Items tagged with 'food'

Oxtail egg rolls at Buddha Noodle

Buddha Noodle Oxtail Egg Rolls

By Deanna Fox

You know those online memes that show a horrifically frozen snowy scene and ask, "Why do I live in a place where the weather hurts my face?"

I know the answer: It's because the soup tastes better here.

Soup -- loosely defined -- could include anything from chicken noodle to chili, and it tastes better in the Northeast. If hunger is the best sauce, then is frigid temperature the best seasoning?

I went to Buddha Noodle on a sub-zero day to find out.

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A good rehearsal dinner spot in Saratoga?

fork on tableNicole asks:

I'd like recommendations for a venue in Saratoga Springs that could host a rehearsal dinner. The dinner would be for twenty people and over the summer, though before track season. I would need a private space, separate from other patrons, and would like something on the more casual end. We're willing to consider somewhat unconventional venues. However, we need to be cost conscious.
If you know of a place that would seem to be a good fit for my needs, and could provide the name of the person you specifically worked with, that would be very helpful, as I haven't had much luck getting responses to some of my emails/phone calls to restaurants thus far.

It feels like there are a bunch new places opened in Saratoga in the last year, so we're curious to hear people's suggestions. (Also:: A little bit of customer service goes a long way.)

Got a suggestion for Nicole? Please share! And a sentence or two about you're recommending a place can be helpful.

Gathering of the Farm Cideries 2018

nine pin cider works exterior

The annual Gathering of the Farm Cideries is back at Nine Pin Cider in Albany February 17. Tickets are on sale now -- they're $25 ahead online / $30 at the door. There are two sessions: noon-3 pm and 4-7 pm, and they're ticketed separately.

Event blurbage:

On Saturday February 18th [sic], join us on Nine Pin's production floor with farm cideries from all corners of the state for a tasting and market experience that only New York State can offer. Enjoy free samples of unique batches of ciders all made from New York apples with the ability to purchase limited and exclusive ciders by the growler, bottle, and can to go!

The list of cideries is still to come. In the past the event has included more than 15 different cider makers from around the state. (As you know, there's been a hard cider boom in New York over the last few years, in part because of the state's new rules for cideries that make their beverages from New York State-grown ingredients.)

This event has sold out the past few years. So if you'd like to go, it's probably a good idea to get tickets sooner rather than later.

Nine Pin advertises on AOA.

Checking out the new Franklin Alley Social Club

Franklin Alley Social Club shuffleboard and bocce courts

The Franklin Alley Social Club -- a new bar/shuffleboard/bocce ball/arcade spot under Takk House in Troy -- opened this past weekend.

Here's a look around and little bit about what's up...

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A kid-friendly brunch or lunch spot?

City Beer Hall Chocolate Decadence French ToastNot enthused about the opening of another drinking establishment, Elena posted on AOA's Facebook page:

Please, share some family caffe options if you know one - I am trying to find a place where I can take my kids for brunch or lunch, that are NOT fast food, old stinky diner, or soggy pizza place. The perfect place for me would be a restourant or caffe with a cute kids play corner.

This is a good question. And, of course, opinions about what makes a place kid friendly or not are going to vary. Maybe it's a menu. Maybe it's the atmosphere. Maybe it's just that there's some space to run around a little bit.

So, got a suggestion for Elena? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're suggesting a place can be helpful.

A look around Delaware Supply

Delaware Supply exterior

Some quick follow-up on Delaware Supply, the craft beer bar that's been in the works for the space next to The Spectrum that was previously a series of coffee shops.

It opened shortly before Christmas, and here are a handful of pics along with a few other bits...

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Favorite local foods 2017

Oaxaquena Triqui tacos closeup

The tacos at a tiny spot in Albany got a mention. / photo: Deanna Fox

With 2017 about to end, we're talking with people about favorite/interesting things from the past year.

And, as is tradition, we asked a bunch of people around the online Neighborhood about their favorite local foods or drinks from the past year.

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Nutella bacon bagel at Wired Coffee

wired coffee nutella bacon bagel

By Deanna Fox

There are certain foodstuffs that really only exist for those moments when you just don't care about life anymore. Those items that make it hard to believe the eater actually places value on their health, life expectancy or general well-being.

For those moments when all hope is gone, there is the Nutella Bacon Bagel from Wired Coffee.

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Harrison's Corner Market

Harrison's Corner Market deli counter

Now open: Harrison's Corner Market -- a neighborhood grocery and sandwich shop -- at the corner of Congress Street and 4th Street in downtown Troy. It had a soft open this past weekend, and Wednesday marked the start of its regular schedule.

The store is the latest piece of the ongoing redevelopment of the former Trojan Hardware complex there by owner Kevin Blodgett. Since 2012 he's rehabbed spaces in the 35,000-square-feet collections of buildings for occupants such as Rare Form Brewing and The Shop.

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Galaktoboureko at Blue Ribbon

Blue Ribbon Diner galaktoboureko

By Deanna Fox

Galactic burrito!

That's not what we're talking about today, but it's how to phonetically sound out galaktoboureko, the subject of this edition of Eat This!

The galaktoboureko -- a 3-inch high pastry -- is difficult to pronounce at first, and perhaps that's why it often goes by it's more common moniker: Greek custard.

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Window shopping at the grocery, then

B. Lodge (Lodges)  and Grand Cash Market  North pearl albany ny 1940s

Check out this Pearl Street pic from the 1940s posted from the Albany Group Archive on Flickr. The Albany Muskrat highlighted it on Twitter with a Thanksgiving ad for the grocery, Grand Cash Markets.

Recommended: Heading over to Flickr and zooming in on the photo. You can see into the store itself a bit and gawk at the all the vegetables on display.

Also: There's a woman standing under the B. Lodge sign (same typeface as today!), and she has a "I'm an annoyed you're taking my photo" look on her face.

Benedict Trio at Tipsy Moose Tap and Tavern

tipsy moose benedict trio

By Deanna Fox

Thrice I've attempted to dine at Tipsy Moose Tap and Tavern, just off Latham Circle. The first time, not long after the comfort food destination opened, the wait time was over an hour. The result was a visit to Celadon Thai. The second time, during happy hour, was equally unsuccessful. Zaitoon Kitchen stepped in instead.

But three is the magic number at Tipsy Moose, and my third attempt during peak Sunday brunch hours was a success.

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A look inside the new Cuckoo's Nest in Albany

Cuckoo's Nest Albany exterior

Sometimes the right spot is right across the street.

When Kaytrin Della Sala and Devin Ziemann -- owners of the Albany fast-casual burger shop Crave -- heard that the longtime home of The Gingerman was available again, the opportunity was, as Ziemann describes it, "a no-brainer."

The location is just up Western Ave from Crave, and the young restaurateurs -- Kaytrin Della Sala oversees operations, Ziemann is a chef -- had been thinking about a second restaurant.

So they jumped at the chance. And this past weekend, they opened The Cuckoo's Nest, a sit-down restaurant inspired by Southern cuisine. The menu includes riffs on items such as fried chicken, biscuits, shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes.

"It's been pretty much a dream of ours to open this kind of concept, with this look, since before we even opened Crave," said Della Sala on Saturday a few hours before the restaurant's first reservations from the general public started showing up. "So it just means a lot to us to see it come to life."

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Pollo mofongo from Mi Ecuador Juice Bar

Mi Ecuador East Greenbush mofongo

By Deanna Fox

I'm not a fan of molded foods.

I'm not talking about moldy foods -- though funky cheese and fermented foods are always ok in my book -- I'm talking about the foods that are manipulated into cutesy forms to somehow exude superiority and sophistication. Save for cookie cut-outs, any food that has been pressed into some sort of ring or mold, including but not limited to: Anything in aspic; anything with Jell-O; chopped salad pressed into a circle; tartar also pressed into a circle. Those ring molds really do nothing except drive up labor cost and convince eaters that they should pay more for the effort.

There are times when I can be persuaded to step outside these boundaries, and pollo mofongo is one of those times.

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A look around the new Fort Orange Brewing

Fort Orange Brewing in Albany opening

The new Albany brewery -- Fort Orange Brewing -- officially opened Wednesday afternoon.

Its space, a combination brewery/tap room, is on North Pearl Street in the Warehouse District. Six of its brews were on tap, along with cider from Nine Pin.

Fort Orange Brewing is the product of Craig Johnson, John Westcott, and Jim Eaton. The three friends from Castleton started brewing at home together a few years back and decided to make the jump to a full brewery. As Eaton told us back in August, the plan is to offer their beers in the tap room, along with snacks. They'll also be inviting food trucks to set up outside. Eaton said the goal is to create a family-friendly atmosphere.

It's the third brewery now operating in the city of Albany, joining the C. H. Evans Brewing (the Pump Station) and Druthers. The craft beverage producer list also includes Albany Distilling Co. and Nine Pin Cider.

Here's a look around the new place...

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Stewart's is selling dough boys from Esperanto

esperanto doughboy

Updated

There is no doubt an alternate universe where this has already happened because it makes sense: Stewart's is now offering dough boys from Esperanto in Saratoga Springs at a handful of its locations in Saratoga County.

Doughboys are, of course, chicken, three types of cheese (including cream cheese), and spices wrapped into a pizza dough. (Esperanto also sells a dough girl that swaps out the chicken for vegetables. Those are not being offered by Stewart's right now.)

They're very popular (especially late at night, because you know). When we talked with Esperanto many years ago about them, the Caroline Street shop's signature item made up a third of its business.

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Beef vegetable soup at Chuck Wagon Diner

Chuck Wagon Diner beef soup

By Deanna Fox

Let's face it, beef can be boring. And most times, it is.

Burger joints focus on loading up toppings instead of creating a flavorful patty. Steak is almost always overcooked and improperly seasoned. Soups made from beef stock are nearly universally oil slicks, too unctuous to sip.

Fortunately for me, I live in a place rife with great beef preparations. I can get house-aged Chateaubriand within walking distance of my abode at The Bears. Quality cuts of farm-fresh meat are just a quick drive away at various farms and a butcher shop.

But it's a humble preparation -- beef and vegetable soup -- that is unrivaled.

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Vegetable stew at Kismet

Kismet vegetable stew

By Deanna Fox

Hey, there you are, autumn!

I've been waiting for you, patiently tapping my foot with arms crossed, hoping you would show up soon. Not that I was getting tired of all those garden tomatoes or anything, but I'm ready for colder weather and hot soup.

Kismet provides.

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Market Bistro cooking school schedule includes two Quintessence classes

quintessence chicken

From the Quintessence revival back in 2009.

There are a bunch of classes on the October schedule for the cooking school at the Market Bistro in Latham, but there were two that immediately caught our eye:

October 7: Hands On & Dine: Quintessence: Shrimp Scampi
"Another Quintessence favorite that customers love! Recipes include: shrimp scampi with green fettuccine noodles, Quintessential salad, and brownie sundae." $60

October 21: Hands On & Dine: Quintessence Chicken Teriyaki
"Back by popular demand! Learn how to recreate this delicious meal in your own kitchen. Recipes include: chicken teriyaki, spinach fettuccine, Quintessential salad, and crepes." $60

Quintessence is, of course, the longtime favorite restaurant that once operated in an old diner building on Scotland Ave in Albany's Park South neighborhood. It's no longer there -- neither the restaurant, nor the building (which was demolished for the redev there). And the chicken teriyaki was its signature dish.

As the list notes, Market Bistro has offered the chicken teriyaki class before and it always sells out. In fact, it looks like it's already got a few people signed up for it. So if you're interested, don't wait to claim a spot.

Cereal sundae from Bumpy's Polar Freeze

bumpys polar freeze cereal sundae

By Deanna Fox

The lies we tell ourselves as adults: It's completely fine to eat ice cream -- just ice cream -- as a meal if 1) you skipped some other meal in the day, or 2) you've been sick/it's been a bad day, or 3) it's the only viable thing you can really bring yourself to make.

The guilt association or judgements of ice-cream-as-a-meal are laid to waste when you add in some sort of traditional meal fodder -- for instance, cereal.

Bumpy's Polar Freeze in Schenectady understands.

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Second Cafe Madison set to open this fall

Cafe Madison raspberry pancakes

Three words: oatmeal raspberry pancakes.

BMT Hospitality is planning to a open second Cafe Madison location at Loudon Plaza on Northern Boulevard in Albany, the developers of the plaza announced Tuesday. Press release blurbage:

Construction has started on the 3,000-square-foot space which will include dining for 80 people with additional seating at the bar and flexible indoor/outdoor dining during the warmer months. Off the bar, windows will open to the outside for ease of food pick up or for guests grabbing a coffee-on-the go. ...
Café Madison is scheduled to open in late fall and will be open daily for dining from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Space is available at night for private events such as bridal parties, rehearsal dinners, holiday parties, birthday parties and more.

Loudon Plaza is the strip located where Northern Boulevard intersects with Route 9/Loudon Road, across the street from Albany Memorial Hospital. It had been in foreclosure until a development company called DF Acquisitions took over the property last year -- it's been working on a total makeover of the plaza. [Biz Review]

Cafe Madison is, of course, a mainstay of Albany's Pine Hills neighborhood, frequently with long waits for breakfast on the weekend. BMT owns a bunch of establishments along that strip of Madison Ave, including Junior's, The Point, and the Madison Pour House. The company's become an Albany restaurant empire -- it also owns Ama Cocina, Albany Ale and Oyster, Spinner's, and The Pub. It opened a second Junior's in North Greenbush last year.

Breakfast sandwich at Wren & Rail

wren and rail breakfast sandwich

By Deanna Fox

A little piece of nirvana exists in the geographical center of Albany County. It's tucked away in a gravel yard in New Scotland behind a series of red barns, an unassuming tin-roofed trailer bordered by enormous pine logs and framed by a few ecru umbrellas.

Unless you were passing by on a regular basis, commuting into Albany or off to buy a load of pea gravel for walkways and patios, it is unlikely you would find Wren & Rail, a food "truck" that serves fresh, seasonal, and locally-sourced food.

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A different take on the snack machine

Capital Roots healthy vending machine

The machine in the Arbor Hill/West Hill APL branch.

Check it out: Capital Roots is coordinating the roll out of new vending machines that offer healthier snack options.

The first two machines are Albany Public Library branches. The org introduced the program Tuesday at the Arbor Hill/West Hill branch of the Albany Public Library, which has one of the machines. The other is at the Howe Branch in the South End. A third machine is headed to the Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls on Hackett Boulevard.

Capital Roots is aiming to place as many as 50 of the machines at spots around the area as part of the program's first phase.

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Neba Sandwich from Mike's Neba

Mikes Neba Schenectady neba sandwich cross section

By Deanna Fox

Whoever coined the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" probably didn't mean for the quip to apply to a sandwich.

Hey, love comes in many forms, including -- but not limited to -- roast beef layered between bread.

When people speak of comfort food, sandwiches are rarely listed in the ranks, but sometimes a PBJ just the way Mom made it, or a melty grilled cheese, provides a feeling of warmth akin to the embrace of a lover after a detente from distance or quarrels.

The Super Neba from Mike's Neba in Schenectady offers the same.

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Fort Orange Brewing

Fort Orange Brewing Jim Eat

Jim Eaton in the Fort Orange Brewing space. He's part of the team that includes Craig Johnson and John Westcott.

Albany's Warehouse District is in line to add another craft beverage producer this fall with the planned opening of Fort Orange Brewing.

Here's a quick overview of what's in the works and who's involved...

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