Guest blogger Ted Mann here again.
Earlier this week, I made my first trek up to West Point. I’d long heard about how the U.S. Military Academy has one of the most stunning swaths of the Hudson riverfront, and the grounds are some of the most beautiful of any college in the country. What I didn’t know: Getting past Thayer Gate, in this post-9/11 world, can be a major pain in the butt. Aside from taking one of the official tours, there aren’t too many excuses the guards will accept. Fortunately, having a meal at the Thayer Hotel is one of them.
I came to try their Restaurant Week Lunch Menu, a $16.09 deal (anyone have a clue why they chose 1609 for the price?). There were about 30 or 40 other dinersâ€”hardly capacity for the restaurant, but still a decent showing for a mid-week lunch. The Thayer also offers a marginally more expensive lunch buffet ($18), but the offerings on the special menu still sounded better to me.
For an appetizer, I skipped the shrimp cocktail and smoked salmon, and instead when with the soup of the day: broccoli cheddar. Thick without being overly heavy, it helped warm me up from a long, cold day of exploring Highland Falls. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture.)
For my entree, I went with the sliced-steak sandwich (half-eaten, to the left), at the suggestion of my waitress. What came out of the kitchen, though, was a nice cut of meat on two slices of white bread. For a second, I wasn’t sure if this was some kind of joke. Though the steak was delicious, the bread quickly became a soggy mess and I dispensed with it altogether. The slightly undercooked side of wild rice and accompanying helping of puny asparagus didn’t help the dish much. In retrospect, the two other optionsâ€”roasted salmon with chive butter and chicken rosemaryâ€”probably would have been better picks.
Instead of following my waitress’s advice again, and ordering the strawberry shortcake, I instead went with the house specialty Thayer layer cake. An ultra-rich confection, with layer upon layer of chocolate frosting, I loved every biteâ€”even if I could only manage about three mouthfuls.
While the meal was hardly a homerun, the setting exceeded my expectations. Perched above the Hudson, with spectacular views, I’ll certainly be back when the weather warms, the outdoor patio opens up, and, hopefully, the soggy white bread is phased out.
The Thayer Hotel
674 Thayer Road, West Point