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.
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.
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).
At Pizzalo, patrons pick up pizza, subs, and calzones for Italian-inspired dining. Wings dressed in barbecue sauce or glazed with honey-mustard ($6.99 for 12) compete with fried, breaded ravioli ($4.99) to perform an opening act for taste buds. Classic pizza toppings scatter over eight-cut and ten-cut pies ($11.99+), and the specialty Mexican pie ($14.99+) jazzes things up with salsa, ground beef, and olives. The culinary engineers adorn the Meat Works pie ($17.99+) with pepperoni, sausage, and meatballs to catch the eyes of carnivores who only see in the ultraviolet and protein spectrums. Pizzalo also designs non-circular edibles in the form of cold and hot subs ($4.99) and entrees such as baked ziti ($7.99).
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.