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Between Drinks and Desserts

March 7, 2018

The Humans. It’s a play. It’s a great play. It won a Tony for best play not too long ago. And now it’s at Proctors.

Last night was its first night in Schenectady. I was invited—along with several other members of the Yelp Elite Squad—by the theater for its premiere. Tuesday night at 7:30 could seem like a challenging time to get out to the Electric City in the right mindset to catch a thoughtful production.

But the play itself is just 90 minutes, and it has no intermission. Which is a good thing, because it’s funny at times, but it is also quite intense and thought provoking. Even a day after the experience, I’m still unpacking layers of meaning from the text, subtext and the staging. And I suspect I’ll be thinking about the show for weeks to come.

However, this is a food blog, and nobody comes here for a thoughtful examination of the lighting or a critical evaluation of how the actors interpreted their characters and motivations.

There was one local food that played prominently in the production, and I’m a little surprised that Saratoga Sweets isn’t in the lobby with a table selling its signature confection. They could make a fortune.

Now as a food person, I hold that theater is what happens between drinks and dessert.

Sure, you could try to take in a meal before a show, but personally I find that too stressful. The restaurants are crowded, and everyone is trying to get out at the same time. For me, I’d rather just grab a slice of pizza, even if I’m all dressed up.

Let me tell you, that Nico’s jumbo slice is hard to eat in a suit and a tie, but I was up for the challenge. On a side note, I’m really looking forward to coming back to Nico’s on the Tour de NY Style Pizza Slice. But we’ll talk more about that later.

The original plan was to visit Great Flats Brewing and make the whole thing a very Schenectady affair. But it is closed on Tuesdays. The backup plan was Mexican Radio.

A friend of mine who loves the Hudson location recommended the frozen blood orange margarita. Interestingly, the bartender asked if we wanted salt or sugar on the rim. It’s odd that this drink could go either way, but salt was definitely the right answer.

Even though it was a cold March night, this frozen margarita brought me back to my Miami days, and enjoying those finely textured alcoholic slushies. It’s not a cocktail I would typically order, but I would totally get it again. And at $10 it’s not cheap but hardly beyond the pale. Especially for something that you couldn’t possibly make as well at home. Drinks like these require those massive machines.

After the show, a lot of people had to get home. Actually, I was surprised given how full the theater was that Aperitivo Bistro wasn’t more crowded for dessert and coffee. No matter. They were happy to seat us at a table, and I was able to get a look at many of the desserts from the menu.

I would not get the tiramisu again. It’s more than a little soupy inside a large bowl full of ladyfingers, mascarpone, and coffee. And while I generally like the interplay of sweet and salty, I wasn’t crazy about how the sea salt sprinkled on top worked with this dish as a whole.

The upside down coconut cream pie was decadent and quite good. But I would say it was more deconstructed than upside down. The pie crust came as a separate piece on the side of the plate, with a mound of glorious coconut custard as the star of this dessert.

However, I think the winning dish of the night was the vanilla custard served in a right sized jar, and sprinkled with shards of bruleed sugar.

Custards are one of my favorite desserts. I should have stuck with my gut and ordered that. But it’s always so tempting to order in in house made tiramisu, even though I rarely find one that I love.

One of these days I’ll get smarter. But now I know for next time. And hopefully the next time won’t be too far away. This was seriously a very fun night, and a real treat to be able to get out on a Tuesday. Or a Wednesday.

The Humans runs through March 11 and unlike big musicals like Hamilton, tickets aren’t hard to come by. If you go, I’d love to hear your thoughts, or even where you decided to go for drinks and dessert.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. -R. permalink
    March 7, 2018 1:11 pm

    Mexican Radio. I’ve never been to the Hudson location, but if my two experiences at the Schenectady location are even mildly indicative of the food quality in Hudson, I certainly won’t be going anytime soon. La Mexicana – twice the flavor and half the price.

    • March 7, 2018 3:35 pm

      What I’ve been led to believe about Mexican Radio is that the things to order are the non-Mexican foods that are informed with Mexican flavors. That means staying away from tacos and burritos in favor of other more fusion-type dishes.

      Much like I have a hard time getting wings in Schenectady anywhere but 20 North, I couldn’t imagine ordering tacos or burritos anywhere other than La Mexicana.

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