Summer is usually s'more season. You gather around the campfire, stick in hand, and get ready to accidentally set some marshmallows on fire in the quest to get a perfectly golden brown 'mallow.
But the new Madison Station in Albany has decided to lengthen s'mores season by offering tableside make-your-own s'mores.
You don't have to sit out in the cold for a campfire, the ingredients are brought to your table, and you can accidentally overcook your marshmallows from the warmth of a café stool.
Madison Station is on the block of Madison Ave just west of Ontario Street, in the space formerly occupied by Michael's. It has low lighting and comfy chairs, along with tables, ottoman seats, and a bar. They seem to be trying for an indoor-outdoor theme with plants and paintings of trees. It's a nice space that lends itself toward long conversations. It's also very new, like a recliner that needs to be broken in to make it really comfortable. And it's a little confusing as far as how seating works, how the bar works, where to order, etc.
Upon ordering the s'mores -- you can get them for two people or four -- a water pitcher is first to arrive a the table. "Just in case," your waitress will tell you, because they are serving you a live flame.
The s'mores station shows shortly after. It includes marshmallows, graham crackers, squares of Hershey chocolate, skewers, and a mini hibachi grill (which is fun, but adds one ore thing to my Christmas list). You just have to wait two minutes for the mini-fire to heat up. Then you start roasting.
The advantage to using the mini hibachi is that it slowly roasts the whole marshmallow inside and out. Where a large roaring campfire might burn the outside before heating up the middle of the marshallow, the low heat of the grill melts the mallow throughout. That results in warm marshmallow to melt the chocolate, and much gooeyness. (Madison Station also offers something called a French Toast S'mores Panini, for those of you looking to save time combining breakfast and dessert.)
The downside to the s'more setup is the limited amount of ingredients. S'mores for two only builds two s'mores per person, so two hungry ladies went through the whole dish in about 4 minutes flat. If you're looking for some more (get it?), order the s'mores for four people.
Tableside S'mores for two is $6.50, and $11 for four. Vanessa O'Connell, the owner of Madison Station, told us that she's planning a holiday s'mores option that will include Andes mints instead of regular chocolate and chocolate graham crackers. That combined with the twinkle lights they've set up in the shop would make a cold afternoon a little cozier.
Madison Station's menu includes appetizers, salads, soup, sandwiches, desserts, and a variety of coffee/tea drinks. It closes at 6 pm daily. They're still working out the kinks as to how late they should stay open, though -- so it's not like they'll push you out the door at 6 if you're already there.
Earlier on AOA: S'more's at Bailey's Cafe
851 Madison Ave
Albany, NY 12208
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