Items tagged with 'food'
Update: Here's a press release about the new taproom, which mentions an opening date will be announced in the coming weeks.
Check it out: It looks like The Beer Diviner is setting up a bar in downtown Troy.
The brewery mentioned the plan for 461 Broadway recently on both its Instagram and FB page. (Also: The building is owned by Harry Tutunjian, and he tweeted a welcome to the location to the brewery Wednesday afternoon.)
The Beer Diviner currently has a farm brewery and tasting room in Cherry Plain in Rensselaer County. A few years back Casey talked with owner Jonathan Post about the operation, his approach to beer -- and how he became known as the Beer Diviner.
We have an email in with The Beer Diviner and we're hoping to hear back about a potential opening date.
461 Broadway? If that address seems familiar, it was the location for both Nibble, and before that, Francesca's.
The hard cider industry in New York continues to fizz -- there are now 24 farm cideries around the state, according to the Cuomo admin. That's up from eight in 2014, when the farm cidery law took effect.
Farm cidery? It's a type of license issued by the state that smooths out some of the regulations and requirements for running a cidery -- if the operation uses New York State apples to make its products. (There are also farm winery and farm brewery license.) The state's first farm cidery was Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany's Warehouse District.
Of course, the requirement to use New York apples isn't too much of a hurdle. The Empire State is the nation's #2 producer of apples, behind only Washington State. So the hard cider industry is another way to make use of the state's abundant crop.
Given the growth in the number of farm cideries, we figured it'd be fun to roll together a map of where they're located around the state.
Let's have a look...
To relegate tuna to the lower levels of the sandwich totem is an easy thing to do: Tuna sandwiches are stinky, leaving your breath, your fingers, and the room they are made and consumed in reeking of tinned fish. More involved but less portable than the PBJ, tuna fish is a fussy sandwich that is open to endless interpretation but always requires the same level of attention. Where a PBJ can be slapped together, thrown haphazardly into a zip-top bag and shoved into a backpack, ski jacket, or lunchpail, the tuna sandwich demands gentle, precise insertion into a storage and transport vessel, constant refrigeration of some manner, and delicate nibbles to protect the integrity of assemblage.
Despite its particularities, tuna fish is sometimes an act of desperation. A can of tuna can be found in most home pantries for last-minute sandwich emergencies, and tuna or whitefish salad is often one of the cheaper options on deli menus.
Still, a good tuna fish sandwich is a thing to marvel at. The perfect mayo-to fish ratio, the inclusion of additives to the salad, the choice of bread... a good combination of those things makes all the downsides of a tuna sandwich completely worth it.
We stumbled upon this old Albany photo in the Albany Public Library History Collection online. It's the Empire Food Market that occupied a part of the big Lyon Block building on Hudson Ave that once stood alongside the public market space where the TU Center is now. The date of the photo isn't listed.
That big vertical sign -- "EMPIRE FOOD MARKET" -- caught our eye. Wonder what happened to it.
Empire Food Market was a local supermarket chain founded by Henry Schaffer in Schenectady in the 1920s -- it and would later expand to almost 200 stores around upstate and Western Massachusetts, and Schaffer would sell the chain to Grand Union.
Here's a 1932 full-page ad in the Times Union for the Hudson Ave location -- "Albany's Premier Food Center." (And here's another ad, which mentions Fort Orange Toilet Tissue.)
The Albany Muskrat has a post chronicling the history of the open air Albany Public Market area and the Lyons Block building. The building met its end in demolition for the Empire State Plaza project (which, at the time, most people called "The South Mall.")
If each month had a food that represented it, February would get chocolate, July would get sweet corn, and October would get apple pie. There are plenty of foods symbolic of autumn, but nothing really says October like a warm apple pie from the oven.
Pie can be intimidating for those new to the experience of making one, especially when everyone has their own ideas on what makes the perfect version.
Regardless of what sort of apple pie you're making, there are a few rules you should be following to make a good one. Don't worry, I'll walk you through them. And I've also included a few recipes to get you started.
Autumn in the Capital Region is great for a lot of reasons -- many of them involving cider. Hot cider, hard cider, cider donuts. And now, cider cocktails.
Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany has a new tasting room with a New York cider cocktail menu. So we thought it'd be fun to get together a tasting of cider cocktails there on October 25.
Local distillers Derek Grout (Harvest Spirits) and John Curtin (Albany Distilling) will be there that evening mixing Nine Pin cider cocktails, as well as discussing their spirits and their cocktail creations.
Derek Grout from Harvest Spirits in Valatie and John Curtin from Albany Distilling Co. in Albany will show us all how to make four cocktails, and they'll talk about using cider and other spirits in new cocktails. They'll send you home with recipes so you can mix your favorites yourself.
You didn't think we'd mix up cocktails and not drink them? Each ticket will include four Nine Pin cider cocktails mixed with locally-made spirits.
Each drink will be paired with a local snack: cheese, fruit, nuts -- things that pair well with the cocktail.
Guests will get a tour of the cider works with founder Alejandro del Peral to see how Nine Pin is made, bottled, and canned.
There will be a surprise, locally-made seasonal dessert.
The Nine Pine tasting room will be also pouring that night, and the company's different cider varieties and cider cocktails will be available for purchase.
And of course, you'll get to enjoy it all with other fun AOA people.
The event is Tuesday, October 25 starting at 5:30 pm at the new Nine Pin tasting room at 929 Broadway in Albany. (The class and tasting will get started at 6 pm.) It's a 21-and-over event.
Space is limited for this event, and we expect it to fill up, so buying early will both save you a few bucks and ensure you get a spot.
Nine Pin advertises on AOA.
Universality is the philosophical concept that some truths exist regardless of the situation, place, or time. Some things are just universally true. That we will all die someday is a universal truth. Some would say the inalienable rights that our nation's founders fought for are natural, universal truths that cannot be augmented, fractioned, or disputed.
I thought the same was true for butter.
When has there ever been a food situation where adding a little bit of butter did not make the end product just that much better? More than the sum of its parts? Seinfeld would tell you that anything good and delicious was the result of adding cinnamon. He's wrong. It's butter.
But when I first heard about people adding fat -- butter, coconut oil, etc. -- into their coffee for an added boost of energy in the morning, I thought they were daffy. Isn't coffee wonderful enough on its own without being bastardized by pumpkin spice, blended up with ice, and topped with whipped cream -- or lubricated with a healthy knob of butter?
Turns out that butter really is a universal truth.
The annual Wing Walk returns to downtown Schenectady this Saturday. Tickets are $10 / $5 for students with a valid ID and available online.
How it works: You pick up a map at the Proctors box office (it's also your ballot), then you visit a series of restaurants around downtown Schenectady that are offering samples of chicken wings in a variety of styles. Then you vote for your favorite.
There are 22 restaurants participating this year. The list is after the jump.
The Wing Walk is Saturday, October 1 from noon-5 pm.
I've had the pleasure of visiting a handful of different apple orchards already this season and have noticed that the taste / quality of the cider has varied significantly thus far.
Now I know there's been a lot of documentation done on the region's different cider donut offerings, but I haven't seen much of anything done on the cider itself. I was wondering if some of your readers could weigh-in with where their favorite local apple cider comes from.
Bonus points if anyone has knowledge on how much the flavor changes from month-to-month or year-to-year based on what kinds of apples go into the mix.
Sean's question makes us want to go out a buy a bunch of ciders from local orchards and have a taste comparison. (Hmm...)
We've heard that the flavor of an orchard's cider can change over the course of the apple season as the different varieties of apples are harvested and added to the mix. But we can't say we've had a "Hey, wow, this cider is so much more (something) than it was last month" experience. Maybe you have.
So, got thoughts on your favorite local cider? Or any insight on how the flavor of cider changes over the course of the season? Please share!
There is something about September that feels like such a fresh start. More than a birthday, more than New Year's Day, September for me has always been a time of intentional goal setting and beginning again with a clean slate. Maybe it's because for most of us, our year operated around the school calendar in our most formidable years. The start came just after Labor Day, with fresh clothes, new notebooks and pencils, and the promise that this year, anything was possible.
Like most other beginnings, something sweet it required to mark the occasion. If you get a cake on your birthday, why not have a cider donut to welcome fall?
That question is rhetorical, of course: Cider donuts are as much a harbinger for fall -- and that fresh start that rolls in with autumn's crisp air -- as a new backpack.
Here's a new cooking class series: Tech Valley Taste Makers at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity in Troy.
+ September 29: Bring the Gastro-Pub Home with executive chef Rachel Mabb of The Ruck (Troy)
+ October 19: Fall Foliage Picnic Feast with Lucas Karasavidis, owner of Honeybee Farms (Cobleskill) and From Our Farm to Your Table (Troy)
+ November 16: Sides to be Thankful For with chef Ric Orlando, owner of New World Bistro Bar, Albany and New World Home Cooking, Saugerties.
+ December 7: Holiday Cookies: Tradition with a Twist with chef/Baker Leah Stein of Leah's Cakery (Round Lake)
Monthly classes (fall/winter and spring/summer) are taught by masterful chefs and artisanal food makers. Each teacher demonstrates the techniques for making delicious specialties at home, educates about culinary art & science and offers tastings with beverage pairings, both alcoholic* and non-. Proceeds, after expenses, are shared equally between the teacher and TVCOG's fund to fully equip its teaching/making kitchen.
Class prices range from $37.50-$57. There's also a season pass for $170. Pre-registration is required.
TVCOG advertises on AOA.
Check it out: Death Wish Coffee is following up its Super Bowl ad with sponsorship of a NASCAR race car.
Death Wish will be the primary sponsor on the #95 car driven by Ty Dillon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Dover International Speedway on October 2. (The track is nicknamed "The Monster Mile," thus "slay the monster" mention in Richard Childress Racing announcement image at the first link in this paragraph.)
Death Wish Coffee -- the hyper-caffeinated coffee brand ("the world's strongest coffee") that grew out of Saratoga Coffee Traders -- is based in Round Lake. As you probably saw, it won a Super Bowl TV spot this year via a Quickbooks contest.
image: Richard Childress Racing
The Cuomo admin announced Wednesday that Andrew Cuomo has signed the legislation passed earlier this year that allows restaurants to serve alcohol two hours earlier on Sundays, moving the start time from noon to 10 am.
Here's press release blurbage on the brunch booze provision of the legislation:
Expand Sunday Sales: The law expands Sunday sales at restaurants and bars by changing the statewide opening hours from noon to 10 am. In addition, the agreement enables these licensees to apply for a permit, limited to twelve per year, to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises on Sundays between 8 a.m. and the new 10 a.m. opening hour in areas outside New York City.
The shift from noon to 10 am on Sundays takes effect immediately. Those provision allowing the dozen special 8 am permits (apparently prompted in part by NFL games in Europe and European soccer matches) will take effect in 60 days. (Those 8 am permits will cost restaurants and bars $25 plus a $10 filing fee. They also will require a notice filed with the local municipality.)
The legislation signed today includes a bunch of other updates to the state's complicated alcohol laws. Among the changes: Wineries will be allowed to sell wine in growlers and liquor stores will be allowed to sell gift wrapping and gift bags (yep, that was prohibited).
photo: Lauren Hittinger Hodgson
The first time I heard of a "toast menu" in a restaurant, my eyes rolled so hard I'm pretty sure I sprained something in my head. (My brain?) It was in an issue of Bon Appetit magazine in 2014, regarding a restaurant in San Francisco that did toast so well, it could rightly charge $4 a slice.
'Tis a fad, I thought, but then BA kept on publishing about toast. Later that year, "Toast is still happening. Get on the train." Months later, "27 ideas for toast." And my favorite, published this year, "Life before avocado toast: The 16 ways dining has changed since 2000."
Should it come as a surprise that "specialty toast" has made its way to the Capital Region? Scoff if you want to, but toast isn't going anywhere, so we might as well play with it. That's what Superior Merchandise Company, in Troy, is doing.
But don't take it as child's play. This toast is serious business.
Coming to the Empire State Plaza main cafeteria in September: Bombers, Kuma Ani, and The Dutch Pot.
The state's Office of General Services, which manages the plaza, officially announced the upcoming additions Tuesday. Press release blurbage:
Bombers Burrito Bar Hours: Monday - Friday 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Locally owned since 1997, Bombers will serve its signature burritos, bowls, tacos and salads. Favorites including ancho chili chicken, southern fried catfish, "Red Stripe" jerk pork, quinoa bowls, buffalo chicken salad and more.
Kuma Ani Express Hours: Monday - Friday 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Kuma Ani burst on to the Albany sushi scene in 2015 and has earned a stellar reputation infusing authentic Japanese dishes with Western culinary techniques. Tuna, salmon, yellowtail, seaweed co‐mingle with, Spanish mackerel, king salmon, madai, rice paper, lobster, soy paper and more for sushi, salads, Shumai, miso soup and more.
The Dutch Pot Hours: Monday - Friday 10:30 a.m. - 2:30p.m. A favorite of Lark Street area residents, customers will enjoy fresh Jamaican delights including coconut shrimp salad, jerk chicken wraps, curried goat, rice & beans, plantains and homemade pastry
Kuma Ani is at 287 New Scotland Avenue in Albany's Helderberg neighborhood. The Dutch Pot is at 418 Madison Ave, just east of Delaware/Lark, in Albany. And Bombers, well, you know where the Bombers locations are.
Earlier on AOA: Eat This: Oxtail at the Dutch Pot (2013)
I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a few months ago, and was wondering if you can solicit recommendations from your readers on area restaurants that are good for someone who has to follow a gluten free diet. I know you did this in 2011, but I'm hoping there are more places to add to the list at this point!
I have been to the New World Bistro Bar and El Loco so far and had great experiences at both. I'm especially interested in places that understand Celiac Disease and how to avoid cross contamination- that is really important but isn't always obvious from seeing a menu or website that has gluten free items listed (and may not be a concern for people who are following a gf diet for reasons other than Celiac). Thank you!!
As Kara mentions, this question has come up before -- and we even turned the suggestions into a map/listing. But that was five years ago, and things change. (Looking at that old listing, some of those places are no longer in business.)
So, got suggestions for Kara? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're suggesting a place can be very helpful.
The Albany Muskrat pointed this out today, and given the interest in the early 19th century "Albany Cake" recipe last fall, we figured you might be curious: This is said to be the recipe for the cake served at the 1780 wedding of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler at the Schuyler Mansion in Albany.
The recipe is from a document dated 1941 from the NYS Archives, and posted online by the What America Ate project. The document -- which, somewhat oddly has the title "Schuyler Wedding Cake 1690" -- attributes the recipe to a Mrs. Richard Schuyler of Ballson Spa, "for many years mistress of the ancestral home, The Flatts." (The Schuyler Flatts property is in what's now Menands.)
Anyway, check out the recipe:
12 pounds brown sugar
12 pounds butter
12 pounds of browned flour
12 dozen eggs
46 pounds raisins
24 pounds citron
Molasses [handwritten] - 1 gallon
3 quarts Brandy
1 quart Jamaica Rum
12 ounces each of cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, pounded fine in a mortar.
10 teaspoons salt
12 teaspoons pearl ash
mix in large oaken tub. and bake 16 hours.
This is obviously for a very large batch, but... yeah, three quarts of brandy and one quart of rum.
Pearl ash? As historian Sarah Evenson explained to us last year, "Pearl ash is potassium carbonate, a leavening agent used before baking powder or baking soda. You don't see much mention of this until the late 18th/early 19th century. Prior to that, yeast and whipped egg whites were the chief leavening agents."
The recipe documented appears to be from some sort of almanac, and is attributed to J.A. DeHollander. We mostly came up empty of a few quick searches today, though. Maybe you know more about this person? Update: Pamela provides the backstory in the comments.
Update: Pastry chef Greg Kern tried out the recipe and the cake was... not good.
image via What America Ate / NYS Archives
Jerry Garcia was right: "Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right."
Sometimes it does take looking in an unlikely spot to find the best things... like tacos.
I think we can all agree on the culinary superiority of tacos. Combining major food groups into a portable, satisfying, wholly-delicious meal makes tacos the perfect food. Find me one person who doesn't like some version of a taco and I will find you 100 more to counter argue that point.
And then let me take that one person to Oaxaquena Triqui, a tiny tacqueria sandwiched between a Mexican bodega and a can redemption center in Albany. The tacos there are cheap and made from scratch, freshly flavored, and served up quickly with a smile.
Honestly, how can you do better than that?
I recently had a conversation with two chefs transplanted to this area from Manhattan. When I asked them what they thought of the Upstate food scene, they answered exactly how you think they might: "There is no good food scene outside of New York City."
I'm pretty sure my immediate reaction was an audible "pfffft" and an eyeroll so strong it shook leaves from trees.
Of course they would say that, stuck inside a tony restaurant for hours upon hours, without any chance to scope out what's unique about the food landscape here.
Fortunately they wouldn't have to travel far to sample the best parts of Upstate cuisine. Excelsior Pub, which reopened a year ago in Albany after a lengthy hiatus, serves up only New York State-produced wine, beer, and spirits -- with a food menu that hits the hallmarks of Upstate eats: Beef on weck. Hoffman's hot dogs, Buffalo wings, garbage plates.
Not to be left off the list is chicken spiedies. Not quite a sandwich and yet not something completely different from a sandwich -- sort of like a hot dog, or maybe a gyro, wherever that falls on the sandwich spectrum -- chicken spiedies are a true taste of Southern Tier food.
One of the interesting angles to the craft beverage boom around this area has been the collaborations that have popped up. Special brews for a shop and a coffee/vodka collaboration are among the examples.
This collaborative cider comes in 12 oz cans and is made from a farmhouse blend of apples from Samascott Orchards fermented with Ommegang's proprietary house belgian yeast. The result is a belgian style cider with a smooth mouth feel and complex fruit and spiced notes. The Lion's Share was made in the spirit of the craft beverage revolution happening in New York!
There's a Ciders and Sliders even this Thursday evening (August 4) from 4-9 pm to celebrate the release of 12-oz cans. The Slidin' Dirty truck will be at the cidery on Broadway serving food, and the Dutch Udder Craft Ice Cream will be there serving ice cream.
Earlier on AOA: Follow up: Nine Pin Cider Works
Nine Pin advertises on AOA.
image: Joe Klockowski/Nine Pin Cider Works
Some people say the Capital Region food scene is behind the times, a decade behind the trends in major metropolitan areas like New York City and San Francisco.
That might be true. I think the decade span is waning, though, as social media keeps us connected to the food of elsewhere with unprecedented speed. Nevertheless, I don't mind if we are behind the curve a bit, for it keeps us from going through the same growing pains and trial-and-error slip-ups that more risk-tolerant, innovative cities experience.
Take food courts, for instance. Why not let people like Corey Nelson (of Troy Kitchen) or Richard Rosetti (of Galleria 7 Market) go and suss out what does and doesn't work other places so we can benefit and keep our bellies full of good food here?
A recent lunch at Galleria 7 Market, in Latham, cemented that thought for me. Just gazing into the oyster case at Hooked Seafood Co., which operates from the market, delivered me the option to try a fresh St. Simon oyster -- a perfect amuse bouche and gentle enticement to a lunch of blackened fish on a fresh roll.
The first group of Park South redevelopment apartments are renting -- and there's a Chipotle going in there
A milestone in the ongoing $110 million redevelopment project in Albany's Park South neighborhood: Apartments in the development are now for rent and some are already occupied.
The first group of residential units became available July 1, according to Julie Knox, the sales and marketing manager for Tri City Rentals. She said that as of August 1, a total of 60 units will be in operation and a majority of them are already rented.
It seems like there's a new craft brewery/distillery/cidery popping up (almost) every month lately. The newest: Artisanal Brew Works in Saratoga Springs. The brewery has an opening party this Saturday (July 23) starting at 1 pm, with food from Nine Miles East.
The two people behind ABW are both high school teachers. Over at the Saratogian, Lauren Halligan recently talked with them about how they got into the brewery business, and the types of beers they're making (there's an emphasis on Belgian styles).
Blueberry season recently started around the greater Capital Region. And it is an Official Summer Thing To Do.
Blueberries are just about our favorite pick-your-own crop because they're easy to pick (on bushes about waist high), relatively cheap (usually about $3 per pound), and they freeze beautifully, so you can stock up for later in the year.
There are a handful of farms around the Capital Region that offer pick-your-own blueberries. Here's a list with some info. And, of course, if you know of a place that should be on the list, please share.
Among the things we learned this week: There is a US Open College Beer Championship. For making beer -- not drinking it.
And, as it happens, a beer made by students from Schenectady County Community College's craft beer program -- Question Mark IPA -- won a silver medal in the open category of this year's competition.
The college has an info session about its intro to craft brewing course lined up for Monday, July 25 at 6 pm at its campus in downtown Schenectady. The course is scheduled to start this October.