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Food Review

Chorizo Real

by B.A. Nilsson April 2, 2014


  La Mexicana Grocery and Restaurant, 1759 State St., Schenectady, 346-1700. Serving 10 AM-8 PM daily. D, MC, V. Cuisine: Mexican Entrée price range: $2 (taco) to $15 (fajitas) Ambiance: muy informal It couldn’t be less prepossessing. In my zeal ...

Pub, Unchained

by B.A. Nilsson March 26, 2014


  O’Toole’s Restaurant & Pub, 1814 Central Ave. (Kohl’s Plaza), Albany, 464-1200, otoolesalbany.com. Serving Mon-Thu 11:30-11, Fri-Sat 11:30-midnight, Sun noon-11. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: pub fare Entrée price range: $8 (fish and chips) to $22 (surf ...

Hip to Be Skewer

by B.A. Nilsson March 20, 2014


  Afghan Kabab Express, 305 Central Ave., Albany, 487-4159. Serving daily 11-10. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: Afghan Entrée price range: $5.49 (cheeseburger) to $14 (lamb chop) Ambiance: very casual Afghan fare has eased in and out of our region ...

A Hot Bargain

by B.A. Nilsson March 6, 2014


  Jasmine Thai Restaurant, 2717 Broadway, Schenectady, 346-9990, jasminethais.webs.com. Serving lunch Mon-Fri 11-3, Sat 11:30-3, dinner Mon-Sat 4-10. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: Thai Entrée price range: $13 (many dishes) to $22 (red snapper) Ambiance: glass-topped casual One of the ...

It’s About Food

by B.A. Nilsson February 27, 2014


  The Grocery, 211 Broadway, Troy, 326-3450. Open noon-8 Mon-Sat, noon-4 Sun. AE, D, MC, V. “Farm to table,” that catchiest of current culinary catchphrases, typically refers to a restaurant’s table, although the proliferation of farmer’s markets ...

1 comment

North by Southwest

by B.A. Nilsson February 20, 2014

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  Sunset Café, 42 Front St., Ballston Spa, 885-8550, sunsetcafe.org. Serving 11:30-9 Mon-Thu, 11:30-10 Fri-Sat, AE, MC, V. Cuisine: Southwestern-inspired Entrée price range: $8 (chicken quesadilla) to $24 (full rack of ribs) Ambiance: neighborhood hangout Has it been that long? ...


by B.A. Nilsson February 14, 2014


  You walk into a restaurant on what’s supposed to be a slow night and spot two eight-tops who have yet to order as well as some scattered deuces and you’re tempted to turn on your ...

4 comments Carmine's Restaurant

Gone to (Hot) Pot

by B.A. Nilsson February 6, 2014

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  Northeast Chinese II, 900 Central Ave., Albany, 459-0688, northeastchineseii.com. Serving 11 AM-10 PM daily. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: Chinese and other Asian Entrée price range: $8 (BBQ chicken bone) to $16 (seaweed with nuts) Ambiance: Chinese buffet It ...


North of Ordinary

by B.A. Nilsson January 30, 2014


  Main Street Grille, 857 Main St., Clifton Park, 877-8202, mainstreetgrillecliftonpark.com. Serving dinner 5-9:30 Tue-Sat. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: continental entrées and pub fare Entrée price range: $10 (roasted turkey sandwich) to $29 (surf and turf tower) Ambiance: ...

1 comment

Family Dinner

by B.A. Nilsson January 15, 2014


  The Table at Fort Plain, 70 Canal Street, Fort Plain, 993-8065, thetableatfortplain.com. Serving lunch 11:30-3 Wed-Fri, dinner 5-9 Tue-Sat. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: inventive Continental Entrée price range: $16 (baked sole) to $19 (grilled strip steak) Ambiance: ...

1 comment

Tropical Vacation

by B.A. Nilsson January 9, 2014


  Casa Domenicana, 260 Central Ave., Albany, 427-1290, CasaDomenicanaRestaurant.com. Serving noon-10 Mon-Fri, 1-10 Sat. MC, V. Cuisine: Domenican Entreé price range: $8.25 (grilled chicken sandwich) to $16 (fried shrimp) Ambiance: small and casual Hector Marmol spent many years running restaurants ...

Smokin’ Good Food

by B.A. Nilsson January 2, 2014


  Aladdin’s Restaurant and Hookah Lounge, 4740 State Highway 30, Amsterdam, 212-5615, aladdinshookahlounge.com. Serving 3-11 Mon-Thu, 3-midnight Fri-Sat. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: Middle Eastern Entrée price range: $6.50 (soujuk sandwich) to $12 (falafel, moutabal and hummus platter) Ambiance: ...


Best Restaurants 2013: B.A. Nilsson

by B.A. Nilsson December 24, 2013


  Every restaurant visit I make is built upon a level of expectation I try to fashion from clues that lurk in menu and decor. Which is why a humble diner can receive a rave akin ...

1 comment

Miss Utica

by B.A. Nilsson November 13, 2013

  Sciortino’s, 893 Broadway, Albany, 465-9148, sciortinospizzeria.com. Serving 11-10 Tue-Wed, 11-11 Thu, 11-1 Fri-Sat. D, MC, V. Cuisine: pizza and wings and riggies Entrée price range: $11 (spaghetti and meatballs) to $17 (sausage and peppers pizza) Ambiance: classic diner There ...


Holy Mole

by B.A. Nilsson November 6, 2013


  The Point Café, 964 Helderberg Ave., Schenectady, 395-9717. Serving 7 AM-9 PM Mon-Sat, 7-3 Sun. D, MC, V. Cuisine: Mexican, Italian, American Entrée price range: $1.45 (hot dog) to $15 (Point Café steak) Ambiance: dineresque One of the great ...

Latham Underground

by B.A. Nilsson October 31, 2013


  The Grape and Growler, 155 wade Rd., Latham, 783-8000, grapeandgrowler.com. Serving 11-10 Mon-Wed, 11-2 Thu-Sat. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: pub fare Entreé price range: $6 (Caesar salad) to $18 (meat-lover’s pizza) Ambiance: excitable pub We entered to a ...

More Than Friendly

by B.A. Nilsson October 24, 2013


Istanblue Mediterranean Cuisine, 68 Congress St., Saratoga Springs, 581-0181, istanbluemediterranean.com. Serving lunch 1-3 Mon-Fri, dinner 11-11 daily. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: Turkish-Mediterranean Entrée price range: $14 (vegetable sauté) to $29 (mixed grill) Ambiance: improbably charming There’s ...

Delicious Contradiction

by B.A. Nilsson October 16, 2013


  Helsinki Hudson, 405 Columbia St., Hudson, 828-4800, helsinkihudson.com. Serving dinner 5-10 daily. D, MC, V. Cuisine: Southern-inspired farm-to-table Entrée price range: $12 (sake-steamed mussels) to $27 (Porterhouse steak frites) Ambiance: warehouse-glam Contradictions are the spice of daily experience, and ...

1 comment

Secret Fishing Hole

by B.A. Nilsson October 9, 2013


  The Angry Penguin Tavern, 41 Broad St, Waterford, 237-2829. Serving 1-Midnight Tue-Sat, 3-8 Sun. D, MC, V. Cuisine: pub fare Entrée price range: $4.25 (grilled cheese) to $14 (fish and chips) Ambiance: English pub After fighting bumper-to-bumper Waterford traffic—it ...

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Take It to the Graveyard

by B.A. Nilsson October 3, 2013


  Wagon Train BBQ, 671 Mariaville Road, Rotterdam, 356-0650. wagontrainbbq.net. Serving 11-8 Sun-Mon, Wed-Thu, 11-9 Fri-Sat. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: barbecue and burgers Entrée price range: $7 (burger with fries) to $18.25 (huge pork-brisket-ribs combo) Ambiance: cheerfully overdecorated About ...

Peru for You

by B.A. Nilsson September 11, 2013


  La Empanda Llama, 26B Picotte Dr., Albany, 915-1887, laempanadallama.com. Serving Tue-Sat 11-8. AE, D, MC, V.  Cuisine: Peruvian Entrée price range: $7 (La Empanada Llama salad) to $13 (beef stir-fry) Ambiance: muy informal Consider the food that you ...

A Simple Surprise

by B.A. Nilsson August 28, 2013


  Viola’s Café, 947 New Loudon Road, Latham, 786-9800. Serving breakfast 8:30-11 Mon-Fri, lunch 11-3 Mon-Fri. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: sandwiches and salads Entrée price range: $6 (classic BLT) to $7.50 (Cuban pork sandwich) Ambiance: hotel lunchroom When you’ve ...

Farm-to-Table Forever

by B.A. Nilsson August 22, 2013


  John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant, 224 Hillsdale Road, So. Egremont, MA, 413-528-3469, jarestaurant.com. Serving dinner 5-9 Sun-Tue, Thu, 5-10 Sat-Sun. AE, MC, V. Cuisine: American harvest Entreé price range: $22 (Ricotta gnocchi) to $35 (grass-fed ribeye) Ambiance: rustic elegance The ...

The Irish Way

by B.A. Nilsson August 15, 2013


  Finnbar’s Pub, 452 Broadway, Troy, 326-3994. Serving 3-10 Mon-Thu, 3-11 Fri-Sat. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: gourmet Irish pub Entrée price range: $6 (chicken goojons) to $14 (Irish stew) Ambiance: classic Irish Pub The degree of craziness depends on ...

1 comment

In the Pot

by B.A. Nilsson July 31, 2013


  Shining Rainbow Restaurant, 209 Central Ave., Albany, 396-3881, shiningrainbow.com. Serving 11-10:30 Sun-Thu, 11-11 Fri-Sat. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: Chinese and Japanese Entrée price range: $7.50 (broccoli with garlic sauce) to $17 (Beijing duck) Ambiance: small but comfortable Szechuan ...