- First, what I love to describe as my zen time is grocery shopping. Not many people enjoy what some consider a chore, but I truly do. Yes, occasionally like everyone else I race in after work to just grab $15 worth of items, but a true grocery shopping trip. I love to go on Mondays, my day off, stroll every aisle, grab a smoothie and take my time. I love looking at all of the different fruits and vegetables and appreciate that each one was grown individually to nourish and fuel our bodies. Living in such a diverse area, the grocery stores near me carry a wider variety of items as opposed to the grocery stores in my home town of Lake George, New York. Now, back to my zen. There is this lovely place called Whole Foods Market. WFM is my mecca, and I am still so ecstatic that we have one here now in the Capitol Region. It is the ultimate supreme of grocery stores, and quite a lovely place. I always walkout with one thing I have never even heard of before. Their inventory is intriguing.
- Second, I love cooking. I love Crockpot recipes, I love baked dishes, I have a huge amount of love for seafood. But, I certainly love all different types of food. However, the top of my list would start with Italian. BUT* I do not do pork. I never have, never will. Yes I use Crest toothpaste, yes occasionally I pop a marshmallow, but I do not directly eat the meat or anything cooked in it’s fat. Also, I do not bake. Unless you consider slightly less-than-okay boxed brownies baking. SO, if you’re someone looking for a recipe on bacon cupcakes, or breakfast recipes with ham, this is the wrong blog! However I will disclose, I occasionally give baking mild effort and would like to improve my baking skills.
- I’m big on local restaurants. I was exposed to a lot of different food types when I moved to the area, not only at restaurants but also through friends. I love to I intentionally do not eat out at chain restaurants, unless I have a gift card or a friend would like to go. Living in the small city of Albany, NY we truly do have so many choices as far as cuisine. Here are just 24 restaurants I found that are featured in newyorkupstate.com.
Here is a small list of my personal favorites, let’s do a top 5.
- Lanie’s Cafe – I love Lanie’s and my husband and I find ourselves here often for our Friday date night ritual. It’s a great, homey, atmosphere with an awesome wine list, salad bar and pasta dishes to die for.
My go to Lanie’s Meal- Prime Rib with Penne and Alfredo sauce. A glass of Glenora Reisling, and we occasionally share their amazing calamari.
This is my 22bd birthday, in 2015 at Lanie’s. And this last picture is my husband and I at Lanie’s on a double date later in 2017.
- El Loco Mexican Cafe – Typically I end up going to El Loco with girlfriends. El Loco is located in the historic part around Washington Park in Albany, so it is very, very tiny. I prefer to go when it is an off time.
My go to El Loco dish- Create your own Combo, Beef & Bean Chimichanga and Turkey and Bean Taco -or- Beef & Bean Chimichanga and Turkey and Bean Burrito- rice and beans. And of course, you have to start with chips and your choice(s) of dip.
I love the hot sauce bar, and the disclaimer with their margaritas! Intended for warning, but I think it sparks excitement!
Myself, my sister Paige, and my best friends Zack and Nick at El Loco in the summer of 2016. Enjoying some great drinks!
- Graney’s Bar and Grill – no, not Stout. Graney’s has its own location about 10 minutes from Stout on New Scotland Avenue. My husband, who was then my boyfriend started bringing me here, and it quickly became our go-to spot! I’ve heard some people call it a grandpa bar, but with some explanation it’s not really a club as you would come compare Graney’s Stout too. I’m not a heavy drinker, but I enjoy some hard cider and bar food. I always run into a friend or client while we are here.
What I typically order- I switch between
- Mozzarella Logs (yes LOGS)
- Buffalo Chicken Salad (Super unique & great)
- 10 Medium- Garlic Wings and fries
Some old pictures of birthdays celebrated for my husband and I at Graney’s!
- Hokkaido Asian Bistro – my sushi place! Hokkaido is our go-to take out spot. Not sure if it’s a good thing or bad thing, but they know who I am when I’m calling for myself, or both my husband and I. They now just how I like my sushi, no ginger/wasabi and clear soup!
My usual order at Hokkaido- Spicy Kani Salad, Salmon Special Sushi Dinner and a side of spicy mayo.
**I chose not to include a picture of us eating our soosh and watching movies with an adult beverage upon our dog-distressed couch. 🙂
- Grappa 72 – Fine dining Italian. Two Italian restaurants in my top 5? Yes! Opposed ti Lanie’s Cafe, a more Italian-American restaurant, Grappa is fine fining. Perfect for a romantic date night. Cozy tables, dim lighting and candles. Request a seat in their lovers lane, and ask for a superb server whom they call “Bagel.” I still do not know Bagel’s real name, and I’d like to think it’s not really Bagel. She wears a tie that has a Bagel design on it! She extensively knows the menu and specials. She makes wonderful recommendations and could sell you on anything.
My typical meal at Grappa 72- Risotto Frutti de Mare (I sub for Alfredo, opposed to their marinara, I’m just a cheese girl!)
These are my staples and where we bring friends or family when it’s up to us. My goal in regards to my blog is to visit and write (pictures of course!) to new restaurants. Like I said this is a small city, but if you know Albany, you know there is always somewhere new to find!
What little treasures have you found in Albany? Comment below!
Till next time, T♥