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The Bestestes – Troy Rag Edition

February 14, 2013

Roses are red, violets are blue
Today’s Valentine’s Day, yadda yadda yadda.

Champagne. Lobster. Chocolates. Indian food. Did I cover everything? Okay. Great. Let’s move on. Mostly because this parade of Best of the Capital Region ballots just never ends. And if it weren’t for Jessica R. and her keen reporting in the comments yesterday, I might have entirely missed this Troy-centric poll by the city’s namesake newspaper.

Did I mention that the last day to fill out their ballot is tomorrow?!?! We better get on that.

I was surprised to see that Jessica R. didn’t mention the Charles F. Lucas Confectionery and Wine Bar anywhere in her list of best things in Troy. Surely that was an oversight, or perhaps she just didn’t feel like typing anything that long. Anyway, I’m going to try and support her picks in this poll as much as I can, but there are some choices where I’ll have to stray. For example, I cannot in good conscience vote for Jose Malone’s as the Best Mexican.

So where did I stay with Jessica R. and where do we part ways? And whose side will you choose when it comes to casting your very own vote in this thing? There’s only one way to tell. On to the selections.

I have to say that I admire and respect the Troy Record’s stated goal to try and keep this list Troy-centric and limited to locally owned businesses. As a result, my list today is fundamentally different from the one yesterday. Wherever possible I chose a Troy business or at least one on the east side of the river.

There are a few places where I had to stray and take advantage of the “30 miles from Troy” clause from the rules. Schenectady is totally within that range.

Asterisks indicate where I’ve departed from Jessica R. and like yesterday bold faced entries are the places I feel strongly represent truly the best of the region.

Food & Beverage Retail
Bakery – Placid Bakery
Banquet Facility – Franklin Plaza
Beverage Center – Hoosick St. Beverage
Butcher Shop – Roma’s (Latham)
Farmers Market – Troy Riverfront Farmer’s Market
Farmstand – Golden Harvest
Wine & Liquor Store – Village Discount Wines & Lqrs, Wynantskill

Food & Drink
Asian – Red & Blue Asian Bistro
Barbeque – Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Beer Selection – The Ruck
Breakfast/Brunch – Illium Cafe
Burgers – The Brown Bag
Caterers – Nighthawk’s Kitchen
* Coffee Shop – The Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar
Deli/Subs – Deli & Brew
* Dessert – Sweet Sue’s
* Diner – Duncan’s Dairy Bar
* Family & Kids Dining – Gus’s
Fine Dining – Illium Cafe
Fish Fry – Gene’s
Fried Chicken – The Flying Chicken
Happy Hour – The Ruck
Hot Dogs – Famous Lunch
* Ice Cream/Gelato – The Snowman (esp. Butter Pecan)
Indian/Pakistani – Shalimar
Italian – Minnesalle’s
Margaritas – Jose Malone’s
Martinis – Daisy Bakers
Mexican – La Mexicana Restaurant & Market (Schenectady)
* Neighborhood Bar – Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar
Patio Seating – Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Pizza – DeFazio’s
Salad – Spillin’ the Beans
Sports Bar – The Ruck
* Steaks – Lo Porto’s
Wings – The Ruck

Looking back at this list, you could really just call this “Reasons why The Ruck Rules.” As a non sports guy I can’t vouch for its bonafides as a sports bar, but I’m happy to support Jessica R. in her quixotic attempt to get The Ruck listed in as many categories as possible. It’s a great place.

Troy is great too. If only I felt better about their public schools I would love to live there. Anyway, please vote for these awesome places today and tomorrow, and help to make it even better. You can even help if you live out of the region. Really. What a country.

Here’s the link to the questionnaire again.

Hope your VD isn’t too uncomfortable. The other February events are so much better. But that’s another post for another year.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Isaiah permalink
    February 14, 2013 1:53 pm

    Solid list, picked up a few places I’m going to try ASAP. But really? Dinosaur BBQ haha :(

  2. February 14, 2013 3:17 pm

    Maybe Jessica R. thought the Confectionery was highly overrated… as do I. (Didn’t even know they had coffee… seeing as they barely have food, they’re pretty much worthless to me.) Also, pretty sure we established on the Tour de Ice Cream that the Snowman isn’t very good. But if you’ve got geographic wiggle room, Mac’s deserves a vote.

  3. Jessica R permalink
    February 14, 2013 5:00 pm

    Wow, I’m so flattered you took my suggestion, and also stuck so close to my list!!!

    Regarding Charles Lucas, I haven’t made it there yet, but plan to this Sunday. I didn’t really see a place where they fit in because I think of them as a wine bar, not a coffee shop.

    Regarding the Ruck, they actually posted the following on their facebook page, which is how I found out about the poll: “There are 7 slots that we feel you would want to type The Ruck into if you feel so inclined. “Beer Selection”, “Burgers”, “Happy Hour”, “Neighborhood Bar”, “Salads”, “Live Music Venue” and “Wings”.” Hahaha – went with 4 of their suggestions. But, salads? Actually, they didn’t even suggest themselves for Sports Bar, which surprises me. The only other obvious choice in Troy is the Recovery Room at the Hilton Garden Inn.

    Where is the Golden Harvest farm stand?

    • Isaiah permalink
      February 15, 2013 2:55 am

      It’s in Valatie, NY. It’s okay. Great hot apple cider, the girlfriend and I used to stop there like daily on our way to class.

      • February 15, 2013 9:31 am

        How many other farmstands in the area have a distillery on premise? Their apple cider donuts are also the best I’ve found east of the Hudson. It’s an orchard, so their offerings lean more towards apples. But they have a few other local products to round it all out.

    • Angelos permalink
      February 15, 2013 2:01 pm

      Go there for the Core Vodka, if nothing else. Amazing,

  4. theresa518 permalink
    February 14, 2013 6:08 pm

    You must visit Marmora Cafe at College Station (1520 6th Ave, Troy) for amazing Lebanese/Egyptian food. They relocated from River Street and you will not be disappointed!

    I also would not consider The Ruck to be a sports bar. I love sports and go to The Ruck at least once a week but I would not go there specifically to watch sports. They do have salads, which look quite good but I have not ordered one.

    Thanks for mentioning Red & Blue Asian Bistro! The decor is absolutely bizarre but nothing nefarious happens in the numbered back rooms….but reserving a private karaoke room could make one guilty of bad judgement!

    Sweet Sue’s is a gem on River Street. I never have to worry about the dessert course when I have guests over for dinner!

    We have an abundance of culinary riches in Troy.

  5. Angelos permalink
    February 15, 2013 2:40 pm

    The Ruck is the best place for Sunday Football. Tons of TVs, people invested in every team. I am completely unimpressed with Sweet Sue’s, or at least the stuff at Wine Bar.

    Unfortunately, the ridiculous “required” data at the end, and the pre-checked opt in for SPAM boxes, forced me to close the browser and not submit my ballot.

    • Jessica R permalink
      February 15, 2013 8:43 pm

      I was really impressed when I went to her actual storefront. She also has actual food there like soups and sandwiches, so you can go there for lunch and indulge on your dessert.

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