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AskTP – Getting to Independence

July 4, 2017

Nobody has the patience for a week of question and answer posts. But it’s Independence Day today. People aren’t online. They are grilling, or heading out to watch fireworks, or sitting around doing some day drinking in the summer sunshine.

There are even some crazy people who will be running around Saratoga Springs this morning for something called a firecracker run. It’s probably impolitic to suggest that the runners might go faster if you actually threw firecrackers at them. On the other hand, perhaps that’s actually modern day presidential.

Who am I to judge.

Actually, I am known to do some judging. But largely it’s about food. Just so it’s clear, today we are doing a second installment of Ask the Profussor, as I try to break free from the bonds of my commitment to answer all reader questions, just so long as they are posted in the comments section with proper punctuation. And fair warning, the mystery link of the day may be a little bit self promotional.

Now without any further ado, onto the questions.

Paul asks a fair question about the Albany Distilling Co’s cocktail contest:
I still haven’t visited the Speakeasy but this might push me to try it. What was the winning cocktail though?

I haven’t the foggiest idea. And it’s not for a lack of trying either. For the sake of time, I won’t bore you with the research over social media that I’ve conducted to try and come to the answer. What I haven’t done was reach out to the winner, any of the judges, or the event sponsor. But that’s next. Of course I realize that’s cold comfort for the time being. But sometimes, that’s how it goes.

Officeofthechiefrabbi was pretty strong in the condemnation of beer events on pesach:
Antisemites scheduled beer week during Passover? Chutzpah! May they get coal in their stockings on Nittel Nacht! Gay kocken offen yam!

Whatever that means, it’s probably far too intense. You can lack cultural sensitivity and not be an antisemite. I think. My friends on the far left may disagree. But people make mistakes. Let’s forgive and move forward.

Zena Goddess of Fire was a hair’s breadth away from coming on the tour de burger:
I’m tempted. Should we arrange a carpool???

Yes! Of course, yes. Oh. It’s over. Drat. And you weren’t there. Sorry. Backlog. Everyone complains.

KingOfBeacon was excited about the new place of chicken on rice in Collar City:
Is Afghan Kabob running the new Halal place in the Troy Kitchen?

I’m pretty sure the Troy Kitchen spot is its own thing. But it’s crazy delicious. And super reasonably priced. I’m kind of addicted. I mean seriously, I want some right now. And then I want to wash it down with a Dominican Icey from CoCo Mango across the street. A coconut one, mind you. But now that Chopped Cheezus has opened up, I suspect my love will soon be divided.

Dave of the Ridiculous Food Society found something he couldn’t deal with:
Burger on hollowed out French bread? An abomination. Just what I would expect from California.

Oh you. Go jump into a tidal estuary. It’s no more an abomination than three inch wieners, or a succulent piece of just fried fish being served unceremoniously in a generic supermarket hotdog roll. So put that in your egg shaped theater and smoke it.

Steve N. may be shocked by my answer to his rhetorical question:
Do you put lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles on a great steak?

On a great steak? Maybe not. But the Cuban steak sandwich is kinda awesome. And it has crap lettuce, crap tomatoes, and fried potato matchsticks from a can. And it’s all on shitty bread made from lard in the South Florida humidity. On a great steak, however, the Italians drizzle pungent olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and salt. That olive oil has a lot of vegetal notes, and combined with the acidity of the lemon, and the punch of the salt, is it really that far of a stretch to lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles? I’m not so sure.

OCtG is getting all philosophical on burgers:
But is it really about defining “THE burger” and then searching for something matching those expectations? Or, is it about finding something YOU enjoy, without preconceived expectations?

What I like to see is what each beloved burger place thinks a burger should be. Then I delight in the differences. But at the same time, I will try to take each of them on their own merits and decide for myself which one works best. It’s no easy task. But I’m happy to put in the effort to try.

Jack C. may have hit on a brilliant idea:
Five Guys and Burger 21 are mere steps from one another. Surely you can order your Five Guys veggie abomination, head to Burger 21 for an actual burger, then just move the patties over? Curious to see how they’d work together. I can’t justify such costs for one burger, but someone whose job and blog depend on food criticism certainly can.

I think what Jack is suggesting is to order a sandwich from Burger 21 but on a Five Guys bun. But I don’t think you have to order two sandwiches to do this. All I think you have to do is sweet talk someone at Five Guys into selling you just a pack of buns. Oh dear boy, that’s inspired.

Burnt My Fingers may have gotten the wrong idea:
But if you like this so much, have you experimented with asking other chains to put the cheese between the two patties instead of on top? I’m sure Five Guys, which is full custom, would be happy to do it.

I’m pretty sure every chain puts one slice of cheese in between the patties of a double cheeseburger. But maybe you are suggesting to request that both slices of cheese be put there. Whoa. That could be a game changer.

Burnt My Fingers loves the tours so much he made the following suggestion:
How about a tour de Onion Rings?

Maybe. But I think it’s going to come down to Ted’s vs. Country Drive In. That said, I bet we have a lot of great onions rings that are still off my radar.

gorgeousgoodness was picking up on my newfound interest in tinned sardines:
Have you tried the Trader Joes canned (tinned?) smoked trout. On toast with a little mayo.

No. No, I have not. But it’s made the list. Especially now that it’s pureed green season. I bet they would be lovely with a verdant parsley sauce with garlic, hot pepper flakes, lemon juice, and and fruity olive oil.

llcwine was riffing off my idea for what would eventually become Excelsior Nachos:
Looks like you have Western NY, Central NY, and Capital District covered…but we can’t forget about Downstate…Long Island was originally known for potatoes, then duck (as seen by the Big Duck) out in Suffolk County…which now is host to numerous wineries…also the Finger Lakes for their killer Rieslings…so perhaps we need to consider beverages? and Long Island is also known for clams…so can we fit in some steamed little necks somewhere?

I like the way you think. But the little necks aren’t doing it for me. I’d rather eat this with a beer from Long Island City, and simply forgo the Finger Lakes. But maybe we can find a cheese that’s made in that region to sprinkle on top, or toss within.

Burnt My Fingers was deeply upset about the notion of tossing potato chips with sauces:
So you are now going to douse that heroic tuber in liquids and destroy its essence? That is a garbage plate indeed, as in toss it into the garbage stat.

Yes. Yes, I am.

Jack C. may have identified the next savory tour:
Who does slices the best?

Well I guess we can find that out if I can gather enough people to eat five slices of pizza each over the course of an afternoon. I figure that shouldn’t be too hard. But we’re going to have to break this one out by subregion. The big question will be where do we start? My instinct says Schenectady.

hokiemom has kind of revealed another part of the problem we have with food in the U.S.
I’ve seen the amazing increase in shelf space at our local markets and keep wondering who is buying it all, and is it really good? you don’t get shelf space unless it’s selling – I just don’t see it. Another market that has increased in shelf space is frozen waffles…. don’t get that either. Thanks for confirming my thoughts on frozen pizza like food.

No. It’s not really good. But a lot of people are struggling. And cheap, convenient, food is appealing. Regardless of how it tastes, or what it’s made from. Salty, fatty, and filled with happiness making carbs? Who can say no. But maybe the grocery stores should be a better first line of defense for the American consumer.

Erin T. may have a different notion of lunch than I do:
Does Stacks have food for lunch?

For me, lunch is a time and not a set of food options. There is food at Stacks. You can eat it whenever. Including lunch. Whether a bagel or a donut is a satisfying lunch for you, I can’t say. That’s between you and your god.

David E Nardolillo is making a semantic request:
Now that Uber and Lyft here, can we please call the service Ride “hailing” instead of Ride “sharing”?

That’s interesting. I never stopped to think about the oddness of the phrase. Old habits are hard to break. I’ll do my best, but no promises.


Wow. We’re done. I’m free! Now after a quick trip to Saratoga Springs, I’m going to come home and try to remember my old high school American history. Those land based oligarchs that established this country also had economic motivations for doing so. And the system they set in place has done a remarkably good job for looking after their interests for hundreds of years. Sure, there’s a lot of division in the country, but the seats of power are still held by the same small handful of families and monied interests. So, if you take a big picture view, all’s well with American democracy I suppose.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2017 1:06 pm

    I am not going to order double cheeseburgers at multiple chains to see where they put their cheese because I don’t like double cheeseburgers, but it seems unlikely that most of them would put it between the patties where it is hidden and also unlikely that they would use just one slice of cheese when the customer is paying for two.

    Social proof: http://in-n-out.com/menu.aspx#doubledouble

  2. Dave permalink
    July 4, 2017 8:20 pm

    Burger on French bread is more of an abomination than 3″ wieners or fish fry. It is wrong on the level of a bagel sandwich (for pretty much the same reasons). And I don’t like “Dave of the Ridiculous Food Society” as a moniker. I would prefer you use “David the Magnificent” in the future.

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