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The Dozen That Did

December 28, 2011
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Interesting. On the heels of yesterday’s post, eight of the twelve stories highlighted, actually got some action. The Father’s Day note to my dad remained a stinker though. The most read of the bunch, by an order of magnitude was about the liquor store that didn’t stock crap.

All of these are data points I’m filing away.

But 2011 wasn’t just about posts that did poorly. There were also some posts that did staggeringly well. Most of these achieved their elevated levels of readership by being highlighted by some other local blog or website. These include but are not limited to such juggernauts as On The Edge, Table Hopping, and All Over Albany. But to all of you who linked to a post, liked it on Facebook, +1’d it on Google, retweeted it, sent a link over email, or even dragged some poor soul over to your monitor, thank you.

Seriously, thank you. The following posts are not here because of their brilliant prose or unique take on everyday foods locals take for granted. No. They are here because many of you helped to spread the word.

So what made it into the top? We’ll do it Letterman style.

12. Free Internet Smut

Okay, this one may have done well on its own. You put the word “Free” next to “Smut” and every day you are guaranteed a few impressions from Google searches. But I do hope that those cheap and sexually frustrated individuals walked away with a better understanding of huitlacoche. At the very least, it’s a sexy food. Nothing says sexy like a little black corn fungus.

11. Blind Trust

Scene: A man walks into a deli and asks for a sandwich.
M: “You can only imagine what happens next.”
J:   “He gets his sandwich?”
M: “Don’t be fatuous Jeffery.”

10. Best Fish Fry of Five

These tours have been amazing, and they weren’t even my idea. Stanford Steph gets the credit for the inspiration. And if it weren’t for all those cool cats who showed up for the first Tour de Donut and made it so much fun, there might not have been a second tour. Now they are central to the FLB, and I love it. These were the results from the summer tour of our unique form of Fish Fry.

9. Ride the Dinosaur

When is a retraction not a retraction? When there is a misunderstanding about what is being produced by the kitchen. But after having a disappointing experience at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and writing about it publicly, I was invited to a sit down with owner John Stage and one of his chief lieutenants. I confronted an angry biker who had a big knife and walked out in one piece. I also ate some stunning ribs, and tasty (pink) sausage.

8. State College is Getting What?

This was written before the recent scandal, but anything involving Trader Joe’s gets a lot of attention in and around Albany. Ours is a town that is just dying for grocery options beyond Price Chopper and Hannaford that have served the community for so many years. If I were Price Chopper I would be less concerned about the competition entering the market and more alarmed about consumers enthusiasm for anything that’s not them.

7. Wrapping My Head Around Cupcakes

Was this written all the way back in May? Would it make you feel better if I’ve already had conversations and meetings with people to try and make this thing happen? It all still just sticks in my craw. There are so many things I want to do, maybe I can just find a way to do this quickly and get it over with. Sometimes it’s best to K.I.S.S.

6. Trader Joe’s Wine Aisle

Here’s a wine post that made it into the top twelve. But then again, it’s also about Trader Joe’s. When people think Trader Joe’s and wine they think Two Buck Chuck (which I now think is three bucks). But that’s wrong. The Charles Shaw is a gimmick. It’s the rest of the wine aisle that makes Trader Joe’s one of my favorite wine stores.

5. Links Love Lost

So you remember that sit down with John Stage, well this is the post that inspired it. I had loved their links, and I wanted to tell the world of their greatness. So I went back one more time to have them again and take some pictures. But there was a problem. Or maybe a series of problems. It’s all very confusing. But if you read this, you will have to promise to read the subsequent clarification.

4. The Best Cider Donut East of the Hudson

Here are the findings from the Second Annual Tour de Donut. In 2011 I took the largest group ever to five different cider donut producers. If you think all cider donuts are created equal, I’ve got two-dozen people who will tell you otherwise. The differences between the best and the worst are vast. It’s almost like they are entirely separate things.

3. Tour de Soft Serve

You know how much the Capital Region loves soft serve? So much that this post just laying out the tour itself made it into the top three posts of the year. That’s crazy. But to be fair, All Over Albany thought people might like to take the tour themselves over the summer. They graciously linked to the post every week for months in their roundup of things to do over the weekend.

2. Saturday’s Soft Serve Standings

This could also be called Kurver Kreme doesn’t live up to the hype. Seriously, it was among the worst of the batch, based on the criteria established for evaluation. Remember, other people cannot eat your childhood memories.

All of which brings us to the top post of those written in the last year. And once again it goes to:

1. FUSSYlittleBALLOT 2.0

Just in case you missed it last April, this was my plan to occupy the Times Union’s annual reader’s choice poll. Granted, nobody was actually occupying anything back then, but it has a nice ring to it. This year I’m going to try and get ahead of this project and get some more buy-in at an earlier stage, so that you all are more comfortable voting in a block to get better restaurants on the lists and kick out the mediocre chains. Subway does not make the best sandwich in the region. It’s not even close.

So start thinking about 2012. I know I am. And there will be more on that tomorrow.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 29, 2011 1:42 am

    I’ve heard rumors that Trader Joe’s is actually making plans to open a store here. As for competition, I don’t think TJ will be a problem for our local chains. However, ShopRite in Niskayuna is only the first of I’m not sure how many additional ShopRites are being planned but I have heard of 2. I’m not quite sure if that’s the kind of competition that would be good for the region. What are your thoughts, Profusser?

    Happy New Year.

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