An unusual alignment of stars must have
strayed overhead at noon at Happy Jakes for
Fathers Day, 2016.
is one of the more idiosyncratic ones: a couple salads and several interesting
choices for appetizers; a few sandwiches; several
un-Greene-Countyish entrées; and a minimalist dessert
offering. And on Sundays, the only day Jakes is
open for lunch, the menu is the same. This could have
spelled stress for our group but we all reconnoitered to
a satisfactory selection.
==> Baby greens salad, with maple glazed
walnuts, tomatoes, goat cheese and sherry shallot
vinaigrette, with chicken (Chay: small salad for price,
chicken add-on small for price)
==>Angus burger, with two toppings, and SH chips
(Ken: ordered medium! very good)
==>Fried jumbo shrimp with crispy creole fries,
greens, cilantro vinaigrette, Asian coleslaw and chipotle
remoulade or red sauce (Deb: huge shrimp, very good;
Kriss: red sauce switch, very good)
==>Grilled chicken sandwich with guacamole, chili
aioli, Asian slaw and SH chips (Tim: chicken a bit thin
and overdone, and fries not warm)
==>Shrimp quesadilla, with tzatziki and shreds of
pepper jack cheese, avocado and more, and a side of
homemade salsa (Judy: very good; Deb K: very good)
==>Smoked salmon flatbread, with baby greens, goat
cheese, tzatziki sauce, vine ripe tomato, red onion and
cilantro vinaigrette on a pita (Don: a tasty change of
pace, with the salmon less smoky than expected but
better, expecting more than plain pita)
the grill jumbo shrimp cocktail, with horseradish cream
sauce, appeared in front of Chay, shared with Deb, I
think I saw, and enjoyed. (Excellent was the verdict.) A
photogenic moment the grilled shrimp, that is.
The truncated dessert
list could not compete with the alternative explained
The drink order
found three tap beer drinkers, a gin & tonic (nice!
Kriss), the special Bloody Mary (Deb T tons
of horse radish), complemented by a soda, an iced tea,
and a water. Almost hot weather, outdoor seating, and a
couple previous nights of parties shared by we eight were
Service by Kendra was generally good
ascertaining what we wanted, delivering, and clearing.
Friendly and helpful, she had a long walk across the
street to fetch food, a habit that must be tiring for the
wait-staff perhaps, but a curiosity for diners watching
the process. Drinks took a looong time coming.
Water in plastic cups flavored with a lemon slice were
promptly delivered, with bottles of water a perpetual
supply, and much appreciated on a warm day.
Ambience is suited for classic summer warm weather.
Attached to the Stewart House just across Water Street,
Happy Jakes is the second year venture of the new owners.
Sitting on the edge of the Hudson River, the spot is a
sensory feast for pleasant-weather late afternoons and
evenings, with reflections of Middle Island, the
shimmering view of the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, pleasure
craft racing by, the buildings that belie the existence
of Hudson just a half-mile across the river, the toot of
Amtrak trains on the east side, a whish of wind through
the willow trees, and much more.
Our visit was influenced by the first-ever lunch for DP8.
A forecast of 90 degrees prompted an early visit to find
a shady retreat. It was needed as the 1 p.m. temps
approached the forecast high. The slightest scent of
river water wafted ashore on the slight southerly breeze.
And it was the first re-convening of the Original DP8ers
in a long time, feeling natural enough that old-times
The dining area is about fifty by one-hundred-fifty, with
a twenty-foot-square covered bar area that is popular in
the warm weather months. Next door is the waterfront
park, with its gazebo, and its view inland along the
classic old lines of Athens Water Street. Good
weather, good friends is the recipe for a pleasurable
Our table spot was the combination of two three-inch
thick blocks of wood for table tops, placed end to end. A
vase of basil centered one block, and a vase of lavender
the other. Small but sturdy white salad plates, topped by
a white linen wrapped around a solid fork and knife set,
accompanied the plastic salt and pepper shakers.
The bathroom facility drew special note for those who
visited. A singleton, which is fine. Walking on dirt
ground before the door, which is ok for this setting.
Spare interior, which is quite acceptable. But the flat
part of the toilet bowl sitting behind the seat looked
like it had not been touched since last fall. For the
squeamish, the facilities across the street at the
Stewart House were more in line with a fine dining
The final bill
arrived and verdict dictated $55 per couple, a very fair
lunch price for the ingredients, reduced by the absence
of our usual wine order, reduced further by no dessert
order, and considerably less than our usual dinner
A previous comment
referred to dessert. Charlies Angels in Freehold was having a Fathers Day speciala
dollar a cone for fathers. Simply put, come on to
Freehold for the best value in soft ice cream for a long,
long way. Six of us converged once again to share a real
local experience. (The other two went golfing.) I expect
to pay twice as much anyplace else, even without the
special. A separate vote for the ice cream neared a
The usual routine of
convening at someones house seemed superfluous for
a Fathers Day lunch. So, we drove separately along
varying routes and converged at Happy Jakes. (I, for one,
liked it a bunch the lunch idea.)
The eight of us had already spent the previous two nights
together (at the Karnes end-of-year party, and Debs
100 party) catching up on news and fixing all of
societys ills. Still, the pickins for
Day Three should have been sparse but layers of
conversation always gush when we eight gather.
So, we gabbed and agreed that the previous two
nights parties were enjoyably successful and then
ventured on to other topics: the paucity of younger
adults at the Karneses party (schools not hiring as
much, we surmised); the different mix of characters at
the Teators party; reminders of what old friends
have been doing; plans for winter in Florida; the very
comfortable stretch of weather; parents health
issues and dealing with them; status of our children and
their gettings-on with life; someone with a certain new
article of clothing; that same article of clothing being
seen for two seconds in the dim light of a full moon
light; that same article of clothing kept hidden in
Athens; golfing; memories of the Mediterranean cruise;
Catskill work; the plans of the Catskill worker; aches
and pains and remedies; the Stewart House and movie
scenes; route to Athens short but long, or long
but faster; enjoying summertime water; summer plans;
photos of grandkids, especially the Monteverdeans; some
politics but not much; the RV in the Teator sideyard;
Gary and Lori visiting for a couple weeks; and a ton more
that probably morphed over from the last couple days.
Simple culinary adventures with good friends, somewhere
scenicone of lifes pleasure not to be
underestimated nor lightly assumed.