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Will Walk for Food

March 25, 2019

It’s Monday and it’s always tempting to tell tales from the weekend. But typically, the last thing anyone wants to read about at the start of the week is a story about an amazing beer bar in Albany which was pouring some very special brews from Canada.

Which is fine. I totally get that. So I’ll spare you the boozy details.

The important part of today’s story was that I found myself down on Delaware Avenue on Saturday night. The sun was shining. The weather was crisp. And it was the very rare evening when there was nowhere I had to be. It had been hours since I finished a slice of the quebecois meat pie prepared by chef Dimitrios of the City Beer Hall, so I was feeling a little peckish.

It was a beautiful evening for a walk, and I had spent most of the day indoors. Itching for a little movement, I set off on foot in search of something to eat.

My first instinct was to stop at Andy’s for one of their magnificent Italian subs. Sure, there would be no place to sit down and eat that beast of a sandwich, but the weather was so nice, I wouldn’t have minded eating it on the go.

Sadly, that plan was thwarted since the deli closes at 5pm on Saturday. Onward I marched.

It can be tricky going out to eat with just yourself. I’m happy to spend time alone, The hard part is that I usually want to order more than just one thing. Pizza is fine. Wings are good. But pizza and wings are even better together. As a solo diner though, pizza and wings just weren’t in the cards.

Pulling out my phone, I checked to see if any of my Yelp friends were nearby. No luck. So I pressed on. Part of me thought about stopping at the Gastropub for one of the gourmet pizzas, except it’s just too much food for one person. Another part of me was interested in popping into Navona for a cheese puddle pizza. But really, I wanted to try something new.

Then it dawned on me. I knew what I wanted, even if I was hard to admit.

Years ago, I made my first stop into Chicken Joe’s. It’s a late night, counter service spot, that caters to the college crowd. It’s drunk junk food. Fried chicken nuggets, fried macaroni and cheese bites, fried potatoes, and you can get anything slathered in ranch dressing.

My maiden voyage there was during the day, and I had brought the kids. Mostly because as kids, they have a strange affection for chicken nuggets. And the “nugs” at Chicken Joe’s were actually quite good. Cut into bite-sized chunks of solid white meat chicken, these were more like fried chicken bites than anything else.

However, I spied on the menu a version of the phat-style sandwiches of Rutgers grease trucks. Maybe you’ve heard of the Fat Darrell before? It’s chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, french fries, and marinara sauce. During my time in New Jersey, I got to explore a wide range of ridiculous sandwiches much like this at Hoagie Haven in Princeton. And while they are most definitely vile, I developed an affection for the form.

Chicken Joe’s has one called Heaven, which is made from their chicken nuggets, mozzarella sticks, french fries, American cheese, and bacon. It is dressed with ranch, and served to you for under $10.

I cleverly decided to switch out the ranch for blue cheese dressing, and added hot sauce.

Egads. That monster of a sandwich is most definitely not on my diet. I’m not even sure you can call the thing a sandwich. But I had no regrets. None. Although I did decide to use that massive intake of calories to fuel my walk the rest of the way home.

All told I walked close to six miles, and passed precious few people out and about on foot. I have to say, it was a lovely lovely evening. And amazingly, when I weighed in on Monday, despite the avalanche of calories I consumed over the weekend, I was still in good shape!

Walking! It’s amazing. And Albany is a great city in which to do it. Especially when the weather is cool and you can trek for miles without breaking a sweat. That’s my kind of exercise. The kind that compels you to enjoy an insane sandwich every now and again.

I might be done with the Chicken Joe’s sandwiches, but now I kind of want to return for the buffalo chicken fries. At least those fries can be ordered in a smaller portion. The sandwich only comes in one size which is as long as your forearm. That said, it kept me warm on the inside for the three mile hike home.

Is this sports nutrition? Because it feels like sports nutrition.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2019 10:31 am

    I actually went to Chicken Joe’s for the first time on Friday, but the Troy location. I was disappointed in the birthday fried chicken I had the prior week somewhere else, so I was still craving some. Chicken Joe did not disappoint. I had the boneless wings, too. Mmmmm. That place is dangerous.

  2. March 25, 2019 10:55 am

    My new favorite flavor combo for pizzas: Buffalo chicken bacon ranch. There is something about adding the salty bacon to the spicy and vinegary Buffalo sauce that is scratching an itch I didn’t know I had.

  3. Ewan permalink
    March 25, 2019 12:22 pm

    Found a reason to go to the Cuckoo’s nest for the first time last week. The chicken sandwich was so-so but BOY the biscuit sandwich was fabulous. And calorific :).

  4. March 25, 2019 3:01 pm

    The gym is boring, and I wish I could run or jog, but I find either to be very uncomfortable. For whatever reason, my body just is not built to run. It’s not my thing.

    But I love to walk. It comes easy to me, I can walk for miles with no discomfort. From now until late May (and the fall) is the best walking weather. I glory in it.

    I prefer to walk outside, but when the weather is not ideal I walk at Crossgates. And on a weekday, you’d be surprised how many others are only there to walk.

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