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Alla Spina

Alla Spina is a casual beer and food spot brought to you by Mark Vetri on N. Broad st. They really like their pigs here, judging by all the pig art in the place! Oh, and there’s also lots of pig parts on the menu. It’s also right around the corner from Route 6, Stephen Starr’s seafood joint. They’re trying to create a bit of a restaurant scene up on that section of Broad, so here’s wishing them some luck. There’s outdoor dining, weather permitting, and it’s nice and open and not at all stuffy. It really is a nice and casual place. 
Can you get more casual than pretzels? These are housemade pretzel bites with spicy beer cheese. See the cute little pig they get served in? I liked these quite a bit… warm and doughy!

You’re not in canada, but they serve their own version of poutine here. It’s served with a guinea hen leg bolognese and mozzarella curd. I wasn’t too crazy about the bolognese part. But the fries were good. 
Maple glazed fried chicken and fries! There was so much, E took plenty of it home as leftovers. There are those tasty fries again.
I had the fancy grilled cheese, with taleggio and roasted red peppers, served with green tomato conserva and homemade potato chips. Yum! That green tomato conserva stuff is amazing! I want to put it on everything now. And the roasted red peppers inside the grilled cheese was a nice touch.
While we were eating, we saw all the tables getting soft serve vanilla ice cream. It confused us a little bit. Then we found out that it was actually fiordelatte soft serve, not just plain vanilla ice cream, not like the thing you would get at McDonald’s. The flavor itself is more of a sweet cream. We got a bowl of it along with the famed donut bread pudding. The bread pudding was delicious, but I could have certainly gone without the raisins in it. The fiordelatte was also creamy and dreamy. This was a fun spot. Service was good and the food came out quickly. Although it’s a bit further away from the action of the city, but it’s kind of like a retreat from all the hustle and bustle.
Alla Spina on Urbanspoon

DP An American Brasserie – Albany

Due to my giant flight delay, I only had one chance to actually eat in Albany. So on my second night there, I headed downtown to DP. This is actually in the Hampton Inn. That might make you think twice about eating here, but please, do not let that stop you. This place is good in my book. I dined at the bar and it happened to be happy hour. This is an impressive bar. The bartenders here definitely know their stuff. And it looks like they’ve won a bunch of local awards, which is quite deserved.
I had this cucumber martini which totally kicked my lame ass. It was super duper strong and whew, did this thing pack a punch. But it seemed healthy to me because I could taste cucumbers. That’s healthy, right?
Instead of bread and butter, DP does it right. They serve sourdough pretzel ball rolls with homemade whole grain mustard. First off, how cute are these things? And second off, they’re freakin delicious and warm! Please, someone tell me how to make these!
I got the soup of the day which was a potato and leek soup. This is one of my favorite flavors of soup, ever, and they definitely do it right here. It also had bacon in it. How can you go wrong with that?
The lobster ravioli. These kind of look a mess, but they tasted just fine. I actually found it cool that it was black pasta.
These were the pork dumplings, served in a chinese to-go box. Meh, on that presentation choice. There were two dipping sauces, the first brown one was just kind of gross, and the second one was a sweet chili sauce type which I greatly preferred. The dumplings themselves were just meh too.
The banana bread bread pudding! Yes folks, bread pudding made from banana bread. It was super good. If you like banana, I highly recommend it! The two bartenders that waited on me were awesome. They were friendly and helpful and gave me recommendations and were quite attentive. They also kept calling me young lady, which was hilarious. If I’m ever back, I’m going to jump in and try some entrees!

dp An American Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Oktoberfest At Brauhaus Schmitz

There’s nothing like a roasting piglet on a spit to signify an Oktoberfest celebration. Or a man dressed in lederhosen. This poor little beast was the featured guest at the outdoor fest at Brauhaus Schmitz.
Even though H/A had apparently just eaten a giant slice of pizza at Lorenzo’s, he still got some kind of sausage. Yeah, I don’t know what kind this is, but I’m thinking meat or lamb.  He got some slaw and some potato salad too. And wouldn’t you know it, I’m a big fan of this potato salad now. It’s vinegary and awesome.
P got a random charred sausage from the grill. It came with a hunk of mouth cutting bread. So I have no idea what kind of sausage this is either, but I loved it. It’s pink, just pink. And I’m sure, formed with some mysterious concoction of random meats and meat parts. But it is absolutely delicious.
I got a giant pretzel. I mean really, it doesn’t get more “giant pretzel” than this! It was thick and dense and warm! And it was perfect for soaking up the beer… all that delicious beer in my commemorative Oktoberfest 2010 plastic stein!

Brauhaus Schmitz on Urbanspoon

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