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October 15, 2010

I love getting free stuff.  Who doesn’t?  I’ve written about a new form of honey, vodka made from Long Island potatoes, rye made in the finger lakes and most recently vegan cinnamon rolls all thanks to the generosity of their producers.  I swear there is still a pending post for Snow natural sodas in the works, but it is among the long list of things that keep on getting pushed into next week.

Also on that list of things is the next installment of Ask the Profussor and a piece I want to write for All Over Albany.  Oh, and so is an inventory of all of the free things I have received in the service of writing the FLB.

Up until now, all the free things have been detailed in the relevant posts, but it makes sense to have them all assembled in one document that is easily accessible to anyone who comes to the blog for the first time.  You know, in the spirit of full disclosure and all.  That way people can decide for themselves if I’m offering honest opinions (I am) or if I’m just a cheap shill for anyone willing to give me anything for free (I’m not).

Promotions are another story.  In writing my Open Letter to Chefs, I decided it worthwhile to promote quality food at restaurants in the Capital Region.  And it feels like that opened a floodgate.

The questions I ask myself when deciding on promoting something beyond the FLB are:
1)    Does it advance what I am trying to do?
2)    Is there something good in it for readers?

Bored yet?  Well hold on, because I’m getting to the good stuff.  There are actually two separate promotions that were sent to me this week that fit the bill.  And one of them can get you a free dinner.

Have you met Sophia Walker?

Neither have I, but she started commenting here earlier this month, and she writes Surviving Sophia Walker: The Last Goddess.  And I think I love her.  Ms. Walker isn’t from around here, but she’s in Albany now, apparently struggling with the transition.

But there is a bright side to this story.  She has recently discovered Testo’s in Troy and things are perking up.  Inspired by the no-nonsense old-school Italian-American red-sauce institution, Sophia Walker is now embracing the form and is on a quest to catalog everyone’s favorite spot throughout upstate New York.  It sounds like her ultimate goal is to create a handy guide with all the information she collects.

All she asks is for you to visit her blog and leave a comment with your favorite restaurant, its location, what you like about it, and a list of your favorite dishes.  Given that I have a love affair with Albany’s marvelous taverns, I was very excited about this project.

After all is said and done (specifically November 10), Miss Walker will put all the names in a hat, pull one out at random, and that person will win dinner for two at the Italian restaurant they submitted.

The hard part is figuring out which place is my favorite.

Promotion number two is more closely tied to my ideological leanings, and while it doesn’t get you a free dinner for two, it does get you a fantastic meal for a discounted price.

I don’t know if you remember that a few months ago I asked people to sign Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution petition Teaching kids about wholesome food and getting the junk out of schools was something I believed in, even before the SunnyD incident.

Well, Jamie is hoping to get a million bucks from no other than Chipotle.

This year Chipotle is doing a Halloween promotion where if you dress up as a horrific processed food item, you can have any burrito you want for a $2 donation to The Food Revolution.  Just show up after 6p and before closing on October 31, otherwise they may just think you’re nuts.

There is a costume contest part to this as well.  But that’s just the guac on the burrito.  You can check out their spiffy site for all the details.

With any luck I’ll be driving back from D.C. that night, so no boorito nor trick-or-treating for me or my terribly deprived children.  I do wish I were around, because I would love to camp out at Stuyvesant Plaza and watch the parade of people dressed as junk food.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ellen Whitby permalink
    October 15, 2010 12:48 pm

    I love free stuff. Especially when I don’t have to pay for it.

    Re: Local places using local ingredients – I recently had the opportunity to chat with none other than Robert Cardona of Cardona’s market. He shared with me that in making their decadent and rich chocolate mousse cake, he uses none other than the heavy cream he gets from Meadow Brook Farms Dairy. I love it. Lots of Cardona’s products come from far and wide (being Italian, that makes sense), but when it comes to what they can get from the neighborhood, it’s great that they do. Three cheers for Cardona’s!!

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