Monday, January 30, 2017

Drinking at Druthers OR How I Got Lost

Cheese and crackers, where am I??? I'm at the far end of Broadway in Albany, NY, just before it goes under the Interstate, in the warehouse district where the trains cut through and the trucks are big and it's disturbingly dark and quiet after business hours and the wind and rain can really howl and forces of evil and dirt devils lurk behind every overflowing bin of trash. Then I burst into the light that is Druthers Brewing Company, and I know that all is well.
The brewery at Druthers
It's really a brewery - really really - you can see that through the glass walls on the other side of the bar. Very bright and clean and industrial looking. Contrast that to the rustic exposed beam and brick open concept low light bar and restaurant. Both are spacious, and I liked that the dining areas and bar spaces were broken up into smaller, intimate spaces. It was fun to explore, crowded, noisy (but not from loud music, thankfully), cozy and very exciting, especially when I saw the wood fired oven. Working hard to keep my identity a mystery, I sent a few soft kisses to the kitchen and finally took a seat.  Everyone was safe now and it was time to get serious.
Cozy dining with open kitchen/wood fired oven in the back

Beer. CBM enjoyed a pint of their 80 Shilling- malty and smokey and amber colored, a deliciously smooth Scottish style ale, while I downed a Druthers Golden Ale, light, loaded with hoppy goodness, clean and refreshing ($6/pint, $2 off during happy hour!). First rate - obviously alot has gone into their development - bravo!!!

Druther's Golden Ale - $6/pint and $2 for a 5-oz sample

Looking over the menu it was very much pub classics - burgers, sandwiches, pizza, wings. We shared an order of Confit Chicken Wings - jumbos, cooked in animal fat, super tender, definitely mild, even a bit sweet. The blue cheese dressing was great - chunks of cheese in a smooth creamy base, with the requisite side of celery/carrots that were decidedly fresh and crispy. OK, good, not great, I would have liked it a bit more kick cause I like it hot, but good with beer. Maybe two....  (:
Confit Chicken Wings
The Autumn Veggie Pizza ($14) was lovely to behold, creative even, laced with sweet apples, shaved brussels sprouts, and pumpkin seeds, cheddar???,  and finished with a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Good, with a nice char and a chewy crust, hot and drippy, a bit too sweet for me, but it was still a real treat.
Autumn Veggie Pizza - seasonal, creative, sweet
By 630 pm the place was pretty much mobbed with families and mostly 30+ somethings talking and laughing; the service continued to be first-rate despite the crowds. Druthers is certainly a bright spot in a part of town that by contrast ain't so inviting, so if you make a left when you should have made a right and find yourself  thinking "Where's a Goddess of Fire when I need one to protect me?" and "Would she like a beer?" find a parking spot and step inside, and call me anytime!!!

Druthers is so hot it's cool.

Zena, Goddess of Fire

1 comment:

Skippy said...

My first job after college, 1987, was on Broadway, when most of the buildings were vacant (except for the original Huck Finns) except for the Miss Albany diner and the drug clinic I worked at. I took my family to Druthers two weeks ago, reminiscing about the neighborhood where I spent 3 years of my life, and how much its changed. And I agree with you - we loved Druthers - more than our first favorite the Pump Station. The food was surprisingly good and service was excellent.