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AskTP – Happy Birthday

May 1, 2013

Four years ago today was the very first post on the FLB. I’m not sure if that makes it the blog’s birthday or its blogiversary. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. I spent a fair bit of time ruminating on the event yesterday.

Today, there is work to be done. Because it’s Wednesday. And two Wednesdays ago was the last Ask the Profussor. That means today is Ask the Profussor.

Questions keep on coming. And that’s awesome. Keep them coming. Because I love to answer them. Any and every question that gets asked in the comments–as long as they use proper punctuation–will eventually get answered. A few will get answered immediately, fewer will receive a full dedicated post with the answer, but most will get rounded up and included in this regular feature.

Also, I should note that the introduction to each question links to the mystery link of the day. So if you are new here and are confused as to why all the links are sending you to the same page, there’s your answer.

Now without further ado, on to the questions:

WrigsMac must have pull because after this question came a TU review for Tara Kitchen:
They haven’t reviewed Tara Kitchen or City Beer Hall? No wonder I don’t read their reviews. I tend to take recommendations from AoA and people like you in the Albany blog/Twitter community.

From your lips to Cheryl Clark’s ears. Either that or it’s just dumb luck. But if the next TU review is for the City Beer Hall, I probably should take you to Vegas (or at the very least Atlantic City).

Sandra Foyt thought my story on The Orchard Tavern was missing one thing:
I love this insight into what makes Albany tick, and I’d love to pin it onto my New York Pinterest board to refer to in the future. Is there any way you could beg, borrow, or steal an image to attach to this post? (ixnay on the stealing;-)

What if I just go there and take a picture? Sorry for the delay. But I wanted to see which images All Over Albany wanted to use first. They pay me to write stories, so I give them first dibs on the photos. But I have plenty of B-roll.

Michaeline tries to imagine what a dish made of dried figs would be like:
Fresh is my guess. I would imagine the dried would be chewy perhaps?

That would be my hunch too. And filled with lots of crunchy seeds. Meh. Fresh figs are such a treat, but dried ones have never really done a whole lot for me. There are so many other more luscious dried fruits, including pretty much every variety of date.

Burnt My Fingers was looking for some more guidance on the TU questionnaire:
What are you putting down for gambling? I didn’t see a pick on your slate?

That would be telling. It’s a little after the fact, but I didn’t weigh in on the non-food, non-media related questions. In the first two years I went for a full slate of all categories, but after some constructive criticism I changed paths and stuck to the areas relating to my core competencies.

Bob W. had some bad eggs that would have ruined my breakfast or brunch:
I experienced a bit of a misfire at More Perreca’s yesterday when I ordered their eggs in purgatory for lunch. Hard poached as to be indistinguishable from a hard boiled egg…still delicous, though, so a minor quibble (especially in light of the excellent company, service and other delicious dishes). Which got me wondering, what stars must align for the good Profussor to “send something back”?

I would disagree. Hard cooked poached eggs are more than just a minor quibble. The sad truth is that because of food safety concerns more places are defaulting to hard yolks. To combat this woeful trend I’ve since adopted a new ordering strategy. It’s called “poached soft.” Part of me is pissed because this is really redundant. Plus it gives the kitchen some leeway in presenting eggs with not fully set whites. But I’d much rather have that than an overcooked yolk.

It’s a similar strategy to the one I employ by ordering burgers rare. Then if they come back medium, there is nobody who can argue that it’s cooked to the proper temperature. Usually I’m looking for medium-rare, but I’m happier with an undercooked burger than I would be with one that’s overdone.

Sending something back is the course of last result. But factors such as the company, the error, the cost, and the healthfulness of the dish all come into play.

Burnt My Fingers calls me to task on my categorization of a West Coast brewery:
Firestone Brewery obscure? (that was a question.) Their Union Jack is undeniably one of America’s finest Stone-style IPAs.

Sure, they sell it at Trader Joe’s. But I said “household name.” If you were looking for unaided brand awareness, how many households do you think you would have to call before someone mentioned Firestone Walker? And how many respondents out of say 10,000 do you think would include Firestone Walker in their list?

Aided awareness is something different, but that doesn’t exactly make it a household name. Man, I miss marketing research.

Marilyn B. may not be entirely clear on what I’m doing here:
I love your request for names of restaurants buying their fish. Do you think you’ll be able to share the list?

Seriously, it is taking every scrap of energy I have now to restrain myself from sharing a partial list that I’ve cobbled together. I want to scream it from the rooftops. But I only post one story a day, and it would be better to get the list right the first time around than have to write an addendum.

That said, you’ve got to try the calamari at The City Beer Hall, because the Fin squid is crazy delicious.

Mr. Dave has been falling down on the job:
Are you still so green to Upstate NY food traditions? You are not familiar with NY “church BBQ” type chicken?

I’ve never tried cold cheese pizza either. Chicken riggies haven’t crossed my lips. And the garbage plate may be a myth for all I’m concerned. But these are still CNY dishes by most accounts.

However, you are indeed correct about my unfamiliarity with “church BBQ.” It makes me feel even better that we had it at our temple.

Danielle asked the question that makes me want to buy her a slice of pizza:
So, where can I get that pizza crust???

Pizzeria Sapienza.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2013 10:27 am

    But those other “upstate NY” foods aren’t local foods. Cornell chicken, on the other hand, totally is. (I believe they use that recipe at PJ’s as well.)

  2. May 1, 2013 5:20 pm

    I just want to say that I keep reading this blog and AOA because I really like your writing style. I’m actually vegetarian, but even when you write about meat, fish, etc. (things I don’t eat), I keep reading anyway because your writing draws me in. I like that you don’t forget promises that you made to your readers. My most recent favorite was after Danielle’s question about where to get that pizza crust, you wrote that you couldn’t wait to reveal the answer, but made your readers wait (and therefore come back to your blog) for the answer in today’s Ask the Profussor.

  3. Michaeline permalink
    May 1, 2013 7:54 pm

    Daniel, Cheryl Clark has done a review on the City Beer Hall, so to speak. The review that day was on beer/pub fare. She went to several places and did a paragraph or 2 on each. She did the CBH last and vaguely commented on a beer and the free pizza if I am not mistaken. She also didn’t like the lighting.They have grown so much since then, and deserve a real review. Their food is comparable to 4 and 5 star restaurants. Thanks for listening Daniel.

  4. Michaeline permalink
    May 1, 2013 7:54 pm

    Oh…and Happy Birthday Daniel!

  5. May 1, 2013 11:26 pm

    Happy blogo-birth-versary.
    I enjoyed this week’s mystery link…
    Yes, I have been saddened on more than one occasion with over-cooked eggs in my
    “Purgatory” at More Perecca’s. Dipping toast into the center of a perfectly executed sauce-poached egg is one of life’s great pleasures. Finding a solid yolk, however, is not…

  6. May 2, 2013 2:32 am

    Now, now. Your writeup regarding Firestone said something like “it’s hardly a household name”. That’s a loquacious way of saying it’s unknown. Don’t get all literal on us here.

    Also, are you going to be writing up the Game Dinner tomorrow night? Alas I will miss it as I will be at the Green Flash Brewery in North San Diego. Another non-household name.

  7. May 2, 2013 8:09 am

    The garbage plate, sadly, is not a myth. Personally, I think it should be. Perhaps that is why you can only get it in Rochester.

    Despite the fact that the whole idea of a garbage plate is wholly unappetizing, Red Hots and White Hots in the Rochester/northern Finger Lakes area are exceptional. If you venture out that way (and you should, to try some Riesling, natch), skip the garbage plates and get some Hots.

    • May 2, 2013 3:37 pm

      They sell Hoffman’s products (Snappy Grillers/Coneys, and the franks) at most P-chops…

    • May 14, 2013 11:15 am

      Or go to the ultimate source, Heid’s in Liverpool, NY, not far at all off the Thruway. I get a grilled cheese there because I’m all sacrilegious.

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