In order to view this object you need Flash Player 9+ support!

Get Adobe Flash player

Powered by RS Web Solutions



This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Brian's Top Reviews:

Johny's (by Malozzi) 5fork
Madison Cafe 5fork
Phoenicians Restaurant



IMG 0422

I am a bit back logged on reviews since I've taken a bit of a summer break, but it's time to catch up.   I went to Druthers a few months ago with a friend.

I had experienced their mac and cheese at the past few mac and cheese bowls, so it was on my list of places to go.  Since we were in the area, we stopped by and I of course had to order one of their mac and cheeses (the BBQ Mac and Cheese with pulled pork).  My friend ordered the ugly burger (Gorgonzola, beer cheese, onions, onion rings, bacon and a fried egg)

The mac and cheese was great, a huge portion for a good price.  It wasn't quite as good as I had from them at the last mac and cheese bowl, but still a darn good mac and cheese.  I would definitely order it again, but I would probably try one of their other types first.  Josie liked her burger, but she wasn't sure all the ingredients went together.  The burger was cooked exactly how it was ordered, but the roll was a little burned.

Service was great, even thought place was packed (at 3:00 on a Saturday).  They also have a brewery on site, and I enjoyed both beers I tried (although that isn't really part of this review).  I will definitely be back - 4 forks.

IMG 0423 IMG 0425
BBQ Mac and Cheese Ugly Burger



Ciao Italia

IMG 0384

I was hanging out with a friend, and we were hungry, after discussing where to go for far too long, I drove to Ciao Italia.  I had been to this location when it had a different name and owner, it was time for a visit to this new restaurant.

There are two sections to Ciao Italia.  When you first walk in, you are in a take out area.  To the left is a formal, classy looking dining room.  It took a couple of minutes for someone to come out and seat us, but we were there a bit before the typical dinner rush, so I would guess they didn't expect people for sit down service yet.

I ordered the chicken alfredo and my friend ordered the saltimbocca di pollo.  We also shared a side of calamari.  The calamari was pretty good.  It was cooked well, and seasoned, but could have used additional seasoning.  My chicken alfredo was amazing - the fettuccini was homemade, a nice touch.  The chicken was breaded, which was a little strange, but it worked with the dish and kept the chicken incredibly moist.  The alfredo sauce was plentiful and was creamy and amazing.  I loved this dish.  It did have onions in it which I'm not a huge fan of, but you didn't taste them, it just made for a strange texture once in a while.  My friend's saltimbocca was also delicious, we had no complaints about this dish.  Serving sizes were on the larger side, so it also served as a good lunch for me the next day.

The servers seemed understaffed for the bulk of the time we were there, but our service wasn't adversly affected too much by it.  Ciao Italia is close to my home, had great food and reasonable prices.  I will definitely be back - 4 forks.

IMG 0389 IMG 0390
Chicken Alfredo Saltimbocca Di Pollo
IMG 0387



Hilltop Restaurant

IMG 0350

Hilltop Restaurant is located in Watervliet in a little strip mall.  It was recommended to us for their pancakes.  When we wandered in late morning on a Saturday, there was only one customer there.  We were immediately greeted and told we could sit wherever.

Since we were directed to Hilltop because of their pancakes, I ordered those with a side of bacon.  Josie ordered her usual French Toast with a side of hash.  When I ordered the bacon the waitress asked how I would like it (soft, crisp or in the middle), I ordered it in the middle.  Sure enough, the bacon came out and it was just that - in the middle.  Often places will ask how you want it and then just ignore it and make it however they like.  It was a nice touch.  The pancakes were heavy.  Very heavy.  I think I was able to eat just about one of them (maybe not even that).  But they were cooked really well, with a slight crisp on it and a golden brown.  I would order them again, but probably get a short stack.  Josie's food on the other hand was not nearly as good.  Her French toast dish was incredibly small - just two pieces of thin white bread.  The bread was dipped so fast that nothing soaked in, and they even missed major portions of the bread so it was incredibly dry.  The hash was ok, but lacked seasoning.  I think she ate it primarily because her French Toast was so difficult to digest.

 I felt the service was quite good, and the staff was very friiendly, even as we were leaving the Chef was outside having a smoke break, she said, "thanks for coming, have a great day".  The friendliness of the staff and the pancake were the only things keeping Hilltop from getting 1 or 2 forks.  So, 3 forks for them and probably no return trip for us.

IMG 0345 IMG 0348
Pancakes with side of bacon French Toast
IMG 0349
Corned Beef hash



El Loco

IMG 0328

A good friend of mine and his wife have a rule called, "no cook Friday".  In honor of this, we often meet up to go out to a new place.  This week it was El Loco in Albany (on Madison near Lark).   El Loco doesn't take reservations for parties less than 6, and was absolutely packed on our Friday outing.  After waiting for about 45 minutes, we were seated and our dining experience began.

We all ordered a few margaritas, and browsed the 5 page menu.  I settled on the Pollo Flauta - corn tortillas filled with turkey rolled into flutes and deep fried until crispy served with guacamole while Josie ordered the Chimichanga and Taco combo.  (our dining companions ordered enchiladas and another combo plate, pictures below, but they are not part of this review)

The Pollo Flauta was cooked well, but very dry, the guacamole helped to offset the dryness, but didn't completely do the job.  The cornbread that came with it was moist and flavorful and the rice and beans were ok, but lacked seasoning.  Josie's Chimichanga and Taco were both good.  The chimichanga was cooked perfect but was missing something, while the taco needed cheese instead of just meat and lettuce.  The taco had shredded beef on it instead of ground, and that was a nice touch.

Service was good based on how busy they were and staff all seemed polite.  Both the service and the good was good, but not amazing, so El Loco gets a 3 fork rating from me.

IMG 0329 IMG 0330
Pollo Flauta Chimichanga and Taco



Read more