Brian's Top Reviews:
|Johny's (by Malozzi)|
- Created on Saturday, 01 March 2014 17:27
Hong Kong Bakery and Bistro used to reside within a local Chinese market. When they moved into their own building on Wolf Road in Colonie, we added it to our list of places to go. This review is for their dim sum which is only served until 5PM.
As we walked in, we were greeted and sat immediately. I wasn't a fan of the table, but I won't him them on that. (the booth was too far away from the table, and it had a base on the bottom that gave me absolutely no place to put my feet). The Dim Sum menu is on a piece of paper where you check off the items you want. We went for a mix of things to try out, including roast pork pastries, (deep) fried pork buns, shrimp and spinach dumplings, roast duck dumplings, steamed shrimp dumplings, and pan fried pork buns.
The first to come out where the roast pork pastries and the fried pork buns. The roast pork buns had a bit of sweetness and what I would describe as a bbq pork in them. They were just slightly warmer than room temperature, which was a big negative for me. The (deep) fried pork buns were not even room temperature, they were cold. The filling inside was congealed but per Josie, "had a good flavor". I couldn't even bring myself to eat the brick of cold pork mix. Next up were our steamed dumplings, shrimp, shrimp and spinach, and roast duck. The flavors in all of them were good, with the shrimp being a good size and cooked well, they were nice and tender. The duck tender and moist. The issue we had with these dumplings is that they were very sticky on the outside so they stuck to everything and ripped apart, and were completely slimy inside. While the flavor was good, the texture was off-putting. Finally we had the pan fried pork bun. This one was my favorite, it has a nice light crisp on the outside, and a soft chewy inside. Pork filling was nicely seasoned, it was probably the only one I would definitely order again if we returned.
Service was great, the owner/manager? came by a few times and made some jokes, and the waiter was there when we needed him, but not overbearing. Josie and I agreed we would come back to try the actual menu, but we would probably go elsewhere for dim sum. I would have given it a 2 fork rating overall, but Josie is a bit more of an expert in dim sum, so I will yield to her suggested rating of 3 forks.
|Roast Pork and Fried Pork||Shrimp and Spinach and Roast Duck|
|Pan Fried Pork Bun|
- Created on Saturday, 01 March 2014 17:53
Friday night rolled along and I was in the mood for sushi. In comes Mr. Wasabi in Schenectady. I had been here several years ago and it was time for a revisit and a review.
We ordered the spicy tuna dumplings as an appetizer, it came out as 6 spicy tuna balls surrouned by avacado. I love avacado with pretty much anything so I was a fan of spicy tuna being surrounded by it. They were good, but difficult to eat and I would have preferred a little more flavor. For rolls, we orderd the ginza roll (crab tempura and mango inside, topped with spicy tuna, avacado and a mango sauce), a Fall Season roll (spicy crunch tuna, avacado, and bonito seasoning) and a spicy salmon crunch roll. Fish in the rolls was fresh and the rolls were actually as described. I thought the ginza roll had some conflicting flavors in it (mango and spicy don't really go together). Overall, the rolls were good, and I think we would order any of them again.
As an added bonus, we also ordered a dessert of tempura cheesecake. Normally this dish is a few small pieces of cheesecake battered and fried. In this case, it was an entire slice of cheesecake battered and fried. The thin part was great, but as you got to the thicker area, it was still completely frozen and inedible.
We had no complaints on service, everyone was friendly and polite. It was a great experience overall and earned a rating of 4 forks.
|Spicy Tuna Dumpling||Ginza Roll|
|Fall Season Roll (back) and Spicy Salmon with Crunch|
- Created on Sunday, 23 February 2014 20:26
Josie and I often do some homework ahead of time to find a place we want to try out. I identified a cafe in Troy, so we ventured out for a Saturday morning breakfast. Of course the place I picked was closed for renovations, so we went wandering around Troy looking for a place for a late breakfast. We eventually settled on B-rads Bistro. We haven't reviewed a buffet yet, as they are hard to review - food tends to be prepared early on, and kept warm in chafing dishes. So you typically don't get a restaurants 'A-game', but it does give one the ability to try a variety of different food from a place. So, please keep in mind that this is a review of their buffet, and should bear little insight to how their normal food is.
When we walked in, a staff member came up to us and explained how the buffet works. All you can eat from the buffet, serve yourself drinks (Orange, and Cranberry juice and coffee) for $12. They also had papers you could fill out to have a custom omelet and salad made by the chef and brought to you. The buffet itself consisted of three dishes with warm food including bacon, sausage, hash browns, stuffed french toast, breakfast quesadillas, meatballs and a pasta dish. There were also plates of pastries and fruit to pick from.
The different options were original, not just the same typical stuff you would find at a brunch buffet. The food was on the dry side and most of it lacked the seasoning we would have liked. Josie's favorites were the breakfast quesadilla, and the meatballs. I thought all the food on the buffet was ok, but not spectacular. My favorite would be the omelet they made with the ingredients I chose.
Like I said when I began this review, buffets are hard to review. I'm not sure it would be possible for even the best of buffets to get a perfect 5 fork rating. B-rad had some great staff working there and made a decent omelet, but overall the experience was just ok, we most likely wouldn't go again for the buffet. I would be interested in trying out their regular weekday menu or their catering in the future. I would guess their creative menu ideas would be quite good fresh.
|Buffet setup||Food from buffet|
|Made to order omelet|
- Created on Sunday, 23 February 2014 14:13
A good friend of mine from college loved Iron Gate Cafe, and for some reason I never went back in the day. Today I had a friend from out of town visiting and she wanted a place where she can get a mimosa with breakfast. We hadn't reviewed Iron Gate yet, so off we went. Iron Gate Cafe is right on Washington Ave by Lark St. in Albany It is set back a bit from the street, so it is a little hard to see. Parking is completely street. This review is for their weekend brunch, which is a different menu from their standard fare.
There was a brief wait for a table when we arrived, but it wasn't more than 5 minutes or so. Larger parties should anticipate a wait of around 20 minutes.
I was torn on what to order, so I mentioned a few things to the waitress, and she quickly said, "stuffed french toast", so I ordered that with sausage. Iron Gate's version of stuffed french toast is two pieces of french toast with cheese, a fried egg, and your choice of meat inside. It is served with hash browns. The french toast was cooked well, and thoroughly battered, and it was exactly as described. There was plenty of sausage, but the egg was overdone. The hash browns were good but could have benefited from a little seasoning.
My friend ordered Johnny cakes: cornbread pancakes with blueberries served with your choice of meat. She really enjoyed it, the pancakes were cooked well, had a good cornbread flavor, but weren't too dense. She would order the dish again.
I liked Iron Gate Cafe, it reminded me of Madison Cafe. Kind of Hipster type attitude and staff, with fun twists on typical dishes. Fun place with good food, Iron Gate gets 4 forks. As a fun additional note, we arrived before noon, so they couldn't serve us mimosas, but they took the order, and the second it hit noon, they were on our table.
|Stuffed French Toast (with sausage, egg and cheese inside)||Johnny Cakes with Sausage|
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- Phoenicians Restaurant
- Windowbox Cafe
- Inga's Diner
- Mike's Hot Dogs
- Nosh (Brunch)
- Towne Tavern
- Johnny's (by Mallozzi)
- Blue Ribbon
- The Point Cafe
- ALA Shanghai
- Gateway Diner
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- North Country BBQ
- Newest Lunch
- Yoshi Sushi
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- Farmer Boy
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- Mr. Fuji Sushi
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- Marche at 74 State St (closed)