The Shop, Troy

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I was thrilled when I got notice that The Shop (which is not The Shoppe, also in Troy’s downtown) has opened it’s doors.

The space itself is great. They did a superb job allowing the space’s past life as a hardware store shine through in its current incarnation. When I stopped by, they were putting the finishing touches on the space, but the drink and food menu were fleshed out and looking great. There is a front bar room for those looking to grab drinks with friends, and a separate back dining where you can sit and grab some food.

The bartender Nate fixed me The Forester, which is a homemade thyme-maple infused bourbon with Creme Yvette and lemon juice, and it was delicious. I also had a Tommy Gun (Tullamore Dew, Cointreau, apricot jam, and ginger infused simple syrup) which was excellent. The cocktail menu has a great selection of actual cocktails, not two-ingredient “cocktails” in a pint glass. Also on their drink menu are beer cocktails which are a nice way for beer drinkers to enjoy something new without jumping straight into the deep end. The Shop also boasts a beer list that includes nitro brews, many drafts, cans, bottles and of course wine as well.

Their Grand Opening is scheduled for 4:30pm on Halloween, which is also Troy Night Out. I strongly recommend checking this place out as soon as you can. It’s already a part of my to-do list whenever I’m in Troy. These bars with great cocktails are a new thing for the area and as someone who doesn’t drink beer, I couldn’t be happier.

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Pizza Night at Soul Cafe Albany

Tonight at Soul Cafe is pizza night! Soul Cafe is a volunteer run community meal that operates by using donated food from the Honest Weight Food Coop and other local businesses.

The dinners take place at Westminster Presbyterian Church, and there is a $3 suggested donation. Learn more about Soul Cafe (and tonight’s pizza night) on their facebook.

Photo: Renée McAllister/flickr

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Troy Restaurant Week starts today

Troy Restaurant Week kicks off today, and features different menu items between $5 and $30 in $5 increments. $5 will get you select lunch items, $10 will get you entress, $20 gets you into dinner territory and $30 gets you big dinners to share.

Check the restaurant week price and food list and be sure to check out the videos Erin Pihlaja had created in support of Troy Restaurant Week.

Grab a friend and go try a new restaurant over in Troy!

TNT at Stacks Espresso Bar: Photos and Recap

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Last Thursday, Stacks Espresso Bar on Lark Street had the areas first Thursday Night Throwdown; a latte art competition. Baristas were able to buy in for a few bucks and competed head-to-head in a bracket style competition. If you were knocked out in the first round, you were able to re-buy in for a few dollars.

I was one of three judges and we kept it simple and opted for a “point-to-the-winner-on-the-count-of-three” style of judging rather than a complicated grading rubric. It was the first one of these competitions and we wanted to keep it fun and simple.

Around 7pm, Stacks started to fill up and people were enjoying the beer Rare Form had sent over. The competition started soon after and was a ton of fun. The keg kicked quickly, but almost everyone stuck around to watch the main event. The rounds were punctuated with giveaways from different roasters and a few select people went home with mugs, travel mugs, pounds of coffee, t-shirts and more.

The final round came down to Jess and Michelle and they decided to switch things up from the big latte mugs to the little gibraltar glasses. It was close, but Michelle managed to edge out Jess and became the first Albany TNT winner. Way to go!

There’s no word yet on when the next TNT will be, but to stay in the loop keep an eye on the Capital Region Coffee Collective. Thanks to Stacks for having me as a guest and judge and for hosting and organizing such a fun event.

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Stacks to host Latte Art Competition

On Thursday, September 4, Stacks Espresso Bar with the Capital Region Coffee Collective will be hosting the area’s first Thursday Night Throwdown latte art competition. The competition is a fun bracket style shootout. These friendly competitions are created with the goal of cultivating the coffee culture in the area.

Sign up is at 5:30pm and first competition pour is at 7pm. It’s totally free for spectators and only $5 to enter.

There will also be beer compliments of Rare Form Brewery as well as prizes and giveaways from Cafe Grumpy and Barrington Coffee Roasting Company.

For all the details check out the full flyer below. Be sure to stop by and meet some other coffee nerds, have a beer and possibly win some fun prizes.

Continue reading…

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Collar City Hard Pressed juice and smoothie shop now open

As of today, Collar City Hard Pressed is opened at 215 Broadway, right next to The Grocery. The shop itself is carved out of a little area inside The Clark House, which houses The Grocery, Broadway News, and the-soon-to-reopen Tavern Restaurant.

If you’ve seen the Collar City Hard Pressed stand at the Troy Farmer’s Market, you already know that there is a crazy demand for a juice and smoothie shop in Troy, and it’s super exciting that this will be a permanent fixture in Troy. I am hoping that there will be some sort of overlap in which both the Tavern’s bar is open as well as Collar City Hard Pressed so you can get a cocktail with fresh juices.

Collar City Hard Pressed will be open 8am to 2pm Tuesday through Friday, and will still be at the farmers market on Saturdays.

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Red Square is now Parish Public House

Red Square has recently rebranded and expanded into Parish Public House, a “Louisiana Eatery & Drinkery”.

“It was always the plan to open our kitchen and expand the business beyond just our live music events,” explains Verret. “That plan has finally come to fruition with the launch of Parish Public House. It is not just the menu that is inspired by Louisiana, but also the name itself. It’s well known in that region of the country that the parish in the Pelican State is akin to a county in New York; meaning, it’s an identity, a home and a community. With that in mind, a business that brings Cajun culture to the Capital City with a focus on freshness – in food, drink and performances – was created.”

You know their head is in the right place because Bread and Honey on Madison is responsible for their Po Boy rolls. Check their menu and upcoming shows and pay them a visit soon.