The Giffords have been in the barbecue business since 1995, when a single catering job helped them launch a fleet of food trucks and a brick-and-mortar restaurant they called Giffy’s Bar-B-Q. But before the family ever sold a single wing, they spent years perfecting their barbecue-chicken recipe and its attendant chicken dance. The result is a recipe they still serve today—marinated pieces of chicken slow-cooked in a charcoal pit and slathered in their housemade barbecue sauce. Glazed baby-back ribs and kaiser rolls piled high with pulled pork or smoked brisket round out a menu chock-full of slow-cooked meats and quality ingredients such as Idaho potatoes and locally made desserts.
Founded and run by childhood BFFs LJ Goldstock and Tom Coppola, LT's Grill sates Albany-area appetites by dishing out a hearty menu of family favorites. Sink incisors into a savory dinner entree such as a full rack of dry-rubbed or Kansas City–style wet, slow-cooked ribs ($19.95), or the grilled 12-ounce pork sirloin slathered in homemade Jack Daniels barbecue sauce ($16.95)., A fresh 12-ounce potato-encrusted haddock fillet topped with sour cream and dill, then finished with a crisp potato crust ($15.95), cures spud shortages like a self-cloning Mr. Potato Head.
Part of the Blue Spice Restaurant's network of luxurious Thai eateries, Water House Blue Spice surrounds visitors with the scents of curry, fresh mango and pineapple, and thai basil. Inside, right next to the windows and a few big pots of broad-leafed tropical plants, there's an elevated dining area with floor cushions for relaxing at the low-slung tables. Traditional table-and-chair seating is available too. Regardless of where you sit, the food's the same—green-papaya salad, salmon in panang curry, jasmine rice, and pork and shrimp dumplings, all of it shredded, grilled, fried, steamed, or karate-chopped to perfection.
Wings over Washington's friendly staff paints its menu of winged masterpieces with a delicious palette of 18 flavors and five buffalo-sauce styles. Chomp on the seven-wing paper-airplane plate ($5.99) while your in-flight crew devours the 60-wing B-17 bomber ($44.99). Boneless wings are hand battered, sold by weight, and provide countless hours of fearless feasting for dining dentures. Beat your personal best by speed-eating a half-pound DC-3 of boneless bites ($6.49), or gather a group of airship aficionados to demolish the 6 lb. zeppelin of spineless wings ($59.99), adding orders of french fries ($2.49 for a small) and onion rings ($2.99 for a small) to dam up teriyaki and honey-mustard reservoirs. Flight-phobic diners can stay grounded with hamburgers ($5.99) and half racks of ribs ($8.99), sharing napkins and sticky high-fives with their wing-eating amigos.
The kitchen staff at Sweet Basil Restaurant combines Italian classics and East Coast culinary traditions to create the offerings on its extensive menus. In addition to everyday lunches and dinners, the owners host weddings and banquets and team up with Saratoga Comedy Club to bring their diners live shows every Saturday night. Between laughs, diners indulge in lightly breaded chicken parmigiana, broiled Atlantic salmon in a white-wine sauce, and slow-roasted prime rib.
When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey's BBQ in Dallas in 1941, he kept his menu small and simple, only cooking up beef brisket, pit hams, and barbecue beans, which he sold alongside potato chips, beer, bottled milk, and sodas. Dickey smoked all of his meat in-house, a practice that put his eatery on the map and one that his sons, Roland and T.D., still rely on today.
The menu has expanded since Travis’s time behind the grill, offering plates and sandwiches that brim with nine kinds of barbecued meats, including spicy cheddar sausages, pork ribs, polish sausage, and Texas-style beef brisket that’s chopped to order. Several types of baked potatoes are piled high with meats and cheeses, which diners can wash down with a gallon of tea or Dickey's signature 32-ounce Big Yellow Cup of soda. Staying true to the same spirit of hospitality, cooks always include a buttery roll, a homestyle side such as jalapeño beans, fried okra, and dill pickles, and free ice cream with every meat plate.