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Photo Friday: Comfort Foods

April 28, 2017

It’s Friday, and it’s been another crazy week. There are more fights I want to pick about burger toppings, but right now I’m just tired. I’ve got to make the final preparations for Sunday’s Yelp event, I’m meeting a friend for lunch, and tonight is shabbat so I’ve got to pick up our weekly roast chicken and challah.

Tonight, I’ll also finally be trying the olive oil I picked up last week at The Cheese Traveler. Oh, and sometime before Sunday I have to make it down to The Excelsior Pub and play three games of pinball for the league.

That means right now, instead of posting words, I’m going to share a few pics of foodstuffs I’ve enjoyed since the last Photo Friday post. Some of these are publicly available. Some were limited time offers. And one was something I made at home.

Hopefully they are inspiring as you head into the weekend.

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On Pickles and Burgers

April 27, 2017

Mr. Dave likes pickles on his cheeseburger. And I get it. I do. Remember, I come from the land of Cuban sandwiches and grew up with a few slices of pickle pressed between ham, cheese, and lechon. Plus, I’m on the record of being a fan of the Big Mac precisely because of the interplay between the special sauce, lettuce, onions, and pickles.

But those are special circumstances, and unique variations where the presence of pickle is central to its very identity.

What I like is how Country Drive In presents its burger. This seasonal burger stand puts the pickle slices on top of the burger. And just to make sure those palate cleansing discs don’t blow away in the breeze, they are secured with a skewer that holds the whole sandwich together.

Now why do they do that? I can’t say for sure, but what I can tell you is why I wholeheartedly endorse this approach.

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Tour de Seasonal Burger Stands

April 26, 2017

It seems like only a couple of weeks ago that it was late winter and we were fantasizing about the warmer days of spring. Do you remember when we opened the Tour de Burger Nominations back in March? I didn’t. I had to go back and refresh my memory before sitting down to write this post.

The good news is that spring is here! And as such, today is the day to announce the spring tour for the FLB. I’ve got a few important items clarified, including the name: we’ll be going on the Tour de Seasonal Burger Stands.

Now whip out those calendars and write down this date, in pen.

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Eat Tacos For Life

April 25, 2017

Somehow I lost track of time. Again. Do you happen to know what Thursday is? It’s Dining Out For Life! And it’s one of those great days of the year when you can eat out at a restaurant, and the mere act of paying a restaurant to fill your pie hole actually does some tangible good for the community.

The event supports the Alliance for Positive Health. You can read a bit about what they do here.

In the past I’ve done all kinds of things in support of this event. One year, I interviewed a bunch of restaurant owners who were participating. Last year, I even went so far as to be an Ambassador for Dining Out For Life at Ama Cocina.

Nobody told me I did a terrible job at it. But I think I was supposed to try and pack the joint during lunch with my friends, colleagues, and contacts. A few people came out, but I didn’t really push anyone all that hard.

This year, I have a better plan.

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A New Look

April 24, 2017

When was the last time I changed anything having to do with the look and feel of this blog? I think the last cosmetic change was a small one, where someone had fixed the typography in the masthead. But most likely that change went unnoticed by almost everyone.

There comes a time when you just have to bite the bullet and realize that ten years have passed, and nobody knows the name of that big black device that you are holding up to your head in your profile picture.

It’s a phone, dammit. A phone.

People would talk on them, and have long conversations. Mostly because the voice quality was a thousand times better than our new digital devices. And the old fashioned phones didn’t heat up and make you feel like you’re cooking your brain cells more and more each minute you stay on the line.

So, we’ve established that I’m old. As fate would have it, this change was inspired by another old man in my life. For the sake of giving credit where credit is due, let’s call him Matt W. Not too long ago Matt had tried to lead a campaign, potentially backed by my mother, to have me change the old grumpy profile picture.

Why today? And why this picture? Well, I’ll tell you.

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Spring Broke

April 21, 2017

Have you noticed that all the posts this week have gone up a little bit late? Maybe it has seemed like I’m out of my usual rhythm. Well, that’s because I am. This past week has not just been the end of Passover and the beginning of Albany Craft Beer Week. It’s also been the kids’ spring break.

And that has been a mixed blessing.

On the plus side, without having to pack lunches, or getting the children out the door in time for the bus, I’ve been able to sleep a little bit later in the mornings. That’s been really nice, even though it has had an impact on my blog posting schedule. On the flip side it has meant that I’ve had to consider their needs when making important choices about where to eat.

Like yesterday, for example. Part of me wanted to abandon the kids so I could grab lunch at The City Beer Hall and eat the Scrapple Grilled Cheese sandwich Dimitrios and Ian made for Day of the Dank. That scrapple, by the way, was made in house and packed with Sichuan flavors to boot.

But instead, I had to do something a little more kid centric.

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April 20, 2017

Happy 420 day to all who celebrate it. I do still remember those days, decades ago, when I was young and free, and had entire days that I could waste away sitting on couches, listening to music, and letting the mind float freely through the ether.

Lately I can barely find a night off to unshackle myself from the electronic devices that tether me to the interwebs. But last night I was able to enjoy a rare evening of bar hopping. I couldn’t resist popping into The Hollow to see what cheese Eric from The Cheese Traveler would bring, and what dishes chef Anna would prepare to pair with some of the beers from Ommegang.

The notion of darts paired with Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout was too tempting to pass up as well. So I dusted off my set of tungsten-nickel alloy darts, with Union Jack flights and headed off to play at The Olde English Pub. What I learned is that there aren’t a lot of dart players in the Capital Region. But that’s okay. It was therapeutic to throw a few arrows.

Today, The City Beer Hall is doing something special for what they are calling Day of the Dank. I hope to find some time to squeeze in a quick trip and get a whiff of what the kitchen is cooking.

But since we’re on the topic, maybe we can talk about holiday appropriate munchies.

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