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Nice, Good & Reasonable: Roundup

January 18, 2010

I guess I still have some eating to do.  After last week’s post about my sliding scale for evaluating restaurants, Steve Barnes over at Table Hopping picked up the gauntlet.

Mr. Barnes began musing on my desire for “A nice restaurant with good food at reasonable prices.”  This statement was really just the coda to a post on a separate topic, and when I wrote the words, I had intended (and still intend) to more precisely define my desires.  But all the same, it seemed as if Steve had an intuitive sense of what I meant.

He cited the “Mystic clam hash and huevos traditionale, both $10 on the brunch menu at New World Bistro Bar” and the “$2.50 side of yummy Utica greens at The Hollywood Brown Derby.”  It was also refreshing to see him note that some restaurant prices seemed too high for the food being served.

Then Steve put the question to his readers, and that brought the flood.

As I am writing this, the thread has received 79 responses.  Honestly I am a bit overwhelmed by the support from his community.  I’m not the most loved person on that board.

So I thought I would try to do something helpful in return: make some sense of it all.

One thing that is always challenging about following comment threads is how thoughtful advice can get lost under a torrent of responses.  Plus I love numbers and playing with things in Excel.

Here is my roundup of the responses:
–       In total 95 restaurants were named
–       Taverns and Pubs were the most populated category making 19% of the list
–       The remaining categories in the top five were:

  • Fine Dining (17%)
  • Italian (15%)
  • Asian (9%)
  • Latin (9%)

–       Only 12 restaurants received 3 votes or more

  • dp Brasserie was the only restaurant to get 5 votes
  • 4 votes were received by
    • Blue Spice
    • Katrinella’s
    • Salsa Latina
    • The Fountain
    • Van’s
    • Maestro’s
  • 3 votes were received by
    • New World Bistro Bar
    • TJ’s Café
    • Wine Bar on Lark
    • Joe’s Tavern
    • Chez Mike

In all honesty, not all of these fall within the subset of restaurants that I was thinking about when I penned the vagaries of nice, good and reasonable.  Certainly I see the argument for how all of these can fit these words, but I owe you more on this tomorrow.  I also owe a response to T.O.M., Kerosena and irisira, which will fit in nicely as part of the follow up post.

The short version is that I very much appreciate Albany’s taverns.  Ralph’s is my current favorite.  I had a few very good initial experiences at The Fountain, but found the last couple to be quite disappointing.  Greasy pizza, wings and pasta are great.  I love them all.  But in this very specific quest I am looking for food of a higher caliber.

In the meantime, I am thrilled with this list, as it has brought to my attention a few restaurants that were not on my radar.  I guess I’ll need to find Cohoes, because Smith’s looks like a place I don’t want to miss.  And this exercise provided a good reminder that I am well overdue for a visit to dp Brassiere, especially given its dominant position.

Thank you.

And if you would like a copy of the full sortable list, please just let me know.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2010 12:36 pm

    Excellent, informative breakdown.

    We don’t always agree, but I respect your opinions and standards.

  2. January 19, 2010 4:41 pm

    Out of the restaurants that are in the list with 3 or more votes I would back New World Bistro, Ralph’s and the Blue Spice. All of them are great reasonable restaurants in my opinion.

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