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#518 Recos

Updated: January 22, 2018

My old friend Raf told me that this page sucked. He said that when people click on something that says “Recommendations” they want to know where to eat. Honestly, if you want to know where to eat I really think you should check out Yelp. It’s a lot easier to fine tune your results based on your particular set of criteria.

But I have strong opinions, and I’ve never really put all of my top picks in any one place before. So for those of you who insist on relying on me for where to eat, drink and buy food, I’ve dawn up my own best of the Capital Region list of sorts. It’s pretty flushed out, but I still consider it to be an ongoing work in progress.

Now I’m in the process of updating this list with links. But if you want more details on any of the places listed, your best bet is Google. Or, you know, Yelp.

Regional Specialties
Fish Fry (Seasonal) – Gene’s, East Greenbush
Fish Fry (Year Round) – Off Shore Pier, East Greenbush
Mini Hot Dogs – Famous Lunch, Troy
Mozzarella & Melba – Ralph’s Tavern, Albany
Albany Railyard Style Pizza – The Orchard Tavern, Albany
Seasonal Soft Serve – On The Farm, Latham
Homemade Hard Ice Cream – The Ice Cream Man, Greenwich
Farm Made Apple Cider Donuts – Golden Harvest Farms, Valatie
Bakery Made Apple Cider Donuts – Cider Belly Doughnuts, Albany
Farm Distilled Applejack – Harvest Spirits, Valatie
Farm Brewery – Indian Ladder Farms Cidery & Brewery, Altamont
Farm Stand – Forts Ferry Farm, Latham
Quackenbush Still House Rum – Albany Distilling Co, Albany
Subterranean Fireplace – Mio Posto, Albany
Eating on the Hudson – Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Troy
Hard Cider – Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider, Staatsburg
Cheesemakers – 3-Corner Field Farm, Shushan
Baco Noir – Hudson-Chatham Winery, Ghent

Comfort Foods
My Favorite Pizza Place – Marino’s, Schenectady
Wood Fired Pizza – DeFazio’s, Troy
Pizza Margherita – Anna’s, Latham
NY Style Pizza Slices – Marissa’s, Guilderland
Local Pizza Chain – I Love New York, Schenectady
Italian Sub – Andy & Sons, Albany
Diner – Dan’s Place Two, Albany
Carolina Style Pulled Pork – Capital Q, Albany
Barbecue Chicken – Brooks’ House of BBQ, Oneonta
Barbecue Brisket – Memphis King, Schenectady
Buffalo Style Wings – 20 North Broadway, Schenectady
Burgers – Crave, Albany
Tater Tots – Comfort Kitchen, Saratoga Springs
Steakhouse – The Bears, Duanesburg
Eggs in Purgatory – Perreca’s, Schenectady
Deep Fried Hamburger – Swifty’s, Delmar
Deep Fried Monte Cristo – Public House 42, Albany
Small Plates – Peck’s Arcade, Troy
Bacon, Egg & Cheese – Eggy’s Place, Albany
Grilled Cheese – The Cheese Traveler, Albany
Cheese Puddle – Restaurant Navona, Albany
Avocado Fries – Slidin’ Dirty, Troy
Vegan – Berben & Wolff’s, Albany
Southern – Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen, Albany

Wine Bar – Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar, Troy
Beer Bar – Albany Ale & Oyster, Albany
Beer Cafe – Delaware Supply, Alban
Cocktails – Savoy Taproom, Albany
Espresso & Coffee – Stacks Espresso, Albany
Espresso & Coffee – Superior Merchandise Co., Troy
Espresso & Coffee – kru, Saratoga Springs
Malted Cold Brew – little pecks, Troy
Outdoor Coffee Sippin’ – 3Fish, Albany
Bubble Tea – Short & Stout, Albany
Farm Bar – Indian Ladder Farmstead Cidery & Brewery, Altamont
Dive Bar – Palais Royale, Albany

French Croissants – Mrs. London’s, Saratoga Springs
Fancy Cakes – Crisan, Albany
Filled Donuts – Bella Napoli, Latham
Chocolate Iced Donuts – The Cookie Factory, Troy
Cake Donuts – Schuyler Bakery, Watervliet
Cider Donuts – Cider Belly, Albany
Baguette – The Placid Baker, Troy
Italian Bread – Perreca’s, Schenectady
Bagels – Kosher Chopper Route 155, Colonie
Bialys – Eastern Parkway Price Chopper, Schenectady

International Restaurants
Indian Chaat – Parivar, Albany
Mexican – La Mexicana Grocery & Restaurant, Schenectady
Oaxacan – Oaxaqueña Triqui, Albany
Shanghaiese – Ala Shanghai, Latham
Szechuan – SHU Chinese, Guilderland
Taiwanese Noodles – Taiwan Noodle, Albany
Taiwanese Pork Over Rice – Lucky Corner, Troy
Chinese Bakery – Hong Kong Bakery, Albany
Japanese – Sushi Tei, Guilderland
Moroccan Lunch – Tara Kitchen, Schenectady & Troy
Pupusas – Flores Family Restaurant, Schenectady
Latin Chicken – Mr. Pio Pio, Albany
Polish – Muza, Troy
Ramen – Fujiya, Albany
Ethiopian – Umana, Albany
Thai – Celadon Thai, Latham
Pho – Saigon Spring, Clifton Park
Korean – Sunhee’s Farm & Kitchen, Troy

Cheese & Charcuterie – The Cheese Traveler, Albany
Fish – Fin Your Fishmonger, Guilderland
Wholesale Gourmet Foods – Adventure in Food Trading, Menands
Bulk – Honest Weight Food Coop, Albany
German Smoked & Cured Meats – Rolf’s Pork Store, Albany
Eastern European Smoked & Cured Meats – Chester’s Smokehouse, Albany
Wine – 22 Second Street, Troy
Spirits – All Star, Latham
Beer – Westmere Beverage, Guilderland
Asian Foods – Asian Supermarket, Albany
Farmers Market – Schenectady Greenmarket, Schenectady

FUSSYlittleTOUR results
Some of the above finds were the results of a broad tasting of similar items. About once a quarter I lead a brave group of eaters into the wilderness, and we partake in several forms of one food for the course of several hours. For the most part, these foods have something to do with the Capital Region.

Read the summaries of the results below to learn more about these special dishes & where to eat them.

1. All Cider Donuts Are Not Created Equal
2. Small Hot Dogs, Big Differences
3. Saturday’s Soft Serve Standings
4. Best Fish Fry of Five
5. The Best Cider Donut East of the Hudson
6. Cracking the Egg and Cheese Sandwich
7. Homemade Hard Ice Cream Hotlist
8. There Can Only Be One Ice Cream Sandwich
9. The Best Cider Donut Further Upstate
10. Mozz & Melba Highs & Lows
11. Gonzo Gelato Grazing
12. Troy’s Wings on Parade
13. The Best Donuts Off the Beaten Path
14. Learn How to Disco Fry in Five Easy Steps
15. The FroYo Favorites 
16. The Best Cider Donut Late in the Season
17. Five Totally Different Tavern Pies
18. Saratoga Soft Serve Soiree
19. The Difference in Italian Delis
20. The Best of the West Cider Donuts
21. Schenectady’s Wings Don’t Suck
22. The Best Soft Serve East of the River
23. A Survey of Schenectady Subs
24. Cider Donuts: Broadalbin to Schaghticoke
25. Downtown Albany’s Best Wings
26. The Better Burgers of Five Burger Stands
27. Going Soft on Homemade Hard Ice Cream
28. The Best of the Best Cider Donut Orchards

All Over Albany Eat This! posts
Every other week I write about one delicious thing to eat or drink in the Capital Region. This is actually a lot harder than it sounds, because my standards are really high. These reside on my favorite local website, and they actually pay me money to do this. Oh, and as opposed to my blog, all of my posts on AOA have pictures.

There are too many to list. You’ll have to read them all.

Top 13 posts on the FLB to date
This isn’t about where to eat per se, but rather about what you might want to read. Some posts go by unnoticed. Mostly those are the ones about wine. Others, like the Open Letters, the FUSSYlittleBALLOTS, and the results of the tours are tentpole affairs. But sometimes, and seemingly without reason a few posts have caught on with readers far beyond my customary sphere of influence. Below you can see some of the things that have captured the most people’s imaginations.

(NB: I’ve removed the FUSSYlittleBALLOT posts and the results from tours listed above)

1. The Secret to Oddly Tender Chinese Meat
2. Unexpected Dangers of Farming
3. 3 Reasons Not To Trust Dunkin’ Donuts
4. Lindt Truffles are Disgusting
5. Would You Like any Cream or Sugar?
6. Post Screws Around With Grape-Nuts
7. Hard Truths About Hard Cider
8. Is All Natural Yogurt All Natural?
9. Dunkin’ Drives me
10. The Strange Pizza of Old Forge & Beyond
11. Wonderful Watervliet
12. The Good Way vs. The Subway
13. An Open Letter to Capital District Chefs

The Local Yelp Newsletter Archive
Every other Wednesday, residents of the Capital Region with registered Yelp accounts get a special treat in their email boxes. It’s the Local Yelp newsletter, and it too is written by yours truly. Writing this weekly round-up of great local businesses is just one part of my job with Yelp as Albany’s very first Community Ambassador.

If you don’t get it, you can see it here (and even subscribe if you wish).

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Potato King permalink
    July 16, 2013 2:21 pm

    This list is a bit how do i say it? POTATO!

  2. December 31, 2014 1:48 pm

    Didn’t catch this one until just now Daniel, I will use this list too.

  3. December 31, 2014 8:52 pm

    This looks like a lost of what is going to make me fat. I’d love to get down and do some reviews for some of these places on our podcast.

  4. September 10, 2016 9:37 am

    I highly recommend Harvest Moon Market for fresh fish AND their top shelf fish fry.

  5. September 10, 2016 9:43 am

    Oh, “forgot” about Civatello’s on Jay St. in Schenectady for best ices and gelato. Also for best cookies and Italian pastries.

  6. September 10, 2016 9:46 am

    As for Italian bread, Perreca’s just doesn’t cut it for me. IMHO, I think Rock Hill’s Pane Bello is far superior.

  7. February 27, 2017 9:54 pm

    Anna’s is Neapolitan style pizza? Um, no.

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