I just mentioned Mino in Colonie, so now I have to mention Smokey Bones. Had lunch there on Saturday. It's on Central just west of the Northway, next to L-Ken and across from Mino.
We've been going to Smokey Bones since it opened. I remember when it first opened that the food was really quite good. The baby back ribs and pulled pork had great flavor. That stands out in a chain restaurant (Smokey Bones is owned by the same company that owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster -- this particular one is in a former Red Lobster).
We still go there with some frequency, but my enthusiasm is waning. On the plus side, they offer pretty good variety on the menu. I particularly like the healthy sides, such as asparagus and broccoli. They make me feel a little better when I order the pulled pork or ribs. :-)
I had a really good salad there a couple visits ago -- I think it had mandarin oranges and pears, and maybe walnuts. Topped with the optional grilled shrimp, of course.
Anyway, the bad news is that I think the quality of the ribs and pulled pork has declined. Not that it's bad or anything, but it just doesn't have that great flavor it had when they started. Maybe I've just gotten used to it, or maybe they've let the quality of the meat slide just a bit.
I should mention that the place has a sports bar motif. There are a bunch of TVs all over the place carrying 5 or more channels of sporting events. The atmosphere is noisy enough that you can bring kids and not worry they'll annoy others, but it's not too loud either. A good family place with lots of menu choices kids will like. So we'll keep going.