Showing posts from January, 2013

The Boar's Head Choice

I am inclined to think that the Price Chopper gets a bad rap from area foodies. Essentially, if you roughly control for the economic status of the neighborhood market (i.e. comparing the International Chopper with the Hannaford on Central, or the Slinglerlands Price Chopper with the Latham Hannaford, rather than the fundamentally apples-to-oranges comparison of the Price Chopper on Madison with a suburban Hannaford) than Price Chopper compares perfectly well. Some chains do things better than others -- Maine-based Hannaford, nut surprisingly, has better seafood, the PC has a better butcher shop -- but I think the local chain measures up perfectly well. One of the biggest advantages that the Price Chopper had over Hannaford, though, is that many of its delis had high-quality Boar's Head deli stuff, while Hannaford's had inferior products. Alas, it appears the Price Chopper has decided to give away this advantage. This might make market sense; I dunno. But I'll be t

The City Beer Hall

Ms. Garlic and I are big fans of the City Beer Hall , which with the highly regrettable pending closing of Mahar's will be the best general beer bar in Albany.  It has an excellent rotating selection of taps and very good pub food, as well as a solid brunch.   There's also a decent-mini pizza that comes free with every beer (although we weren't given the tickets this visit and had to ask after our second round, which had never happened before.) In a constructive spirit, however, I feel compelled to note that there were a couple of glitches at our last visit that are probably worth noting.   First, although we arrived around 8 with full table service still on, we waited at least half an hour without one of the servers (who were taking orders from all of the surrounding parties, including a couple who came after us) so much as looking in our direction.   We gave up and just ordered ourselves from the bar, as often happens when table service is ongoing and you order from

Delicious cocktail

New cocktail idea I had that turned out delicious: 2 oz. Irish whiskey (Tullamore Dew in my case) 1 oz. Finger Lakes Distilling Maplejack liqueur drop of orange flavored bitters maraschino cherry It is refreshing and the deep flavor of the Irish whiskey works great with the sweetness of the Maplejack liqueur. The orange bitters uplifts the whole thing. Tasty!

Beer, Sadness, and a Sense of Place

Can you believe that Mahar's only has a few weeks left? Its crazy. It has me thinking about the ways that specific places can add  to our daily lives. At lunch with a special collections librarian recently, we've had discussions about e-books. She heard that the wave of the future is no books at all, and that the logical next step is no library. I said "What about the library as a social space?" Deanna Fox of Silly Goose Farm and I recently went out to New World Bistro where I knew so many of the employees it was almost embarrassing. Oh, and this happened: Delicious ice cream sandwich aside, it is cool to have places in your life where you know half the people who walk by, and where you feel comfortable enough to act that ridiculous These places become the sets where our lives play out. When we first moved here, one of the very first places that was recommended to us was Bellini's in a strip mall in Slingerlands. It isn't the most mind-blowingly g

Bad Beer News

It's sad news that the great Madison Avenue beer mecca Mahar's is apparently being shut down .   The diverse selection and the unique "beer tour" (in which an ancient computer kept track of what beers you've tried and offered a discount for regulars) made it a regional treasure.    BMT, who's taking over the space, does have some history of success -- I love Cafe Madison and like The Point -- and hopefully they'll recognize the magnitude of what they have to live up to.   Most of all, I hope Mahar's will find another Albany location.   Check out more information on this topic on All Over Albany .