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Tasting with Tandem Coffee Roasters at Brew

On Black Friday, Tandem Coffee Roasters will be holding a tasting of their coffees at Brew from Noon to 2pm. About two weeks ago I went to visit them in Portland, Maine, so this is a no brainer if you’re in the area. If you like coffee, stop by. Tandem recently won a prestigious Good Food Award for one of their coffees.

Brew will also have #hotdeals on growler fills, tea makers and more.

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Owners of the Wandering Dago food truck still not interested in making food

From the TU:

The Schenectady-based food truck called the Wandering Dago — attacked for its controversial monicker […] has served up a second lawsuit against New York state.

The new suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Albany, claims that Wandering Dago co-owner Andrea Loguidice was fired by the Department of Environmental Conservation on trumped-up charges a month after a superior warned her against taking a more active role in the business, and reminded her that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had denounced its name.

In late August 2013, Loguidice and her partner Brendan Snooks filed suit against the Office of General Services and the New York Racing Association, claiming that the truck had been rejected by OGS’s summer lunch program on the Empire State Plaza and banished from the Saratoga Race Course on the first day of the 2013 meet due to state officials’ objections to its name. That lawsuit, which is in discovery, is moving forward.

Sigh.

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.

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