No Microwave, No Freezer, No Desserts
A cash only restaurant with no desserts, no microwave, no freezer, and no advertising!
Oh, and their menu is just one page long, and they only serve Heinz ketchup! This can only be the Blazer Pub in Purdy’s, NY, owned by the O’Leary family.
I’ve been coming to this classic roadside joint for over thirty years. It makes me happy! Springsteen and James Taylor songs fill the jukebox, caricatures of former Yankees cover the walls, and young and old alike play fiercely competitive games of Bowl-o-Rama. It’s also one of the only places I know where you can get dinner and drinks for two for less than $30.
The pub has won numerous awards for their burgers, creme of tomato/bacon soup and their cheddar and onion topped chili. The wings are scrumptious -- dry rubbed and double cooked.
The fries are hand cut slabs of potato that come in sizes smaller than small to large. You better get the large! One Yelp reviewer mused, “If you are not into fries cut as long and as thick as tree branches, don't order them.”
It was no surprise when Rob Petrone celebrated his 100th episode of the FiOS1 News show at the Blazer Pub. On March 29, he sat down with Andy Nusser of Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, Nigel Spence of Ripe in Mount Vernon and Sherry Blockinger of Sherry B Dessert Studio and enjoyed the Blazer’s bar food favorites. There’s always a great story behind the restaurants Petrone visits during his four seasons of “Restaurant Hunter.”
Petrone prides himself in discovering restaurants where the food is good but the ‘reputations go deeper than what’s on the plate.’ “It’s all about the emotional connections people have with food and restaurants. So, while a critic wants to be first on the scene of a new restaurant opening, we'd rather visit a place that hasn't been talked about in the media for awhile, that people go 'oh wow, I've been going there for years!' when they see the piece,” said Petrone.
The bartenders, Tom Hunt and Mick Deakin, greet everyone by name and treat you like a long lost friend. The last time I visited, the table behind us had four generations of a family celebrating a birthday. On another night the place was slammed with half of the local fire department and a baby shower in full swing.
Every St. Patrick’s Day the Blazer hosts their annual auction for Friends of Karen, the tristate area’s only charitable organization devoted to providing financial and emotional support to children with life-threatening diseases and their families. The pub sells and hangs shamrocks in exchange for donations in $5, $10 and $20 and then holds a shamrock auction. Past treasures have included a hockey stick signed by Wayne Gretzky, GEICO bobbleheads signed by spokesman Brian Carney and a handmade dollhouse.
Bartender and acting auctioneer Tommy Hunt dresses like a leprechaun for the evening. He is “a champion," said Judith Factor, executive director of the Friends of Karen. "Tommy is an example of having an angel in an unexpected place.”
“I’m a catalyst because I can make a difference. I want people to know they can make a difference, too. What Friends of Karen does is just amazing. Each year the auction gets bigger, and that means more help for sick children and their families,” said Hunt. A recent auction raised over $12,000 which is double what it raised 15 years prior. Recently, the Blazer received two large donations, and the donors requested Hunt get “matching donations” for them. “Tom Conklin, President & CEO of Make-a-Wish Hudson Valley, handed me a $100 bill and told me, ‘go match it!’ People started handing me $20 here and there, and out of that hundred dollars I walked away with an additional $250,” Hunt said.
Every time I visit I swear I’m going to order something new and not get the burger. I’m going to try the Reuben, or the New England clam chowder, because my friend raves about both. Then a burger is delivered to the guy sitting next to me at the bar, and I cannot take my eyes off of it. Maybe my husband will get the Reuben, and he’ll share!
The Blazer Pub
440 NY-22, North Salem, NY 10560
Phone (914) 277-4424