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DOFL: Rock Hill Bakehouse Cafe

April 16, 2013

We could all probably use a shot of good will today. So let me take the opportunity to highlight another restaurant that will be participating in the upcoming Dining Out For Life event on April 25.

It’s an easy and delicious way to help raise money for the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York.

I was very impressed that the money that’s collected during this event goes almost entirely into programming and isn’t raided to pay for overhead expenses like salaries or building maintenance. They are helping people who need help. That’s why I agreed to participate with the AIDS Council by writing a small handful of posts in the days leading up to the big event. It also gave me a good excuse to visit places that had long been on my radar, but that I’ve never tried.

Like the Rock Hill Bakehouse Cafe in Glens Falls. Actually, in my almost six years as a resident of the region, my feet had never touched the ground in Glens Falls. Even still, the legend that is the Rock Hill Bakehouse have rung out and I was excited to make the trek up to eat there.

Truth be told, I may have conflated the cafe with its baking operation. None of their famous breads are made in Glens Falls. Rather, they are all made at the production facility ten minutes down the road in Gansevoort.

Still, the cafe is all about the bread. The story is printed on their menus:

We began baking traditional, handmade, European breads from the Greenwich farmhouse kitchen of Michael and Wendy London in 1986. Way back then, our breads were only available at the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan and several of NY’s finest restaurants and retailers (Aureole, Lutece, Le Bernadin, Grace’s Marketplace, Balducci’s).

But since then they have grown. It’s worth a trip to stop into their bakery as long as you are nearby. Yes, you can now buy Rock Hill bread at every regional Hannaford supermarket. However, it’s different to get it sliced and sealed in a plastic bag than as a full whole form with a true crust that hasn’t been suffocated.

Let’s get back to the cafe though. Because it’s a funky little place in a brick building full of light and life. And you can come for breakfasts of toast and jam or an egg sandwich. Lunch and dinner consist of a singular menu of soups, salads and sandwiches. And even though there is a counter for takeout orders, there is table service for anyone who is eating on site.

There make so many interesting and unusual sandwiches, but I knew in my heart of hearts there was one that I was meant to try. After all, Mimi Sheraton had this to say of their Jewish Rye in the New York Times last year:

But the very best local example of this fragrant rye is made by the artisanal Rock Hill Bakehouse…Chewy and yeasty, with a convincingly tan sourdough color, this bread has a firm, tight crumb and plenty of caraway.

That meant ordering their Reuben, which combines this bread with swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and corned beef from Oscar’s Smokehouse. Any of their sandwiches can be ordered by the half, which was perfect because I wanted to try as many things as I could. So I stuck to a half sandwich and had a cup of their beef barley soup with a slice of sourdough on the side.

It’s all about the bread. This is clear, because the pat of Cabot butter they bring is properly tempered for easy spreading.

This would have made an entirely satisfying dinner. And the cafe is open until 9 p.m. on Thursday. But they are donating 20% of their sales to Dining Out For Life all day. So you can feast on any of their local foods, like a salad with Nettle Meadows Kunik cheese, and wash it down with cider from nearby Saratoga Apple or Hick’s Orchard.

Apparently, a million years ago, there used to be an outpost of this cafe in Albany where the LL Bean now resides in Colonie Center. I never did get the story about what happened to that venture.

But as a certified bread lover, now I’ve got another good excuse to get up to Glens Falls. Maybe some of you will be inspired to make the journey on Thursday night to help support a good cause. Yeah, gas isn’t cheap. But it’s staying light out longer. That means you could make it for dinner, and maybe do a little exploring around town. Or perhaps enjoy a beer at Davidson first before dinner and some dessert at The Chocolate Mill afterwards?

Either way, this is a great option for those food lovers who want to support the event and have a little adventure, but don’t want to be in a stuffy place. I may not make the trip up there on a regular basis for a sandwich. But it’s a special treat every now and again.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kat permalink
    April 16, 2013 12:00 pm

    Thank you for this article! Rock Hill Bakehouse is such a fantastic place and they have been supporters of Dining Out For Life for years and years!

  2. April 16, 2013 3:40 pm

    You have to agree that bread makes or breaks the sandwich and it is best from the bakery. Love it when the crust shatters into little shards as it’s sliced. Great stuff but I make my own bread now with KAF.

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