Thursday, December 20, 2012

DINERiffffic


There is something sacred about an Average Joe and his diner experience.  The solitude and confidence that come from sitting at the counter of a diner by myself has grown exponentially as I’ve got older.  Whereas at one time the thought of eating a meal by myself was panic inducing, now it is a welcomed event.  Nestled at the top of Hoosick Street in Troy is one of the most consistently delicious diners in all of Rensselaer County.  It sits beyond the shopping plazas and the car dealerships that I always forget are there until I drive by.  At one point I thought I had driven passed the restaurant until the tiny establishment careened into view.  With nothing but a cow on the sign that plainly reads Duncan’s, many unsuspecting consumers wouldn’t give the place the time of day, but once inside all that fades away because you become consumed with the aroma of the homemade fresh baked breads that are made daily.  

Duncan’s won’t win the awards for most stylish or contemporary, but it will be remembered for the sense of family.  Upon entering I took a seat around the large counter that takes up most of the restaurant, with a dozen or so tables looming in the back.  After checking the menu momentarily, a waitress was right over to the counter to make sure I was being waited on.  Behind her many other women wove in and out of the small cook space carrying hot plates and ringing out customers in a steady rhythm.  The dynamic behind the counter adds to Duncan’s charm because you can feel the pride the family has for the restaurant, opened since 1939.  Their playful bickering fills the air and the customers seem to appreciate being let in on their little jokes. 

I ordered an omelet with American cheese, side of bacon and rye toast.  More importantly, I ordered chocolate milk and shamelessly blew bubbles into it with my straw immediately.  My food was served within minutes and the portions were anything but small.  The omelet oozed with cheese that was actually melted instead of slapped on and while the bacon had crunch, it wasn’t overcooked and flavorless.  The rye bread was my favorite however.  Buttered to perfection it brought the crunchy taste of the bacon and the warm omelet together for a perfect sandwich.

While eating I couldn’t help notice how many people were ordering loafs of bread from the counter.  Making and selling their own bread is something Duncan’s prides themselves on, and they should – it’s delectable.  

After not being able to finish my breakfast I had to see what all these people were obsessing over and I bought a loaf of raisin bread to share with my family over the upcoming holidays.  Although I’m pretty sure I already know how it will taste.

The prices are more than fair, especially for the portion sizes available and the small town atmosphere is a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of city life that is present just down the hill.  

If you’re looking for a great place to eat – you better get there quick, Duncan’s closes for the winter.  Their last day is Sunday, December 23rd.  Afraid you won’t have time, don’t worry, they open early…like 4:00 a.m. early.

Duncan’s Dairy Bar is located at 890 Hoosick Road in Troy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Grab Your Wallet, It's CHILLLLLI


You can smell the scent of chili in the air as winter quickly approaches the Capital Region and the world, the world Famous Lunch spot that is. The smell comes from a tiny sit-down or carryout restaurant on the corner of Congress Street in Troy.

Whether you’re going to carryout or eat in, as soon as you step into the restaurant, you’re heading in a time machine back to the 50’s. With low prices, interior design and iconic work outfits, you better go in with poodle skirts and bowling shoes on. Don’t forget while looking at the menu to turn it around and learn a little history about what was going on when Famous Lunch opened their doors in 1932. One cool thing I can remember wasthat gas was 10 cents a gallon!
 

We decided to order for everyone today. We ordered 25 loaded hot dogs, five cheeseburgers, and six orders of fries for under $35. Not to shabby. Not only did we feed five people, but we had a TON of left-overs.


The combination of chili, hotdogs, cheeseburgers, and fries was to die for. Don’t forget to ask for extra zippy sauce on your fries (you’ll thank me later).


Famous Lunch’s menu consists of breakfast (breakfast sandwiches, omelette’s, doughnuts, home fries, muffins, etc.), world’s famous hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, burgers, fries, soups, and desserts.


Famous Lunch has been known for their famous hotdogs since 1932.  Think you can eat a lot?  It has been almost seven years since someone has beaten the good ole’ hot dog eating contest at Famous Lunch of 38 hot dogs in 30 minutes. Anyone think they can beat that? I tried, and didn’t get passed five.


So, the next time you go into your wallet and only find a five-dollar bill, stop into Famous Lunch and leave happy (and with change).

Friday, November 30, 2012

The ULTIMATE Food Experience

In my "Don't Eat the Pepper" on November 9, 2012, I asked for advice on what places my followers would like to see me visit. I have never been to an hibachi grill restaurant before and I am always looking for new and exciting places to eat. This was the perfect opportunity!

Last week, I went to Hana, a Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar located on Western Avenue in Albany. If I had to describe my experience at Hana, it would be AMAZING! I had the best time eating dinner at Hana. It should be called the Hana Experience because that is exactly what I had, an experience. I had the opportunity to experience Hana with my best friend as it was a first time for both of us, not to mention it was my birthday.

We had to try everything! I wanted to try everything! It was great! We took a look around the restaurant and requested to sit at the hibachi grill. You have an option to be seated at a regular table or at the hibachi grill. The only and obvious choice is to be seated at the grill. I wanted to get a feel for the entire hibachi experience. 

Cold Seaweed Salad
We ordered our appetizer and sushi roll and our meal. I was having a great time and I knew this was a guaranteed blog post. I took pictures all night because I wanted to share with you the full experience.

First, we received our appetizers. I ordered the Cold Seaweed salad and I was not disappointed. It had tremendous flavor and had a crunch that kept me going back for more. I strongly recommend for you to try the seaweed salad and I will be having this again. 

Edamame
My friend ordered the edamame (steamed soy bean pods). I have nothing bad to say about the edamame except, do not eat the pods. I ate the entire pod on my first opportunity and my friend started to laugh at me. Apparently we have to only eat the beans inside the pods. How was I supposed to know? They look like green beans and I eat the green beans whole, I love my green beans. Why would edamame be different? Before I get too far off topic, I suggest the edamame beans too. They had a nice salty taste on the outside of the pods, like the seaweed salad, I ate all of the edamame before my friend could get his serving. 

Next on the schedule, the DYNAMITE ROLL! I have had a dynamite roll before and it was delicious, but it wasn't a DYNAMITE ROLL from Hana. Hana's DYNAMITE ROLL was amazing, full of flavor and like the seaweed salad and edamame, I couldn't stop eating. I was full before I received my main course. 

A main reason why I never eat sushi rolls is because I never really know what is inside the roll. So, the DYNAMITE ROLL includes spicy tuna, yellowtail, avocado, cream cheese with baked scallop and crabmeat on the top. The "proper" way to eat the sushi rolls (as my friend had to explain to me) was to dunk them in soy sauce and wasabi paste. For my followers who enjoys the spicy meals, add more wasabi but be warned it will get spicy, as Barney Stinson realized on How I Met Your Mother. 

The Experience - FIRE!

FOR THE MAIN EVENT: the hibachi grill.

For a hibachi dinner, you get a choice of vegetables, chicken, sirloin steak or filet mignon, lamb, shrimp, scallops, salmon, swordfish, lobsters or a combination of any two or three options.
I chose to get the filet mignon (well worth the additional $3 upgrade) and shrimp for my hibachi combination.

Encouraged:  Get the Filet Mignon
The experience was amazing as there was fire flames and Sake (never had Sake before either). It was entertaining beyond my original expectations and I will go back. I highly recommend all of my followers to go and witness the Hana Experience before the new year. The pictures below tell the entire story.

It was a fun experience and the food was amazing! I'm going back next week with more friends!

Hana Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar is located at 1620 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Centanni’s Market Becomes Casualty of Campbell Ave's Extended Closure


My go-to soup place is gone. I’m very disappointed about this. I’m convinced that I’ll never taste a chicken and rice soup blend that good ever again. Sources have confirmed that the business suffered a significant loss when Campbell Ave was shut down for an extended period of time and was never able to recover.

RIP Centanni’s

I will truly miss you. Thank you Lynda for the great home cooking and the friendly conversation.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Don't Eat the Pepper!

I will tell you one thing about me that many of my closest friends may not know. It isn't everyday that I wake up craving Chinese food. The other day, I woke up with the birds (the birds that haven't left us for warmer pastures) and I was craving the classic General Tso's Chicken combo with pork fried rice. 

The only problem with Chinese food is you need to take the time and research the best places in the area. From my experience, there are not many Chinese restaurants in the Capital Region that have the experience and the skill to make a great General Tso's Chicken. I have had several poor Chinese meals in my day and I was not about to ruin my craving by ordering from a satisfactory restaurant. 

After several hours of research and focus groups with my friends and family, we finally found a consensus of where we were going to order our dinner. We decided on Spring Garden on 2nd Ave in Troy. 

As expected, I ordered the General Tso's with a shrimp egg roll. You must have an egg roll!

Let me tell you! It was pretty delicious, except when i accidentally ingested one of the spicy chili peppers... such a deep burn. A special note to everyone who will eat General Tso's, DO NOT EAT THE PEPPERS!

The overall experience of my meal was good. I enjoyed the meal and I will definitely go back. However, I haven't really found that one place where I can call my "go-to" Chinese restaurant.

I am thinking about trying something new for December. I want you, my followers to pick the place for me. What are some of your favorite restaurants that I should visit and blog about? 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nothing Like Cranberry-Orange Mayo In The Fall

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I’ve been to The Illium Café, on Broadway in Troy, many of times. I enjoy trying their number of different dishes, but I have found myself getting the same thing lately --- The Smoke House Panini (Smoked turkey, applewood smoked bacon, smoked mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and onion with a cranberry-orange mayo on Italian grilled bread). Why? Because of the cranberry-orange mayo of course!!!

Ninety-nine percent of the time I’m on the go, so there’s no use dissecting the dining-in experience – it looks comfy. The menu speaks for itself, covering the gamut of different tastes.

Sure, I’ve had a turkey club before. Bob’s Diner in Watervliet has one heck of a mean turkey club. Bob’s mayo is outstanding. Hell, any type of real mayo is outstanding. Throw some cranberry-orange in the mix and the structure, substance and core of that Paninis’ being changes for the good of mankind…and an Average Joe. The real bacon gets honorary mention here, because --- well its REAL bacon…no microwave rubber or fake bits.

Illium Café thank you for making my turkey club, I mean Smoke House Panini, truly special. Cranberry-Orange mayo also has that sound of fall. Apple picking, leaf peeping and a Smoke House Panini (my fall traditions).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Are These Cider Donuts Better Than Golden Harvest Farms?

One of the special times of the year living in the Capital Region is Fall.  Sure, there's a few hundred bags of wet leaves, but this is the time of year to sample a food that New York State ought to be marketing to the world...Cider Donuts

The headline here is misleading. There is nothing like Golden Harvest Farms when it comes to donuts and their assortment of farm fresh baked goods. There is no competitor that tickles the palette like their cider donuts. And there is nothing like driving south along route 9 to get to their roadside store in Valatie. The anticipation heightens the sensations!. My sources tell me that whenever Brooklyn-born United States Senator Chuck Schumer visits Columbia County, he always makes time to go to Golden Harvest for cider donuts!  

Well, today we found a close second place. It wasn't in rural towns like Greenwich, or Greenville, but in one of my favorite destinations, downtown Schenectady.  The cider donuts we had from Villa Italia are like they came right from farmstand!  I stopped for Biscotti, Cannoli and Pizelles, but was too intrigued to not get the Cider Donuts.  My recommendation....fuggedaboutit!! Unbelievable

If you haven't been to Villa Italia (Broadway in Schenectady) or to Golden Harvest Farms (Valatie) you never had pastries.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Prime Restaurant Location in Colonie Available for Lease

According to local news outlets, the former Butcher Block-turned-now closed-Central Steak is available for lease.  Central Steak’s last meals were served in the summer.

According to The Business Review story by Pam Allen (http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/blog/2012/10/central-steak-property-in-albany-for.html), the listing for 1632 Central Avenue is for $150,000 per year. The report says that in 2010, the owners had invested $500,000 in the building after years of declining business.

The building is 7,660 square feet.  Ample room for a salad bar? Just sayin…

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mexican Radio is Coming to Electric City

I know it is Tuesday, but I couldn't control myself after the news I read today. According to the paper, Schenectady will soon be the home of Mexican Radio, the best Mexican restaurant in Columbia County (NYC also has a Mexican Radio).

The Electric City Mexican cuisine keeps getting stronger as Mexican Radio joins a city favorite, Bombers.

I can't wait for the new location to open. I will be there opening night and inform all of my followers about my experiences. 

The new location will be at 325 State Street in Schenectady. According to the article, the building dates back to 1910 and once housed the imperial, a department store and then the Imperial Racing Center. 

I can taste the burritos and margaritas now. 







Friday, October 12, 2012

Exciting Travels and Hidden Treasures

Did you ever wake up in the morning and know your day was going to be a great day? Okay, maybe you haven't. This morning, I knew I was going to have a great day, filled with fun and excitement. After months of planning, my friends and I designated today for our regional treasure hunt.

We each had a list of 25 items and had to find photographic proof of each item before 2:00 p.m. Some of these items included, taking a picture with a stranger, taking a picture with a police officer and find something old. 

By the end of the day, my team lost. I don't want to tell you how bad it was, but let me say that it wasn't not a close margin. Therefore, the winning team was awarded by picking their place to eat lunch. The winning team of DeAngelo, Spencer and Andre picked The Notty Pine.

The Notty Pine is on 15th Street in Troy. I was in favor of the selection because I came here once before and had "The Mayflower". Today's lunch was more traditional as we ordered a couple pizzas.


The pizza was delicious. I am definitely a fan of the square pizza over the traditional round pizza. The crust was the perfect mix of crunchy, flaky and full or flavor. The tomato sauce is always a make-or-break to me. This time, it was a make. The sauce, full of flavor, a hint of garlic, basil, and italian seasoning, a nice selection of spices. Toppings? I wouldn't be able to write this blog if I didn't get the meat lovers pizza. The meat lovers pizza, no matter where you go is always the pizza of choice. Pepperoni, sausage and meatball all on the same pizza. Nobody can complain about this selection. I will definitely be back again for lunch.

Our pizza's were amazing and to go along with the appetizer's (chicken nachos and fried chips), it was a perfect end to the self-promoted "Capital Region Amazing Race". Next time, I will have to draft a new team for our 2nd Annual Treasure Hunt Day. Leave a comment and I will add you to the draft pool for our next Hunt in Spring 2013!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bob's Diner has a Perfect Toaster

The last time I was in Bob’s Diner in Watervliet, it was under the same conditions as this famed scene from the movie “Swingers.” 


 It was the end of a looong evening. I was playing “fun little games” telling all the girls that I was a “race car driver.”  At least I think that’s what I was doing. I know for sure though that I did not stand on the table like Vince Vaughn did in the movie. You get the point. Let’s just say I wasn’t driving home.

I had the opportunity recently to go to Bob’s Diner as an adult for a breakfast meeting. I love the place more now than ever! I realize too that I missed a lot by only going there late night.  Eggs, bacon, sausage - just a basic breakfast with awesome toast!

In an earlier post I mentioned how you can feel the soul of a diner through a cup of coffee. Bob’s Diner has a great cup of coffee too.  I put back three and wanted a to-go cup.

Next time you’re in the neighborhood, whether it’s on your way back to the suburbs or after a fun evening at Black Bear, stop by Bob’s. 

Bob's is located at 929 19th Street in Watervliet.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Brunch in the Land of Jack Byrne


Want to know the thing I dislike most in the morning?  Roosters.  I know, we don’t exactly have a high population here in the Collar City.  But take a short drive outside of Downtown Troy, and you will find that the Capital Region has a fair share of farm life.  And as soon as that sound comes up…..COCKA DOODLE DO!

So if I’m going to deal with a rooster, it will not be any time near sunrise.  Which is why I recently headed up to Mechanicville for a late brunch at The Ugly Rooster.  Lets just say my opinion of roosters has done a completely 180.

Open for just over three years, The Ugly Rooster has quite a reputation, hence our 20 minute wait despite a late arrival.  But there is no complaining about that, because our meals were well worth it, especially when you consider that Mrs. Average Joe and I left more than stuffed, all for under $20. 

What’s great about going with Mrs. Average Joe, is that we order from both sides of the menu.  She prefers a healthy meal, while I tend to stick to order a meal that my Dr. probably doesn’t prefer.  The Mrs. Ordered Nick’s French Toast, stocked with a variety of fruit, creating a rather colorful plate.  I ordered a speciality that included eggs, bacon and gravy.  The name is escaping me because my entire body shut down with happiness, see the picture included and you’ll understand.

I can’t wait to go back to The Ugly Rooster and I have a special reason why.  Next time, I plan on trying the Colossal Pancake Challenge.  Two 12” pancakes, fruit filling, butter, whip cream and syrup……in 20 minutes.  The Ugly Rooster recently saw their first winner, and I look forward to joining him and getting my picture on the Wall of Fame.


Friday, September 21, 2012

M’m! M’m! Good!

Now that's some good soup, and I'm not talking about Campbell’s soup. I’m talking about a business that is located at, ironically enough, Campbell Avenue in Troy, named Centanni’s Market. Down the hill from HVCC, Centanni’s took over the space that formerly was occupied by Barna’s Superette-Delicatessen on Burden Pond.

They have been my go-to soup place ever since they opened a couple years ago. It’s homemade goodness in every spoonful. You are never left with a bowl of broth at the end because the portions of meats and vegetables are so ridiculously high that it’s a full spoon from first dip to last. Today's choice: chicken and rice!

Staff is always friendly and helpful. Daily specials often range from meatloaf to mac and cheese or baked ziti. And that’s on top of the awesome Italian deli that offers a plethora of meats and cheeses for the sandwich of your choice.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Diner Test

I've been hitting up the diners in the Capital Region lately as you well know. It's just an adventure every time for me, I have to try them all.

I headed over to Manory's Restaurant this week. I wasn't looking for a crazy breakfast or anything, just keeping it simple with some eggs, bacon and toast, and of course the home fries. That's the test right there, this is how I test out a new diner each time. I just go with the basics.

 This includes the coffee, it must be the blackest coffee to get the true experience and understand the taste of the whole diner. The reason for this is to taste the diner's coffee in its purest form which encompasses the character of the whole establishment. Overall, the food was good and I have no complaints. The coffee was great though. I felt comfortable eating there by myself, so that's good news if you're a loner. I can also picture myself hanging out alone and drinking a pot or two.

So that's how the story goes, I'm a traveler, a wanderer, just a phantom from one diner to the next.

Traveling through time, space and Troy.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Welcome to Jack's!


JACK'S!
I am excited about this week's post. How can I not be excited? I finally had the opportunity to go back to Jack's Drive-In. Jack's Drive-In has been a staple to Wynantskill for as long as I can remember. The classic burger joint is more than just your average fast food restaurant.

As I approached the line with my three buddies, I was thinking about what I wanted to order. Well, it was actually more to the fact of how much I wanted to order. Jack's Drive-In can be comparable to White Castle burgers because they are small sliders with all the goods on top. Once I got to the window it wasn't difficult, I got my usual. The four burgers with "everything", cheese fries and a Pepsi.

"Everything" in Jack's terminology is cheeseburger, ketchup and caramelized onions. By far, the best part of the burger were the onions. It is difficult to describe the flavor the onions added to the burger. If you haven't been to Jack's I would recommend that you get to Jack's Drive-In before the weather changes and you won't be able to enjoy the full Jack's atmosphere.


The Fries!
Before I left, I looked around the park benches, I noticed a table of businessmen, a table where a grandfather and granddaughter were experiencing Jack's for the first time and even a table full of federal agents packing heat. Jack's is definitely a place for for everyone to enjoy a good ol' fashioned burger (with everything). Until next week, let's see how many of my followers can go to Jack's.

Cheeseburgers with "Everything"







Jack's Drive-In
24 Main Avenue
Wynantskill, NY 12198



Monday, September 3, 2012

Brunch in the 'Spa

If there's any meal of the day that I truly enjoy the most, it'd have to be brunch. Brunch allows me to sleep in a little bit and still wake up on time for breakfast or lunch food- my choice! I find myself wandering near and far for a great brunch and wandered over to Ballston Spa this past Sunday to check out 51 Front Wine Bar & Bistro and their Brunch Buffet, which occurs the first Sunday of every month. My thoughts were that if a wine bar & bistro offers a brunch once a month, then it must be legit.

While I have yet to have dinner at the restaurant, I was really looking forward to the brunch based on their Mediterranean flair in their usual dinner fare. Though the word "buffet" scares and excites me, this buffet fully excited me. Upon arriving, I was greeted by the Elena Marosek, who co-owns and operates the restaurant with her husband Joseph. While the place isn't large, I felt that there was enough elbow room for my friends and I to dine. The buffet wasn't large at all and consisted of scrambled eggs, a quiche, hash browns, sausage, bacon, fruit salad, pancakes/french toast, eggs benedict, bagels and patries. I filled my plate up with almost one of each, eager to try everything and anything.

The highlight of the brunch would have to be the eggs benedict. I'm picky with my Hollandaise sauce and find that most make it flavorless and thick. The sauce on the eggs benedict were perfect- a little bit of sweet, a little bit tangy, with just the right texture. The egg was placed on a thick seasoned piece of turkey and an English muffin- simple, yet perfect. The french toast took the silver medal and was perfectly proportioned to fit on my plate along with the other abundant amount of food I chose. Though the servings were small, the french toast packed a punch of both flavor and texture- sweet and moist in the middle.
On the bottom of the winners circle was the potatoes. They didn't seem to fit in with the aristry of the rest of the dishes, but we all know a full brunch includes hash browns of some sort. I really would love to see some of their Mediterranean flair come out in those potatoes though!

Overall, I left full and satisfied with the Brunch Buffet at 51 Front Street and will aim to attend their monthly brunches in the 'Spa.

51 Front Wine Bar & Bistro is located at 51 Front Street in Ballston Spa and is open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner (5:00 PM-close).

Friday, August 24, 2012

B-rad is a Friend of Mine


Have you heard that buzz around the Collar City?  No it’s not the annual construction season.  No it’s not fireworks up at the Joe.  It’s coming from a new spot on good ol’ 5th Ave, B-rads Bistro & Catering.  Open for just over a month, B-rads has already established itself as one of Downtown Troy’s go to spots for lunch. 

My body can only handle Famous Lunch once a week, so it’s nice to have new weapons in my arsenal.  During my first pilgrimage to B-rads, I ordered conservatively, and strongly based on title.  I’m Average Joey from Troy (South Troy against the world!), so you’re crazy if you think I was ordering anything but the Troy Club. 


O-M-G.  Yup, it was so good that I just went 14 year old girl on you.  This sandwich is right up Billy Fuccillo’s alley….because it was HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAHHHHHH!  Turkey, bacon, lettuce (hold the tomato), WOW. 

B-rads has a new Superfan, and his name is Average Joe.  I can’t wait to go back and try all the other great options on their menu (I’m looking at you Dorito Crusted Tuna Melt).

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Summer Tradition




Kay’s Pizza in Burden Lake is a summer tradition if you grew up in Rensselaer County. Every once in awhile during the winter I would go to their website to count the days --- literally. They have a countdown clock touting the days, hours, minutes and seconds until they open in the spring. I can’t bear to look at that ticker now, as it counts the “Days left to enjoy Kay’s Famous Pizza this season” (55 days from this posting).

 
Don’t expect air conditioning, the ceiling fans work fine. When you walk through the door it’s game on for a seat. Someone from the wait staff may greet you hello in passing, but there’s no “wait to be seated” here. You immediately put your hunting glasses on and try to skulk around the nearest table with scraps of what was Kay’s Famous Pizza. Regulars know the advantage of going in the second entrance that leads to the main eating area. It sometimes can feel like parking at the mall in December--- even if you’ve been waiting with your blinker on for 5 minutes, someone may pull in the other side and grab the spot.

Why Kay’s? Why travel on country roads for some time to get pizza, wings and beer when I can just about get it anywhere? Does it bring back memories of a simpler time? Is it the waterside view? Maybe, but deep down those that have gone know it’s the food. It’s the perfectly cooked pizza with a soft crust and plenty of cheese and sauce. This day I choose pepperoni and bacon as my extras.


The food is ALWAYS just right. Not once can I remember something being “off”. I always start with an order of wings, extra crispy of course, and then move on to Burden Lake’s most famous of all pizzas.  Oh, sorry…. and a pitcher of beer!!! Truly a summer tradition.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Midnight Rendezvous at the Brown Bag

I've always been into brown bagging it, everyday, because that's how I roll, but recently I found a new way to enjoy brown bagging, on 4th street in Troy. I've realized that I get hungry at the late hours and have no where I really want to go, I always just settle. As you can see from previous posts I am a fan of the Taco Bell, but even that place closes when I need it open. The Brown Bag in Troy is open 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and is always there when you need it.

You aren't looking at anything fancy here, but that's exactly what you need for the late night cravings. A good juicy burger, or better yet a hotdog combined with the classic grilled cheese sandwich. I also dabbled into the grilled asparagus too, quite nice. You can enjoy fries with your friendly meal, they have a little bit of a kick to them, just a heads up.


So the next time you're out late, hungry, tired or even feeling it a little bit still from the party last ngiht, this is your jam.  Everyone comes accross a place like this eventually and it's a good find. When I'm in the need of late night food, and maybe even a little bit of bacon, I know where to go.

What seals the deal is that the bag was actually brown when I ordered this to go...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nothing Better than Football and Beef




Friday was one of my best days of my life. I was fortunate to meet one of the best quarter backs in the NFL, Eli Manning. I spent my Friday afternoon enjoying the sun and some championship football training camp at SUNY Albany.

The afternoon was complimented by night out and about Albany. I initially wanted some Doritos Tacos but I found my way to the Center Square Pub. This is where the inspiration for my next blog.

Center Square Pub is located at the corner of Dove and State in Albany. I haven't been to this pub yet and I thought there is no better time than now.

I usually don't ask the waitress for any recommendations but on Friday night I decided to let the waitress decide what I will have for dinner. I asked the best best sandwich Center Square Pub has in their menu. She suggested the "Lancaster". I agreed to the sandwich before I realized what was on it.

The Lancaster is named for Lancaster street two blocks away from Center Square. The sandwich was filled with roasted beef with onions, peppers, mushrooms and a choice if cheese. Obviously, i went with the habanero cheese melted on top. It adds a nice bite to the sandwich. The roast beef was cooked perfectly as the beef just pulled apart and melted with each bite. This sandwich is a variation to the classic Philly cheese steak. The order came with a side of fries (so many options). They had regular, sweet potato, onion rings, curly fries, crinkle cut and my favorite, the waffle fries.  
After dinner I walked down Lancaster, full of beautiful brownstone apartments. I will definitely be coming back to CSP, as the pub regulars abbreviate Center Square Pub. I hear their chicken wings are some of the best in the city. Only one way to find out, a Albany chicken wing contest for the city's best chicken wing crown.