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Slidin’ Into Schenectady

June 28, 2017

There’s an old Yiddish saying, “Der mentsh trakht un got lakht” which translates to, “Man plans and God laughs.” But sometimes a crooked path can take you to a much better place.

What plans got befouled? Did you hear the one about Slidin’ Dirty opening up a Schenectady restaurant? This has been on my radar for many moons. And I thought it was going to happen months ago.

The buildout has been delayed more times than anyone involved in the project would care to recount. But each change of the plans has improved the Electric City outpost of this Troy institution, which started out as one of the region’s first gourmet food trucks, and largely on the back of Tim & Brooke’s deep fried avocado slices. Or fravos, as they are now calling ‘em.

Let it be known that not all deep fried avocado is created equal. These well seasoned, crispy, and tender morsels make others pale in comparison. But I digress.

Slidin’ Dirty Schenectady is hosting its Grand Opening on Thursday at 4pm. I know this to be true because last night I got a sneak preview of the new space with about 100 of my fellow yelpers for an Official Yelp Event that also was subject to the whims of fate.

Do you remember how threatening the skies were yesterday? Do you remember the rain? Well, this Yelp Event was scheduled to be held outside on the site of Slidin’ Dirty’s future patio. It’s a lovely space on the corner of State and Lafayette streets.

Every fifteen minutes I was checking the weather. It appeared that by seven o’clock the weather would be nice. But the prognosticators weren’t so sure about the six o’clock hour. However, when I left Albany a little after five and was heading west, the sky was blue, with wisps of white clouds.

It was clear we were out of the woods.

One of the things I loved about this event was how it so perfectly bookended the Slidin’ Dirty experience. The kitchen wasn’t quite ready yet for prime time, so Tim and Brooke drove the food truck to Schenectady and pulled it up on the sidewalk to cook some of their signature sliders, or mini-burgers, or what have you.

Pat set up a portable outdoor bar, complete with local spirits, and a few tap lines of 518 beers and ciders. The weather was perfect, and the Rare Form wheat bear was a great choice for an absolutely gorgeous evening. For the local beer geeks out there, that was the “WITicale” which is a Belgian Wit style beer with raw triticale and orange zest.

I also got to talk a bit with Jeff Buell about the project he spearheaded for Slidin’ Dirty. Without a doubt, this was a big undertaking. And now Slidin’ Dirty has a big restaurant. But I think they are going to knock it out of the park on this corner, just a block up from Proctor’s.

There’s really nothing like it in Schenectady. Slidin’ Dirty has created a menu where I can find food that the kids love, without having to suffer through a bland and boring meal. The dishes are full of delightful flavor combinations that are thoughtfully composed. And somehow, Tim and Brooke have found a way of pleasing almost everyone while still being able to maintain an identity.

To get a sense of what this looks like, there are pictures from last night’s Yelp event.

That said, the official grand opening is slated for Thursday at 4pm. Sometime after the ribbon cutting is done, Nine Pin Cider and Albany Distilling will be on site offering samples.

Then Friday at 5pm the grand opening festivities continue with SoCo Creamery dishing out samples and local band Bad Mothers kicking off a set at 6pm.

Downtown Schenectady really needed something big to anchor that corner of downtown, and now it has Slidin’ Dirty. It’s a local powerhouse. I know that my kids are going to want to go for lunch after the Sunday farmers market. And they don’t even know that SD now has SoCo Creamery ice cream.

This is going to be fun.

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