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Despite being a new venture, Provisions already has the feel of an old favorite, with friends and customers popping in to say hello even on Wednesdays, the one day of the week they're closed. "For us, the biggest surprise has been the community—how invested people are in us succeeding. People have been so kind and are really looking out for us. I think some of it is because they know Anthony or me, and some of it is just because we make really good food," says Sherry-Bonilla.
Everyone who walks in the door gets the same friendly treatment, from the folks who work in the store down the street to construction workers to second homers to Jogger John or one of Woodstock's other beloved street people. "There's a lot of disparity in Woodstock—people with second or even third homes and people with literally no means, and they all converge here. We never turn anyone away—we feed everyone. We started our pay-it-forward board so people who can afford it can buy a cup of coffee or sandwich for someone who can't—it takes the stigma out of it for them," says Sherry-Bonilla.
Keep an eye out this summer for the introduction of soft-serve ice cream, as well as an emphasis on cold sandwiches, salads, and more of Sherry-Bonilla's divine pickled vegetables.
- Sloppy Joe lunch special with seasoned fries at Barb’s Butchery
Bringing Really Good Bacon to Beacon
In early December, Barbara Fisher opened Barb's Butchery, Beacon's first nose-to-tail butcher shop, at 69 Spring Street. "I didn't do it to be a foodie or because it was trendy. I just really care about the source of my food," says Fisher, who eschewed meat of any kind for about a decade after reading the work of Temple Grandin. "It grossed me out sufficiently that I was pretty much a vegan for the entirety of the `90s. But then I started running and I began to crave iron, so I started eating meat again. And it was really hard to find anything I felt okay about in terms of my own health and the sustainability of the practices involved," says Fisher.
A math professor for many years, Fisher began to feel the need for a change after her two young daughters were born. After carefully considering what Beacon needed and what she felt she could do, she began to explore the world of whole-animal butchering and sausagemaking with Mark Elia of Hudson Valley Sausage Company. "Sam Wildfong, the farmer at Obercreek, my CSA, suggested I reach out to Mark, and we hit it off right away. I worked with him for about a year and a half—he taught me how to break down different animals, helped me with the equipment here, gave me the sausage recipes. He's just been awesome," says Fisher.
- The Brat Pack sandwich at Provisions
Barb's now offers any cut you can imagine (just ask and they'll cut it) of humanely raised, local beef, pork, chicken, veal, and turkey, as well as a huge selection of house-made sausages, jerky, pub grubs, and cured meats. Fisher sources her animals primarily from Meiller Farm in Pine Plains, Meili Farm in Amenia, and Fazio Farms in Modena, among others.
If you're looking to grab a meal, Barb's offers a decadent daily lunch special ,featuring soups like posole or smoked ham, potato, and leek, and heartier fare like the smoked brisket sandwich or the roasted pork belly on brioche with apple slaw. The lunch menu, which changes on a weekly basis, is devised primarily by Fisher's staff—almost all of whom are current or former culinary students. "I tell them what we have to work with in terms of meat and then they come up with the recipes and make sure everything tastes amazing," says Fisher.
- Barbara Fisher, owner of Barb’s Butchery.
No matter what you choose, I recommend getting the fries—soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and dusted in an addictive blend of celery salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, Hungarian paprika, salt, and pepper that is reminiscent of Five Guys' famous spice mix. The sloppy Joe sauce is similarly habit forming—a perfect mixture of savory, sweet and spiced made from tomato paste, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, dark brown sugar, smoked paprika, and mustard powder. Served on a fresh brioche bun, it makes for a very memorable meal.