Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Lighthouse (White Lake, NY)

-leave your own

Greasy Wood Paneling, Cigarette Machine, just like mom used to have.

The Monticello Miracle (part 1 of 3)

Monticello is famous for a few things, including a Racino, a decaying urban center, a disturbing number of boarded-up summer camps in the nearby woods, a proximity to the site of the original Woodstock. It didn't seem likely to be famous for it's food, based on the abandoned 1960's Italian restaurants and strips clubs lining every road in and out of town. Having taken the back road home one week, we drove by a very promising BBQ joint in White Lake, just west of Monticello. Unfortunately, it was closed. Thank goodness, there was a very promising tavern in the same town claiming to have more than 50 beers on tap...also closed. The only place not closed was The Lighthouse. I wish I could say it was like a beacon in the dark of night reaching out to our vessel van. I think one of the crew members was sharpening the machete in the back, so I wisely pulled over.

The prices on the dinner menu suggested we were in downtown Manhattan, while our surroundings suggested we were somewhere between 1973 and a bad mobster movie. I hate to be so negative about a place that I ultimately enjoyed, but I am just trying to paint an accurate picture for you, readers. My crew were putting on their coats (actually, they were still on, since the temperature in there was around 55 degrees) and pushing in their chairs when I managed to get a much more affordable bar menu. Always ask if there's a bar menu, readers.

Personally, I feel the best indicator for a good pub menu is the hamburger. No cheese, no bacon, no BBQ sauce, no steamed asparagus. LTO, some ketchup. We all ordered hamburgers, save for one regretful, remorseful diner. The menu simply stated: hamburger with steak fries. What it didn't say was that the burger was a double-fistful of the highest quality chuck and sirloin, cooked to medium (real, pink, delicious medium) on a perfectly soft and seasoned wick-type roll, with romaine, tomato and red onion. Service was competent, attentive and friendly, and they put up graciously with the chaos and annoyance of 5 people trying to pay separately. We need to work on that as a group, I must admit.

If you don't mind taking in most of your daily allowance of calories, protein, and fat, please go to the Lighthouse, enjoy the greatest, most unheralded burger in the county, and bring back some memories by pulling the knob for a softpack of Newports.

The Lighthouse Restaurant
White Lake, NY

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