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.
Professor M. Barley’s bustles with activity every night of the week, from Wednesday night trivia contests to Saturday night DJ dance parties. Amidst the hullabaloo, servers divvy out plates of hearty sandwiches mounded with homemade meatballs, pulled pork, or buffalo chicken. They also transport cooked-to-order 8-ounce burgers, nestled beneath unique toppings such as fried ravioli, guacamole, blue cheese, and fried jalapeños. Beneath the dim glow of hanging lamps and the vibrant gleam of neon signs, bartenders dole out draft beers and mixed drinks. Nearby, rows of flat-screen TVs line the dining room walls, broadcasting the latest sports games and competitive quilting bees. Tabletops scatter on an indoor patio, where breezes drift in through wall-to-wall windows during the summer, and a fireplace blazes during colder months.
For more than 16 years, Gandhi Restaurant's experienced chefs skillfully prepare Indian cuisine to order, tailoring spice levels to each diner's preferences. They pack potatoes and peas into succulent samosa pastries, simmer curries, and roast marinated meats and fresh breads in a clay tandoor. For dessert, customers can order the kulfi, a housemade Indian ice cream.
Filling barking bellies with authentic Indian and Bangladeshi dishes, chefs at Jewel of India on Lark present guests with a vast, award-winning menu of tasty fare. The many meat dishes are made exclusively with halal ingredients, while a bevy of savory vegetarian dishes, such as the cheesy paneer tikka masala, satisfies meat-free appetites. Lunchtime visitors find a buffet every day. Historically used for toasting s?mores and destroying old bank statements, the tandoor (a clay oven) is utilized for firing such specialties as the boti kebab that boasts marinated and seasoned leg of lamb and comes in a choice of spice levels. The restaurant's variety, authenticity, and deliciousness has earned it two consecutive awards from Metroland.
LAX on Lark specializes in two distinct cuisines. There's the Italian end of the spectrum, including options such as chicken-parmesan sliders, and then the Asian end, with choices such as chicken satay. LAX's culinary team doesn't keep these flavors separate for long. Besides classic Italian and Asian mains, cooks create their own fusion dishes, from coconut salmon and red-curry sauce tossed with linguine to pizzas crowned with chicken teriyaki and sesame seeds.The kitchen supplies such feasts until 1:30 a.m. nightly, while bartenders pour and craft myriad libations, including a lychee-flavored cocktail made with sake.
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.