Lee and Barrye Cohen have been roasting and brewing fresh beans into caffeinated elixirs since 1976, when they first began expanding horizons with then-unheard-of espresso and cappuccinos. Using the same trusty vintage coffee roaster they used back then, they continue to roast aromatic gourmet beans. They brighten mornings and afternoon slumps with traditional coffee or energize lattes, mochas, and chai with rich espresso. Chefs cook up a menu of updated classics daily with local farm-fresh eggs and housemade sauces, stacking egg sandwiches with andouille sausage and deli sandwiches with pit-baked ham.
On select evenings, melodies and spoken words can be heard emanating from the Troy location, which hosts an open-mic night where local artists play music or slam poetry books onto the floor as guests sip cocktails and wine. The Cohens are proud of their local roots, and give back the loyalty they've received by frequently donating to local charitable causes. Daily Grind also has an online store, which outfits kitchens with loose-leaf teas, cappuccino machines, and gelato machines from brands such as Baratza, Gaggia, and Nemox.
The sandwich-smiths at Subs & Grubs curb appetites with a hodgepodge of deli meats, breads, and toppings scribbled in neon chalk behind the counter. Dining duos can stuff sub rolls or get-well cards with copious layers of hot or cold meats, including pepperoni, homestyle roast beef, or oven-roasted turkey. Dry bites face drizzles of sauces such as blue cheese, traditional italian, and ranch, and guests can dip stacks into a steamy cup of homemade chicken-noodle soup or a crisp drink.
In the mid-18th century, distillers at Albany's first distillery, the Quackenbush Still House, crafted rum from Caribbean molasses, Hudson River water, and wild yeast. Instead of Quackenbush's large wooden fermenting vessels, The Albany Distilling Company's distilling duo, Matt Jager and John Curtin, rely on sleek, modern equipment to create their Quackenbush Still House rum. Updated gear, yeast, and water aside, Matt and John stick to Quackenbush's original recipe to yield the rum's smooth, butterscotch-flavored finish.
Their other small-batch spirits likewise pay homage to recipes of old, from the slowly processed Coal Yard New Make whiskey to Ironweed, a Prohibition-style whiskey aged in oak. Available throughout New York state, The Albany Distilling Company's libations are also served twice weekly at the distillery's very own tasting room.
The white-meat wunderkinds at Chicken Joe’s Albany quell poultry cravings with a menu of meaty subs, wraps, and salads that pair with eight satisfying sides. Mounded to the bun-rafters with bacon, cheddar, onion rings, and barbecue sauce, the heisman burger fills beef-shaped voids in stomachs and transforms anyone who eats it into smaller, metallic versions of themselves. Snack scholars can pursue degrees in deliciousness with the JR wrap’s chicken cutlet, bacon, and mayo, or inch closer to graduation with the senior sub’s chicken nuggets, honey mustard, and hot sauce. Like an opera soprano on Thanksgiving, the USA special sings with notes of grilled turkey, which is chaperoned on its mealtime rendezvous by bacon and provolone; the tuna salad loads forks with brain-boosting minerals. Dining duos bulk up their meals with a tasty twosome of sides that include mac ‘n’ cheese bites, corn fritters, or onion rings.
After a change of ownership in January 2011, David’s Fine Foods expanded its repertoire of delicacies to include a heartier new menu of sandwiches and breakfasts served until 1:00 p.m. Start the day with a fluffy three-egg omelette ($4), or indulge in brunch-time decadence with a tri-layered stack of strawberry, blueberry, or chocolate-chip pancakes ($4). Diners can crunch into a crusty, freshly baked french roll stuffed with maple-roasted turkey breast and crisp lettuce ($4.95), or quietly sink teeth into lean Angus pastrami cloaked in a soft wrap that cushions cacophonous munching and provides an ideal meal to prevent librarian shushing or to pack for covert Bigfoot stake-outs ($5.95).
Simplicity. That's the most important ingredient in all food according to Honest Weight Food Co-op. So to understand what makes their products stand out, it's better to look at what's not on the nutrition label. No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. No antibiotics, hormones, or other non-food ingredients. The team at Honest Weight Food Co-op works with local farmers and producers to make sure their standards are met in every product.
That's been Honest Weight Food Co-op's modus operandi since its founding in 1976, and the efforts of the members-owned organization have proved successful. The co-op has expanded into bigger and bigger spaces over the years, until they finally arrived at their current Watervliet Avenue location in 2013. The building brims with fresh meats and fish, in-season produce, natural groceries, and household items such as light bulbs and laundry soap (which also come from eco-friendly, responsible suppliers, naturally).
In addition to storing vast amounts of grocery items and prepared meals, this expansive space also makes it possible to host events ranging from juicing classes to reiki sessions. Honest Weight's outreach programs send educators to local schools to teach about healthy living, and the co-op partners with WAMC public radio to host Food For Thought evenings of food, film, and discussion, at least when attendees are done chewing.