Hudson Valley Burgers 2011 Review: Cave Mountain Brewing Company, Windham, NY

Cave Mountain Brewing Company in Windham, NY

It is as simple as the salt and pepper,” says Tim Adams about the popularity of the burgers at Cave Mountain Brewing Company. Adams, the chef and co-owner (along with his wife Amber), seasons each individual burger on both sides with coarse ground black pepper and kosher salt. Of course, it’s not the only thing that does it. Fresh black Angus beef delivered twice a week from New York City helps, as does the fact that these half-pound whoppers are cooked “fresh and never frozen. The moisture is retained from start to finish.” Served up unpretentiously in a picnic-like basket with newspaper-style lining, each patty is cooked to order, as are the artisan ciabatta rolls that hold them. The burgers are served up with fresh romaine lettuce, Roma tomatoes, and red onions. There is a choice of Caesar or garden salad or the shoestring-cut fries, which devotees claim are perfectly crispy. We guess that’s why Cave Mountain serves between 200-400 burgers per week.

You may be lucky enough to stumble upon a special like the torpedo burger ($12). With this fun find, a raw jalapeño pepper’s cap and seeds are removed and the pepper is stuffed with cheddar cheese. The stuffed pepper is hidden inside the meat before cooking, resulting in a hot and cheesy surprise in every grilled bite. We also like the steak house burger ($12), which is piled high with bleu cheese crumbles; fried, crispy onions; and bacon, and impaled by a steak knife. And believe us, you’ll need the knife (and a bib too!) to tackle this one.

Of course, enhancing your burger with a craft beer is always a good idea; after all, this is a brew pub. The seasonal beer sampler is always fun (served with six mini-glasses), but what really gets people talking is the French absinthe served from its own drip fountain. But there is fun all around at this spacious eatery — the walls are decorated with beer cans from around the world. Trust us, you’ll be glad you came into this cave.

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