Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Prinzo's Bakery on Delaware Ave.
I admire specialization. I wish there was one thing that I could do better than anyone else around. Prinzo's Bakery on Delaware Ave. in Albany seems to share this philosophy. They pretty much just make hard rolls and Italian bread, but damn it all, they do it good.
Prinzo's is located at the corner of Delaware and Bertha in the above pictured storefront (right down from Hurlbut which is up there with McNutt Ave. as one of my favorite local street names). Needless to say, they are a no frills operation. Don't let the looks deceive you, they do good product. You can stop by the actual location to pick up your rolls and loaves fresh, or you can find them packaged or loose at several local markets. I get the 6 packs over at the Delmar Market on occasion. Fresh is better, but sometimes convenience is king.
I will limit my discussion to the hard rolls here. The Italian bread is really very good but not remarkably so. I believe, however, that the rolls are pretty much the Platonic ideal of what a hard roll of this style should be. Pick one up, they are almost shockingly weightless. That is the magic, they have a seriously chewy crust which is paper thin surrounding a pillow light center. The roll manages to be chewy without possessing a thick and annoying crispy natured crust. I love them. But I do have some rules for their use.
There exist two purposes at which the Prinzo's hard roll excels. The first is as a delivery vehicle for a fried egg and cheese (perhaps with bacon). The second is for cured meats such as salami, sopresatta, capicola, etc... My rule is that no combination of sandwich filling should exceed about a 1/4 of an inch. This roll is not built for your Carnegie Deli style, 3 inches of meat monstrosity. A bare two or three rounds of hot sopressata (maybe a slice of provolone and some vinegar peppers, purely optional) will result in the perfect bread to meat ratio. Anything more and the toothsome quality of the rolls will have sandwich filling squishing out the sides and into your lap.
Anyhow, even if you are not willing to venture out to the wilds of Delaware Ave., pick them up if you see them at the market. They are good and cheap to boot.