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West Taghkanic Diner

Route 82 & Taconic Parkway, Ancram, NY - (518) 851-7117
Posted By Michael Stern on 5/22/2008 7:15:00 AM
Heading up the Taconic Parkway towards Saratoga on a cold winter day, we had little hope of finding much good to eat. But when we pulled off for gas at Route 82 and saw the West Taghkanic Diner, our spirits soared. A ship-shape Mountain View diner built 51 years ago, marked by a vintage old Indian-head neon sign, this place looked promising indeed.

It's a big-menu diner, with breakfast served all day and a wide array of sandwiches, salads, and hot dishes. Among the daily specials written on a board above the counter were homemade stuffed cabbage, pot roast, chicken parmesan, chili, and tuna noodle casserole (!). Jane could not resist a hot turkey dinner, especially when the waitress assured her that the turkey is roasted right here, and the all-white-meat meal is fresh-cut from the bird. It is a lovely turkey dinner, with especially good mashed potatoes.

At $4.50, the chili proved to be about the most food for the least cash we've had in a long time. It isn't a huge bowl, but it is dense and thick, loaded with large chunks of meat that tastes like (and may be) broken-up meat loaf. It isn't pepper-hot chili; it is a Northeast classic, thich with meat and beans and onions and peppers, slightly sweet and just a little bit spicy.

The good food is served in a diner that is spanking-clean and like-new: boomerang-pattern Formica table tops, baby-blue upholstered stools that match the blue tiles in the floor and arched blue ceiling; and a long counter where you can sit and watch the waitress mix an egg cream (chocolate or vanilla).

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Turkey Dinner
Egg Cream
Chili
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Jane orders turkey dinner whenever possible. At the West Taghkanic diner, she was in heaven. The turkey was freshly cut from a kitchen-roasted bird, and the mashed potatoes, ladled with gravy, were superb.
"Jane orders turkey dinner whenever possible. At the West Taghkanic diner, she was in heaven. The turkey was freshly cut from a kitchen-roasted bird, and the mashed potatoes, ladled with gravy, were superb."
Michael Stern





This is a jitterbug.  That's a hamburger on the left, a huge serving of real mashed on the right (actually, today it was garlic mashed).  The West Taghkanic makes its own good gravy, too!
"This is a jitterbug. That's a hamburger on the left, a huge serving of real mashed on the right (actually, today it was garlic mashed). The West Taghkanic makes its own good gravy, too!"
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


A classic patty melt.  Those fries were purloined from another plate (no, they don't give you only three fries!).
"A classic patty melt. Those fries were purloined from another plate (no, they don't give you only three fries!)."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


Patty melts are not exciting food, normally, but this closeup shows just how luscious the Taghkanic's version is.
"Patty melts are not exciting food, normally, but this closeup shows just how luscious the Taghkanic's version is."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


What a hearty chili! This was a lunch special the cold, cold day we stopped in: $4.50 for a bowl and a buttered roll. Loaded with big chunks of meat, it was a filling meal. (By the way, note the classic boomerang-pattern Formica on the table.)
"What a hearty chili! This was a lunch special the cold, cold day we stopped in: $4.50 for a bowl and a buttered roll. Loaded with big chunks of meat, it was a filling meal. (By the way, note the classic boomerang-pattern Formica on the table.)"
Michael Stern


You don't find many egg creams outside New York City. Heck, you don't find all that many IN New York City any more. Just in case you need to know: an egg cream contains no eggs and no cream. It is chocolate syrup, milk, and soda, blended together so it becomes as rich as eggs and cream.
"You don't find many egg creams outside New York City. Heck, you don't find all that many IN New York City any more. Just in case you need to know: an egg cream contains no eggs and no cream. It is chocolate syrup, milk, and soda, blended together so it becomes as rich as eggs and cream."
Michael Stern


The Home of Home Cooking says the paper placemats.
"The Home of Home Cooking says the paper placemats."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


The West Taghkanic is one spiffy-looking diner.
"The West Taghkanic is one spiffy-looking diner."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


A Mountain View Diner built in 1953, the West Taghkanic is in beautiful condition, its baby blue formica and upholstery pretty as new.
"A Mountain View Diner built in 1953, the West Taghkanic is in beautiful condition, its baby blue formica and upholstery pretty as new."
Michael Stern


Old Upstate NY businesses often use some sort of Indian imagery.  These are rapidly disappearing, but the classic West Taghkanic sign remains.
"Old Upstate NY businesses often use some sort of Indian imagery. These are rapidly disappearing, but the classic West Taghkanic sign remains."
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle


We love the motto of the West Taghkanic Diner:
"We love the motto of the West Taghkanic Diner: "The Home of Home Cooking.""
Michael Stern



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