I have had a home in the Poconos since 2002, and I have lived here full-time since 2005. Unlike brookquarry, I live at the northern tip of the Poconos, so my experiences are concentrated in that area.
First, let's address Stroudsburg. It has traditionally been the epicenter of the Poconos, but that has, in my opinion, changed in the last few years for several reasons, not the least of which is that it has lost a bit of its luster of late. There are still some good places to eat there, but you have to be careful.
I haven't eaten at Siamsa (pronounced SHAM' sa) yet, but I have heard good reports about it. I put it in the same category as Ned's on Ninth, which has a cult following that borders on fanaticism; however, on two different occasions I walked in the front door, only to make an immediate about-face and leave because of the thick haze of smoke and the accompanying stink of stale cigarettes. I plan to try both about a month or two after the no-smoking law goes into effect next month.
I can offer a personal recommendation of The Dansbury Depot
in S'Burg. Good casual fare, some truly healthy choices, and NO SMOKING!!
Further north, in Milford, there are several opportunities for some really good food. The Dimmick Inn
, at the corner of Broad and Harford, has a great atmosphere and really good food. It is in a genuinely old building, and in one spot the floor felt as if was leaning a few degrees to starboard, but that comes with the (old building) territory.
If you yearn for trendy-chic with New York Prices, then head over to the Hotel Fauchere
, just about 2 blocks from The Dimmick. The food in their Delmonico Room
has already attracted a wide following, and a sample of their menu can be viewed here: http://www.hotelfauchere.com/dining/specials/newmenus/MENU_DelmonicoRoom0708.pdf
If you want the food but not the prices, just amble downstairs to Bar Louis
. Still trendy-chic, but casual, with a different menu and much lower prices - but, the food for both Bar Louis and The Delmonico Room comes out of the same kitchen. I have eaten at Bar Louis and I can recommend it highly. Take a look at their menu here: http://www.hotelfauchere.com/dining/specials/newmenus/MENU_BarLouis0408.pdf
If you are a seafood lover, head out of Milford on Route 6 West in the direction of Matamoras and Westfall. Keep your eyes open for Balch's Seafood
. I have eaten there several times, and their seafood is comparable to many of the better road houses in northern New England, with very reasonable prices.
If you are a strictly-no-frills, burger and fries type, then you can't go wrong with 5 Guys Burgers
. Zagat rated, has won about a gazillion mentions in Zagat and other foodie publications: http://www.fiveguys.com/menu.html
. They have a location in Stroudsburg, and another one in Dickson City (north & west of S'Burg, but us locals gravitate towards Dickson City in much the same way that folks in northern New Jersey head to Paramus - namely, every store in the world is there!).
Finally, in an out-of-the-way corner of the Poconos in Lords Valley, you can take in some white-tablecloth
Italian fare at the Laurel Ridge Restaurant on Route 739. Take exit 34 off of I-84 and travel about 1 1/2 miles south on Rt 739. Most of their food is pretty good, although some of it has a bit too much garlic for my tastes - but I realize that I am in the minority there.
So, between brookquarry's recommendations for the southern half of the Poconos, plus mine for the northern half, you should be able to find good stuff anywhere in the area.