I always look forward to President's Day because that means I usually get the Monday off after my birthday. This year, however, I am auditing a class at the conservation lab, so I ended up going into work anyway (it is a floating holiday for us). It is a fun class because I get to hear about all kinds of art related gossip, like how the people at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge put paintings where the pastry chef ended up burning them with his setting the cherries jubilee on fire. The conservators told them not to put the paintings near any food, so they put them above the boiling water of the coffee station, and five years later had to pay to get them fixed all over again. Also, The Clark's Bourgereau is getting conserved and every time we go it is a little different looking as the yellowed varnish gets removed gradually. Anyways, this class is making me tired as two days a week I get home at about 10:00 at night so I took today off.
We had originally sampled some food from the Hungry Fish Cafe at the Albany Wine & Dine Festival. My husband suggested that this was a good day to try them for lunch since I'm not normally home on random weekdays. This place is great. Like the Crazy Burger in Rhode Island, but not as crazy. Like the Blue Benn but with higher quality ingredients and not as far away. Local ingredients plus a little bit of creativity, and a good dose of soul - you cannot go wrong. I got the "Wynantsclub". It had Vermont cheddar cheese (very good quality), "gourmayo" (which seemed to have some mustard, horseradish maybe, a few other things), smoked turkey, Black Forrest ham, bacon, field greens, and tomato on marble rye. This was a great sandwich. You could really tell they made the bread themselves as that sort of freshness and texture you cannot fake. I got the homefries with it. Homefries are hard to get right - it is so easy for them to end up greasy, mushy, overcooked, or too hard. These were a perfect texture and seemed to have some Cajun seasoning or something on them. I asked for hot sauce and the waitress brought out this Hoboken Eddie's, which they sell there. The hot sauce was a mix of a few different types of peppers, and deeply flavorful with a good punch of heat. The coffee was good too. My husband got the morning rice - long grain and wild rice tossed with ginger soy stir fried veggies with two sunny eggs. It was unique, very tasty, and a great choice on his part I thought. We were looking at Metroland as we were eating and they had a write up of the place (in fact, funny enough, the booth in the photo in that article is exactly the one we ate in).
We were quite distracted by all the little knicknacks for sale. I bought a New York state cookie cutter to make cookies for a food swap I am attending. I also bought something funny and kitschy for my friend for her birthday. They also have mixes for dips, canned goods, local ground beef, and homemade soap - all very interesting.
We had a great time. I'll definitely be back there, and might even stop in for some chili to take out for dinner one night (that was one of the things we sampled from them at the Albany Wine & Dine Festival). We had a fun diversion on the way home at the nearby TJMaxx and Yankee Dollar Store. I find dollar stores irrationally fun as you never know what sort of awesome things you'll find at them. Overall, totally worth taking the day off from work even if it was a bit rainy and dreary looking.