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Readers Poll: Food & Drink

by The Staff on April 10, 2014 · 2 comments


Best American

1. New World Bistro Bar

2. Bootleggers on Broadway

3. The Standard

Innovative cuisine and comfortable atmosphere is enough for Ric Orlando’s place to again take top honors this year.

Best Italian

1. D’Raymonds

2. Café Capriccio

3. Café Italia

In a close race, D’Raymonds beats Metroland’s perennial fave, Café Capriccio, by a noodle.

Best French/Continental

1. Provence

2. La Serre

3. Epicurean

The French live longer (and thinner) in part because of their great cuisine. Good thing we have these fine options.

Best Seafood

1. Reel Seafood Co

2. Red Lobster

3. Jack’s Oyster House

Reel Seafood made a reel haul here, hooking hundreds more votes than the competitors.

Best Chinese

1. Plum Blossom

2. Ala Shanghai

3. Rain

This ain’t your take-out fish fry. Plum Blossom boasts a restaurant that makes you feel like you’ve entered the Ming Dynasty. Third-place Rain, an upscale newcomer on Lark, jumps right into the fray.

Best Japanese/Sushi

1. Koto

2. Hana

3. Sushi X

Everything’s better when it’s cooked right in front of you.

Best Vietnamese/Thai

1. Van’s

2. Sukhothai

3. My Linh

Van’s pho is the opposite of to-die-for. It might just save your life.

Best Mexican/Southwestern

1. El Loco

2. El Mariachi

3. Bombers

Holy mole, El Loco just barely edged out El Mariachi here.

Best Southern/Soul Food

1. Hattie’s

2. The Flying Chicken

3. Capital Q Smokehouse

Corn bread. Uh! Collard greens. Yeah! Black-eyed peas. James Brown knew what was up.

Best Caribbean

1. Roy’s Caribbean

2. First Choice Caribbean

3. Carmen’s Café

Carmen’s waged a good write-in campaign for Best Cuban food, but Roy’s takes top honors when all Caribbean islands are included.

Best Indian/Pakistani

1. Shalimar

2. Karavalli

3. Sitar

A heads up to readers: There are three Shalimar locations with two different ownerships. It is impossible to tell in most cases which restaurants voters favored. Taken together, the Shalimar brand was popular enough to edge out Karavalli, which finished a fairly close second, and Sitar, which established Indian cuisine as a delicious option in the Capital Region before there were dozens of choices.

Best Indian Buffet

1. Shalimar

2. Karavalli

3. Lazeez

See above. And to further complicate the korma, Lazeez shares ownership with one of the Shalimars.

Best Greek

1. Athos

2. Anton’s

3. The Greek House

Spanakopita. Uh! Kibbeh. Yeah! Stuffed grape leaves. Zeus knew what was up.

Best International

1. New World Bistro Bar

2. Mingle

3. Tie: Yono’s and Carmen’s Café

Winning Best American and Best International is not an oxymoron for New World. It’s a business model.

Best Vegetarian

1. New World Bistro Bar

2. L’il Buddha Teahouse

3. X’s to O’s Vegan Bakery

Oh, and they make a dang good vegan seitan cutlet to boot.

Best Steak House

1. Delmonico’s

2. Angelo’s 677 Prime

3. Barnsider

Let them eat filet mignon.

Best BBQ

1. Dinosaur BBQ

2. Capital Q Smokehouse

3. Pig Pit

With BBQ, it’s best to get primal . . . like, Jurassic.

Best Brew Pub

1. Brown’s Brewing Co.

2. Albany Pump Station

3. Druthers

New brew pubs are popping up all over the place these days, but Brown’s still holds a special place in your hearts.

Best Beer Selection

1. The Ruck

2. Bootleggers on Broadway

3. Bier Abbey

You wouldn’t think so, walking into the place, but the Ruck has a sophisticated line of taps. Not to mention lovely chalkboard art to advertise the array.

Best Diner

1. Latham 76 Diner

2. Tie: Blue Ribbon Diner and Bob’s Diner

Diners are like church: friendly, consistent, divine.

Best Deli

1. Gershon’s

2. Nosh

3. Deli & Brew

Sliced thin, stacked high.

Best Brunch

1. Café Madison

2. Carmen’s Café

3. Iron Gate Café

A meal no longer reserved for Mother’s Day and hangovers. And Café Madison does it proud with a varied, sophisticated, tasty menu.

Best Outdoor Dining

1. Jumpin’ Jacks

2. Brown’s Brewing Co.

3. Druthers

Really, any meal eaten outside is the best meal, but Jumpin’ Jacks leaves you with no other option.

Best Cheap Eats

1. Gus’ Hot Dogs

2. Bombers

3. Brown Bag

Ask for a side of Tums.

Best Burger

1. Five Guys Burgers and Fries

2. Bootleggers on Broadway

3. Red Robin

Remember, this is best of the Capital Region, not favorite burger chain.

Best Wings

1. The Ruck

2. The Ale House

3. Bootleggers on Broadway

This Troy battle was won by a single vote. If there were a Best Shuffleboard category, the Ruck would win the barroom triple-crown.

Best Pizza

1. DeFazio’s

2. I Love Pizza

3. The Fountain

South Troy representing once again.

Best Bagels

1. Bruegger’s

2. Uncommon Grounds

3. Price Chopper

Did you know Bruegger’s first started in Troy?

Best Sandwiches/Subs

1. Subway

2. Andy’s Italian Food & Deli

3. DiBella’s Subs

Jared really stuffed the ballot box on this one.

Best Ice Cream

1. Stewart’s

2. The Snowman

3. Kurver Kreme

Moose Tracks anyone?

Best Coffee

1. Dunkin’ Donuts

2. Stewart’s

3. Starbucks

We try to dial back the snark for this sort of thing, but our religious devotion to coffee is going to prevail here: Shame on everyone who voted for Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks and gave no love to our many fine locally owned coffeehouses..

Best Desserts

1. Bella Napoli

2. Villa Italia

3. Crisan

These Italians really figured out the whole pastry thing. But, what gives? Where’s the love for DD? At least be consistent, people.

Best Wine List

1. Lucas Confectionary

2. The Wine Bar

3. Gingerman

The wine list is deep, and the patio roof is open for the season.

Best Bakery (desserts/pastries)

1. Bella Napoli

2. Villa Italia

3. Sweet Expressions

Why don’t cops hang out in Italian pastry shops?

Best Bakery (breads)

1. Bella Napoli

2. Perreca’s

3. Placid Baker

Bella Napoli. Straight killin’ it.

Best Restaurant to Take a Date

1. New World Bistro & Bar

2. Melting Pot

3. 677 Prime

After dinner at New World, you’re guaranteed to get to third base, or your money back.

Best Restaurant to Take the Kids

1. Friendly’s

2. Red Robin

3. Dave and Busters

Yes, there are still Friendly’s out there that haven’t been converted to Asian restaurants. You just have to be in the know (Hint: There’s a really old Friendly’s in a really old plaza somewhere in Troy, and it’s pretty spacious . . .)

Best Restaurant for a Power Lunch

1. Jack’s Oyster House

2. McGeary’s

3. Angelo’s 677 Prime

Dial up 1995 on the flux capacitor to find out what a power lunch is. And then jet over to Jack’s.

Best Tapas/Small Plates

1. Carmen’s Café

2. Lucas Confectionary

3. Boca Bistro

Carmen’s used to be South Troy’s secret. But the Cuban breakfast and tapas are too good to keep quiet.

Best Place to Eat at 3AM

1. Bob’s Diner

2. Denny’s

3. The Brown Bag

When you come to at quarter of four over a plate of scrambled eggs in Watervliet, you know it’s been a good night.

Best Breakfast

1. Café Madison

2. Carmen’s

3. Latham 76 Diner

Most important meal of the day. Do it right.




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