6.17.2014

Riding the Rails to Oneonta

The Red Caboose on Urbanspoon

Once upon a time, Oneonta, NY was the home of the largest railroad union in the world. That is an area of little interest to me, but because of that heritage, there is now a restaurant in cutie pie downtown Oneonta called the Red Caboose. As you can imagine, I'm rather interested in that, so on the way to New Hampshire last week for work, I convinced the ladies to stop there for lunch.


Situated right on the main drag downtown, The Red Caboose's feel is of a railroad station in the Tuscan countryside. I loved the paned French doors overlooking the patio, and the rustic wooden plates upon which our robust lunches were presented. The friendly, handsome wait staff didn't hurt, either. This was a welcome respite from our work-induced road trip.

I was eyeing the burgers to begin with, but once our waiter described that day's special - a black pepper camembert-topped beef burger from Kilcoyne Frams in Brasher Falls, with applewood smoked bacon...I was all in. Thank goodness for my enthusiastic nature, because that thing was good. Like, smoky, deep, umami juices exploding all over my hands upon the first bite good. The kind of burger it's OK not to track in your Weight Watchers app. The kind of burger you lie about to your partner. I'm not kidding, you guys. Go get a burger in Oneonta!

Of course there were fries on the side, and not terribly surprisingly, they were resplendent. Hand cut, of course, and thick. Pillowy and fluffy inside, delicately crisp outside, with the perfect "fry" flavor of potato and fried food. We all loved them.

See that flaky salt on the fry, right there? That's te signature of a chef who understands the art of the French fry. Red Caboose is a farm to table joint, sourcing a lot of their product right in New York State, and that flake of salt right there is exhibit A in the prosecution's assertion that this guy is real deal. It is sticking to the fry because he sprinkled it as soon as the spuds left the hot oil, which is prime time to season your fried food. Well done, sir.

Theresa ordered the steak sandwich and butternut squash soup. Her sandwich looked divine, but I didn't taste it. I DID sneak a spoonful of the soup, which was subtly spiced with curry, light and not too sweet or overly creamy. I believe they use ricotta rather than heavy cream, which is wise. So many squash soup are too sweet, but I loved this one's complexity.

Kelly went for a ginormous BLT and scarfed that sucker down. It looked phenomenal, and I wouldn't have dared to ask her to spare a bite. I care too much!

I already want to go back. Anyone up for a jaunt to Oneonta? I want the scallops with pork belly (obvi) and the gnocchi with mushrooms, plus a dive into their great cocktail menu. I kind of want them right now. I'm awarding the Red Caboose an eight on the BHS scale, and this may be the new official stop for us on all trips to NH. Four out of four colleagues agree! My personality is big; my hunger is bigger!

1 comment:

  1. What a great compliment to our downtown City of Oneonta...Thank you for your lovely description of the food and making me hungry this morning. I think I'll have to go there for dinner tonight to satisfy my burger craving. We love the Red Caboose! We've tried everything on the menu, I concur, their Scallops are the best, but you also have to try the Duck! It's an explosion of flavor that will change your life forever!

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