Thursday, November 19, 2015

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


• As previously reported, the steakhouse and live entertainment venue Rascals will open in Guilderland's Crossgates Mall. What's new is that construction is under way and the announced timeline calls for a first-quarter 2016 opening. The $3.2 million project, located opposite the newly-opened Funny Bone Comedy Club & Restaurant, covers 16,000 square feet. It will include two stages, three bars, dining space, and room for more than 900 customers. Nicholas Armstrong, currently of The Merry Monk in Saratoga Springs, will be the executive chef.


• There are plenty of celebratory events coming up in the next few days around the region. They range from the dressy 21st annual Beaujolais Nouveau Celebration at the Empire State Plaza to the 2nd annual P.A.L. Chili, Chowder & Soup Fest in the Washington Park Lakehouse, both in Albany. You can get details and links to both of those events as well as dozens more by going to my Capital Region Food & Drinks Events calendar.


• The Bob & Ron’s Fish Fry location on Central Avenue in Albany has closed, ending a 67-year run at that spot. The abrupt move was accompanied by a sign in the window saying, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, this location will no longer be open.” There still is a Bob & Ron's at 471 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, that owner Dan Zonca opened in the summer of 2013.


Menu additions at chains operating in the greater Capital Region.

Burger 21 (November 21 through December 20) -- Turkey Decadence Burger, pictured (turkey patty with romaine lettuce, sliced tomato, honey mustard, melted goat cheese and Momma Lynn’s kitchen sink chutney on a brioche bun, $6.99-$7.99, depending on location), Pumpkin Pie Shake (vanilla ice cream, graham cracker, pumpkin butter, sugar and autumn spices spun into a milkshake and topped with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar, $4.49-$5.49 for a small, $4.99-$5.99 for a regular, depending on location).

IHOP (through January 3; prices vary by location) -- Chicken & Pumpkin Spice Waffle, pictured (Belgian waffle made with pumpkin, topped with pumpkin spice sugar and candied pecans, served with fried white meat chicken), Banana Bread French Toast (banana bread with cinnamon bits dipped in vanilla French toast batter, grilled and topped with caramel sauce, powdered sugar and whipped topping), Pumpkin Spice Waffle (Belgian waffle made with pumpkin and sprinkled with pumpkin spice sugar and whipped topping), Pumpkin Waffle Sundae: (pumpkin Belgian waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, candied pecans and pumpkin spice sugar), Roasted Turkey & Fixings (sliced roasted turkey breast topped with gravy and served with cornbread stuffing, Parmesan mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli and a side of lingonberries), Caramel Bon Bon Pancakes (buttermilk pancakes layered with dulce de leche cream and topped with caramel sauce and whipped topping), Pumpkin coffee (Arabica coffee with pumpkin syrup, topped with whipped topping and pumpkin spice sugar).

• Pizza Hut (unspecified limited time) -- Hershey’s Hot Chocolate Brownie (Hershey’s cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate chips and Special Dark chocolate chips baked in a brownie and topped with chocolate syrup and mini-marshmallows, $6.99).

Johnny Rockets (through January 3; prices vary by location) -- Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich (thinly sliced grilled sirloin steak mixed with caramelized onions and green peppers topped with melted provolone cheese on an Amoroso roll, $7.09-$10.49), Chipotle Chicken Sandwich (grilled chicken breast topped with caramelized onions, melted pepper Jack cheese, chipotle ranch sauce, thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato on a whole wheat bun, $6.99-$9.99), Philly Cheesesteak Loaded Street Fries (a plate of fries topped with grilled, thinly sliced sirloin steak, melted provolone cheese, grilled mushrooms, caramelized onions and grilled green peppers, covered in warm Cheddar cheese sauce, $7.59-$10.79),  Salted Caramel Shake (vanilla ice cream, vanilla extract, salted caramel syrup and sauce, topped with mini pretzels and pretzel rods, $4.99-5.99 for adult size, $3.59-$4.29 for kids’ size).

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