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The Bestestes – Weekly Mag Edition

February 26, 2013

The Troy Record Reader’s Choice poll is completed. Yesterday was the deadline for the Capital Region Living Magazine entires. But there is still one more notable survey of the Capital Region’s culinary preferences and idiosyncrasies before the Times Union releases their questionnaire sometime around the end of March or early April.

Yes, that’s Metroland. And their online poll closes on March 1. So you’ve got a couple of days to git ‘er done.

You know these things are getting easier and easier for me to fill out. There’s a strategy at play too. Part of it is to share the love. For example I love both Parivar and All Good Bakers. So Parivar get’s the nod for Best Indian/Pakistani and AGB makes the list for Best Vegetarian. Plus there is still room for great places like Crisan and The Placid Baker. I also try to distribute the picks across the region, although I’ll admit the list is Albany-centric.

The one thing I’m really surprised by in this Metroland survey is the combined Vietnamese/Thai category. Seriously. They have so so so many categories that grouping these two cuisines together is really inexcusable. Still, they do a better job at separating out different ethnic cuisines than the Times Union, which has to date been embarrassingly ignorant of geopolitical boundaries in their annual report.

So, if you would like to vote in the Metroland poll, but maybe need some ideas for a few of the many many categories; or if you are just curious what I have picked as The Best things and places based on their categories, please read on.

Food & Drink
Best American – The City Beer Hall
Best Italian – Cafe Capriccio
Best French/Continental – Garden Bistro 24
Best Seafood – Gene’s Fish Fry
Best Chinese (include address) – Ala Shanghai (Route 2 – Latham)
Best Japanese/Sushi (include address) – Mizu (State Street – Schenectady)
Best Vietnamese/Thai – I’ll go Thai and say Sweet Basil (Delaware Ave)
Best Mexican/Southwestern – La Mexicana Grocery and Restaurant
Best Southern/Soul Food – The Flying Chicken
Best Caribbean – Orchid’s
Best Indian/Pakistani – Parivar
Best Greek – Anton’s
Best International – New World Bistro Bar
Best Vegetarian – All Good Bakers
Best Steak House – The Bears
Best BBQ – Capital Q
Best Brew Pub – Druthers
Best Beer Selection – The Ruck
Best Diner – Dan’s Place Two
Best Deli – Ben & Bill’s Slingerlands
Best Brunch – The City Beer Hall
Best Outdoor Dining – Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Best Cheap Eats – Famous Lunch
Best Burger – Swifty’s Deep Fried Buffalo Burger
Best Wings – The Ruck
Best Pizza – DeFazio’s (Eat it there, dammit)
Best Bagels – Price Chopper’s Kosher Chopper (155 and Central in Colonie)
Best Sandwiches/Subs – Andy’s
Best Ice Cream – The Ice Cream Man
Best Coffee – Caffe Vero
Best Desserts – Max London’s
Best Wine List – Charles F. Lucas Confectionery
Best Bakery (desserts/pastries) – Crisan
Best Bakery (breads) – The Placid Bakery
Best Indian Buffet (include address) – Aashiana (Central Ave in Albany)
Best Restaurant to Take a Date – Lark Street Wine Bar
Best Restaurant to Take the Kids – Jumpin’ Jacks
Best Restaurant for a Power Lunch – Jack’s Oyster House
Best Tapas/Small Plates – Boca Bistro
Best Place to Eat at 3am – The Brown Bag
Best Breakfast – Mrs. London’s

Goods & Services
2. Best Appliance Store – Central Restaurant Supply
8. Best Kitchen Store – Different Drummers
11. Best Gift Store – The Cheese Traveler
12. Best Wine/Liquor Store – All Star
27. Best Apple Orchard – Golden Harvest
28. Best Farmers Market – Schenectady Greenmarket
29. Best Produce – Brickman
34. Best Supermarket – Niskayuna Shop Rite
35. Best Health Food Store – Honest Weight Food Co-op

People & Places
15. Best Bowling Alley – Playdium (They make their own pizza dough)
17. Best Bar – The Excelsior Pub
20. Best Wine Bar – Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar
22. Best Bar Staff – Suzie’s
37. Best Up-and-Coming Neighborhood – The DelSo

Arts & Entertainment
18. Best Food Event – The Jewish Food Festival (I’m biased)

13. Best Local Website (news) – All Over Albany
14. Best Local Website (community) – All Over Albany
17. Best WiFi – Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar
18. Best Local Blog – The FUSSYlittleBLOG (if you please)

4. Best Time to be Had in the Capital Region for Under $10 – Wing Night at The Ruck

So once again, if any of these moved you to vote, you can do so here. But time is running short. And if you have yet to try any of these places, what are you waiting for? Just because a place is great doesn’t mean it will be here forever.

Oh, and if you take issue with any of my picks, I’m happy to defend them to the pain.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessica R permalink
    February 26, 2013 12:44 pm

    28. Best Farmers Market – Schenectady Greenmarket
    I’m curious. Can you explain this choice over the Troy Farmer’s Market?

  2. February 26, 2013 1:57 pm

    I’m sure Mizu Sushi has no chance against some of the higher-profile Japanese/sushi restaurants in the area, but I’m happy to see you giving it some love, too. (I’m also going to talk about it whenever and wherever I can–they need and deserve more business!)

  3. February 27, 2013 5:45 pm

    I was perusing the site looking for a good, local joint to take AddiesGrandDad to and I noticed that in two of this month’s “The Bestestes” posts you give Garden Bistro 24 the nod, but going back to the “Off Brand” post from April 24, ’12 you take GB24 to task for the price of their burger and price creep in general. Are your inclusions of GB24 in the “Bestestes” posts sign of an inner conflict? Lack of options for the category? Both? Have you made peace with GB24? If you still feel the way you do about GB24 a year later, then why continue pushing them as one of the Capital District’s “Best of”? Since I’ve never been, and it’s uber convenient to his hotel of choice, we’ll check it out. Btw, having never been, the prices seem quite reasonable for dinner with top-tier ingredients, but my domain is Saratoga, so I may be viewing the menu through price inflated goggles.

  4. albanylandlord permalink
    February 27, 2013 11:38 pm

    “To the pain”
    Thanks for the Princess Bride reference!

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