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Summer’s Wake Up Call

August 23, 2016

This is a first. The kids already have all their school supplies purchased, with two weeks of summer vacation remaining. It’s usually a last minute scramble. This year I’m ahead of the game. Here are two other small, but notable, recent events:

  1. On Sunday I bought some Sierra Nevada Octoberfest.
  2. Last night, the mercury dipped down to 52 degrees.

There can be no doubt, summer is ending. But it’s not gone yet, dammit.

This cooler temperature should serve as a wakeup call to cross all of those things off your summer to do list. And maybe your summer to eat list, if you have one. By the way, you should totally have one. If you don’t, I’ve got a few suggestions.

Last night, despite the chill in the air, I went to CoCo Mango’s in Troy. It’s a Dominican Icey joint, and I think it’s got to be the happiest place in Troy. Just across the street from the Troy Kitchen, you can get a modest scoop of a frozen coconut confection served in a paper cup for a buck. There’s real coconut in there. Both the flavor and texture are fantastic. And the place is open stupid late.

I’ve come to the point where I can’t leave Troy without stopping into the shop for a little late night taste of the Caribbean. Do yourself a favor, get addicted to it now when the weather is warm. That way when you go back in the winter, it will remind you of the taste of summer.

You know what I missed last year? My favorite fish fry place, which just happens to be seasonal. Gene’s in East Greenbush. Some people prefer Off-Shore across the street, but I love the non-traditional takes on classic sauces at Gene’s.

The kids might be into this since they are now on the lookout for a new favorite clam strip joint since Bob & Ron’s shut its doors. Those deeply breaded morsels resulted in such tender clams while still providing plenty of exterior crispness. I don’t even know if anyone else can match the memory. However, I’m keeping hope alive.

Speaking of kids, I did kind of promise them that we would make a trip to the winner of the last Tour de Soft Serve. Except I still haven’t been back to Lickety Split in East Greenbush. Maybe we can make that happen.

But how about for the adults? Well, you know that awesome patio in the back of Lucas Confectionery that’s usually mobbed with wine drinkers at night? Well, it’s open season for breakfast, brunch, coffee, or lunch from little pecks. If you are a morning person, you can get there as early as 6am during the week, 8am weekends. And grab some of Greg K’s amazing baked goods and a killer cup of pour-over coffee from a wicked good coffee roaster from Maine.

And don’t worry if it’s raining, because the open roof can be closed. The space is amazing. And it’s killing me that I haven’t been for one of their open faced sandwiches. Fortunately, I have a lunch date planned in a few weeks, and I’m looking forward to that immensely.

On the decidedly less fancy side of things, you know what I still haven’t had? The onion rings from Country Drive-In in Clifton Park. That’s a seasonal place, and the season is almost up. Again. But I’m blaming the stupid diet. Onion rings would seem to have no place in my life these days. Sniff

Seriously, I’m thinking about saying “screw it” and just going for the drugs.

Then maybe I would feel better about hitting up some of the other classic burger places. I’m still enamored with the Jack Burger at Jumpin’ Jacks. And I have a soft spot for those deeply caramelized onions at Jack’s Drive-In in Wynantskill. Plus that’s just a stone’s throw from Moxie’s Ice Cream, and I think I’ve come to the realization that this out of the way ice cream parlor is really about the deeply exotic flavors. That should be obvious to most, but sometimes my rigid ideologies have kept me from experiencing places at their best.

The good news is that I’ve finally figured it out. The bad news is that it has taken me years to get this far.

The Hill at Muza also has an outside patio, which I hear is four-season. But it’s a more appealing prospect before you have to leave the house with a heavy coat.

How about the lemon ice at Civitello’s in Schenectady? You know what I want to do with that stuff? I want to bring a bottle of the Harvest Spirits pear brandy and pour a shot of it over the top. Lemon ice and pear brandy are a match made in heaven. Or if not heave, at least in Paris where Mrs. Fussy and I first discovered this combination on the dessert list of a funky little restaurant.

Gah! And I still haven’t been to the track. How am I going to get a double ShackBurger® without making the drive up to Saratoga Springs? The answer is I’m not. When I’m down in NYC it’s most likely I’ll be eating something else. Still, I have no idea when I can pull off a trip to play the ponies.

And there are so many fairs and festivals. It’s likely the only ones I”ll have time for are the ones in which I’ve got some kind of work stake. But that doesn’t make them any less fun.

Surely, I’ve left things off my list. What’s on yours?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Chantelle permalink
    August 23, 2016 10:09 am

    I’m going to CoCo Mango’s tonight! The last two times I’ve gone to Troy they were on my list, however The Dutch Udder was there both times and how could I not get their ice cream? They have such delicious flavors. So tonight is the night! Also, get the onion rings from County Drive-In. Do it. Trust me. You won’t regret it and you can always share them.

  2. hokiemom permalink
    August 23, 2016 4:47 pm

    Um, sounds to me like you need to move across the river (I’ve always had the perception you’re on the west side)..Love your love of Renss cty – can’t say it is shared by many – what’s left on my list? Let us know how the clams work out – I’ve been hankering to go to the north shore for clams – E Greenbush/Renss is much closer. That’s about all

  3. albanylandlord permalink
    August 23, 2016 10:28 pm

    Its bad enough that fall beers are sold in Mid August (Pumking is now stacked high at Westmere in case anyone was looking for a refreshing treat in Mid-August….) But I can’t believe you bought one. And admitted it. Heresy

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