Friday, September 9, 2016

Eat Great Food: Capital City Gastropub

Q: What's kinda hip with a touch of grunge, still a bit classy, practical, decidedly local and pretty tasty?

A: HA! No, not me, silly - it's the Capital City Gastropub!!!
Homey, neighborhood feel with sidewalk seating in summer
OK, Albany has many many pubs and bars and taverns and saloons and roadhouses and taprooms and ale houses and speakeasies and gin mills and public houses and beer joints and watering holes and cocktail lounges and canteens and beer gardens and other dives. Take your pick. Some will say the food is good if you know what to order, but from where I fly I never expect much from the kitchen. I've even scoffed at those reviews in the TU because really? Who cares? It's just a pub, right? The food always fails in some way, and we expect that.

Level 1 is the usual burgers, pizza, mac n' cheese, bangers, french fries, wings always, sometimes a bowl of chili or nachos with yellow cheese goo. Ordering the salad is not recommended. $

Level 2 may also have panini and wraps, steaks, onion rings, cobb salad, shepherd's pie, quesadillas, and, of course, the flatbread of the day,  the decor is usually better, and so is the price, but the food will likely be just as uninspiring, and you may not get as much. $$

Level 3 will also offer you burgers, and pizza, mac n' cheese, bangers, and fries, but they will take your mind off another pint and back looking at your plate, wondering how something so simple could be so sublime and delicious. $$$ and worth every cent. A.K.A. Gastropub!!!

Decor includes hard chairs and it's noisy but streamlined and chic

Jaguar enjoyed a glass of Vino Bianco, Planeta La Segreta Bianco from Sicily ($8) - served up cold, nice and dry, not too fruity. I joined her with a Bell's Best Brown from Comstock, MI ($6) that was slightly sweet and very smooth. There's about eight beers in bottles or cans, a dozen or so on tap, and a pretty substantial list of whiskeys and ryes and bourbons to choose from - very nice.
My first beer and some water just to pretend I also drink water at the pub

We were both in the mood for a burger. She ordered up a Kilcoyne Farms Burger ($15), with house made pickles and roasted garlic ailoi, adding blue cheese and caramelized onions to the bun ($2.50). OMG this was perfectly medium rare, piled high, juicy, delicious, beefy even, and the fries were some of the best ever - skin on, crispy, but mushy inside, tasted like, um, POTATOES.
A big, juicy, beefy burger perfectly cooked medium rare

I went for the Double Pork Burger ($18), with two tender, lightly spiced patties, gruyere, housemade zucchini pickles, onion and Russian dressing. It was almost 3" high - messy, drippy, divinely decadently good - but the bun easily disintegrated. I ate the first half without putting it down and ate the rest with a fork and knife. Actually, it didn't need the bun so I might skip that next time.

Double Pork Burger - juicy piggy decadence

Gastropub - buying local, cooking up fresh, taking care of details, inventive, creative even. It's a pleasure to have a pint (OK, I admit, two) and some really great food at a pub, in my jeans and old shirt on a Saturday night.

Get down to the Capital City Gastropub - you deserve it.

xxx Zena, Goddess of Fire

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