Friday, June 29, 2012

The All American Food Truck

A Place for All Parties

What do all of us “Average Joes” have in common?
The simple answer: The love for food.

A better answer: the Great American Food Truck!

What is better than walking around the State Capitol on a gorgeously hot day, enjoying the scenery and lawn ornaments than adding a delicious lunch at the food trucks on Washington and State Street?

Today’s Food Truck is not just an ordinary fast food and ice cream truck. They provide more quality options than ever and at reasonable prices. To all of my avid followers, you know how much I enjoy the Pig Pit in Cohoes. As I was whistling through the lawn behind the Capitol, I came across the Pig Pit Food Truck! (Well, it isn’t really a truck, it is a van) but let’s not get stuck on technicalities. I will still call it a food truck.
The food truck had so many options, considering it is a food truck. They even had a salad for those who enjoy healthy eats. Obviously, with no additional thought, I found myself choosing the pulled pork sandwich and of course, I had the works put on top (hot sauce and cole slaw). YUM. I wanted to take in the whole atmosphere. I invited some friends to come along with me because I wanted to share the food truck experience and ate lunch on a park bench next to a couple who haven’t seen each other in a couple weeks (based on the high levels of PDA). The food was delicious!

I look forward to the next opportunity to visit the Washington and State Street Food Trucks and try the Greek Truck, the Taco truck (I wonder if they have Dorito tacos) and the refreshing Italian Ice.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Piece of Belgium on Pearl

Question: What do Albany and Brussels have in common?

Well, aside from the fact that both cities share the regional designation of “Capital District,” not too much. Let’s face it, Brussels has us beat: international home to the Belgian Waffle, home to some of the world's finest chocolate, and home to a host of internationally acclaimed breweries.

But, luckily enough for us here in New York’s Capital District, all is not lost. As we’ve seen over the years, the demand for Euro-style brewpubs in Albany has led to a beer renaissance of sorts. Take a walk down Broadway, for instance, and you might find yourself drinking a pint of English Ale, German Pilsner, Irish Stout, or maybe all three if you can deal with the hangover. The point is, we have options now, which is why it’s only fitting to add a Belgian brewpub to the growing list of malty Euro-style institutions in downtown Albany.

Enter The Merry Monk, a bona fide Gastropub with undeniable Belgian flare, albeit a little kitschy. Along with all of the usual suspects, (ie. Chimay, Duvel, Palm) the Merry Monk serves up nearly every Belgian-style ale from Cooperstown’s celebrated Brewery Ommegang. But the appeal of the Merry Monk goes beyond the beer. The Monk also serves up a mean burger, and a fat one at that.  Word to the wise: Don’t miss out on the Bacon Cheddar Ale Burger. Should I say it again? Bacon. Cheddar. Ale. Burger.

The rhetorical zest of the Monk’s menu goes beyond just burgers. You won’t find French fries on this menu, only frites. Talk about culture, man. Make sure you choose the appropriate “dipping sauce,” which is really just a nondescript term for flavored mayonnaise.  I happened to choose the Chipotle Mayo, which was hot, but tasty nevertheless.

My only issue with the Merry Monk: work. How would I ever finish those TPS reports after drinking a snifter of Belgian Ale? I wouldn’t, and so I will be back my Merry Monk friend. Keep the beer cold for me.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hoping To Stay Cool This Summer

The Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell have been driving me loco lately. At first I was not impressed, as you may have seen from an earlier blog post, but now my excitement is beginning to build again. According to The Huffington Post and the blogosphere out there we can look forward to seeing the Doritos' Cool Ranch version sometime this summer. As we've seen with the success of the Locos Tacos, it would be loco not to keep that promise. Hopefully this time it will live up to my expectations and I can have a "cool" summer. Cool ranch is my most favorite Doritos flavor, I don't think I'll be disappointed this time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Breakfast With Uncle Marty

As you know, one of my favorite things is to find an urban nook and cranny. A neighborhood joint that the locals know so well they don’t consider eating there as “going out for a meal.”  But, I’m proud to say that I’m also not one of those urban agoraphobics afraid of open space and country air. I’ll go to a strip mall and not hold my nose. I’ll also hit the farm stand way out in farmland. I love this region because 15 minutes from any downtown you can smell cow country. 

I found a place in not quite cow country that everyone in the vicinity of Burden Lake, Crystal Lake, Crooked Lake and Glass Lake know and love…Uncle Marty’s Adirondack Grill.  While a bit more than a stone’s throw from the purview of the APA and more east than north (head east on 43 past the old Miller’s Market four corners and a few miles past the Lakeview Restaurant), Uncle Marty has it down pat. The big chair out front, the d├ęcor, the outdoor bar, the friendly vibe, the spacious accommodations, the fast service.

The best thing about this joint though is the food.  This has now become my favorite breakfast spot.  I’ll admit it that this place is so great I have kept it off the blog roll for months fearing that I’d have to wait to be seated. I cannot wait when I get here on the weekends. The spaciousness and fast staff ensures you never have to wait.

As far as what to order, the specials have always been terrific. The pancakes are a knockout and make it worth ordering the hearty breakfast to get a few tastes if you’re an eggs for breakfast person. Last weekend though I had the ham, cheddar and asparagus omelet, with sausage links and real potato home fries.

Mark this down on your “bucket” list or your “to do” list or your “wish” list….go have breakfast with your new Uncle Marty.