This is kind of a mishmosh post about some stuff I ate this weekend, some stuff I'm going to eat today, and some stuff I wish I was eating. I don't really have anything specific I feel like focusing on beacuse its noon and I'm getting stoned and I'm not feeling too inspired on this Christmas day.
Today almost all the restaurants and grocery stores are closed but Chinese food takeout is still open. I plan on getting some sesame chicken, some wonton soup, and a pork eggroll. I wish I was down in NYC or Long Island so I could eat some decent Jewish deli, or eat better Chinese food but I'm in Albany where any good food is always worse than it should be. When I lived at my parents house in Long Beach, NY we would get Chinese food almost every Christmas and go to the movies, like the rest of the Jews.
Saturday was BBQ day. My friend Greg, who spends his days watching movies, playing video games, and most of all, cooking, came over. We decided to make some ribs and some coleslaw. He was the rib man and I was the slaw man for this endeavor. We went to the store and got the necessary ingredients which was mostly payed for by a gift certificate I got from the EVR secret santa (thanks Buddy).
The ribs were cooked with a dry rub and a sweet BBQ sauce. The coleslaw was my mother's recipe which is probably the best slaw I've ever eaten. I wouldn't normally say anything my mother made is the best anything because it's so cliche (though she is a wonderful cook) but her slaw is perfect. When the ribs came out of the oven about 4 hours later (after a viewing of Big Trouble in Little China) the smell of delicious pork filled my house and basically killed my vegan roommate.
Here's another cliche, the meat on the ribs was falling off the bone. I'm not just saying that to be cute. I put my knife in to cut a rib off and it sliced through like butter and then landed on my plate when I picked up the rib bone. The taste was perfect. We were afraid that the BBQ sauce we used (Jack Daniels Maple Brown Sugar I think) was too sweet but after cooking with the dry rub the sweetness got locked into the meat. Instead of overpowering the pork flavor it created a nice blend with the dry rub. My coleslaw was not as good as my mother's but it was the first time I made it. Next time I think I know what to do to make it better. That was a great meal.
Yesterday I went to Taco Bell to get some grub. It was the shitty TBell on Central Ave. but I figured all the shitty employees would have taken Christmas eve off and only people who were hard workers would be on call that day. I pulled up to the window, ordered a grilled stuft burrito and a christmas gordita crunch. The cute girl who took my order laughed. (Don't you think its weird when attractive people work in fast food?) I was correct in my assumption and my food was prepared correctly and it all tasted great. I was feeling a little sick at the end of my burrito so I threw it out the window of my moving car but luckily I didn't get into an Anchorman-esqe scuffle with a fat actor.
BACON! I made a bunch of bacon yesterday at my house. That was the other half of my gift for secret santa at EVR (thanks again Buddy). It was pretty good but not as good as the bacon that they make at Cafe 217 in Albany. Everything I have gotten at this fine establishment is incredible. You can tell by the presentation and consistency of the taste that they really care about food. Cafe 217 is owned by my friend Brendan's cousin, Susie, who also owns my favorite bar in that area, named Susie's.
I have got to say that this place cooks their bacon perfectly. Each strip is crisp and flavorful and not dried out in the least. I got my usual, a bacon egg and cheese (cheddar) on a hard roll. The homefries were well done, which I love, and the mozzarella sticks I split with my lovely friend Emily were incredible. Most places just buy frozen mozzarella sticks but you can tell that these overstuffed sticks are fresh mozzarella that are breaded and fried on the premesis. Even the tangy marinara sauce tastes fresh.
The food at 217 isn't going to kill your wallet either. Most of the items are between five and eight dollars and the portions are big enough that a normal human (aka not me) will be full. It is a late night/morning eatery and they hold strange hours but that shouldn't stop you from going there. I forgot to mention how nice this place looks inside. I almost feel too scummy when I go there, like I am sullying up the establishment. Anyways, please go there and give Susie your money.
12 1/2 Delaware Avenue (on the corner of Jefferson)
Albany, NY 12210
Phone: (518) 462-0050Hours:
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Open Wednesday -Sunday
9 p.m. through 2 p.m.
(EDIT: To clear up some confusion, Cafe 217 opens at 9PM and closes the following day at 2PM. It's open all night.)