Alan Chartock: Continued list of great places to eat
Oh, boy! Last week, I listed a whole bunch of places to eat in Great Barrington. I thought I had all -- or at least most -- of them, but no matter where I went, I ran into people who chided me for leaving their favorite off the list.
As I feared would happen, I realized that there were some really great restaurants I'd simply forgotten and I apologize to all those who I left out. I was raised in a progressive household where birthday parties had contests with no losers.
Someone wrote to the paper and said that I was mean about the Old Mill. I was not. I said a lot of people loved the place and someone threw a rubber chicken at me. Both true. I certainly did not mean to hurt anyone's feelings.
So here are some more Great Barrington area restaurants.
At the top of Railroad Street (the Greenwich Village of Great Barrington) are two very good restaurants, Allium and Fiori. People swear by both of them. Just down the block is Twenty Railroad Street, moderately priced but excellent.
There are many things on the menu that the doctors tell you not to eat (fried) but which are really good. Across the street is Bizen, a first-rate Japanese restaurant.
Shiiro's on Route 7 is also Japanese and down the road is Barrington Brewery. Back down around on the Main Street is Siam Square, a very good Thai restaurant that deserves more patronage than it gets. The people who run it are among the nicest in the world.
Also at the top of Railroad Street is my favorite breakfast place, Martin's. You may have to wait to get in but the food is fabulous and the wait staff is the best. You just can't beat this place.
If you like Indian food, there is a wonderful Indian restaurant, Aroma, just South of Route 23, right next to the police station. The last time we went there, the place was packed. Now, there's bad Indian food and there's good Indian food. This is very good.
Right on Main Street there is The Well, another moderately priced restaurant. The online reviews are mixed, but the last time we were there we really enjoyed the simple fare.
There is a second Mexican restaurant in Great Barrington called Azteca. Chef Michael Ballon of the Castle Street Café says it's the real deal. Sometimes it gets overlooked when compared with the fabulous Xicohtencatl.
Two other very good restaurants are The Pizza House on State Road and Manhattan Pizza right across from the Indian restaurant.
Koi and East are both very good eat-in Chinese restaurants, as is the Great Wall, mostly a takeout place although you can eat at one of their tables.
Naji's Lebanese restaurant has good stuff if you are into Middle Eastern fare.
There are two diners, Ena (across from Kmart) and the Main Street Diner (on Main Street, of course). The latter often has space to sit.
Also on Main Street is the always interesting Gypsy Joynt. You have to get up and order your food, but it's good. They have great salads and pizza and good music. We like to catch Dona Federico, Dwight O'Neil, Bob Jones and the whole Spurs crew there.
In Housatonic, there is the Brick House. My thirtysomething kids love their hamburgers, pizza and music.
Out in West Stockbridge, there is the Orient Express and the fabulous Rouge which is the soul of West Stockbridge.
In Stockbridge, there is Once Upon a Table, a cozy place to eat good food. Traveling to New Marlborough, there is the excellent Inn on the Green. We love the Stagecoach Tavern in Sheffield and the folks who run it.
As I always say on the radio, if you want to understand the Berkshires, you have to go to The Red Lion Inn. It's the place in Stockbridge where you take your relatives. They have a main dining room, a wonderful eat-in bar, and one of the few Berkshire night spots, the Lion's Den.
OK, OK, there are lots of great restaurants in Lee and Lenox, but they'll have to wait for now.
Alan Chartock, a Great Barrington resident, is president and CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and a professor emeritus of communications at SUNY-Albany.
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