- Created on Saturday, 18 May 2013 02:16
Johnny's is a new venture by Mallozzi in Schenectady across from Proctors. They are known for their daily homemade pastas and upscale dining experience for a reasonable price. I'm happy to say that Johnny's does not disappoint.
As we walked up to the door, someone was there to open the door and greet us. The hostess was standing ready to seat us, and our waitress (Jennifer) was prompt and friendly - Actually that isn't fair to say, she was far, far better than prompt and friendly, she was amazing. I would say I am quite experienced at eating at various restaurants, and Jennifer provided the best service and dining experience I have ever had. She was knowledgeable, professional, and truly passionate about the food and restaurant.
On our server's recommendation, we ordered the Italian Nachos ($10) and the Arancini Sicilliani ($10). The Italian Nachos were homemade tortilla chips with sausage, onions, tomatoes, olives, peppers, mozzarella, and an alfredo sauce. It was huge, and absolutely amazing. The chips stayed crispy, the sausage was flavorful and cooked perfectly, and the alfredo sauce made everything blend together. We were arguing about what the star of the dish was, and decided everything made the dish perfect. The Arancini Sicilliano is risotto balls with ground beef and peas in a cocktail sauce. The risotto was cooked great, and the flavors worked well together. I think the homemade marinara sauce stole the show on this dish, it was flavorful but not overpowering. The risotto could have used a little more flavor on it's own.
For the entrees, we ordered Pink Sauce alla Olivia with shrimp ($18) and Lobster Mondello ($22). The Pink Sauce all Olivia with shrimp came with tagliatelle. The homemade pasta was absolutely perfectly cooked, the shrimp was fresh and had a light grilled taste to it. The sauce was a little mild, but it just made the pasta and shrimp stand out even more. The Lobster Mondello was also served with tagliatelle. The lobster was butter poached, with an amazing butter flavor. Again the pasta was cooked to perfection and the sauce was seasoned enough to compliment the dish but not overwhelm it.
There are two things I need to stress again. Their homemade pasta is a must, and Jennifer is an amazing waitress. When (not even if) you go to Johnny's try the Italian Nachos, a pasta dish and ask to sit in Jennifer's section (I'm not sure they can do that, but never hurts to ask). This is a great dining experience for a reasonable price.
|Pink Sauce alla Olivia with Shrimp
- Created on Saturday, 11 May 2013 20:53
Blue Ribbon is located in Schenectady on State Street. It was Mothers Day weekend, so we expected some heavy crowds and long waits for our Saturday morning breakfast.
Blue Ribbon was packed. They have a relatively large parking lot, and all but one spot was taken (lucky us). We wandered in, and even with the full house, we were immediately seated.
They have a relatively standard breakfast menu with a few daily specials. We ordered french toast with bacon ($8ish), and a waffle with strawberries ($8.50). When we were eating the french toast, a lone potato ended up on the plate, it had such a great flavor, we had to order a side of home fries as well. The French toast had a nice eggy batter that soaked completely through the bread, and was cooked perfectly. It's a simple dish, but often messed up, Blue Ribbon made it perfect. The bacon was very thin, so it didn't have much flavor and ended up tasting as though it was cooked in a microwave.
When I ordered the waffle, I asked if the strawberries were fresh or canned, the waitress said they were fresh strawberries that they made into a bit of a jam. The waffle was also cooked perfect. The batter had a nice flavor, and wasn't even remotely overcooked. The strawberries in the jam sauce were too sweet for me and took away from the natural flavored strawberry (they tasted almost processed or frozen), so I wouldn't order them again. The home fries were seasoned very well, and had a nice brown to them. My only nit pick on them would be that some of the larger pieces were a bit hard still.
As I said earlier, the place was packed, so we expected quite a wait for our food (so much so that I decided to time how long from order to delivery) - It took just over 5 minutes. Amazing. Service was friendly and fast. We were in and out in under 40 minutes, by far the fastest diner I have ever been to.
Blue Ribbon was incredibly fast, with friendly service. Main dishes were great, but some of the addons missed the mark a bit. 4 Forks, and we'll be back.
|French Toast and bacon||Waffle with Strawberries|
- Created on Sunday, 28 April 2013 00:57
The Point Cafe is located in Schenectady. I had heard good things from people on another review site, so I was excited to give it a try. Basically, they were wrong.
Service was really bad from the start, it took way to long to seat us. There were two people working there, one whose job I have to assume was to stare blankly at the wall while I need a drink refill or need the check, and the other who does all the actual work, but you only see her if there is a baby at your table that she finds cute. It was so bad, other customers were getting up and grabbing stuff off the storage area because you never saw a server.
Onto the food: Josie ordered the strawberry stuffed french toast with a side of bacon. She got the choice of stuffing it with either cream cheese or cottage cheese in addition to strawberries. (she chose cream cheese). First off, it wasn't stuffed. It was two pieces of french toast with a glob of cream cheese in the middle, and a cold strawberry pie filling topping. The cream cheese ruined it, so she quickly pulled that off, and the french toast got cold quickly due to the cold topping. There was nothing special about the dish.
I ordered cinnamon swirl french toast (not pictured) with a side of hash browns. Basically, it was just french toast made with cinnamon raisin bread. It was a good bread, but slightly overcooked. The hash browns were cooked well, but had absolutely zero flavor.
The two entrees with sides and two coffees came to $24, which is pretty high for breakfast for two in the area. Mediocre food and horrendous service earned The Point Cafe 2 Forks.
|Strawberry 'stuffed' French Toast||Hash Browns (Cinnamon French Toast not pictured)|
- Created on Saturday, 06 April 2013 21:04
Have you ever had soup dumplings? If the answer is no, then this review will change your life. If you have, and didn't know about ALA Shanghai, then this review will also change your life. I had soup dumplings in China Town in NYC a number of years ago, and had been looking for a local place to get them since. I finally stumbled upon ALA Shanghai and my search has ended. ALA Shanghai is in Latham just past the circle.
We walked in on a Friday evening (I'd recommend reservations, it got busy fast). First off, we had to order dumplings - and lots of them. They had two types of soup dumplings, one with just pork ($5) and one with pork and crab ($7) Both came with 6 dumplings. We also ordered some traditional pork dumplings ($5). I had magical memories of soup dumplings, and these did not disappoint. I thought the wonton skin was a little on the thick side, but it didn't take away from the amazing flavor. (side note on soup dumplings... they come very hot, I usually just barely bite the top off, to expose the inside and let it cool down). If you go to ALA Shanghai, you must order some soup dumplings. the traditional pan fried pork dumplings were also very good, cooked very nicely and a good juicy flavor.
We ordered two entrees to split, Tong-Po Pork ($12) and Orange Flavored Beef ($14). Tong-Po Pork is Stewed pork belly in Shanghaiese style. It was difficult to cut and very fatty. It had a nice flavor, but wasn't really our thing. We could tell it was cooked well, and while hard to cut, it was still quite tender (I can't really figure that one out). Not something we would get again, but I'm sure if you like this dish you would like their presentation of it. The Orange Flavor Beef was thin and tender, dipped in batter and lightly fried. The sauce is like an orange flavored sweet and sour sauce. It is hard to keep beef as thin as this was, juicy and tender, but they pulled it off. We would get this again, once we go through the menu a bit more.
The menu is massive. There are many things we will have to go back and try. Wait staff is very friendly, and while there is a language barrier, they make sure the person who seats you and takes your order speaks English well. Although I would guess a majority of their patrons speak Chinese.
Conclusion, great, authentic Chinese food for a reasonable price. And of course, try the soup dumplings!
|Crab and Pork Soup Dumplings||Pork Soup Dumplings|
|Tong-Po Pork||Orange Flavor Beef|
|Pan Fried Pork Dumplings|
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