Monday, April 17, 2006

Gershon's in Schenectady

Had breakfast a few days ago at Gershon's. I don't go there much, but this is one of my favorite places. It's more of a traditional deli. I had a smoked salmon platter with a bagel and cream cheese. Very good. They also have great sandwiches, most of which I shouldn't eat because of my crazy cholesterol obsession. And that's probably why I don't go there more.

It's on Union Street in Schenectady. Kind of a landmark institution. Very popular with the Jewish community because it evokes the NYC deli atmosphere.

Brandon's Steak & Seafood - Schenectady

I must be eating out more lately - lots to write about.

I was invited to have lunch in Schenectady with some older gentlemen (older than me anyway). They apparently have a regular lunch at Brandon's, on Van Vranken Avenue.

I had a cup of lentil soup and a mediterranean pasta dish -- it had spinach, roasted red peppers, and shrimp, drenched in olive oil. Other than the shrimp, it was a good low-cholesterol meal. And I didn't eat all the shrimp.

The shrimp were the really small kind, about the size of the fingernail on my pinky. That's a minor turnoff, but the dish was quite good. Lentil soup was excellent. The others had clam chowder and sandwiches, and they seemed quite happy.

Brandon's also has a pretty classy interior. Nice place. I can see why these guys are regulars. There was a decent lunch crowd, so it must have a good following.

Mike's Diner

We take the kids to Mike's Diner (at the intersection of Carman Road (146) and Old State Road in Guilderland) for weekend breakfast once in a while.

It's a pleasant place to go. The parking lot can get quite crowded. Good food. French toast, pancakes, eggs, etc. All tasty. They often have special varieties of pancakes, and that's what I usually get.

With my current low-cholesterol kick, I had a Greek salad (yes, for breakfast). It was yummy. There was enough that I had the leftover for lunch.

My wife had eggs, pancakes and hash browns. All delicious as usual. The hash browns are good solid chunks of potato.

My older daughter had french toast. Since she doesn't eat much, I had to help her. Tough life being a dad. Okay, I only had a little, but it was decent french toast. I tend to like my own french toast better, but I never make it any more.

Pearl of the Orient

Had dinner at Pearl of the Orient on Easter Sunday with family. Kind of a Jewish tradition to go out for Chinese food on Christian holidays.

I hadn't been there in at least a year. This is one of my favorite sit-down Chinese restaurants in the Albany area. We like Amazing Wok for delivery, and we used to go to the Dumpling House on Everett Road. There was a problem with their phone number, so we called Pearl of the Orient instead. It's on Albany Shaker Road near Osborne Road (also near one of my favorite Italian places, D'Raymonds).

The restaurant has a lunch buffet, which usually suggests lower quality to me. That thinking does not apply here. The food is excellent. They used to have "black pepper chicken" on the menu. It's no longer there, but you can order it, and I did. They still have black pepper steak on the menu. I had to explain this to the waitress, who said she was new.

My dish was great! My wife had sesame chicken, which she said was too spicy -- not a negative to me. They also had mu-shu pork which they liked a lot. My hot-and-sour soup was also quite good. My daughters (ages 4 and 1) had plain lo mein and they definitely liked it. We were surprised how much our 1-year-old ate.

We also had a dumpling appetizer, but this was not as good as what you get at Dumpling House (I guess that's not a surprise).