What does one do after a hard day of judging pizza? Get wings and drinks with your fellow judges, ya!
We ended up at The Fountain (283 New Scotland Ave, Albany, NY 12208), nearer the end of the night when things were winding down for them. We have judged their pizza for the Tournament of Pizza in the past, and I dig it, though it’s pub pizza and nothing at all like NY style pizza (for those wondering).
I’ve eaten there in the past, although it was never much to really keep me coming back, it’s a solid enough space. While I’m not exactly giving it a glowing review, it’s one of those neighborhood joints you can go, get reliably good food in a relaxed atmosphere. The service is always slow when I’ve gone, but when you’re chatting and hanging out, this is a positive and not a negative since the tables aren’t getting turned and burned. So yeah, if you’re pressed for time or on a schedule, this is probably not the first place on your list, but if you want to shoot the shit and have a leisurely evening, this is a great bet.
Two orders of wings for Daniel B., Joe & Nora, Albany John and me. First up were the garlic wings ordered extra crispy. Good crisp skin on them with lots of crunch. Not really a lot of garlic flavor, though.
I also kind of balked at the prices. $6.95 for 10 wings. That’s almost a dollar a wing (I know, I know, technically $0.695 per wing). I know we’re in the middle of a wing recession, but yikes. They had better be fucking amazing for that price. I guess the $7 for 12 wings at the Ruck isn’t so bad after all.
Okay, I also kind of balk at the $0.30 charge for all take-out orders at The Fountain. I mean, how is that price not built in to the dinners? The people who dine-in and take their leftovers home aren’t charged extra, and will cost the house more than just taking food out, so why the extra charge for someone getting take out? It just kind of comes off as nickel and diming the customers to me.
The extra crispy, extra hot wings weren’t really either. They were hot, but nothing I couldn’t take (which means they weren’t really hot), and a few bites here and there were crispy, but the skin got soggy over a lot of them. Eh. Not a fan of the soggy fried chicken skin texture.
I don’t know. Overall I think The Fountain serves its function, and I’d go there to meet up with someone, but I don’t know if I’d ever really pick it myself, you know? Like, it’s fine. Fine. But I think The Lark Tavern spoiled me for so many years with such amazingly good pub food, prices, and service. So now when I go out, I’m like “It’s good. It’s fine.” But there’s always the subconscious Lark Tavern bar to pass, which is unfairly high.