Hot Chicken Sandwiches & Cool Cocktails: Gracie's Luncheonette
When Gracie's Luncheonette took over the building that once housed Koch’s Drive-In Restaurant in Leeds, the owners saved and rebranded the iconic sign atop the building. That retro-fresh aesthetic plays into the style of the space, and their locally sourced menu is straight-up delicious.
The lemony, minty, gingery Blueberry Gin Smash (at right) made the perfect cooling complement to the seriously spicy hot chicken sandwich (below). The fried chicken had a perfectly crispy crust and was tucked into a house-made seeded bun with tangy pickles and creamy mayo.
The impeccably fresh side salad was dressed in a deeply flavorful herbal vinaigrette, which may have been accented with tarragon or chervil.
The clean, crisp, airy space wasn't busy when we first arrived, but it was bustling by 1pm. It has the look of a Hamptons restaurant in the middle of the mountains.
Archer isn't pictured in this post because he got the seat next to a window at the back of the restaurant, and this is the view. He ate his whole meal while staring out over Catskill Creek:
Ramona opted for grilled cheese with french fries and a vanilla milkshake.
Moments after saying, "Cheers!" she had bitten the top off this adorable striped straw. I love that shakes are served in kid-friendly cups with lids, and I love the look of this paper straws, but Ramona literally chewed it up.
Maybe she was just really hungry. Like, too hungry to even pick up a sandwich. She just stuck her little face in it.
Archer wants me to add that Gracie's grilled cheese made his All-Time Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich List. It was that good.
After lunch, Ramona found the nook where they keep the high chairs. I'm always so grateful for restaurants that serve great food and have multiple high chairs -- at home in Brooklyn, this isn't always a given.
Gracie's started out as a food truck, which we spotted outside. Below, you can get a sense of the semi-circle of windows that illuminates the dining room.