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B.A. Nilsson

Extreme Dinery
By B.A. Nilsson

Uncle Miltyís Diner
Route 9W, Glenmont, 434-3761.
Serving Tue-Sun 7 AM-2 PM.
Cash and personal checks.

Food: ***Ĺ Service: Bustling
Ambience: Classic diner

We arrived at Uncle Miltyís on the heels of a party of six that clogged the entryway. Just ahead of them was a party of five, sitting at the counter. Servers bustled by us, arms laden with breakfast goodies. Most of the tables looked crowded. It seemed hopeless.

The crowd shifted slightly. A table bobbed by us, carried by a server who used it to fashion room for six at a booth for four. And suddenly we were beckoned to a booth.

That we were placed between the party of six and the party of five was of little consequence. As I contemplated the menu, I didnít succumb to the urge to reach behind me and grab the cell phone out of the numbskullís hand (youíre dining with five others and you need to shout into a phone to somebody else?). Nor did I slap the child with the party of five who erupted into tears from time to time, impervious to his momís halfhearted there-theres. I was in too good of a mood.

Besides: Itís a diner. Itís Sunday. Itís slack-cutting time.

Uncle Miltyís has been serving the Glenmont area, in one form or another, since 1939. Until nine years ago, it was the Miss Glenmont Diner; now itís run by Milty Pappas and sisters Fifi and Frederica Fotiu, with Milty helming the stoves and the Fotius running the floor.

Once we were seated and coffee and tea started to flow, life seemed better still. We contemplated the offerings, and studied the plates being served around us, to come up with an order.

Itís a simple menu, livened by specials. Smoked-salmon eggs Benedict with asparagus spears ($8) is popular oneópopular enough that it was sold out by the time we arrived. Cheese blintzes ($7), potato pancakes with apple sauce and sour cream ($6) and a variety of waffles are also big brunch movers.

Otherwise, youíve always got eggs for ($3 to $6) with various sides (bacon, hash, sausage, you know the drill), and omelettes ($4.55 to $6), all served with potatoes and toast. Pancakes and French toast and an array of baked goods also are available.

And thatís just the breakfast end of things. Soups and salads and the house special chili are available; over two dozen sandwiches cover hot to cold, with the usual variety of fillings as well as clubs, grilled monstrosities, meatloaf and even a sirloin steak sandwich.

Uncle Miltyís burgers have won renown; those, too, come in a wide variety that includes a vegetarian filling.

As I noted last week, the origins of eggs Benedict have retreated into the mist of time, but itís generally thought that a Wall Street broker named Lemuel Benedict sought to soothe a hangover back in 1894 while breakfasting at the Waldorf Hotel, and asked for an assembly of toast, bacon, eggs and Hollandaise sauceóa formula that was changed slightly to include an English muffin and a slice of ham or Canadian bacon.

Itís a dish that lives or dies on the strength of its sauce. Hollandaise sauce is an emulsion of egg yolks, lemon juice (or vinegar) and butter, with appropriate seasonings, prepared hot (mayonnaise is a cold version, using oil instead of butter). Itís therefore a fat-rich sauce, which means it coats your palate in such a way that flavors seem to linger forever. Thatís what makes it appealingly tasty.

The Uncle Miltyís version (which includes Canadian bacon) gives you a straight-ahead style that will certainly cheer the palate, and Susanís order was completed with a serving of standard home fries.

Our daughter is a waffle fan, and those weekends when Iím persuaded to make them sheís right there helping, measuring flour, adding leavening, even helping to separate eggs. But we use a conventional iron, so she was unprepared for the sight of the Belgian waffle that headed her way ($5.75), with its puffier-than-expected surface. Not that much of it could be glimpsed beneath the strawberries and whipped cream that rendered it Alpine looking.

It was as if the gods of breakfast had answered her most secret prayer. Whipped cream! For the main course! Right in front of her parents! No going wrong with this dish.

I ordered a bacon burger deluxe platter with cheese ($6.55), the deluxe features of which were a side of fries and some salad fixings. Iím most partial to burgers that clearly originate from scratch; this was a bit too symmetrical to be hand-shaped, but it was good-sized and cooked to my specification (medium-rare: I live dangerously in this era of awful meat-packing). So Iíd rate this one of the better burger bargains in the area.

The crowd thinned as closing time approachedóďbut you can come in at 2 oíclock and still get served,Ē Milty later assured me. We were well taken care of, and wish only that this diner were closer to our house.

Breakfast for three, with tax and tip and beverages, was $28.

 TABLE SCRAPS

Lake Georgeís Armand C. VanderStigchel will sign copies of his book Adirondack Cuisine at the Open Door Bookstore (128 Jay St., Schenectady) from 1 to 2:30 PM Saturday (May 11), while offering a selection of tasting samples to demonstrate the wide range of cookery just to the north of us. The influence of German, Dutch, French, Italian and Irish tourists and immigrants is reflected in a varied style of cooking that also includes fresh ingredients native to the area. Call 346-2719 for more info. . . . Miki Japanese Restaurant (236 Washington Ave., Saratoga Springs) is offering a traditional tea ceremony with a five-course dinner Sunday evenings from May 26 through June 31. Tea begins the meal, followed by clear soup, an entrťe of lobster or chicken, sashimi, tempura and more. Vegetarian options also are available. Itís $25 per person; make reservations by calling 583-9175. . . . Remember to pass your scraps to Metroland.

óB.A.N.

(Please fax info to 922-7090)

Metroland restaurant reviews are based on one unannounced visit; your experience may differ.

Food Rating Key: ***** An exciting, fulfilling experience; the food and service are everything they set out to be. Brillat-Savarin would be proud. **** Way up there with really good food, definitely worth your dining dollar. Julia Child would be proud. *** Average, with hints of excitement. Your mother would be pleased. ** A dining-out bogey; food probably isnít the first priority. Colonel Sanders would be disappointed. * K-rations posing as comestibles. Your dog would be disgusted.


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