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Smith's Tavern

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Smith's Tavern is located on Remsen Street in Cohoes and is a gem that needs to be given the attention it deserves.

When we approached the vintage brick building it looked like a shady bar, which was confusing given the intriguing menu we'd seen online. We walked through the large door that had me feeling as if we were walking through a dark castle chamber, and saw an expansively long bar off to the right (we later learned that the bar is in fact quite special). Where was the restaurant? This still looked like a shady bar.

At this moment in our confusion, a waiter/maitre de came out from a back dining area. He greeted us, was very pleasant, and led us into a back formal dining room. A formal fine dining room in the back of a bar!

We were seated, and promptly greeted by our server who was pleasant and personable, though seemed a bit shy so he might've been new. There were so many dishes to choose from, including specials. Finally, we settled on Chicken Cordon Bleu (for Brian) and Shepherd Pie (for me). Brian's dish came with a choice of soup or salad, which he chose a Crab & Tomato Bisque (I may or may not have had an influence in this) from their list of soups.

Let's start with the bread! Warm, soft, delicious and accompanied with an amazing, homemade garlic herb butter. Wow! The Tomato Bisque came out next. While I will say the texture was chunkier than your typical bisque, this is by far not a complaint. The flavor was amazing. The were chunks of crab and tomatoes. I ended up having the bisque for myself, and scraping the bottom of the cup. It was that good.

Our entrees came out. I looked at mine with wide eyes, the portion size was that huge. Chunks of seasoned ground beef and vegetables, topped with seasoned mashed potatoes and wonderfully melted cheese. There was nothing about the dish that wasn't amazing.

Similarly done to perfection was Brian's Chicken Cordon Bleu. The outside was fried to a crisp perfection while the inside was tender, and juicy. The swiss cheese oozed out. The ham was delish (and I'm typically not a ham person). The only 'detractors' were the side dishes (vegetables, anda mix of sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes mixed with bacon). They did nothing to complement the perfection of the chicken.

As I was tossing two-thirds of my Shepherd's Pie into a doggie bag, Brian inquired on desserts. He was so impressed with the amazing meal, he figured dessert had to be ordered, even if we just ate it later.

Our waiter said we had to have the carrot cake. We did. Wow. The cake was moist, and the flavors were pronounced. The frosting was a homemade whipped cream cheese frosting. There was no gritty taste whatsoever. My favorite kind of frosting. My only picky note would be the chunks of walnuts were a bit too large, and could have been chopped smaller. In bites that had walnuts, you only tasted walnut and very little cake.

All in all, not even the picky notes could outweigh the flavor perfection we found at Smith's. This is a restaurant to not only visit, but to frequent. I could go on, and on, but at this point I highly recommend you experience this gem for yourself.

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Shepherd's Pie Chicken Cordon Bleu
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Tomato & Crab Bisque

5fork

cost15-20
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Mike's Hot Dogs

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Mike's Hot Dogs is on Erie Blvd in Schenectady.  We were in the area so we decided to swing by for breakfast.

I asked our server for her recommendation, and she suggested a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwhich.  It was a little strange of a recommendation, but why ask if you don't plan to listen.  The sandwich was perfect.  Eggs were cooked perfectly, just slightly runny, but mostly completely cooked.  There was a ton of bacon with a great flavor, and there was cheese in every bite.  The roll was also grilled.  It was perfect.  The hashbrowns that came with it were not really seasoned but were cooked well.

Josie ordered the french toast with bacon.  The french toast batter didn't soak completely through, so it was dry inside, and there was egg batter on the outside of the slice which is one of my pet peeves with french toast.  Her bacon was also cooked well with a great flavor.

Since the place literally has the words 'hot dogs' in their name, we decided that even though it was breakfast time, we should try a hot dog.  It was a good hot dog, and the sauce that makes them so popular was well seasoned.  I thought the meat in the sauce was a bit on the dry side, but Josie disagreed.  I forgot to take a picture of the hot dog before we ate it, so you can just appreicate the empty plate :)

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Bacon Egg and Cheese with side of Home Fries French Toast with Bacon
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This would be the hot dog I forgot to take a picture of

3fork

cost5-15
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Nosh (Brunch)

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We have previously reviewed Nosh for their lunches and dinners, but since they recently started serving Brunch on Sundays, we decided to drop by for another visit.

Lets just jump right into this one.  I ordered the steak and eggs.  I have never, ever sent a dish back in a restaurant, but after a bite of the steak, I sent the dish back, saying I didn't want anything else.  The steak was soaked in a horrible marinade that made every bite so bitter, it was almost impossible to swallow.  Since I was forced to go through that torture, I made sure to give a piece to Josie just to be able to laugh at her as she spit it out.  The steak was also overdone.  The eggs were cooked fine, but not seasoned at all.  The hashbrowns were cooked well, and were seasoned, making them the only thing that would have been worth eating at all on the plate (besides the fruit and the bread).  Aweful.

I will say that shortly after I returned it, the owner came out and said he tried the steak and agreed it was horrible and over marinated.  He brought me a replacement dish of ham and eggs, which was fine, but I didn't factor it into the review since it wasn't the dish I had ordered.

Josie ordered the stuffed French toast with strawberries and cream cheese.  The french toast was good, but the cream cheese was just globbed in the middle, and it wasn't really a stuffed French toast, just French toast with stuff in the middle.

We also ordered a side of their homemade corned beef hash.  It was a little on the greasy side, but had a good flavor and was cooked so that it had a light crunch to it.

Service was fine, we were greeted quickly and our server was attentive and polite, even after I sent my meal back.

I'd like to think that if I hadn't ordered the dish I did, that this would have been a mediocre to average place for breakfast on a Sunday, but serving a dish that is completely inedible earns Nosh a 2 fork rating.

 

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Steak and Eggs

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

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Corned Beef Hash

Replacement Meal - Ham and Eggs

2fork

cost5-15
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Jack's Diner

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Jack's Diner is located on Central Avenue, at the fork (or corner) of Clinton Avenue. It's very easy to miss Jack's, as it's set between a car lot, and an auto body shop. The diner itself, to me, looks to be one of the quintessential streetcar diners. Brian disagrees, saying it's too spacious on the inside. What we did agree on, was that the space was very clean, well kept, and updated (fresh paint, etc).

We had to wait for seating. This wasn't any fault of the service. There were customers, who had long finished their meals, who chose to hold lengthy conversations with each other for roughly 20-30 minutes, and another table taken up by a gentlemen poring thoroughly through the Times Union.

A table finally became available (bear in mind the three tables above were still being occupied, and continued for another 30 minutes), and we were seated. We absolutely loved our server. She had a wonderful sense of humor, as we asked questions about the menu; the key question being whether their corned beef hash was homemade, and did it come with peppers & onions. They do have homemade hash, but it comes with onions. Brian opted out of the hash, but I placed a side order of it anyway, just because.

For breakfast, Brian ordered a Waffle with Strawberries. I ordered the Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Challah French Toast with Bacon (and the hash). There were hits, and there were misses. Brian's waffle was perfectly cooked, but the frozen strawberries (which were listed on the menu as fresh) didn't do good things. The strawberries actually gave the waffle a disintegrating taste. The waffle is much better on its own.

My french toast had good flavor, and I was impressed with the homemade-ness of the cinnamon raisin challah bread. Again though, the batter wasn't soaked through. I suppose this is just a normal thing, and I should get used to it, but there's such a missed opportunity to take french toast from 'okay' to 'amazing.' The bacon was okay (not amazing, but not bad). The corned beef hash, though, was a different story and I find myself conflicted. While it had good flavor, and a nice crust that gave it some texture, the corned beef was shredded so finely, that it didn't hold up in the hash and sort of tasted like baby food. There was no meatyness to the dish. It was all soft potato, and soft corned beef. The crust was not enough to give the texture any chew. So, it was kind of ruined for me.

While the overall meal we would give 3 forks to, the service really put things over the top. Our waitress was fast, friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive. We loved her sense of humor, and would probably return just for her. We were very happy customers.

 

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Cinnamon Raisin Challah French Toast w/ Bacon Waffle w/ Strawberries & Whipped Cream
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Corned Beef Hash

4fork

cost5-15
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Four Corners (second review)

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Brian had already reviewed Four Corners Luncheonette on this web site, however I wanted to write a review too as I was highly recommended to give Four Corners a try from several co-workers and friends.  The Breakfast Menu was as hard to find online as the correct place to turn off Deleware Ave to get to this eatery.  This Restauarant is currently offering 4 different denominations of discount certificates thru Restaurant.com, so we decided to print one and give it a taste.

Upon entering, we were told by staff to sit whereever we would like.   The setting is comfortable and country-like and the dining area is a mix of booths, tables, and counter top seating.   Breakfast orders are taken until 11:30 a.m. on the weekends.  Lunch and Dinner menu's also available and are viewable online.

The Menu had a large amount of common breakfast choices and an extra page offered a large range of interesting offerings.  Things like Kale and Eggs Meals and a Brats and Onions Plate. When ordering, we were informed that the bread and baked goods are all home-baked and the bread choices the morning we dined was White, Wheat, Rye, Pumpernickel, or Cinnamon.

I ordered the Smoked Salmon Breakfast Sandwich and a side of Two Eggs over-hard.  My dining partner ordered the Eggs Benedict and asked if we could split an order of potato pankcakes on the side, as the Eggs Bendict didn't come with any harh brown or side items included.   I was pleased with the flavors, freshness, cooking, and presentation of both meals, however for the price, the portions were quite small for us, being hearty eaters.  If we didn't have the gift certificate which required a minimum purhcase and had not ordered the extras, I certainly would've left unsatisifed / still hungry (for the prices).  Overall worth a visit and we will be back soon to try the lunch or dinner menu.

 

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Smoked Salmon Breakfast Sandwich on Homebaked Bread Side order of Two Eggs Eggs Benedict & Side of Potato Pancake

 

4fork

cost15-20
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