Poughkeepsie -- my old stopping grounds
I spent some of the best years of my life in Poughkeepsie while I attended Marist College. The city of Poughkeepsie wasn't too safe, but the surrounding areas were beautiful--some of the Hudson River Valley's nicest towns. The Roosevelt and Vanderbilt estates give the area history while the food culture has a strong influence due to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Although I didn't make it to the CIA to eat, I had some pretty good food--so what if it was drunk food!
Hands down the best deli in the area. This corner deli makes some of the best italian food I've ever had and that's saying a lot. Whether you get a chicken parm or a rosemary chicken panini with peppers and fresh mozzarella you won't be disappointed.
On my latest trip I sampled the ribs which were ridiculously good. I never would have thought to get ribs at an italian place, but they know what they're doing. The ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender and had such great flavor. I also tried a pepper stuffed with prosciutto that dazzled my mouth with a nice spicy component. I also got a small panini with rosemary chicken, roasted red peppers, and fresh mozzarella. Rossi's is reason enough to make the trip, so I guess I'll cya at the next alumni weekend!
One might go to Palace Diner after a night of drinking for some good drunk eats or in the morning for a nice hearty breakfast after a night of drinking. Palace is great for the late night drunk stop, but for breakfast--hop in your car and go to Eveready Diner in Hyde Park--DELICIOUS.
But I cannot say anything bad about "The Palace" as it treated me very well in my 4 years--just look at my stomach. I have tried a few things on the menu, but the Red Fox wrap is my go-to. Although my version of the Red Fox wrap isn't the traditional version--no1 can really argue which is better.
My Red Fox wrap comes with chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, and honey mustard sauce. The crispy chicken tenders combined with cheddar and bacon is just amazing, plus add some honey mustard and you got yourself a happy ending--some might argue better than going home with a foxy lady.
We use to venture to Darbys, an irish bar in Hyde Park, atleast once or twice a week while in school. They usually had a really good band on Thursdays and Saturdays, but the band this year was disappointing. The singer/guitarist thought it was funny to substitute dirty lyrics randomly in songs. It probably wouldn't have been that bad if his song selection wasn't so bad or if the bar wasn't packed of drunk assholes bumping into me every five seconds--ooo thats right: its college...its allowed.
Mohoneys is another Irish pub in the area. Mahoneys is right next to the train station, so not in the best area; but safe enough if you're taking a taxi. I believe Darbys and Mahoneys are the same owners, but I could be wrong. Mahoneys was an upperclassman bar when I was at Marist and I'm pretty sure that hasn't changed much as Mahoneys is a little classier than most college bars.
Mahoneys is a good time although a bit more expensive than all the other bars. This is because Mahoneys doesn't rely on college students as they have their own loyal crowd of middle aged guests. The dance parties at Mahoneys could get pretty good as a live band usually takes over the downstairs area. If you're not in the mood to dance or bother with people, you could sit upstairs at a table as the upstairs bar is always going.
One of my favorite things about Mahoneys is the huge opening that allows those upstairs to look downstairs. This was perfect for my buddy's performace of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up". Thats right, my buddy Greg was handed the mic from the band and "rickrolled" the whole crowd. There's probably a video on Youtube somewhere of it.
Good times for sure.
Renaissance Pub or Rennies
Probably the definition of a college bar. The only reason I like this place is because of the people we go with. The owners suck, the place is a shoebox, and they have the balls to charge a cover. I'm not cheap, I don't mind paying a cover; but they didn't have a band, DJ, etc. They didn't even have a line to get in! Wouldn't really care if I ever went back here...
A solid pizza place right across from campus--can't beat it. Chicken Roll plus a grandpa slice and you're ready to booze. A grandpa slice is a thin sicillian slice with sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Can't argue with good pizza and a friendly staff.