Thursday, October 29, 2015

Today's ride on the Capital Region foodie-go-round


SOARING

I recently noted that McDonald's released a positive quarterly financial report that ended a two-year string of losses. While that undoubtedly resulted in high-fives in the board room, it can't hold a candle to the joy that undoubtedly is being felt at the Arby's Restaurant Group headquarters in Atlanta. The company said on Wednesday that its same-store sales rose 9.6% in the third quarter ended September 30, which means its sales have risen for 20 consecutive quarters. Arby’s sales outperformed the entire quick-service restaurant category by 7.4%, according to research firm NPD Group. It is the 11th straight quarter the 3,300-unit company outperformed its peers. In the Capital Region, there is an Arby's venue in a small strip of shops at 133 Wolf Road.

UNDOING

• The sale of two Albany restaurants to a Troy restaurateur is kaput. Mike Moscatiello tells the Times Union his plan to purchase The Ginger Man and the Washington Tavern from Michael and Pat Byron has "no hope." Negotiations that began last spring have disintegrated into dueling lawsuits between the two parties -- Moscatiello and partner Joe Iannacito claiming all sorts of underhanded moves by the Burtons, and they in turn sending a countersuit to Moscatiello's lawyer. Moscatiello owns Mosacatiello's Italian Family Restaurant, 99 North Greenbush Road (Route 4), just south of Hudson Valley Community College.

DEVELOPING

• Corey Nelson tells the Business Review he is hoping to open his downtown Troy food court by the end of the year, an ambitious timeline given that he just finalized the $348,000 purchase of the former Pioneer market building at 77 Congress Street this month. The space is undergoing a rebuild, although some kitchen equipment remains from its former incarnations as the Pioneer market and the short-lived Troy Food Co-op. What he has named the Troy Kitchen will become home to five different vendors, including Nelson's own beer-and-wine bar, and a stage for live performances. Customers will find a communal seating area and wi-fi if they choose to stay inside after purchasing food and beverages. Nelson is playing close to the vest as to the vendors, but he has been teasing a bit on the project's Facebook page, saying he is considering a vegan food vendor, and that there will be "4 Permanent Artisan Food Vendors, Coffee Bar, Wine & Beer Bar."

• Rensselaer is about to get a breakfast-and-brunch restaurant in a 1,060-square-foot building where Tortillas once operated. Chef-owner Joseph Ventrice, who formerly worked for the Mallozzi Family restaurant and catering group, is putting the finishing touches on The Shakin Bacon at 138 Broadway. He tells me opening day is set for Monday, November 9. Ventrice says his new venture will offer delivery within a three-mile radius and catering services in addition to on-premises meals. A few examples of what he'll be offering on his menu: for breakfast, red velvet pancakes and the Starvin' Marvin sandwich (three eggs, caramelized bacon, house-made sausage, and cheese on a hero roll); for lunch, a lineup of Italian sandwiches such as the Uncle Paulie (marinated char-grillled chicken breast, sauteed spinach, frizzled artichokes, fresh mozzarella, lemon-pepper mayo, on a toasted brioche roll) and the Big Anthony (capicola, salami, sopressata, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, onion, tomato, marinated pepper mayo, toasted hero roll). You can see the entire menu online. Ventrice pledges not to use processed foods, and to source from local vendors as much as possible.

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