• Exactly half the IHOP restaurants in the Capital Region have been shuttered. The
locations at 2025 State Street in Schenectady and at 580 Columbia
Turnpike in East Greenbush are both out of business, a decision made by
the parent company that used to prefer using its entire name --
International House of Pancakes -- rather than its acronym (shades of KFC). Fans of IHOP's food still can find it at restaurants located at
16 Wolf Road in Colonie opposite Colonie Center and at 611 Plank Road in
• The fledgling Vault Cafe in downtown Albany has added breakfast service. Breakfast sandwiches -- sausage, egg and cheese; bacon, egg and cheese; tomato, egg and cheese -- at $3.50 and other menu items are available from 8 to 10:30 a.m. The cafe has been open only since June 30. t is located in a former bank building at 100 State Street, literally in the vault that formerly housed Dave's Snack Bar. In keeping with the history of the building, owner-operator Sandra
Poulen offers menu items with banks and robbers themes -- Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger and Jesse James wraps, for example. Hours: 694-0379.
• V&R Italian Restaurant in Albany is offering a September special -- a menu designed for two, something chain competitors have been offering for months. It includes one appetizer to
share, two main courses and one dessert to share, accompanied by two
glasses of house wine (your choice). Price: $50 for what the restaurant says is a $74 value. The deal will expires on September 30. ... The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) is giving away a $40 gift certificate to V&R to one randomly-selected entry e-mailed by Albany Downtown Links members no later than noon Monday, September 15, telling what your favorite Italian dish may be. Go here to enroll in Links. V&R Restaurant is located at 136 Madison Avenue. Phone: 626-0001.