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Thirteen in 2013

December 26, 2013

Bad luck doesn’t concern me. Thirteen is a baker’s dozen anyhow, and man do I love to get stuff from the baker. Bring on the white flour, fat and sugar. Or hold the sugar and just give me a dozen oily loaves of lard bread.

That reminds me, I’ve got to get back to Brooklyn.

If I was going to try and sum up 2013 in a phrase, it would be the year that I took the gloves off. That wasn’t readily apparent to me until I took a quick look back at the top posts from this past year. Honestly, that’s the reason I enjoy doing these year end retrospectives. I find it helpful to see what stories had some resonance with readers and which ones fell flat.

Part of me wonders how many of you read all of these posts the first time around. Certainly a few were written while Mrs. Fussy was away, so even she will have missed one or two.

Regardless, it has been a great year. Come with me on a walk down memory lane.

13. Arrogant Bastard
Sometimes the best way to take care of damage control is to put out the damning evidence yourself, claim responsibility and frame the debate on the matter. I did this after accidentally sending a note late at night to a very well connected person in the Albany food community. Technically I wrote this post only after learning that my note had been subsequently shared with at least one other well connected person in the Albany food community. Regardless, in the end I felt good about coming clean.

12. I’ll Show You Mine
Nobody likes being wrong. I hate it. But if I’m wrong I’ll admit it. If you say that I’m wrong, and in fact I am right, I’ll stand up for myself and back up my original assertion with photographic evidence. Or, at least I was able to do this in regards to the tacos at La Mexicana. Who would have ever thought that obsessively taking pictures of one’s food might ever have redeeming value?

11. Class Is In Session
2013 started with a bang as I decided to tackle a major issue in January. This post was the beginning of a series where I tried to connect the state of Capital Region restaurants to my observations about dining out locally and an inextricable link to class consciousness in the area.

10. The Thing About Olive Garden
Chuck Miller doesn’t hate Olive Garden, and he was curious about why the place gets dumped on by the food cognoscenti. This was a task for which I was glad to be of assistance. The issue isn’t that the place is a chain. There are lots of chains that I love. Chipotle is one, but I even have a soft spot in my heart for Hooter’s. I do. The answer to Chuck’s question isn’t how the food tastes either, but rather in how the company talks about what it is and what they do.

9. Troy’s Wings on Parade
You know my favorite thing about this post? I didn’t even have to write it. Many thanks once again to Jessica R. for stepping up and not just leading the Tour de Buffalo Wing: Troy Edition, but writing up the results as well. The one thing I’m really bummed about is that I didn’t get to join this elite squad of eaters as they evaluated some of the best wings in the region.

8. The Joy of Troy
Wow. The denizens of the Collar City really love the place. That’s the only way to wrap my head around how this simple post about a lovely food centric day in Troy climbed up into the top ten. It was just a normal day with stops at Bella Napoli, Sweet Sue’s and Gus’s. And technically, Gus’s isn’t even in Troy. But that cake Sue made for my mother-in-law sure was great.

7. Dealing With Detractors
One of the highlights of my year happened in early January. That’s when I discovered that Real Actors Read Yelp had picked one of my Yelp reviews to reenact. I still go back and watch it sometimes. It’s hilarious. Yet some people just take things far too seriously, and somehow this amazing video morphed into a referendum on my existence. That’s okay. I enjoy responding to my critics.

6. Exit 9
Some people still haven’t realized that I’ve left Guilderland and am now living in Princeton, NJ. Yes, it’s only temporary. I’ll be back home at the beginning of July. But this post from May was when I made the official announcement. How I got my exit wrong, I don’t know. Usually, I find myself getting off the highway at exit 8b.

5. Cleaning Up the Crass and Clueless
Yes, in upstate New York we have a food truck called The Wandering Dago. And while many people like their food, many others find their name to be offensive. Honestly, I’m more offended by their tone-deaf response to those who find Dago to be an ethnic slur. The owners of the truck have a first amendment lawsuit pending, and if they win I’ll perform acts of contrition for a week.

4. Breaking Down the Brownie Filled Donut
In February, Dunkin’ Donuts released on the world a monstrosity. Sure, maybe it was delicious to some. But this thing was just wrong in so many ways. Donuts can be simple and wholesome pleasures. Yes, they are deep fried and will never be health food. However, these were more of a science experiment than a decadent treat.

3. FUSSYlittleBALLOT 4.0
Despite the success of this annual post and it’s gaining momentum, 2014 may be the year I abandon this quixotic notion of influencing the Times Union’s best of the Capital Region poll. I’m coming to the sad conclusion that the paper isn’t worth anyone’s time or attention. Luckily I have some other ideas up my sleeve for trying to raise the profile of Albany’s better places to eat, drink and buy food.

2. An Unhealthy Level of Boosterism
That said, you can be certain that my ideas will look a lot different that those espoused by Michelle Hines Abram. She’s pretty well connected in the Albany food scene. Anyhow, I went toe to toe with her back in August and was quite pleased to read from the commenters how many people really understood the problems with her platform. On the plus side, now that she has a new job her blog has been quiet, so that’s a good thing.

1. 3 Reasons Not To Trust Dunkin’ Donuts
Nooooooooo! Oh dear God, no. This? This! You people made this the number one post of the year? It was shameless click-bait. It was me trying on something new to see how it felt. Do you know how it felt? It felt dirty. But in a bad way. This is the kind of positive reinforcement that I don’t need. Although I do know for a fact that this has curbed the Dunkin’ cravings of at least one local food blogger. So maybe it’s all worthwhile in the end.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 26, 2013 7:40 am

    Yeah, if you mention fast food it is probably going to be one of your more popular posts. Some quick post I did on a McD’s pie is consistently one of my most popular posts. That and anything concerning Utica…

  2. December 26, 2013 10:23 pm

    Can’t wait to see what is up your sleeve!

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