Usually, we're here looking at vintage dresses, mid century decor that James and I have added to our home, or coveting items on Etsy . . . but today, I want to chat a little about this fun food tour we did with my favorite local foodie, Daniel B. I've been following Daniel B. on yelp since we moved to Albany in 2008 (he had also recently moved here), so we had the same sort of "what the heck . . . where can I eat good food in this town?" feeling. James and I wasted a ton of money in first couple of months of our relocation trying places blindly and being disappointed. Now, I pretty much yelp everything. I don't necessarily allow the yelp reviews of an establishment to prohibit me from trying it, but they better equip me for what to expect. That being said, Daniel B. led me to a few places that were "meh, I must have gotten the wrong thing" (repeatedly, in some cases). Generally, he's spot on for what the jessjamesjake crew is looking for, so we were stoked when his blog started running local food tours. They did a couple that we missed (tour de fish fry, tour de soft serve), so our first was his 2011 Tour de Apple Cider Donut. It was so much fun! We have amazing apple orchards here in NY State, so this was a perfect idea. The next tour was to be savory (sweet and savory must alternate). I was trying to think up an affordable, group-friendly tour, where meat was not included/optional, and that was savory . . . Bingo: Egg and Cheese sandies! Daniel B. tweaked the idea to make it more Upstate-centric (it had to be on a hard roll).
First up: Jack's Diner (1st choice of averaged tour ballots, my 4th place)
I was shocked that this sandwich won. I realize I'm biased because I like a well-done egg when it comes to a sandwich, but the other problem with this sandwich was the roll: barely warm, with no toasted edges. What Jack's did do well was the cheese.
Next up: McCarroll's (2nd overall, 1st place for me!)
Yum! I got my well-done, fried egg at McCarroll's, as well as a locally made poppy-seed bun. I'd never been to this place before the tour, but I intend to go back often. It's a little grocery-meets-deli down in Delmar, NY. The prices were really reasonable and the staff was very friendly!
*I have to just skip the 3rd location . . . I understand why it was added to the tour . . . but it was just a yucky disaster. (Stewart's convenient store, Whitehall @ New Scotland, unanimously last place).
4th up: Bella Napoli (4th overall, 2nd for me)
This was solid. Nothing too memorable, except being a little disappointed that the cheese wasn't thoroughly melted. I did think Bella Napoli's hard roll was very good.
Last up: Famous Lunch (3rd overall, 3rd for me)
I wanted Famous Lunch to be my 2nd place because it had such a great vibe, and the guys behind the counter were a lot of fun. Unfortunately, they took the idea of a "toasted bun" a little too far.
Want more results and pictures?
The tour results via FussyLittleBlog.
The tour results via AllOverAlbany.