Makin’ Dolmas

This past weekend when the husbear and I were in Amherst, MA, Mama Amherst was clearing out her plants. She has such a lovely green thumb. Their backyard is so filled with greenery, flowers, veggies, and herbs.

Unfortunately, a pesky invasive plant decided to work its way toward all of her vegetation. Grape vines! She cut some down and offered to see if I could do anything with them. She said she used to dry them into wreaths. I am not terribly crafty, but the first thing I thought of was dolmas. Dolmades. Stuffed grape leaves. Delicious Greek yum yums. WHATEVER. They are delicious.


I mean really, when they look as lush as these grape leaves do, how could I not? I’ve only ever had tangy, tart dolmas that were mainly rice. Why not try making them myself?

The sizes of the leaves varied. Some were larger than others. I grouped them into a few sizes, rolled them up into bundles and boiled for a few minutes until they turned dark green. I should have boiled them a little longer as the leaves remained tough after cooking. Next time I will try 5-10 minutes.
Meat dolmas! I found Peter Minakis’ dolmadakia recipe on his blog Kalofagas – Greek Food & Beyond. It was a great resource for dolma making. The internet is still a little sparse on dolma recipes.

For the Dolma Filling, I used:
~1 lb ground meat (beef chuck)
1/2 C white rice
1/2 diced onion
1/2 diced zucchini (eh, why not?)
chopped dill and mint (I had some growing in the windowsill)
Salt & Pepper

Lightly sautee the onion and zucchini with dill and mint. Let cool, and mix all ingredients together. There’s your filling. Easy, right?

Then you just lay a leaf out and fill/roll it like a burrito. Easy peasy! Wow, I thought these would be hard to make, but I was wrong. I’ll be making many more of them. All I could think was “Wow, these are so much easier to make than dumplings!”

The 11″ x 13″ tray above was completely filled with meaty dolmas. I had a little extra left, so I put them in another pan.


But then the pan was still pretty empty, and I still had grape leaves, so I mixed up some vegetarian filling (IE, same thing as above, just leave out the meat) and filled the rest of the tray with them. I covered the rice-only dolmas with lemons so I’d be able to know which ones to eat last were not filled with meat. Plus I figured it’d give them a little more flavor.

I covered both meat and rice-only dolmas with some chicken broth (or close enough to it) and covered the dishes with tin foil. They sat in a 350 F degree oven for about an hour before it was eatin’ time.


I also saw a lemon sauce recipe and man, it is good! Give that stuff a try. It was so good. Eggs, some of the cooking broth, salt, and lemon juice. Simple and delicious, it was foamy and creamy at the same time.

Like I said, next time I’ll boil the leaves for longer – they were still rather thick and tough. I had trouble biting mine apart, and it was like biting through wet paper. Only with grape leaf flavor.

Albany John didn’t have this issue. That is because he was eating them whole. He loved them. I loved the meaty goodness in these dolmas as well. They were mostly meat that was enhanced with rice and other fillings. Oh man, there’s no way I can go back to vegetarian or light-meat fillings now. So much more flavor! And dunked/slathered/covered in the lemon sauce? Crazy good, especially for something that tastes like it has a paper wrapper. If I cooked ’em right they’d be outta this world.

Amherst for the Weekend

Headed over to Amherst, MA for the weekend. Albany John’s best friend from childhood’s wife was having a Pampered Chef party.

I know, I know. It’s one of those MLM things – overpriced products, and they always try to get guests to book a party or become a consultant, but hey… they have nice spoons. What can I say? It was more for a social event than a shopping event.

Albany John left me with the ladies to make double chocolate mousse cups seen above, while he and his buddy went out doing man stuff. MAN STUFF. I hear the Circuit City or Best Buy or whatever in the Hadley mall is the bomb. I don’t know – it’s Man Stuff.

The company was a blast. The ‘mousse’ cups were any easy Rachel Ray type of dish. It was good for a quick dessert, but it was more of an airy pudding. Basically, melt chocolate chips and brush onto waffle cups. Then make instant white chocolate pudding, melt white chocolate chips, add them together, and stir in a tub of cool whip. Put into chocolate covered waffle cups. I am probably not going to make them, but it had a very kitchy 50s homemaker vibe about them.

After that it was time to gaze at catalogs to order stuff. I ordered some more bamboo spoons. I initially bought some years ago because they were a) one of the cheapest things and b) they were something I could use. Well, Pampered Chef spoons are actually pretty good stuff. I’ll go into further details once my order arrives.

The boys were out doin’ Man Stuff until a pretty late hour. So I watched Cake Boss with wifey, and then Albany John came home and we headed out. I was like “HUNGRY NOW.”, so we headed to Miss Saigon in the center of Amherst (96 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA).

Holy crap, can we get a Miss Saigon here in Albany? The insides were minimal, clean, and had a nice atmosphere. I could see dressing business casual to eat here, or going in flip-flops and jeans. Their prices were very affordable, and they had a ton of authentic Viet dishes on the menu. The place looked so nice, I was kind of worried it would be expensive.

I got the Miss Saigon salad… I think. Um, I kind of forget the names now, but they were tasty.

I’m pretty sure it was $6-7.95 and … I don’t know. The description sounded really good. It had a good amount of heat to it. Albany John tried a bite before me and acted all dubious about the heat – like I shouldn’t try it. Well guess what? My mouth didn’t fall off from the heat. Pshhh, tryin to get all the shrimp. Don’t mess with an Asian when shrimp’s involved. I’ll always at least try a bite.

There were strands of green papaya, carrots, cilantro, and more stuff that I can’t remember, except they all added up to spicy, tasty, and somehow refreshing. The shrimp were cut in half, kind of a norm of Vietnamese dishes. They were also perfectly cooked. I’d order this again for sure.


Here’s another dish whose name or price I can’t remember. It is a soup/stew that had brisket, tripe, and beef tendon in it. But it’s not a pho. Albany John’s holding the quart of soup that held brisket and trip. See? He’s holding a chunk of brisket that is swaddled with omasum tripe in his chopsticks.
On the side were pre-cooked rice noodles, some jalapeno slices (reaaaaally hot!), beef tendon slices (with meat attached), lime wedges, cilantro, and a baggie of thai basil and bean sprouts. Wow, that’s a lotta food!

Oh, that broth was amazing. So rich and full of beefy flavor. Had a good bit of heat in it, too. It got spicier the more we ate. The chunks of brisket were melt-in-your-mouth tender. I wanted an entire pound of it on its own. I wanted gallons and gallons more of this broth and beef.

The amount of Thai basil was incredibly generous. It was about the amount you buy in baggies for $0.75-$1.00 in the Asian grocery stores here!

So I forget how much everything cost, but it was like $18-19 after tax for both dishes. I think we got a good amount of food!

We spent the night with Mama & Papa Amherst. Sunday was a really good day for swimming and mining the blueberry fields.

On our way out, I had a yen for fudge and requested we stop by Atkins Farms. Shortly after we began dating, Albany John came by my dorm with a box of fudge for me to try. I initially was resistant. I associated fudge with chocolate and walnuts made hastily around Christmas time, so, not the greatest impression. But then I tried Atkins’ penuche after Albany John told me how good it was, and how he and his grandma used to make it when he was a kid (sure, play the grandma card) and I was a fudge convert.

Atkins Farms is awesome. It’s like an indoor specialty market and farmers market. Plus they sell wine and beer. And it doesn’t look much like a store from the outside. Kind of looks like a big house.

Ok, so I like farmers markets and all, but I think that most of our local ones are on the expensive side. I know we’re paying for quality, but I think local foods should be more affordable, too. Atkins had tons of local produce, all available at very affordable prices. You can see that it is very popular with local shoppers.

Massachusetts local cauliflower was only $0.99 per head. HEAD! I don’t think I’ve ever seen prices like that here in New York.
We got two. A pretty one and an ugly/damaged looking one. Albany John likes buying produce that looks less than perfect because of all the waste supermarkets generate as a result of people only buying the best looking produce.

Mass native squashes for $0.79 per pound! I got some of the zukes, and man – they were so fresh and tender. Not watery at all.

Next it was FUDGE TIME! There’s an island of diabetic horrors located near the bakery. Sugary good after sugary good… I love it.

There were three large trays filled with a variety of fudges, and I got six pieces of fudge.

Atkins has a special where you buy 4 pieces and get 2 free. The way they do this is when they weigh the fudge (it costs $9.89/lb) they remove 2 pieces from the scale.
I couldn’t not buy 4 pieces. Hello! It’s cheap fudge! Six for the price of four! Okay, I also have a problem with grocery hoarding, but c’mon.

This six pack of fudge came packed (heh, fudge packed) in a decorative box. They’ll put the price label elsewhere if you want. But this was a gift to my tummy, so I didn’t care if the price was on the box. Easy to peel off, too. You can see my purchase came to $11.29. It would have been $16 and change if they didn’t have the buy 4 get 2 free deal.


OH HELL YEAHH!!!
Top row, L-R: Vanilla Praline (July’s specialty flavor), penuche, peanut butter
Bottom, L-R: Pistachio, White Chocolate Raspberry, Vanilla Praline

I am a sucker for praline, and this Vanilla Praline was great! Like, “I wanna rub it all over my body” great. “I want to take a bath in Vanilla Praline fudge” great. “I want to swim in a tub of vanilla praline fudge while shoving handfuls of it into my mouth” great. I hope they make it a regular flavor.
The peanut butter was so true to peanutty flavor and REALLY easy to eat
The pistachio was also very true to pistachio flavor. It had walnuts in it, and was dyed a neon green, but it had a lot of pistachio flavor (not almond extract) in the fudge itself.
Basically I loved everything. I mean, how could I not love raspberry AND white chocolate. It’s a no-brainer. Even Albany John liked that piece, and he thinks white chocolate is gross.
The penuche is completely gone. Albany John decimated that sucker. I came home to see the box half torn open (hello, it’s got a flappy lid thing!) and most of the penuche gone.

It’s now Thursday, and almost all of this fudge is gone. It’s so smooth, creamy, and damn good. Hope I fit into my plane seat next week!

Free Wings at The Ruck and Red Front COB Pizza

Well hello, Troy! Get ready for visiting two of Troy’s institutions!

After my initial visit to The Ruck, The Fuj mentioned some of their daily specials. I saw “Free Wings 5 – 7 pm Fridays” and I was in like sin.

We got there near the end of happy hour. Here’s how the free wings work. They come out every so often at the food bar. That’s pictured above – you can see the fryers and grill behind it, and the dude working furiously at makin’ wings for the masses.

If you are imagining a plethora of free wings, well, you’d be wrong. They are free, but my no means all you can eat. Timid folks may miss out on wings, as a crowd will start to form near the food bar before the wings come out. The crowd itself was polite – no one was grabbing a dozen or anything. Most people took a few, but just enough to fill the small paper boats left on the side with the blue cheese dressing.

I was getting us drinks when the wings came out, as I have a natural talent for incorrect timing. Albany John took four wings.
I got a double/pint of stoli raz and club, and got Albany John a pint of Rare Vos from the tap. I think the Rare Vos was only like $2-3 dollars. Cheap!

Thankfully, these weren’t as spicy as the first ‘hot’ (aka: really hot) wings I ordered. Probably medium. Still tasted great – they didn’t pull them too early to give to the waiting crowd. These are wings they do well with longer fry times and they were still crispy-skinned delights. Woo hoo – no sogginess! These are wings of integrity.

There was one last free wing serving, but I didn’t get up quickly enough to take advantage of it. I think I will next try one of their discount wing nights – I definitely could have eaten more than two wings. Does The Ruck in Troy, NY do take out? The Fuj?

AAaannnnd, our other Troy, NY institution is Red Front! It’s located at 71 Division St, Troy, NY. I always drive one or two streets too many in that area, but it’s easy to find. It’s closer to downtown than Flavor Cafe, if that gives you an idea. I’ll still forget this next time, but maybe it’ll help you.

I have been hearing about this mystical COB pizza. Red Front lists COB as “cheese under sauce” pizza, which I guess is more descriptive than Cheese On Bottom, but… it’s what the acronym stands for! At any rate, by now you’ve gleaned that COB pizza is an upside down pizza, where the cheese is on the bottom where the sauce would be, and the sauce is on the top like the cheese would be.

A 10-cut was $12 flat. I’ve heard that the cheese melts in the crust, kind of. That it’s the same but different. That I NEED TO TRY IT. So I did.

And I don’t like it.
Sorry COB fans, but I won’t be joining your ranks any time soon. I much prefer their regular style pizzas.

I thought there wasn’t enough cheese, and the cheese that was there was in the form of slices. A few spare slices of cheese. I think it was mozzarella, but it also reminded me of provalone. You can see a few lighter rectangles under the sauce, and those spots are where the cheese was. I added more mozzarella when I got home, and let it bake in the oven until it looked more like regular pizza.
I just wasn’t a fan of the flavor overall. I value the cheese over sauce in my pizzas, and this put the sauce front and center with the cheese as a crappy backnote (Sorry – can you tell the skimpy cheese slices rubbed me the wrong way?). I want my cheese riding on a horse wearing armor, ready to charge my taste buds with flavor. If you like subtle cheese, this is for you. It also threw the texture off for me, too.

Albany John wasn’t as crazy about the COB pizza either, mainly for the lack of cheese and because “When you drop a slice, it stains EVERYTHING!”. I’d argue that maybe certain people should use plates when they eat pizza, but really, we’re both wildly uncoordinated so it’s more of an accomplishment when something doesn’t land on the floor during a meal. The short of it is that the design, the very nature of COB pizza, just boggled him.

I think it’s just a personal thing. For me pizzas = cheese. When I was a kid I’d ask for my Dad to order pizzas with “Extra, extra, extra, extra…extra^n” pies until I was blue in the face. I like sauce, and a good sauce is key, but I don’t like it to be the main flavor.

What do you think of COB pizza? I’m glad I tried something so renown, but I’ll stick to ordering their classic cheese on top pizzas from here on out. Mmmm, Red Front pizza… Hey Albany John, can we go get a 24-slicer? With pepperoni? Mmmm, Red Front! Red Front!

4th Annual Peace of Pie Contest

I’ll this weekend is the 4th Annual Peace of Pie contest. It benefits an exchange of arts and culture at HardtHaven Children’s Home in Ghana. Matt over at Friday Puppy has written a really nice bit about it.

It’s Sunday, August 1st, 1-3 PM and at 135 Western Ave, Albany NY, 12222 (Rockefeller College).
It’s $15 if you want to compete and enter a pie to try, or $20 if you want to also judge and taste.

I’ll be judging along with William Dowd, and Chef Christopher Tanner

$125 Gift Certificate to CSN Stores – GIVEAWAY

**Comments Closed** eff 8/4/10

This time CSN Stores, the store that sells everything but the bathroom sink (oh wait, they do), decided to give one lucky reader a gift certificate worth $125! ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS!! Personally, I like their kitchen stuff, but man, they really sell just about everything under the sun.

Well, actually they just sent me a code and I could have used it myself, but you know what? Screw that – you guys are where it’s at.

You know the drill – post a comment if you’d like to be included in this giveaway. I’ll pick someone at random (names in a hat, random number generator, M.A.S.H., names on dartboard… you know, something like that).
I’ll be keeping this open until August 4th. Please have a valid email address available in your profile, or just post it in the comment if you’re not sure. I’ll email you and forward you the code on the 4th of August.

Double Points: If you have a blog and want to post a link to this giveaway, comment once, and then you can comment again with the link to your blog and you get two giveaway entries. Hell, I’ll make it really easy for you. Here’s my direct link to this giveaway:
http://albanyeats.blogspot.com/2010/07/125-gift-certificate-to-csn-stores.html

Now start your commenting!

Some details:
Doesn’t cover international fees (so most likely, U.S. residents are going to benefit the most from this)

CSN’s info:

1. Code expires after first use.

2. Entire promotional amount must be used on first purchase.

3. If the total cost of basket exceeds the amount of money from the promotional code, you are responsible for the difference

4. Promotional code will be applied to all items in your basket

5. Expires December 31, 2010

The Ruck

The Ruck is a rugby lovin’ bar deep in the heart of Troy, NY (104 3rd St, Troy, NY).

It’s an institution with local college kids and residents alike. The crowd is very diverse. You’ll likely see girls in semi-formal dresses, guys relaxing with a brew or two, and a local drunk. It’s much more low key if you come any time before 10 pm, which is when the night life starts to pick up and said gussied up gals start pouring in.

The building itself is like a barn – tall ceilings, all wooden beams running inside. It’s really a great piece of architechture. There are rugby jerseys pinned to the ceiling and walls, plus other sporty type things, and a few big screen TVs. There’s also a standing-level shuffleboard game to play in the back, plus darts in the front. It’s got a lot goin’ on.

They’ve got a wide selection of beers on tap, as you can see above. They run an all-day $8 pitcher of Coors Light. It’s not too bad when it’s from the tap. The Ruck keeps a clean tapline, too.

I got a double Stoli raz and club for $6. SIX DOLLARS. I’m used to Albany prices. That would have been at least $8-9. And man, that bartender was not stingy with the booze. I can see why they’re popular with the college crowd.

I’ve never had the wings at The Ruck. I’ve heard a lot of things about how great they were. This last time I visited, I aimed to change that. I ordered a dozen hot wings. They were about $8.50 for a dozen. Not exactly cheap bar food. Came with some greenery and blue cheese dressing.

There is no calling system, so you just wait for your food to come out. There is a food bar area next to the alcohol bar area. Just wait around and someone will take your order and money. I sat at a table and watched for food, and had no problems.
Well, actually, I stood for a while and then went to go sit with someone from my group because this guy who looked EXACTLY like my brother’s father-in-law came over and drunkenly hit on me and wouldn’t leave me alone. They were like “Oh, that’s So&So. He’s the bar’s drunk. He’s been here for decades. Yeah, he does that to everyone. Watch him hitch his pants up.” And then all I could see was Margarita’s Dad drunkenly hitching his pants up while he walked up and down the bar.

My favorite wings are crisp-skinned, and moist in the center, with sauce that thickly coats the wings and doesn’t make them insta-soggy. The Ruck’s met all my criteria for a great wing. They maintained their crisp exteriors throughout the entire time I tried to eat them.

Which was a long time, because they don’t mess around with their hot sauce. Good lord, they were hot. Albany John couldn’t even finish them. Next time I’m going for medium or mild.

They were meaty, crispy, excellent examples of good wings. I’d definitely order them again, but I think $8.50 ($10 really, when you factor in tip) is on the high side for wings. Then again, wing prices are rising, and it’s food at a bar (sandwiches were around $6.50-7.50). I can also name restaurants in the Cap Region with buffalo wings I like on the top of my hand, so it might be a little more expensive, but I’ll take it. It also doesn’t hurt that all the staff are really nice.

CSN Stores (A.K.A. stuff you wanna win)

Hey Guys, remember CSN stores?
You know, they’re the ones that make barstools, bathroom sinks, and a whole bunch of other things, including my fave – kitchen stuff!

CNS stores sponsored (And uh, I think I misspelled their name too – sorry guys) that sweet pot I tried to give away, though all I really did was kill it and give a gifty to Acridian13.

Well guess what’s coming your way?

YEAH THAT’S RIGHT!!

A giveaway! (Well, technically it was right if you guessed giveaway. But that’s okay, you’re still a winner in my book) MORE FREE STUFF!!!

Stay tuned and I’ll let you guys know more. But let me just say, it’s a good one. A really good one.

Sushi Tei – Sushi & Sashimi Lunch Box

Oh Sushi Tei lunch specials, how I love thee – so affordable, so tasty, and so fresh.

I’ve yet to find another solidly reliable sushi source in the area. It’s dependably very good sushi – I never have to wonder if I’m going to get something dubious. And it fits in very well with their homey Japanese cuisine, as they price it accordingly.

Anywho, I was feeling especially hungry one day and got the sushi & sashimi box lunch combo. It was by far the most expensive box lunch at $13.95, but well worth the price. You may remember the time I veered away from my old standby and went to Kitsu for similar box lunch. I was quite disappointed by the quality of the seafood I recieved and surmised my money would have been better spent at Sushi Tei. It definitely was!

It also offered more selection. There were:
6 pieces of sashimi (two each of sake (salmon), maguro (tuna), and white tuna)
4 pieces of sushi (maguro, sake, shrimp and white fish (fluke?))
Tuna Roll (6 piece roll)
Miso Soup
Iceberg Salad

Appetizer of the Day (fried croquette)


Wow! That’s a lot of food!

I was expecting something similar to the sushi & sashimi, but was surprised with the tuna roll – I was just expecting rice in that compartment. Quite a good surprise! Personally, it makes this lunch more of a good deal to me.

And there was another one of those delicious croquettes as the appetizer du jour!!! Mmmm, I was happy to eat one of them again. It’s like a Japanese take on dim sum turnip cakes.

The sashimi were fresh. I especially liked the white tuna. Sadly, they forgot to include soy sauce, but I had extra nearby. I mean, I got take out… I think this box is also a great example of the difference between sushi grade and sashimi grade fish. The fish topping the nigiri are a little less vibrant in color, and are cut differently from the sashimi.
Not saying I want “old” fish on my sushi, but there are differences in the grades of fish, which we often don’t see in this area. It’s usually cuts of the same fish, just on rice or flying solo as sashimi.

And oh my gosh, they were not playing around with the wasabi on this trip! It’s usually pretty mild, but I figured after the 2nd time my eyes started watering and mouth started burning that maybe I should go with less than what I normally order.

Pints from Snowman Ice Cream

I got these comically large “pints” of ice cream from The Snowman in Troy, NY.

They gave them to me like this at the counter, and I was expecting them to smush them down into the container more. Like, they fill them up with air in between scoops, then put the paper over it and smush down with the tops. But no. These monstrously sized pint babies came with tops on the side.

It sure made me feel like I was getting extra for the $4.50 per pint they cost. Which isn’t too bad at all, when you figure they make all of the ice cream themselves. I tried pricing out how much it would cost me to make my own ice cream and decided that it was just better for me to buy them every so often. My gosh, especially when they come packed like this.

The Unveiling!

I went with some pretty classic old people type flavors. Butter Pecan and Rum Raisin. The butter pecan made my think of my Nana – she loved butter pecan and pecan praline.

I tried smooshing some of the ice cream back into the containers and no dice. They are PACKED with ice cream.

Overall, I liked the flavors, and how they melted cleanly on the tongue. Creamy, but not overly so, and after getting it home it was soft and not too dense. I’ll let you know if there’s a significant change in texture after freezing and setting overnight.

Snowman takes credit cards, but best of all – they asked me if I wanted spoons. For my pints. I’m sorry, I mean my “pints”.

Troy Pig Out

Albany John and I went to the Troy Pig Out on Sunday. Saturday was the people’s choice competition, with rib sampling and such. I drove by on Saturday around noon and saw a wonderful haze of smokin’ goodness, but was basically too lazy to sit it out since the ticket buying started at 4, the contest itself started at 5:30… and it was hot, and I don’t really like large crowds any way, so laziness won out.


But it looks like the Lakeside Smokers were the winners of this year’s competition. They had their piggie sitting in front of their tent. You can see a bottle of La Fin Du Monde sitting by his right hoof, too. Too cute.

Sunday was also crowded, but I don’t think it was as crowded as Saturday. I found parking quite easily in Troy’s parking garage. There were still several food vendors set up, so Albany John and I did a walk around to see who was there.

Dinosaur BBQ was doing a steady business in pulled pork sandwiches for $6.00. Quite a fair price for a festival.

Brunswick BBQ had a tent up and had a few different things on offer. All were surprisingly affordable for a festival. Albany John saw the Brunswick Stew and ordered a small cup ($2). He had just been reading up on what brunswick stew was and was excited to be able to give it a try.

I thought it was a solid stew. Smoky chicken, and some veggies in the mix. It reminded me of gumbo. Quite nice, I’ll give it a go if it’s on their regular menu.
They also had a pulled pork slider for $2. Yeah slider! I got mine with sauce. The pork initially looked kind of like pork floss (pork sung). I was thinking it would be dry and chewy, but it was actually quite moist and flavorful. I couldn’t really tell much about the sauce, but I didn’t dislike it.

Brunswick BBQ & Brew is located at 3925 State Highway 2, Troy, NY 12180. It’s like going to The Epicurean, only you take a right like you’re going to Grafton. It also used to be a restaurnt called Stixx, which always cracked me up when driving to Grafton Lakes State Park.

I have always driven by, but now that I have been able to sample some goods, I will give Brunswick BBQ & Brew a try when I am in the area.


The last/first time I went to the Troy Pig Out, I think I tried these same vendors from Boston, MA. M & M Ribs. They also had a sticker on the front that said “Big Moe”. I couldn’t resist the smoky smells coming from the charcoal grill just to the right of this picture.


We got half a rack of ribs for $11. It was 7 ribs. They were nice a moist, but didn’t have much smoke to them. They were more grilled. grilled really well, but still, grilled. They were slathered with BBQ sauce and given new homes in two of Albany’s most pork-loving tummies.

I was regretting not trying any of Brunswick BBQ & Brew’s ribs, but thankfully I will be able to do so within the year since they are a local place.

Yanni’s Too also had a booth. They were quite showy and snazzy. They definitely won “tallest booth” contest. If there was one. They won last year and were offering ribs for sale. I was thinking about trying last year’s winner, but didn’t. Funny thing – they were selling full racks of ribs for $22, and half racks for $10. Um… So you save $2 by buying half a rack of ribs? Or two half racks, as it were.

At any rate, I left shortly after filling my gullet with porcine goodness. They crowds were nice, and they had some sprinklers out too. Lots of families, and such.