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All the Best

February 10, 2012


Many thanks to Mr. Marshall who alerted me to the fact that currently Metroland has opened their polls for a Best of the Capital Region list of their own. You can vote here through February 22.

Kevin has a few picks that he would like you to support. I see no harm in endorsing those except that his choice for Best Local Blog is his own and not your friendly neighborhood FLB.

It’s funny. Because while their list of categories isn’t nearly so constrained as the Times Union questionnaire, they still combine Vietnamese and Thai cuisines . Cheers to them, though, for breaking China out from Japan. But jeers for lumping in Mexican with Southwestern.

I’ve voted. And I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you my ballot. Not so much because I want you to vote the same slate, because I don’t. These are just my casual opinions. I’ll ask for your vote in April when the FUSSYlittleBALLOT 3.0 comes out for the Times Union poll, because those will not be my choices, but a synthesis from multiple sources, including reader input.

Hopefully sharing the below will help to show where those two lists overlap and where they converge. But it’s still early, as we’ve just begun to build the ballot.

1. Best American
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

2. Best Italian
Cafe Capriccio

3. Best French/Continental
Garden Bistro 24

4. Best Seafood
Gene’s Fish Fry

5. Best Chinese (include address)
Ala Shanghai

6. Best Japanese/Sushi (include address)
Sushi Tei

7. Best Vietnamese/Thai

8. Best Mexican/Southwestern
La Mexicana Restaurant & Grocery

9. Best Southern/Soul Food

10. Best Caribbean

11. Best Indian/Pakistani

12. Best Greek

13. Best International
New World Bistro Bar

14. Best Vegetarian

15. Best Steak House
Garden Bistro 24

16. Best BBQ
Capital Q

17. Best Brew Pub
Brown’s Brewing

18. Best Beer Selection

19. Best Diner

20. Best Deli
Ben & Bill’s (Slingerlands)

21. Best Brunch
Max London’s

22. Best Outdoor Dining
Wine Bar on Lark Street

23. Best Cheap Eats
Slices at Pizza King

24. Best Burger
Swifty’s Deep Fried Buffalo Burger

25. Best Wings
The Ruck

26. Best Pizza

27. Best Bagels
Kosher Chopper (Price Chopper @ Central & 155)

28. Best Sandwiches/Subs

29. Best Ice Cream
The Snowman

30. Best Coffee
Caffe Vero

31. Best Desserts

32. Best Wine List
dp brasserie

33. Best Bakery (desserts/pastries)

34. Best Bakery (breads)
Mrs. London’s

35. Best Indian Buffet (include address)
Karavalli (Latham)

36. Best Restaurant to Take a Date
The Melting Pot

37. Best Restaurant to Take the Kids

38. Best Restaurant for a Power Lunch
Jack’s Oyster House

39. Best Tapas/Small Plates
Wine Bar on Lark Street

40. Best Place to Eat at 3am
The Brown Bag

41. Best Breakfast
The Hungry Fish Café

—-[page break or two in the survey]—-

10. Best Local non-fiction writer
Daniel B @ FUSSYlittleBLOG

18. Best Food Event

—-[page break or two in the survey]—-

12. Best Local Website News
All Over Albany

13. Best Local Website Community
All Over Albany

17. Best Local Blog

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    February 10, 2012 11:56 am

    Isn’t it sorta cheating to have Dino’s as Best American and Cap Q as best barbecue? If you stray away from actual Q, Dino’s is not the best American!

    • February 10, 2012 5:24 pm

      It’s a bit more nuanced than that, as I don’t advise straying beyond BBQ at Dino. But at Dino they serve it on plates. And even though they go pit-to-plate that makes it American vs. Barbecue. Yes, it’s totally splitting hairs. But the best barbecue places don’t use plates. Wax paper. Styrofoam containers. But plates?

      Really I struggled with American food as a category, and wasn’t too happy to lead with this pick. Out of curiosity, what would you pick as Best American?

      • Mr. Sunshine permalink
        February 10, 2012 9:04 pm

        That’s a tough one! Places such as Taste, Capital City Gastropub, Sperry’s, Jack’s, Justin’s, that sort of restaurant. . .

  2. Mr. Dave permalink
    February 10, 2012 12:31 pm

    My preferred method for change is sabotage. I am going to advocate for putting McDonald’s for all categories, not just restaurants.

  3. Mr. Dave permalink
    February 10, 2012 12:46 pm

    “Best Local Non-Fiction Writer”?… Come on now, that kind of casts a pale over the integrity of the rest of your recommendations, don’t you think?

    • February 10, 2012 5:20 pm

      I thought I made it clear that these were just my own personal and casual thoughts. Are they egocentric? Maybe a bit. Are some difficult to justify? Sure. But that is part of the difference between my votes in the Metroland poll and what I’ll be compiling for the FUSSYlittleBALLOT 3.0.

      I’m not campaigning for these restaurants today. Certainly some of the names above will play a role in future conversations about The Best of the Capital Region. Really, I just thought I’d let you all take a peek at my ballot. If anything, I think exposing my biases in this way increases my integrity. At least that was the goal.

      And for what it’s worth, I don’t write a lick of fiction. It’s more than I can say about that William Kennedy fellow.

      • February 10, 2012 9:07 pm

        I am disappointed this query was answered here and not in an “ask the profussor” feature :-)

      • February 11, 2012 9:50 am

        “. . . and what if I did drink too much? Whose business is that? Who knows how much I didn’t drink?”
        ― William Kennedy, Ironweed

        Best local writer about food & drink?

  4. Roger A. Ksenich permalink
    February 11, 2012 2:51 am

    You might have to be more specific on Mahar’s now that there are two locations, even though anyone who has visited both will know which one you mean.

  5. February 11, 2012 11:01 pm

    You really believe your own bs, don’t you?

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