Originally a turn-of-the-century tollbooth that charged a nickel per one-horse rig, Toll Gate Ice Cream now cools overheated passersby with fresh, homemade ice cream and sherbet in a rainbow of classic and inventive flavors. Toll Gate’s award-winning peanut-butter-and-jelly ice cream combines two beloved comfort foods in a far more palatable form than chocolate-chip corn dogs. Customers can seize handfuls of other novel flavors such as root-beer sherbet, pumpkin, cinnamon apple, and eggnog ($2.75/scoop). After arranging a lineup that mirrors guests’ personalities and pronunciation of caramel, Toll Gate can refashion scoops into fudge-brownie sundaes ($6.95), floats ($5.95), and milkshakes ($6.25). Backwards diners can chase their ice-cream dinner with a dessert of burgers ($8.55 with fries), sandwiches, seafood platters, and steaks grilled on a dragon’s smile ($9–$12.50).
Have a craving for Asian food, but can't decide between Thai, Chinese, and Japanese? Tomo Asian Bistro offers all three, making life a bit easier and more delicious. In between sushi-rolling sessions and gyoza-tossing contests, the chefs carefully slice fresh fish for sashimi and nigiri and artfully arrange veggies in special spring rolls. Whole fried flounder comes served in the restaurant’s special sauce and a half-boneless crispy duck gets a kick from ingredients such as garlic and chilies. Classic entrees of panang curry, general tso's chicken, and mongolian beef are also served, and can be paired with wonton soup, chicken satay, or one of everything.
Invoking the precision of Samurai Japanese Restaurant's warrior namesake, sushi chefs slice paper-thin pieces of sashimi within the eatery's sparkling new Colonie location. Alongside pieces of fatty tuna and oyster, chefs assemble specialty rolls such as the King California and the Fire House roll, whose shrimp tempura and spicy tuna pair with rice, seaweed, and crunch. The menu also includes cooked entrees, such as yakitori-style bamboo skewers with short ribs and broccoli, as well as hibachi-style scallops and strip steak, which chefs prepare on sizzling tabletop grills.
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.
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.
Diners at Legends on Pearl dig into a menu of juicy burgers and fried appetizers as sports coverage buzzes on several large flat-screen TVs. After patrons go to bat with the golden spears of fried pickle ($6), oven-baked bread slices and fearless foam fingers can take a swan dive into the gooey salsa queso of a fondue bowl ($8). The ranch-seasoned cowboy burger ($10) stacks a juicy, half-pound patty with bubbling pepper jack and crispy onion rings, and the Draft Pick cheese panini ($7) gives grilled cheese a facelift with a choice of fillings such as mozzarella and crumbled blue.