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16 Going On 17

December 28, 2016

If people really hated year end round-ups, would there be so many of them? Probably not. But even if you do hate these kind of things, they are a good exercise for me to go through and see which kinds of posts had the most resonance over the last twelve months.

Plus, this is the week I’m on vacation. Nobody wants to read about my culinary adventures in rural Pennsylvania. Okay, maybe somebody does, but those will all get wrapped up into another post where I complain about how much meat I ate, and how no pancakes are as good as the ones my father-in-law makes.

This year, we’re going deep. The top 16 posts from 2016. Mostly, so I could include this one that just squeaked into the annual wrap up.

#16 Still Catching Up to Celina
It’s hard to believe that at one point Celina may have been my nemesis. That’s probably putting it a bit too strongly. But she did get one of my favorite people fired from his job at Capital Q. Anyhow, we moved past all that drama, and when we had a chance to catch up this past year, she took me to a brilliant place for fried whiting, cheese grits, and eggs that was totally off my radar.

#15 Which Dish at Bonefish
Bonefish bought me dinner, and that’s how I discovered Bang Bang Shrimp. All I want is for someone to split an order of those and a bottle of wine. I’m not even sure why they have anything else on the menu. Whoever said that you can’t live on Bang Bang Shrimp alone was totally wrong.

#14 Old Pizza
Celina made another appearance in a top post this past year. This time it was about pizza, and how my thoughts on its evaluation have changed over the years. It was also about an outing to eat some of Albany’s oldest pizza. Or maybe it was about the new combination of toppings I’m lovingly calling the modified Steve N.

#13 Things I Hate About Places I Love
I love this post. I think I was feeling like too much of a cheerleader in 2016, and it was important to shine a light on the warts of some of my favorite local businesses. Not to bring them down a peg. Because nothing could bring these places down in my book. But I wanted to show that it’s okay for places to be imperfect. It’s fine to share constructive criticism. And you can absolutely love something despite a critical flaw.

#12 Three Hats, Five Chefs, and Lots of Farms
Usually, I have a pretty good sense of what a post is about based on the title. This one left me scratching my head. But then I clicked on the link and was transported back to The Enchanted City culinary competition. Man, that was delicious. I was not only a judge but a sponsor, thanks to my role with Yelp. You can see the pics of the dishes presented, and the post even has links to a bunch of the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market producers who were included in the basket of goods.

#11 Not So Similar Goods
Shmaltz, our biggest local brewery and the brewery of my people, is facing a crazy suit from Menage au Trois wine. I think it’s ridiculous. Not everyone agrees.

#10 Are You Being Served?
When a reader requested me to review a little history, I put all my cards on the table about my relationship with the other big food blogger in the region, after it was suggested that my blog was doing a disservice to my readers by not soliciting all sides of a story about meat.

#9 Bringing Yelp To The Next Level
One of the things I do with Yelp is plan events at local businesses. This post detailed the experience of being one of the first people to experience The Next Level at The Ruck in Troy. It was a great event, with delicious food, and some stunning beers.

#8 big lunch at little pecks
Pretty much I had been waiting for something like little pecks to open since Vic & Heather opened their wine bar in Troy. The wine bar was always great and all, but I wanted it open earlier. Every day. For coffee. And snacks. Now that dream is a reality, but it doesn’t use initial caps in the name. Still, I love it a lot.

#7 Big Menus and Mixed Experiences
How can I go to a restaurant and have such a different experience than the official food critic from the major newspaper? It’s not just the chance the place is having an off day. It’s also an issue of menus being too damn big.

#6 Touring Troy
This summer I was invited on a food tour of Troy. You might think that I had already been to everyplace in the Collar City, but you would be wrong. And it was a lot of fun to see a place you know pretty well as a tourist. It would probably be more fun on a less rainy day. But this was definitely a learning experience for me.

#5 Heather’s Mix Tape
Heather loves wine. She opened a wine store. But this wine store isn’t like any other wine store in the area. It’s like she’s sharing her record collection with you. So it would go to figure that when you walk out of there with a mixed case picked by her, you’re getting the equivalent of a mix tape.

#4 Saturday Night At The Food Court
More tales of Troy coolness, as I take the missus out on a date to Troy’s newest food court…and love it. While the lobster roll may be on a hiatus for the winter, the Troy Kitchen still is a slamming place.

#3 Cheap Eats
Every year, I find something disheartening about the results from the Times Union Readers’ Choice poll. This year, the Cheap Eats category was dominated by chains. That’s shameful given how many incredible independent places we have for cheap eats around the region. This post highlights some of my favorites.

#2 A Survey of Schenectady Subs
The Italian delis of Schenectady are strong. These were the results from the summer Fussy Little Tour, where we went into Schenectady looking for the best Italian mix. We found it, but we also found more to love.

#1 Schenectady’s Wings Don’t Suck
Let’s hear it for Schenectady taking the top two spots in ’sixteen! Granted, they did have two tours centered around their city. And this post got shared around so much that it got me a gig judging Schenectady’s wing fest. That led to my guest appearance on The Mundane Festival podcast. And that in turn led into a podcast of my very own.

It’s amazing how a blog post can evolve and lead to so many more things. It’s been an incredible year, and I’m super thankful for all of those who have come on this journey with me. We’ll have more fun coming up in 2017 as we try to eat our feelings in an increasingly delicious Capital Region. Plus, we’ll finally tackle the Cider Donut Tournament of Champions.

I hope you’ll stick around.

One Comment leave one →
  1. omaxwell permalink
    December 28, 2016 9:18 pm

    So, your top two posts were about tasting tours. Does that give you any ideas for planning 2017?

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