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Culinary Crumbs from a local Bookstore Owner


It’s obvious we love writing about food at Beyondish. But we also love reading about it, which is why we’re tapping into local bookstore owners to get their take on favorite local eats and reads. To kick off the series, we chatted with Gretchen Menzies, owner of The Katonah Reading Room, a bookstore and cafe in Katonah, NY, famous for its stacks, avocado toast and creamy cappuccinos.

Favorite extravagant breakfast: Always eggs Benedict. No matter what spin a restaurant puts on it! The combination of egg and meat and lemony hollandaise is perfect.

Favorite dive in Westchester County and usual order: The Blazer Pub in North Salem. Burger. Blooming Onion. And the fattest, tastiest wedge fries around.

Signature cocktail: Cider and champagne. Tastes like fall and happiness.

Best book to bring when you dine out solo: Short stories. You don’t have to pay as much attention, so when you get distracted by people watching you can still go back and focus. I’m currently enjoying: Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King and Dolphin Junction by Mick Herron.

The book that makes you hungriest: Comfort Me With Apples by Ruth Reichl. Delicious stories, restaurant gossip, fabulous writing.

Favorite cookbook or book by a chef: F*ck, That’s Delicious by Action Bronson. Because there’s a delightful chapter called “A Bowl of Crispix Over the Sink.”

Signature dish: I’m a horrible cook despite the fact I run a coffee shop with great food. My signature dish is cinnamon toast on basic white bread. I am very good at eating and tasting and talking about and enjoying food though.

Favorite eating destination: Any place with picnic tables out back, food trucks or BBQ. I love summer food, sunlit venues, beer gardens and a casual atmosphere. I’ve eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world: Jules Verne at the top of the Eiffel Tower, top 10 restaurants in NYC, fancy Westchester hotspots. But a good beer and some ribs at a roadside find in the sun at a picnic table? You can’t beat that.



Have a favorite hometown bookseller?

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Sarah Strong

Sarah Strong is a New York City based writer who holds a master’s degree in food studies and is obsessed with television. You can follow her on Instagram at @feedsstrong to see where she eats, what she cooks and what sneakers she’s wearing.


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