Bubby’s Take Away Kitchen
The first time Lew and I drove back to Manhattan through downtown Red Hook* we passed a restaurant called Bubby’s. Surprised AND delighted to discover a Jewish deli in our new home (we foresaw separation anxiety from our beloved Zabar’s), we were told on our next visit that Bubby’s was, in fact, an OUTSTANDING Mexican/Caribbean restaurant featuring the best casual food in the area. Our shock led to the natural curiosity of any eater, and we visited Bubby’s on our next trip to the house.
We’ve returned several times since, and thought today would be a perfect reason to bring lunch in from there, since our usual meal of salad topped with turkey seemed unnecessary the day before Thanksgiving. Though you can dine at one of the small tables there, we prefer taking the food home and spreading out a bit.
I knew I wouldn’t be in the mood to cook dinner tonight in the midst of holiday prep, so I encouraged Lew to bring back enough for two meals. In truth, their portions are gigantic, so that never poses a problem.
We love to walk in to the restaurant. It screams healthy, natural, fresh food – and is dominated by the hand drawn chalk boards serving as a menu. Mexican Chicken Soup is a staple and they usually have a second soup option such as lentil soup. These can be ordered in either a half or full portion. Lew ordered the Mexican Chicken Soup for me, and it proved to be a perfect antidote to my annual cold.
The kitchen offers a choice of four proteins for their tacos, quesadillas, or burritos: chicken, pork, chorizo, and brisket. We generally pick the brisket but today I was in the mood for a pork quesadilla and Lew ordered the chicken burrito bowl for himself. What I love about Bubby’s is they know how to make potentially fattening things and tweak them to be healthier. The quesadilla was crisp, not soggy, thanks to a light hand with the oil. Accompanied by either rice and beans (again, not greasy) or a small salad, and tiny garnishes of guacamole, sour cream and salsa, it was nearly perfect…and large enough to put half in the fridge for dinner. Lew’s burrito bowl was filled with beans, chicken, rice, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and salsa. With the addition of a bit of hot sauce for the beans and rice, it hit the spot on a dreary rainy day. He polished most of it off, but if he’s nice to me throughout the rest of the day, I’ll share my quesadilla at dinner time.
Other highlights of the menu are the Caribbean Chicken (served with red beans and rice, cole slaw and pickled peppers) and the selection of Tacos: Pork and Pineapple; Chicken Tomatillo; Chorizo and Cheese, Brisket; and Vegetarian. All are topped with salsa, onion, cilantro and lime. Cheese and Sour cream are available for a small extra charge. Lew often orders 2 or 3 for a meal. There are vegetarian options and they offer brown rice or coconut rice instead of the rice and beans (which are cooked with meat).
Bubby’s does not have a liquor license. They do offer a variety of housemade beverages including chai tea, coffee, black currant soda, ginger pepper soda, lime soda (fresh or salty), and raspberry flavored waters.
For dessert, Bubby’s offers carrot cupcakes and brownies. We have yet to try either.
Bubby’s is the definition of no frills, but warm and friendly service (the airlines could take a cue from them). This is NOT a place for a romantic liaison staring into each other’s eyes. But it IS a great place for unique, fresh, healthy food that is high-quality without being expensive.
*Downtown is a charming term for most Upstate towns. As my friend Chris (who has as horrible a sense of direction as I do) said “What I love is that every town in basically two streets, one of which is usually called Market Street.” Even I can navigate an intersection filled with shops and cafes without getting lost.
Know Before You Go:
Bring your upstate manners. You can get behind a large take out order and your food may NOT be ready in the time frame they give you. True story: I once lost my temper there, and sheepishly went back the next day to apologize for my impatience (admittedly, it was late and I was very hangry). Call ahead if you REALLY don’t want to wait.
When Bard is in session, the small place will be filled with students and can get noisy.
In the summer, there is a food cart about a mile from the store which offers 3 or 4 vegetarian burritos that are enormous and very tasty!
Bubby’s is very kid friendly. They offer kid-sized burritos and quesadillas for those with smaller appetites.
BUBBY’S TAKE AWAY KITCHEN
19 West Market Street
Red Hook, NY 12571
Hours of operation:
Tuesday-Saturday: 11AM – 8PM
Closed Sunday and Monday