Dutchess BBQ Brings the Mouthwatering Taste of the South to Poughkeepsie | Restaurants | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge Dutchess BBQ Brings the Mouthwatering Taste of the South to Poughkeepsie
The bar at Dutchess BBQ

There’s nothing quite like genuine Southern food. It partakes of African, English, Scottish, Irish, French, Spanish, and Native American influences, harnessing these disparate flavor profiles into an identity that is all its own. It lends itself to casual evenings and generous portions, to lingering conversation and laughter.

Southern barbecue, done well, melts in your mouth and does a sweet, savory little dance on your taste buds. Here in the Northeast, hundreds of miles from the smokers of the south, it’s never a sure bet that a BBQ joint will do it right. But when Dutchess BBQ Bistro & Bar opened last October, consultant Geoffrey Mackenzie told the Poughkeepsie Journal he felt sure the place would hit the spot.

He was absolutely right. Tucked into a strip mall out on the LaGrangeville line, Dutchess BBQ has been emerging as a place where you can feast on authentic St. Louis style ribs that fall off the bone, juicy brisket, and savory pulled pork, not to mention authentic fried chicken. You can mix and match your side dishes from a list of 11 choices, and they too are real-deal Southern. Diners rave about the loaded mac ‘n’ cheese with shrimp, bacon and tomatoes, well-seasoned collards, cole slaw, rice and beans, and sweet potato fries.

If you’re undecided or looking for a snack, you can try a sampler of ribs, shrimp, and wings, but beware: You may have a hard time choosing among the 10 wing options. And you can wash it down with a special house bevvie, like the Poughkeepsie Colada or the Hyde Park Sunrise, or beer, wine, or sangria if you’d rather.

With a warm-hearted, down-to-earth feel, Dutchess BBQ is a great place to catch a sports event (although it’s not a sports bar, per se) or enjoy a weekday Happy Hour with deals on appetizers and drinks that will put you in mind of the Hudson Valley way back when. During the lunch hour, you’ll find build-your-own burgers (here too, the options are numerous) and authentic Philly cheese steaks.

There’s not a ton of room for dancing, but it’s been known to happen anyway on music nights. This Saturday, March 23, the Bubba Band will rock the house with a classic rock and blues jam extravaganza; you might want to call ahead for a table.And any weekend morning (morning, interpreted in proper Hudson Valley weekend style, as lasting until 2pm) you can wander in and enjoy breakfast choices that you don’t find just anywhere in the great Northeast: biscuits and gravy or sauteed jumbo Cajun shrimp over creamy cheese grits. (You can also build your own omelette from a cornucopia of meat, cheese and veggie options, or just go with the vanilla bean French toast for a solid classic.)

If you occasionally crave the bitter butteriness of collards and the umami of slow-cooked brisket, check out Dutchess BBQ. You’ll leave satiated, and with a better understanding of why the Southerners you know get that dreamy look on their faces when they talk about the food back home.

Anne Pyburn Craig

Anne's been writing a wide variety of Chronogram stories for over two decades. A Hudson Valley native, she takes enormous joy in helping to craft this first draft of the region's cultural history and communicating with the endless variety of individuals making it happen.
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