Monday, September 19, 2011
Where to Eat Whilst Your Manly Heir is Being Borned: Part 1, Anton's
So, you are at St. Peter's Hospital on New Scotland in Albany awaiting the birth of your first masculine child and you don't want to eat at the weird pseudo-chain restaurants (one of the places folds lil' pizzas in half like pitas and is called "Pandini's" which reminded me of "pandemic") in the "food court." What do you do? Well, wonder a little less as your friendly neighborhood Mr. Dave has answers in this new series of posts (who doesn't love when I do series of posts?).
The first place I tried (the very night that Mr. Dave Jr. got borned) was Anton's "The Upstate Gyro King" which I had never even heard, this is strange because I drive down New Scotland fairly often. That and you figure that the Kind of Upstate Gyro's would have sent an emissary or ambassador to the Court of Mr. Dave seeing as he is setting up in my dominions.
Anyhow, Anton's is directly in front of St. Peter's. If you don't know, getting to your car and getting off the hospital grounds takes about 20 minutes so walking is key if you want a hasty bite to eat. Conveniently, there is a row of your usual suspects of the takeout genre right there on New Scotland. We have pizza, Chinese, booze, and Greek right in a neat row.
I decided to give Anton's a whirl, and lo was I excited when I spotted mini-hot dogs on the menu! Anton's calls them "Pop's Pups" and they are a buck each with the works (11.99$ for a bakers dozen). I was a little skeptical at first, as non-hot dog purposed restaurants (i.e. places not like Famous Lunch of Charlie's) tend to throw mini dogs on the menu as an afterthought and they often suck pretty hard. But I threw caution to the wind and ordered three.
I was a little perplexed by the cut of the onion at first, I thought it was sauerkraut but quickly discovered that Anton's makes a slight break with Capital Region Style hot dog tradition and puts the onions on top of the mustard/meat sauce. Taking a bite I was immediately impressed (and in the hot dog category, it is not easy to move me to praise). At Anton's we have a warm, soft, and extremely fresh bun transporting a thin, natural casing mini-dog (Helmbold's would be my guess, not sure). Your nasal cavity is immediately filled with the cinnamon scented hallmark of the Greek influenced hot dog sauce that we have been blessed with around these parts. There is an aggressive amount of brown mustard (another slight break with tradition, yellow is the norm.) in the Pop's Pups, but it worked for me.
In the above picture note the fairly large cut of the raw onion, the brown mustard, and the thick-ish meat sauce. I am going to go ahead and say it, Anton's is a dark horse contender for being some of my favorite mini-dogs in the area. Did you hear that right? I feel all revolutionary even talking about someone besides Charlie's, Famous, and Gus' in this conversation but I have to give credit where credit is due. These are some solid and harmonious dinky dogs with the works. If you share my passion for this local delicacy, you should probably give these a try (whether you are spawning in the hospital or not). There I said it.
Needing a little roughage after the hot dogs, I also got a Greek salad (but with gyro meat on top, lest you think I have lost my meat lust). The Greek salad was very good as well. Greens were fresh, plentiful feta, pepperoncini, lil' tomaters, cucumbers, all the other necessary components. The gyro meat is shaved off of one of those big formed gyro slabs that you may have seen. I could take or leave this stuff but as they are the "Upstate Gyro King" I felt obliged to try it. At least it wasn't those weird, pre-formed and frozen, "gyro strips" that I have been seeing around. I got the grilled chicken on it the next night, and that was fairly bad ass.
Anyhow, like I said I was very pleasantly surprised by the mini-dogs at Anton's and I heartily recommend sampling them should you be in that particular neck of the woods. It seemed a fitting way to welcome wee Mr. Dave Jr. into the world by eating hot dogs in honor of him. In my head were visions of futuretoddler Mr. Dave Jr. happily bouncing on my knee, pretty Giblet across the table (read the food musings I wrote about her birth here), Mrs. Dave fretting about dripping mustard and meat sauce while we all munch away on little hot dogs. The circle of hot dog life continues.
Isn't it a beautiful world we all get to live in? Isn't it?
Next up in the series: Actual Hospital food, Local Watering Hole, and who knows what else...