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Photo Friday: Meat and Cheese

April 17, 2015

My good friend S asked last night, “Do you eat anything but pizza?”

She lives in Los Angeles. When I would go out to visit her, the trips were filled with In-N-Out Burger, swiss cheese pancakes, and mai tais. Sure there were stops at the Beverly Hills Cheese Shop, slices of the $100 pound cake, and plenty of hard cider. I don’t know if we ever had pizza.

Anyway, I’m still so full from Tavern Time last night at the Notty Pine I can barely think about food, much less write about it. So I’m going back to the photostream and sharing a few key pictures.

Keeping track of what is going where these days is proving challenging. Especially since now I’m managing the Yelp Albany Instagram account. My own IG is languishing as a result, but that’s the breaks. Some of these may have appeared there (but in square form), some may have been posted to Yelp reviews, but others are totally brand new.

Appologies in advance for any redundancy. Let’s start with something pretty.

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Crimes Against Iced Coffee

April 16, 2015

Spring is here, and it’s glorious. For now the chill is still working its way from deep out of our bones. After a few more days of sitting in the sun, everything should be back to normal. And then we can start complaining that it’s a little bit too warm.

I’ve already said goodbye to my boots and shoes and have started to wear my sandals. But it will take warmer weather to bring the shorts out of my closet. One thing that will not change is the presence of my Filtron. It’s my cold brew coffee bucket, and I’ve been drinking cold brew coffee the whole winter through.

That’s not to say I’ve been drinking it iced. That’s crazy. Over the winter, I just keep the coffee concentrate on hand. Then when I stumble downstairs, I pour a slug of the cold brew into a pint glass, and top it off with tap water. Sixteen ounces of strong, tasty coffee are ready in an instant.

As the weather starts to warm up, I’ll just add ice to the equation. There is a problem with getting accustomed to drinking decent iced coffee. It makes most of the stuff you buy from coffee shops almost undrinkable. And some of the crimes perpetrated by people who should know better are unthinkable.

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Beer Bars

April 15, 2015

Last week we played a little game. I asked you to write down five classic Albany institutions, and then I sent you to The Weekly Yelp to see how close your answers were to mine.

Hopefully, by now you’ve all subscribed to get The Weekly, or you were already getting it based on the fact that you have a Yelp account and live in the the Capital Region. Although I understand those in Saratoga Springs may have been left out of the email blast. I’m working on that.

Anyhow, if you aren’t getting it, I’ll share the free subscription link in just a few moments.

This week, I’d like to try the same game, but with a different question. This time it’s not limited to Albany. In fact, the answers should really be spread out over the entire Capital Region, which makes it even harder. Mostly, because we’ve got a lot of great beer bars.

Which would be your top five? Write them down before you click through, so that we can compare. Ok. Ready? Go.

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Spring Fling

April 14, 2015

We all have our crushes. My mom has a thing for rabbis. I have a thing for chefs. And bartenders, and distillers, and baristas, and winemakers and cheesemakers and bakers, and, well, you get the idea. I hope the brewers, chocolatiers, coffee roasters, butchers, mongers of all stripes, and buttermakers don’t feel left out. That would be tragic.

I’ve got a lot of love to give.

So sometimes the FLB can get a little redundant when I’m crushing on one particular person, place or thing. That’s part of the problem with obsessive personalities. We’re known to sometimes get fixated on something, and it’s hard to let go.

Well there is one chef locally who is in a very enviable position. He doesn’t own his own restaurant, but he’s found a way to do whatever the heck he wants. And what he wants to do is awesome.

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Go With the Flow

April 13, 2015

Now that Passover is completed, I’ve already had bread, pasta, cookies, pizza, cereal, beer and whiskey. Amazingly, I think it may have been the beer I missed most. Sometimes I don’t even know who I am anymore.

For Friday night’s potluck, I brought a full batch of chana masala, which seemed to have been the surprise hit. It always kills me how popular this dish is, since beyond chopping an onion, it’s mostly just about bringing the pot to a boil and reducing it to a simmer.

Actually, this was the first batch I made in the pressure cooker, but I was overcautious and as a result it took me just as much time to make it with my new device as it would have to make it the conventional way. Part of that may have been the pressure of the potluck. It’s a long story that I don’t want to bore you with today.

What I do want to bore you with today is a recent observation that may go a long way to explain why Capital Region restaurants are the way they are.

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Funday: Lack of Bread Make Me Crazy

April 10, 2015

Passover is almost done. What the heck am I going to do with all this leftover matzoh? Every year it’s the same thing. We are given an impossible choice. One either over buys and is left with a surplus of pain-bread or under buys and is left with the dregs of the matzoh supply for the last couple days of the “holiday.”

Not all matzoh is created equal. Some is terrible. And others are really really terrible.

But soon my pain is going to be over, and I can resume my usual whining about food matters beyond bread. Man, I could go for a slice of pizza, or a beer, or even a piece of toast.

Anyway, Passover doesn’t stop the press releases from coming. So today I’m going to share those with you. Maybe tomorrow you can help hook me up with some bread. Actually, I have a pizza date on Sunday, which is going to keep me from the Grown Up Egg Hunt. But man, that sounds like a lot of fun. I hear some of the eggs may even have Yelp schwag in ‘em. But if you don’t get there early, you might miss out. There’s an attendance cap. You’ve been warned.

Now, onto the press releases.

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Goat Neck

April 9, 2015

Sometimes I think I’m the laziest cook.

Take last night’s dinner for example. It’s Passover, so bread is out. So are a few other grains. But my family is okay with rice and beans, although that’s not the case for everyone. Regardless, I decided it would be nice to make Indian.

Well, I had a batch of chana masala sitting in the freezer, I had some brown basmati rice in the pantry, and I thought it would be lovely to turn those goat necks in my refrigerator into a lovely curry.

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