Friday, May 25, 2012

Burritos and Tacos are Everywhere and I Love It

What did we do five years ago when there wasn't a burrito place on every corner? We must have been hungry and we didn't even realize how pathetic our lives were. Much like back when we would go shopping without a cup of coffee in our hands, could you imagine doing that today? Never. Good advertising and marketing told us that we must have a coffee at all times and that burritos are a must on the menu at least once a week.  

Getting a bit off topic here but really, we are like lemmings.  When I was a kid, you went to Dunkin Donuts for...... donuts and there was one in town.  Now there are four, and we thank the holy cocca bean for that because if I have to go more than 25 minutes without coffee, we have a problem. Back to topic at hand - burritos.

You can grab a burrito just about anywhere these days (as stated above) and the national chains have popped up all over the place, I was on a Moe's kick for a while but I have rediscovered Chipolte. There is another chain that you might have overlooked - Hot Harry's, located in the Hannaford Plaza in East Greenbush. I stopped by the other day and was enticed to call an audible - I went with the bacon cheeseburger burrito. How can you combine two great things and not have it turn out well?. It was good, though I did wish I had gone along with the old reliable, chicken burrito. There is just something weird about eating bacon in a burrito. I love bacon, but I believe it does not belong in a burrito.

All-in-all a solid meal, not too expensive and much better than the last time I went there. I will give Hot Harry's another try but I'll leave the bacon to my burgers and potatoes and salads and peanut butter sandwiches and....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Favorite Mexican Grill Under Criminal Investigation?

Chipotle Mexican Grill has disclosed it's being investigated by federal prosecutors looking into the possible violations of securities laws when hiring its workers. The Mexican grill may be taking some shortcuts when verifying its workers aren't illegal immigrants. There are six Chipotle's here in the Capital Region, I need my chicken quesadillas.

To read more about it check out The Business Review

Monday, May 21, 2012

Average Joe is going healthy just in time for swimsuit season

Dijon Potato Salad- easy
on my waist and my wallet.
We all know that I obviously like to eat, but lately I’ve been watching my waistline because between pasta, tacos and pizza, I’ve gained a few pounds. I decided to look for products that were wholesome, healthy and local and was recommended by a buddy to check out the Honest Weight Food Co-op located on Central Avenue in Albany. Tucked away behind a Family Dollar Store, it was a bit of a challenge to find and located in an unexpected area on Central. But, to my surprise, the parking lot was filled and the exterior was decorated with flowers and plants for sale.

The entrance brought you right to the produce section of the store, featuring in-season products and according to their website, is stocked with over 250 items available. Located off of the product section is a garden aisle, displaying all sorts of plants and seeds for sale.

As I roamed through the aisles, I couldn’t help but notice how happy and helpful the employees were. I was asked if I was looking for anything in particular a few times, and I wasn’t sure if it was because I looked confused or if it was friendly customer service.
I came across the deli department, and in front of me was a case full of pre made sandwiches, sides and salads. There was also a selection of soups, desserts and baked goods, and prepared foods from local restaurants such as Mi Linh. The Dijon potato salad caught my eye and I promptly placed it in my cart. The salad was fresh- made on that day and included celery, parsley and agave nectar (no fatty mayonnaise!).

The store not only features produce and prepared items, but cheese, meat, fish, health and body aides, bulk products and dairy. It is a full-functioning grocery store, comparable to Price Chopper and Hannaford’s, with plenty to offer both the foodie, the regular or the health conscientious.

I left with some fresh apples, strawberries, artichokes, maple syrup from Vermont, a loaf of fresh made rustic Italian bread, and homemade granola for less than $25. Oh, and the potato salad didn’t even make it to the parking lot- it was consumed right in the store's cafe.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy 40th Birthday Purple Pub!

40 years ago, I was enjoying the finest Gerber sweet potatoes, while on the other side of the river, a local staple was opening its doors.  That's right, The Purple Pub recently turned 40.  One thing is clear, this restaurant is no where near over the hill.

I recently took a trip over the Congress St. Bridge to celebrate The Purple Pub's birthday in Watervliet.  I always love walking in and seeing how the restaurant looks very similar to how I imagine it did 40 years ago. We went for lunch, so it was quick to get a table but comforting to see regulars enjoying a meal. 

In all my excitement over the birthday celebration, I made a terrible mistake.  What is Purple Pub known for? Pizza and Wings. Guess what Average Joe ordered......neither. I can't complain about the quality of my French Dip, but as I walked out the door, I was already planning my next visit, this time for pizza and wings.  

Make sure you visit Purple Pub soon.  Bring your birthday party hats.  Tell them Average Joe sent you and make sure you order pizza and wings.