Since opening the first location in 2004, the crew behind Hot Harry’s has attracted a slew of press for their Mexican-fusion fare. Chefs marinate six varieties of meat in cilantro, lime, and fresh-squeezed oranges before stuffing them in warm flour tortillas or piñatas designed for a butcher's retirement party. In addition to the classic triad of guacamole, sour cream, and cheese, they can enhance burritos with drizzles of thai-peanut and buffalo sauce.
Let's meet our competitors. In the blue corner, weighing in at five pounds: a stack of oversized pancakes covered in whipped cream and fruit. In the red corner: you. The match is a single 30-minute round, and if you win, you earn a free meal. Few win. In fact, scores of potential champions have failed the Ugly Rooster Cafe's colossal pancake challenge, including The Daily Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin, but so far none have been knocked out?just blown away by chef Ariel Pagan's fluffy pancakes.
Though nothing else is as colossal as the pancake challenge, the rest of Ugly Rooster's breakfast menu still packs stomachs pretty tight. Aside from omelets and breakfast burritos, the cafe's french toast soaks bread (or cinnamon buns for the more adventurous) in a batter that hints of vanilla and nutmeg. For lunch, the cooks assemble burgers with avocado and bacon or BLTs with fried green tomatoes and garlic mayo sauce. Whether refereeing a pancake challenge or simply greeting customers at their tables, Chef Pagan works side by side with his two children, Chris and Cesare, ensuring that the family-owned restaurant operates as smoothly as a production of Ball Bearings on Ice.
Located on the glistening shores of the Mohawk River, just over the bridge to Schenectady, The Waters Edge Lighthouse Restaurant allows patrons to partake in its waterfront ambiance year-round. Amidst the warmth, charm, and relaxing fire-side dining options, the restaurant has become a favorite with Capital District patrons for nearly a decade, earning praise from publications such as Metroland and Capital Regional Living Magazine for having some of the best dining around.
Apart from the view, what has wooed customers are tempting options such as fresh seafood and steaks, in addition to a variety of daily food and drink specials to please the most discerning pallets. These dishes feel right at home in the restaurant's elegant dining room or, on warmer days, on the outdoor patio that overlooks the river and the boats moored to the docks.
Starting at 8 a.m., Marcella's Family Restaurant opens its doors for a breakfast service that features fried eggs, sides of bacon, and pancakes straight from the griddle. As the day progresses, the kitchen leans more on its Italian roots, preparing baked ziti, veggie pizzas, and chicken parmigiana. Elsewhere on the menu, customers can find American favorites including subs, wraps, and burgers.
To the uninitiated, the corner of State Route 17K and Clermont Lane might seem like just another unassuming patch of grass. With the aid of modern technology and a parking brake, however, the chefs of ATOMiC lunchbox frequently transform it into a pop-up diner. Settled at the corner in their bright red food truck, they dish out breakfasts of sausage gravy and biscuits or refreshing yogurt parfaits to hungry morning passersby. As lunch bells begin to peal, they ready their signature Hugeburgers, whose massive patties are stuffed with chorizo, bacon, cheese, and onion. ATOMiC lunchbox’s scratch-made salsa adds a tart counterpoint to flautas, and the truck’s legendary wings arrive double-spiced and perfectly crisp, like the wings a second-generation phoenix.
Every day, Mina used to make a two-hour commute to her job at a restaurant in Queens. The trips were exhausting, and she soon began searching for work closer to home. It was then she discovered a puzzling fact: there were no Spanish restaurants in the Hudson Valley. Mina herself had plenty of experience cooking Spanish cuisine for her family and friends, so she took a risk and opened up her own restaurant.
Mina's Spanish Kitchen strives to channel the atmosphere of an authentic Spanish household. Merengue and bachata play in the background, and diners gather with their children to discuss the past week's adventures at school, work, and spy college. The menu features a little something for everyone?classic appetizers such as empanadas and arepas share menu space with vegetarian and gluten-free options. But the pi?ce de r?sistance has to be the signature roast pork: a whole pork shoulder seasoned with a blend of traditional spices and roasted in the oven for several hours until reaches the pinnacle of tenderness. At the New Windsor location, bartenders also sling sangria, mojitos, and signature cocktails from the full bar.