Summertime, and the eating is easy.
In this installment from our Best of the Valley poll, we offer a few of our readers’ top choices for those crazy, hazy, lazy days of summer.
1597 Northampton St., Holyoke, (413) 532-5229, nicknestholyoke.com
There’s something about hearing the crack of the bat that makes folks want hot dogs, say husband and wife co-owners Kevin and Jenn Chateauneuf. Whether it’s watching baseball on TV or kids playing Little League, when the weather finally gets warm and sunny, people want their hot dogs. At Nick’s Nest—which was founded in 1921—you can also get homemade soup, macaroni and potato salads and ice cream from April to September.
676 Amherst Rd. (Rte. 116)
Sunderland, (413) 548-9630
Ah, 1979. Theaters beckoned moviegoers to “The Deer Hunter,” “Alien” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff” topped the charts. At UMass, the Grateful Dead played Alumni Stadium. And just down the road on Route 116 in Sunderland, Howard “Bub” Tiley opened his now-famous roadhouse. For 35 years, Bub’s has been the place to “pig out in style,” with great food, great atmosphere and low prices.
Chef Wayne’s Big Mamou
63 Liberty St., Springfield, (413) 732-1011
A culinary icon, Chef Wayne Hooker never fails to serve up the best Cajun food in the Valley.
Herrell’s Ice Cream
8 Old South St., Northampton
(413) 586-9700, http://www.herrells.com
Ice cream god Steve Herrell is retired, but that doesn’t mean business at the Thornes Market shop will slow down at all, says Judith Herrell. New flavors like Snow Day, BLT and Birch Beer will continue to rotate in on a regular basis. In addition, Herrell’s will start accepting credit and debit cards, and soon offer ice cream through the mail. Which is divine goodness indeed.
Locally crafted beer
Berkshire Brewing Company
12 Railroad St., South Deerfield
BBC celebrates its 20th anniversary this year by expanding distribution to Maine, thereby reaching every state in New England. Additionally, BBC now offers its popular Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale in cans, an option that, says Gary Bogoff, who founded and owns the company with Chris Lalli, is especially nice for the warmer summer months.