Historic Village Diner
Diners are more than places to eat in the Hudson Valley. They’re institutions. Nice institutions. Warm institutions. Institutions where everyone not only knows your name but knows your favorite orders, whether you have to have a glass of water before your morning coffee, whether you will always add cheese to your healthy egg while omelet, and will run next door to the convenience store when you need a banana for your oatmeal. Seriously.
The Historic Village Diner in Red Hook is bound by history and community. An example of both early 20th century road eatery architecture and what’s known as Silk Road building (prefab side-of-the-road casual stops), it stands now as an integral part of Red Hook life. Families have been coming here not just for years, but for generations. And from the minute you walk in, you realize that you want to become part of that ongoing history.
It’s exemplary in both friendliness and food quality. My most recent visit there was to celebrate the wonderful Lupe Galvan’s birthday over breakfast. Lupe is well known in Red Hook and was greeted warmly upon arrival (as was I but I’m less familiar). When I wished him a Happy Birthday both waitresses chimed in with celebratory words. And yes, they brought over a tall glass of water for him BEFORE his coffee because, well, they know that’s what he likes. We were there early, and it was the first time that I didn’t have to wait for a table—on weekends the place is packed from about 8 am on.
Oh the food. The breakfast menu (served all day ) is vast and can satisfy any need whether you’re carbo-loading, following Paleo, or eating healthy. We managed to combine all three with our omelets. Lupe had the Village one comprised of bacon/tomato/onion/American cheese, while I chose the Vegetarian omelet with onion, mushroom, pepper, and tomatoes and added goat cheese to round out the four basic food groups. Both came with toast and a choice of hash brown or shredded potatoes. Generous portion? Let me just say I have an ENORMOUS appetite and could barely finish half AND left the toast untouched. And of course had a bottomless cup of coffee. To add a festive note given the occasion, Lupe’s omelet arrived with a lit candle in a small tub of butter. We did, not, however, sing.
In case we were not in the mood for eggs, we could have selected a variety of pancakes, waffles, cereals, or French toast. And if we arrived later, we could have eaten anything from meat loaf sandwich (a personal favorite) to chicken parm to the standard bearer of all diners: club sandwich and French fries. Trust me, no matter what time of day you go to the Historic Village Diner you will NOT leave hungry or unsatisfied.
Know Before You Go:
The waitresses are uber-friendly. If you want to bury yourself behind a newspaper, this is NOT the place for you. If, however, you want help with anything ranging from finding a new apartment to deciding what to eat, this is.
There is no wi-fi. In the words of our lovely waitress “put down the laptop and talk to each other.”
Come hungry. If you leave too much food on your plate, they will take it personally.
Parking is tight. There’s a lot around the back to supplement the few spots in front, but you may want to park either in the municipal lot or on the street in the Village. It’s about a 10 minute walk, but hey, you gotta burn off those potatoes anyway.