Grill It Up!

Albany John had some stuff to attend to in Troy on Friday, so I met him over there later in the day. He’d driven, so I took the bus, which I just love. Sure, the CDTA can be unpredictable, but there’s something I just love about public transportation.

I caught him in between doing stuff, and we grabbed a sandwich at Francesca’s (461 Broadway, Troy, NY 12180). It’s right next to the Atrium, and boy does it get packed around lunch! They have this old car seat as a chair, and it is really comfy.

Albany John got a veggie sandwich. It was like a really good salad on garlicky herbed bread. Artichokes, mixed lettuce greens, tomatoes, black olives, etc. The tomatoes had a lot of flavor and weren’t mealy at all.
I wolfed down Albany John’s leftover half when he had to get back to business. I moved his car so he wouldn’t get a ticket. Troy’s got tons of street parking, but a lot of it is within a 2 hour time limit. I spent the rest of the afternoon just walking around Troy enjoying the Hudson river and nice weather.

Then I went down to Middletown, NY to The Olde Erie Brew Pub & Grille to celebrate a friend’s engagement with Sistah. Albany John couldn’t come because he was showing some photos for First Friday.

I got down state with no traffic and was wildly early, so I met up with my dad to sit and talk while I waited for Sistah to get done with her stuff. I grabbed two really meh slices of pizza from Fra Nico’s in Florida, NY. They were satisfying enough, but tasted like cheese on bread. Not nearly enough seasoning, and they didn’t heat it up enough, either. Boo on tepid cheese, overly soft bread. It was only $3.70 for two slices, but I wish that they had been good slices. I won’t get slices from there again.

It was a great time hanging with two beautiful ladies. Engaged girlie wouldn’t let me buy any of my own drinks because she works eighty million hours a week because she’s a workaholic. We headed out early at around 12 am.

Olde Erie transformed from some kind of Italian restaurant into a club after 10 pm. How crazy is that!? The nightlife down there is pretty hilarious for someone who used to live there and visits back occasionally. It seems like all of the folks who’ve moved up from NYC in the past decade or so want NYC nightlife, so the restaurants in the area accomodate them. People were even wearing club clothes, but to their credit, the DJ was way better there than most of the DJs that spin up here. I was dressed like a sun-loving hippy, so I got a few “Bitch, whatchu wearing?” looks. It was so surreal, you guys! I couldn’t stop giggling about it! Restaurant. Night club. Insane! I know some places around here do it (Daisy Baker’s for TNOAP), but the extent down there… just surreal!

Oh yeah, and before I left I had plans to meat up with Phairhead and SexyBeast on Saturday, so here’s the jerked pork I made. I used more habaneros this time. I think you can see the orangey flecks in the marinade this time.

I came back early Saturday morning and popped it in the smoker for a few hours.

And Albany John had been up early because he was out partying and couldn’t sleep he missed me so much and got me a croissant from Mrs. London’s at the Troy Farmer’s Market! Squee!

So butter, flaky, soft, and crisp on the outside. My ideal croissant.

We met up with Phairhead & Sexy Beast at the 6 mile preserve in Albany. They brought a tasty apple cider they picked up when they were in Chatham. Sweet, tasty, bubbly goodness!

Sexy Beast is a serious BBQ-er. He brought his own grill!

He made these really, really good shortribs. Sweet, salty, meaty, goooood!

Pork roast on the grill. It didn’t want to come up to temp very quickly, so Albany John sliced it into chops, which worked better for serving purposes, and made it cook quicker any way.

Hello, chops! Yummy, yummy jerk pork chops. I think I could have thrown in more habaneros, but being a spice-wuss I was hesitant and left it at three peppers.

The cute grilling couple!

Phairhead’s awesomely tasty salad – spinach, tortellini, capers, beans, tomatoes. It was freshness personified and went perfectly with Sexy Beast’s beef short ribs. I had at least two helpings. So freaking good!
I just love creative salads like this – I can never think to make them so good, but I love it when there are tons of delicious ingredients!

Well, hello ribs! That’s really all I can say – because then I was eating them! So good and meaty!

Albany John made plantain fritters (I think they were Piononos).

At any rate – they were plantains he cut up, fried, smashed, made a cheese sandwich out of them, then put them in a fritter batter and fried. He re-heated them on the grill, which I think took a lot of oil out of them. I also sampled more than my fair share before we left – cheese, plus plantains, plus FRIED = auto-awesome.

I had such a great weekend with all of this sun. So warm and nice, I spent as much time outside as I could, and I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with my amigas!

  1. DelSo said:

    That looks like some seriously fantastic food. Hubby is at the grocery store right now – I think I need some short ribs. Pronto! I've got to make a phone call.

  2. Mmmm, meaty! Between the short ribs and the jerked pork I would have been in heaven, they both looked so good. I can hardly recall myt vegetarian days…

  3. Hmmmmmm sweet meat coma! Yr pork had the perfect blend of sweetness & spicy. I say jerk everything in yr pantry!

  4. Wow, plantain fritters…what a fabulous idea! If you don't mind my asking, what kind of cheese?

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