Tuesday, August 30, 2011

In the Aftermath of Irene

My sympathy goes out to all people affected by Hurricane Irene in the Capital Region and beyond, I hope everyone is doing okay getting their lives back in order.  I just got my power back on this morning and I am doing fine.

Waking up to no electricity Monday morning was unpleasant, the milk could not be trusted and I wasn't sure how long my fridge was out for so I didn't end up eating the Lucky Charms, they didn't sound so lucky.  I started looking for breakfast elsewhere and after finding my way through uncharted routes due to road closings I ended up at the Capital City Diner I guess I'm attracted to shiny buildings.

I enjoyed at least 3 cups of coffee and a hefty plate of french toast with sausage.  It seemed pretty crowded, I'm guessing most people were in a similar situation to mine.  The food was great however I used over a dozen syrup packets, I think next time I'll have to see if they can bring me a pitcher of it. 

The Diner is located on 1709 Western Ave, you can't miss it.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Five Guys: Hamburgers with a Side of Justice

He's the hero Baltimore deserves, not the one it needs right now.

Everybody knows Five Guys has the best burgers in town, but did you know they also have crime fighters? And stabbings apparently, but I think the french fries make up for that.

Long story short, two disgruntled former employees walk in to a Five Guys in Baltimore and decide to go all Jersey Shore on the manager. Yes I saw the show and is it just me or is Snookie looking good this season? Anyway, one of the two tough guys pulled a knife and went after the manager when suddenly Tandon Doss, a rookie wide receiver on the Baltimore Ravens stepped in and broke up the fight. The two men ran off and the manager only had a minor cut on his chin. I don't know what the Ravens were expecting from Tandon when they drafted him in the fourth round but I doubt they expected this kind of heroism off the field. I'm going to start rooting for this guy. He's not a lock to start but the Ravens need some help at WR so hopefully he can contribute, that is, when he is not fighting the Joker.

For more, read the story at NFL.com.

Friday, August 26, 2011

If you want a good sub, get in line with the college kids.

There are a few courses in the food world that it's always a good idea to follow the pack of college kids. One is pizza. The other is subs.

DiBella's recently opened two locations in the Capital Region that I know of. One is in Latham near Chipotle on Route 7, but the one that caught my eye was the location on Western Avenue next to Uncommon Grounds and near the SUNY Albany campus. The line when I first spotted it was literally out the door!  I figured I'd wait a few weeks until the hype died down to try it, but my return trip was the same long line. It was 3pm on a Saturday, so I guess it was the late late college lunch crowd? I thought it was still summer break?

I was successful at beating the crowd on my third try.  Had a great chicken cheese steak.  Today was my second trip and there was no way I was finishing this turkey and swiss on multigrain. Maybe I'll save the rest for when we lose power this weekend and I'm bored of Hurricane Irene.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Larry Schepici Joins Jack’s Oyster House as Executive Chef

ALBANY, New York – Jack’s Oyster House, an Albany tradition since 1913, is pleased to announce the appointment of Larry Schepici as Executive Chef.  Chef Larry will oversee the entire culinary team for the dining rooms and banquets.

With over 25 years of culinary experience, Larry has showcased his talents throughout his career, garnering numerous awards on the way. In addition to winning Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals, he has been voted “Chef of the Year” by the American Culinary Federation. His travels led him to the Tavern at Sterup Square, located outside Troy, NY, where he won several awards, including earning the prestigious DiRonA Award of excellence for four consecutive years. 

Among the numerous other awards Chef Larry has earned, he also represented and brought home a Bronze Medal for the United States at the Hotelympia 2000 Salon Culinaire "Master Chefs Grand Prix." While executive chef of Sargo's at Saratoga National Golf Club, Larry was awarded a "Perfect Emphatic Four Star Rating" by Bill Dowd of the Times Union and he was the recipient of the Prestigious Four Diamond Award from AAA, making Sargo's one of the only restaurants in the Northeast to hold that status.

In 2006, Larry ventured out on his own, opening three different locations in downtown Troy: the casual Illium CafĂ©, the upscale restaurant Tosca and the gourmet market Tosca Etc. Schepici was not only an entrepreneur but extremely active in the Troy community.  

“We have a history of sharing the culinary creations of Upstate New York’s finest chefs with our guests, and we’re proud to add Larry to that storied list,” said third-generation owner Brad Rosenstein.  “He is the best kind of chef – one who honors the history of cuisine while at the same time looking forward with creativity and imagination of what its future can be.”

“I hold the highest standards for my team and my food,” Chef Larry said. “I needed to be at a place where the service was held to those same standards.  Jack’s Oyster House is the first restaurant in the Capital Region that comes to my mind when you talk about best-in-class service.”

Larry Schepici joined the Jack’s Oyster House team shortly after the previous head chef, Luc Pasquier, left to put more focused efforts on his growing culinary consulting business.

“It was a happy match of perfect timing,” Rosenstein said, “We’ve always had our eye on Larry, but never with an opening that coincided with his availability until now.”

Larry officially began his work at Jack’s on August 15.  An open house event will be held in September to officially introduce Larry to guests of Jack’s Oyster House.

* * * * *

Opened in 1913 by Jack Rosenstein and located at 42 State Street in downtown Albany, Jack’s Oyster House has been continuously operated by the same family and is now under the direction of grandson, Brad.  As written by author Professor Dennis Reynolds of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Brad Rosenstein “has redefined restaurant service to such an extent that his operation's reputation has achieved national acclaim.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Where to Find Burgers and Ice Cream In the Same Place

Saturday, a few friends and I headed over to Watervliet, which is home to one of my favorite hangouts, Mac’s Drive-In.  Mac’s is a great place for all your fast food cravings during the summer.  It was just one of those days when sitting outside was a must, perfect weather.  I grabbed a grilled chicken sandwich with their awesome homemade french fries; they go great with anything there.  For dessert I checked out their soft coffee ice cream and added some sprinkles on top, I’m a fan of the rainbow.
I enjoy going to Mac’s during the summer for some fast food when I don’t feel like cooking, which is most of the time.  It’s nice to have burgers, chicken and ice cream in the same place.  They have over a dozen different ice cream flavors; if you’re a fan of coffee ice cream theirs was delicious.

Mac’s Drive-In is located on 648 Third Avenue in Watervliet.  Their open Monday-Saturday 11 am - 9 pm and Sunday from 4 pm - 9 pm.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hudson River Coffee Review

Over the weekend I visited Hudson River Coffee for my first time. I sat down for a few hours and enjoyed a few Red Eyes and a Balboa sub, named after one of my great heroes, Rocky, the Italian Stallion.  I was a little skeptical at first when my friend recommended the place to me, Average Joe usually doesn’t hang out at these trendy places, but I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere when I got there.  I have no arguments, they had great coffee, seating, lighting, and music which included some light jazz and even some Frank Sinatra.
The coffee tastes extremely fresh; the beans are grinded right there, and you can taste the difference.  I only had a few Red Eyes, I will have to go back to try some of their more advanced specialty coffees, I don’t think I will be disappointed.  The Balboa was a typical Italian sub, nothing extraordinary, but I definitely have no complaints.
The Hudson River Coffee house is located on the corner of Hudson Ave and Quail Street in Albany. It opened up just last November and is still going strong with live entertainment from local musicians at night.  The coffee house closes late and opens early everyday of the week. 

Check out Hudson River Coffee’s website for more info, menu and calendar of events.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cold Stone Creamery to Serve Free Ice Cream for 92 Minutes

 Cold Stone Creamery and WFLY 92.3-FM will serve free ice cream to the public for exactly 92 minutes on Wednesday, August 3rd beginning at noon and ending at 1:32 p.m. in the Stuyvesant Plaza.

Cold Stone Creamery is one of five local eateries owned by White Management, along with Creo’, Bountiful Bread, Central Steak and Mangia.  In addition to the free ice cream, fans will also enjoy listening to some tunes from FLY 92.3. 
“We are excited to be involved with this unique event,” said Brian White, Vice President of White Management. “The Cold Stone Creamery offers a different experience compared to your average ice cream parlor, we would like to give newcomers a chance to see the difference.”

Grab some free ice cream to cool down your summer afternoon.  Cold Stone Creamery offers a wide variety of unique ice cream creations along with shakes, cakes and smoothies.  Cold Stone Creamery uses its signature process of preparing customers unique creations on a frozen granite stone.