Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Eating the Berkshires Round 3: A Mediterranean Bistro, The Apple Barn and The Freight Yard Pub

There was another whirlwind visit to the Berkshires in June. Links to my first two rounds are at the bottom of this post. However, I managed to squeeze in some visits to worthwhile restaurants and a big Vermont barn full of wonderful goodies and treats.

Our first stop was the Pera Bistro situated on the main drag in Williamstown.  There are several reports on Yelp about a rude, abusive owner of this place. We did not have that experience. The owner was not around to our knowledge and our waiter was delightful. The food was wonderful, if a bit pricey.

Pera is the old name for Beyoglu, a district on the European side of Istanbul, Turkey.  The food here is meant to have both Turkish and European influence.

To start we ordered the day's special appetizer, an array of different flavored goat cheeses served with a baguette. A unique idea with delicious flavors like orange ginger, maple chipotle and garlic &  herb. .... Loved it. The waiter informed us the cheese came from R&G cheesemakers in Cohoes, NY. Their website says they offer a full line of artisan cheeses, both cow and goat's milk, as well as yogurt with locally sourced milk. 

We went on to share a Pera salad, arugula, dried cranberries, crumbled goat cheese, toasted walnuts topped with sherry vinaigrette. Simple but delectable.

I ordered the Smokey Grilled Eggplant Salad.  A simple dish os chopped eggplant with peppers, parsley, garlic and olive oil. t was served with warm lavash bread.

One of the members of my party devoured the Chicken kabob wrap which contained chicken breast, mixed greens, feta cheese and maple chipotle dressing. Another winner.

For dessert we shared the baklava platter, a gorgeous mix of four types including Burma and Bird's Nest varieties, containing both walnuts and pistachios. 

We finished off the meal with thick, gorgeous authentic Turkish coffee served with a few colorful pieces of Turkish delight on the side. Pera Bistro, I'll be back.

Pera Bistro
60 Spring St
Williamstown, MA 01267
(413) 458-8676

On the way to do an errand over the Massachusetts state border into Vermont, we could resist a stop at The Apple Barn, a giant barn containing a bakery, edible and non-edible souvenirs and products made in Vermont.

The parking lot was filled with humorous biker oriented signs.

In addition to selling a ton of locally picked apple varieties in the Fall, in the fields in the back of the barn, visitors could pick their own strawberries, blueberries and raspberries as they come into season. 

This was no quick stop. Inside The apple Barn, there are lots of products to explore.

Of course, Vermont maple products were everywhere.

There was even a maple syrup tasting station. The red Barn also features a wine, cider and beer tasting room.

I bought a container of this maple sugar and pepper mix.

As well as some of this hickory flavored sea salt.

After passing up a bunch of other stuff I would have liked to buy but no longer have any room for in my pantry, it was time to sample some goods. 

We passed on the homemade fudge because I was too intrigued by the ice cream.

I had seen the "MapleSoft Serve" sign when we walked into the place and knew it had my name on it. 

The cone did not disappoint. However, I was strongly urged to try the cider doughnuts. So I turned my attention to the Bakery.

The homemade pies and pastries looked wonderful but I restrained myself and bought one single cider doughnut for my little group to share and it was outstanding.

I could have shopped and looked some more but we were running out of time and again, out of space in the pantry.

Sorry to leave but it was time to get on the road. If you find yourself on Route 7 South, do not pass by without stopping in. 

The Apple Barn
604 US Rt 7 South
Bennington, Vermont 05201
802) 447-7780

The next day we had  a late lunch/early dinner at a place we had already been to a few times, The Freight Yard Pub & Restaurant in North Adams, MA. The restaurant is located near the railroad tracks. Inside is a cozy pub-like atmosphere but plenty of tables for large groups. In nice weather, the garden is a lovely place to have a meal. I understand there is live music situation in the patio on weekends in good weather.

Full disclosure: the owner has become a family friend. However, my opinion remains the same. I have never had a bad meal here. From the fried pickle chips in beer batter to the overstuffed burgers to the nachos (my favorite), the portions are huge, tasty and priced right. 

Freight Yard Pub Tex-Mex Nachos
I ordered the nachos (above). One of us ordered the New England Burger and loved it. 

The other member of our party ordered the Jalapeño Cheddar burger with sautéed onions. An excellent choice. The fries are tasty and you can substitute a sweet potato version if you like.

Everyone was also quite happy with the choice of extra side sauces for the burgers like garlic aoli, sweet chili mayo and horseradish sauce. 

For dessert, we shared a frozen brownie ice cream concoction, I forgot the name of but it was perfect for three forks.

I highly recommend The Freight Yard Pub & Restaurant. It's had excellent, friendly service and is also a great place for families.

The Freight Yard Pub & Restaurant
1 Furnace Street
North Adams, MA 01247

Round 4 of eating the Berkshires will be coming up soon. In the meantime, if you've enjoyed this post, hop on over to my previous Eating The Berkshires posts below:

Eating the Berkshires Round 1: Dairy Farm, Pizza and Ice Cream, Oh My.

Eating the Berkshires Round 2: A Local Extract Factory, A Doughnut Shoppe and a Crazy Russian Girls Bakery

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures are so vivid and beautiful. What a lovely recap. I know I would have enjoyed the salad, chicken wrap kebob and the donut...just to mention a few of what you shared here. Happy New Year to you Lora and to the Dr.


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