible, and herbs from the garden. “And I’m Italian,” she says, “so the Italian food is excellent.”

Despite the confusing location, weekenders and locals find their way to the cozy red, white, and blue dining room — particularly on nights when the specials are on offer. We Appreciate You Wednesdays, Thank You For Your Patronage Thursdays, and plain Thank You Sundays offer a three-course meal for only $13.95 — with wine deals to match.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, the bill of fare is similar. “You get an amuse-bouche when you arrive, hummus with garlic points,” says Cynthia. “Then a choice of soup or salad, and maybe tilapia francese, or beef stew, or a boneless pork chop milanese. Then a dessert, like chocolate mousse cake or apple streusel.” On Sundays, she dispenses a turkey dinner with grilled vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes and, of course, cranberry sauce.

And her own favorite dish? “That’s a tough question. I love the veggie burger — everybody does. The chicken in Champagne sauce is one of my favorites, too, because sauces are my favorite thing to do.”

» Next stop: Earth Foods, Hudson



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