Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Breakfast Tour

Even though we've pretty much dropped out of blogging, the Profussor (who else?) has yet again managed to inspire us to eat and write about it.
Last Saturday, we joined Professor Fussy’s latest exploration of the capital district’s food-type treasures. Since the objects of our attention would be egg and cheese sandwiches, it seemed sensible (???) to start at the breakfasty hour of 7:30 in the morning. Slightly behind schedule, we were the last ones of the group to arrive at Jack’s Diner, on Central Ave. We ordered, and were cheerfully served this lovely sausage, egg and cheese sandwich.

For cheese, we ordered cheddar, but it looked kinda marbled like Colby-Jack. Overall, it was actually our favorite sandwich, getting lots of points for the a good amount of tasty cheese, nice natural-casing link sausage, and two eggs that were just lightly scrambled on the griddle, so you got some medium-cooked yolks mixed with the whites.  Where Jack’s Diner loses points is in the competition for value, since this was the priciest sandwich of the day, at $4.99 plus tax and tip. That seems a little high, but it was a pretty hearty sandwich  

Next up was McCarroll’s, in the Delmar Marketplace, which served up a foil-wrapped sandwich with a sausage patty instead of links. The poppy seed-dusted  roll on this sandwich was a little bit overly greasy from being toasted on the grill (and maybe also from the sausage), and the egg was a little bit overcooked to us. This sausage left a stronger, more persistent peppery taste behind, and dominated the flavor of the sandwich overall. McCarroll's is a grocery store, so the seating is pretty minimal, and allows you to be tempted by such things as cheesecake from the Nuns of New Skete

At this point, I started to wonder if it was a good idea to have our egg and cheese sandwiches with sausage. Both Jack’s Diner and McCarroll’s sell egg sandwiches with two eggs each, and a generous amount of sausage, and our hunger was pretty much gone after the second stop. We were a little worried about seeing this through with three more sandwiches!

Next stop: Stewarts.  Not surprisingly, this was our least-liked sandwich of the tour. There really was nothing to like about it, except the fact that it was ready for us before we even arrived, riding around a glass-case carousel, and we enjoyed the outdoor seating on this wierdly mild-weather day. The dog thoroughly enjoyed this sandwich, and other leftover bits (including some circle bacon!) from more than one other sandwich.

Latham's Bella Napoli served up a double-egg sandwich on griddled house-made rolls that were sweetly buttery. No cheddar available, and this sausage was more mild than the one at McCarrolls This was our second-favorite sandwich of the day, mostly because of the quality bun and nice egg cookery. We also picked up some delicious Italian almond cookies. 

Last but not least, we stopped in at Famous Lunch in Troy. Even though we’ve lived in the area for half a dozen years, we had not yet ever visited this popular place, famous for their mini-dogs. Despite the fact that we were no longer the slightest bit hungry, we dug in to four mini dogs (1 'works', 1 plain for each of us) before sampling the breakfast sandwich. Our piping hot sandwich, which arrived on our table approximately 2.5 seconds after leaving the griddle, had just a single egg, a sausage patty, and American cheese (no options here). Nothing fancy about it, but it was done right, served quickly, for not much money, and the place has a lot of character and an overall fun vibe.

Those were the ups and downs of our egg sandwich tour. I had kind of expected them to be served on hard rolls that were, well, more crackly hard, but all were pretty soft rolls. We may have had morethan one gram of cholesterol for each of us in just under 4.5 hours, but we also had of fun and checked out some places we'd never been. Thanks, Profussor!
P.S. Maybe we'll update this blog more than twice this year.