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- Category: Restaurant Reviews
Philly Bar & Grill is located at 622 Watervliet Shaker Road in Latham. It shares a parking lot with an Inn, so don't be confused when you pull in and see signs for both. You're at the right place.
When you pull up to Philly's you're going to be tempted to judge a book by its cover (especially on ... say ... Friday nights). Don't! It would be a HUGE mistake, and I'll tell you the story of why.
Brian and I had started out this night at a different restaurant (Yang's Asian Bistro - review coming soon). After some of the worst service I've seen since the Wine Bar on Lark, we ditched plan A and racked our brains for a plan B. Philly's was not at the top of our list. It wasn't even close. But Brian remembered a recommendation from a friend and we figured "why not?"
Philly's is a straight up, no frills bar. As we're walking in (to be greeted by the bouncer and some of the loudest music I've heard outside of SPAC), I gave Brian a look as if to say "really?" The bouncer took one look at us (it was more likely the expression my face had contorted into), smiled, and asked us if we were looking for a table. We nodded, and not only did he escort us to the seating area, but his quick witted one liner as he sent us on our way was light hearted and set the tone for what would be a very pleasant evening. The bouncer also told us he'd let the waitress know we were there.
We were barely seated for 30 seconds before our waitress came over, introduced herself and took our drink order. She was pleasant, attentive, and even made recommendations.
As Brian and I looked over the menu, the front was typical bar food. The back of the menu, however, drew our eye. Famous Cheesesteaks! You remember the last place that claimed that, right? Well, I'm here to tell you that Philly's actually delivers on that claim, and then some!!!
Brian ordered a Create Your Own Chicken Philly Cheesesteak (which I admit to silently mocking him for) with Cheese Sauce. I ordered a Create Your Own Beef Philly Cheesesteak with Black Olives, Ranch, Sauteed Onions, and Provolone. On our waitress's recommendation, we ordered a basket of Loaded Fries (Cheese Sauce, Ranch, and Bacon) to share.
Our food was prompt, hot, and most of all FRESH! Brian's chicken philly had the most amazing flavor (that'll teach me to mock his choices...maybe). It was also tender, juicy and perfectly cooked. This chicken fell apart in your mouth. My beef philly was incredibly moist, tender, and juicy. It, too, fell apart in my mouth. The flavor of my cheesesteak was milder than Brian's, but that's a small critique for what was a fantastic sandwhich. Plus, I'm pretty sure I have an alien addiction to salt .... Oh, and the bread! Toasty on the outside; hot, soft, and fresh on the inside. Perfection!
The fries were even perfectly seasoned. They had a slight kick to them that just sent everything over the top. They were crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. The ranch, cheese sauce, and bacon were equally perfect.
There was only one real problem we had with Philly's, but it's just the nature of the bar beast I guess. The live band noise level was insane. We could barely hear two words from each other, or our waitress. Even when the band took a break, the open layout of Philly's carried voices throughout the establishment which didn't help lower the noise factor.
Philly's gets a well deserved, well earned 4 fork rating from us. It also gets a "you MUST have their cheesesteaks NOW" recommendation as well. Really. Call in an order for pickup. You will NOT regret it!
|Chicken Philly||Beef Philly|
- Category: Restaurant Reviews
- Written by Brian
I had heard mixed reviews (though most of them positive) about Oliver's Cafe in Schenectady/Scotia, so we ventured out to give them a try.
Oliver's is a smaller place with about a dozen bar seats and around 9 tables. It can get pretty busy so there may be a bit of a wait. We lucked out on our timing, and there were only a few people there when we arrived (but packed as we left)
We were greeted and sat immediately, and given a sheet with the day's specials along with the days waffles (they had their own page). I opted for the Cinnabun waffle, while Josie ordered the Cornbread french toast - both dishes were specials for the day.
The cinnabun waffle was just as sweet as it sounds, but I was in the mood for sweet. It had a very strong cinnamon flavor with an icing that you would expect on a proper cinnamon bun. It had Whipped cream on top, and exactly three walnuts. The waffle tasted a bit eggy, which was strange because eggs aren't normally in a waffle batter (although they can be in some recipes). I wasn't the biggest fan of the waffle itself, but all the flavors and sugar on top of it definitely made up for it. I could have also used a few more walnuts - or leave them off completely - putting three on just looks stingy.
Josie ordered the cornbread french toast which came with bacon and a side of hash browns, she opted to add sausage gravy to her potatoes based on our waitress's recommendation. She enjoyed her meal, her biggest complaint is that the syrup and the sausage gravy mixed, and the flavors didn't pair well. Ideally, she would like them on separate plates. Her potatoes were cooked perfectly, nice and soft but still brown and crispy on the outside. They did however lack seasoning. If not for the gravy on it, they would have been tasteless. The cornbread was soft and still moist with a bit of sweetness to it. She would order the dish again.
Service was friendly, our waitress offered suggestions, and was always ready for a refill of coffee (which comes in a nice big mug). If we are in the area again, we'd definitely stop by for breakfast. Their constantly updating specials keep it interesting.
|Cinnabun Waffle||Cornbread French Toast|
- Category: Restaurant Reviews
- Written by Kent
Oasis is relatively new in Albany and is located at 4 Deleware ave right near Lark Street and Madison Ave. Oasis is small but clean, but is at times- very slow and a bit inconsistent. I've visited many times. The food always taste great, but the selection varies and sometimes the wait time for preparation seems like it takes longer than it should.
During non-peak times, it appears that one person runs the entire show - taking phone calls and orders, ringing register, and cooking and prepping the meals. If there is a crowd or a line, it could cause delays for you to get your food or to even place your order.
Seating is very limited, as there are two counters with a few high chairs and two small tables to sit at, so this is more of a stop-and-go or take out place, but is at a good location for that, especially near the lark street scene.
The menu is here http://www.oasisalbany.com/ and I would've probably given more forks for a rating if the review was based solely on food quality, portion, and flavor alone, but I have to factor in service, atmosphere, and rate the overall expierence which brings me to 3 forks. However, if you like mediterranean food, it is worth a trial visit.
|Falafel Platter||Mixed Grill Platter|
- Category: Restaurant Reviews
Sally's Streetside Cafe is located in a small strip mall, 158 Sacandaga Road, in Schenectady. Depending on when you arrive, don't be surprised if you pass by Sally herself taking a small break outside. When you walk in be prepared for a very eclectic decor. Everything below the waist is decorated in wood, while everything above is painted maroon, and the juke box against the wall cranks out everything from pop music to soft rock.
What makes the biggest impression, more than anything else, is the warmth, friendlyness, and attentiveness of the staff. You really feel as if you've stepped into the warm, inviting kitchen of a close friend who was just waiting for you to stop by like you always do.
Brian and I went for breakfast (which they serve all day). We were greeted immediately, which is huge for us, and told to sit anywhere we wanted. Seconds later coffee was served and we were briefed on specials. Our waitress was a little shy in answering the age old question "what's good here," but she quickly warmed up and told us of their huge portions and homemade hash.
Brian ordered the Homemade Corned Beef Hash & Eggs. I ordered the Short Stack of Italian French Toast with a side of Bacon. I was asked if I wanted my bacon "limpy or crisp." No one, ever, in any breakfast dining experience we've had, has asked that question. We give two thumbs up for that alone. I ordered my bacon "limpy."
Food was fast. Brian's hash had a great crisp to it, was a huge portion, and had great texture. Our one critique was that it needed seasoning. Salt & pepper did the trick, and took the dish to the territory of amazing. My Italian french toast was also a huge portion (especially for being a short stack) but the batter lacked flavor. I loved that it was soaked all the way through, but it needed cinnamon and vanilla. All I could taste was the egg. The bacon wasn't limpy, which was a disappointment. However, I was able to look past that given the flavor.
Brian and I would definitely return to Sally's. Friendly service, and scratch made food goodness makes tthis place worth going to.
|Short Stack of Italian French Toast w/ Bacon
Hash & Eggs