Just a hop, skip and a jump from our home airport of Newburgh Stewart (KSWF), Dutchess County (KPOU) is a nice place to visit for some instrument work (NY Approach, 132.75) or some turns in the pattern at a welcoming controlled airport. But if you find yourself working up a hunger doing all those power-off landings, you can find a great, hearty meal for a wonderful price at Paula’s Runway Cafe.
Upon landing, request to taxi to the terminal. You’ll likely be guided in by the awesome folks of FlightLevel Aviation to parking. Expect a hearty greeting from the crew of Paula’s – customer service is their watchword! Pilots will immediately feel welcome with the aviation-themed decor and excellent views.
But, you likely want more than atmosphere. So, let’s talk food. Paula knows what she’s doing. This is not her first (or only) restaurant venture. A highly successful local restaurateur- she also is the proprietor of Paula’s Public House – she knows what it takes to satisfy hungry customers. The menu consists of traditional breakfast and lunch fare, as well as some outstanding pies and cakes.
On my first visit (yes, I’ve already been there twice), I was running pretty late in the day – Paula’s was closing at 1500 – I arrived at 1445, yet Paula and her staff were ready to prepare a fresh meal for me. And the two guys who arrived at 1455. And the CFII and his student who arrived at 1515, who she graciously offered coffee and cake or pie in an effort to let her diligent staff get home eventually. These folks are all about radical hospitality!
On my first visit, I enjoyed a Cesar Wrap with Paula’s incredible fries (yes, they rival McDonalds). My server, Alex (also a Sous Chef at the Cold Spring Bed and Breakfast) graciously ensured I had a fresh spring mix in my wrap to replace the banned Romaine lettuce of Salinas, CA. It was incredible! But…I was told there were more delights to enjoy, so on my second visit, I had the Italian Wedding Soup and roll (yeah, was going light that day) and my fellow flying team pilot, CDT Thomas Whiting, enjoyed the Farmer’s Breakfast.
That first visit hadn’t been a fluke! The food was once again on point and the service truly outstanding.
Paula’s is the place for an awesome meal or a quick stop for dessert and coffee. They are open Monday – Friday, 0800-1500 and Saturday and Sunday 0700-1500. If you are local and wish to drive in, the address is: 263 New Hackensack Road Wappingers Falls, New York. I was impressed with the mix of obvious pilots and non-pilots just enjoying the food, service, and runway views. I’ve already promised my husband a flight over, so you know this aviator will be a regular!