Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is 'the' Capital Region Food?

So there has been some discussion lately on making the Neba the official food of the Capital Region. See Mr. Barnes' post on Table Hopping here regarding this. There has even been a Facebook page made in support of the Neba (self indulgent shout out to them because they reference this blog). On the Table Hopping post there seems to be some disagreement with many locals voting for the Capital Region mini hot dog ala Charlie's or Gus's as the best suited item to represent our glorious area of the Empire State (I hate to say it but this option is towards where my heart truly pulls). In the past I have written about both the Neba (see here for Return of the NEBA!).

As well as the Capital Region Hot Dog Micro Region.

Let us all settle this right now. I have instituted a poll in the upper right hand corner of the blog. I am casting the first vote for hot dogs. Opinions are welcomed

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Sauce Your Dog." Have I mentioned lately that I love Stewart's?

Of course I have mentioned lately that I love Stewart's (see here for a couple posts). This gas pump advertisement at the 155 Stewart's in Guilderland made me laugh. "Sauce your dog" sounds like something a pirate would say (i.e. "Aaargh, if ye don't swab the deck I will sauce your dog, Aaargh!"). Also, I love anytime the word "fixin's" is used in a sentence. "Fixin's" make anything better. Stewart's hot dogs with meat sauce are fairly satisfying if you are in the mood for that kind of thing. I actually almost went inside to get one after seeing this advert but restrained myself as it was a little too early in the morning to present this challenge to my colon.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

My First Wolff's Biergarten Trip

Last night, after having to put it off for weeks, I made my first trip to Wolff's Biergarten. I don't think I need to go into how much I appreciate good wurst as it is a frequently discussed subject on this blog. So it goes with out saying that I had been salivating over the thought of digging into some of their weisswurst about which I have heard good things. Wouldn't you know it, I got overwhelmed by the Friday night crowd and never got it together to order food. I consoled myself with several giant Franzikaners and decided that I would definitely have to come back at a more low traffic time to sample the food. The above picture is of the order of Currywurst that my friend managed to get. I was green with envy as it looked and smelled absolutely delicious. Anyways, as far as I am concerned Wolff's is a solid operation and I thoroughly recommend a trip down there if you are one of the few Albanites who have not already been.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Rolf's Pork Store (Corner of Lexington and Sheridan in Albany, NY)

Surely anyone with even a passing interest in good food who hails from the Capital Region has heard of Rolf's Pork Store (they don't have their own web page, word of mouth surrounding the establishment is mighty). Rolf's is located on the corner of Lexington and Sheridan in downtown Albany and it has been there since time immemorial. That is something that I love about the place, it stubbornly refuses to budge from its location as so many other businesses have. Lets just say that Lexington Ave. is not one of the areas safest neighborhoods. Boarded up houses and shuddered shops abound in the midst of the urban plight that is so common place in the Empire State's capital. Rolf's lives on like a porky oasis.

Rolf's makes a plethora of German wurst's and cold cuts in-house. Prices are extrordanarily reasonable and the quality of their products is unimpeachable. Here is a shot of the wurst bearing side of their cold case. A work of art worthy of a museum.

Here is the cold cut side.

If you are anything like me, you are in heaven in this store. The establishment is run by family and you can tell. The staff is friendly and engaging, besides being absolute experts in the arts of old time German-American butchery (a rare and dying breed in our present era of processed and mass produced grocery store crud in a tube). On this trip I picked up some whitewursts, knackwusts, and tiny frankfurters (see Capital District Hot Dog Micro-Region for more on Capital Region mini hot dogs).

I also picked up some of my favorite Dusseldorf mustard. It has kind of a whipped consistency and comes in a tiny beer mug. I love this stuff and can never find it since I left the full time Army, I used to grab it in the small German section of most commissaries on posts.

As you can see, I also got some curry ketchup. I have been interested in trying to recreate the ubiquitous German fast food snack Currywurst for quite some time. This condiment is an essential part of the dish.

I am going to share these delicacies with some friends tomorrow at a cook out. If you have never been, I encourage you to drop in. I challenge you to leave the place without dropping at least 50 bucks. If you are rolling out the old grill for a get together, throwing some Rolf's product on there will definitely impress your guests. It is also, in my humble opinion, imperative that us locals support one of our last true neighborhood butcher shops (BTW, see here for another of my favorite local butchers, Greulich's in Guilderland).

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