Friday, January 22, 2016

Today's ride on the Capital Region Foodie-Go-Round


• Maurice's Sandwich Shop has closed the Wolf Road, Colonie, location it opened 14 years ago to make room for a new tenant. (See next item.) The company's two other locations -- 2001 State Street in Schenectady and Maurice's Pearl Street Deli in downtown Albany -- remain open. The original deli was founded in the 1950s by Maurice Green, who had been an Army cook, and his wife, Sylvia. When Maurice retired in 1974, he sold the deli to Bruce and Celia Sciocchetti. In 1996, their son and daughter, Michael and Laura, joined the business and took over when their parents retired. While each store is independently managed, they all are within the Sciocchetti family.


• The Which Wich chain of sandwich shops -- yes, that actually is the name -- is coming to the Capital Region. The 12-year-old company that began in Dallas will open in the former Maurice's Sandwich Shop on Wolf Road in Colonie. (See item above.) Franchise owner Atul Malviya also plans to open another venue at an undisclosed location next fall or winter. Which Wich has nearly 400 locations around the country and the Middle East, although its only other New York venue is in the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga. This is the latest sandwich chain to enter the market in recent years such as Jimmy John's and Firehouse Subs.


Menu changes at chains operating in the greater Capital Region.

Carrabba's Italian Grill -- The chain has just introduced a sweeping revamp of its menu, with two dozen new offerings. They range from a Tuscan Strawberry Salad, pictured here (wood-grilled chicken or shrimp served over mixed greens, strawberries, toasted pine nuts, red onion, tomatoes and crumbled Gorgonzola in strawberry vinaigrette), a Tuscan Grilled Pork Chop (a 14-ounce chop grilled with signature grill baste, olive oil and herbs, available simply grilled or with spicy Sicilian butter or Gorgonzola sauce), and Italian Lettuce Wraps (wood-grilled chicken tossed with vegetables and ricotta salata in Mediterranean lemon vinaigrette, and served over romaine lettuce drizzled with a port wine reduction).

Bruegger’s Bagels -- Breakfast Brisket, pictured here (spice-rubbed brisket smoked over hardwood and served with an egg, Muenster cheese, pickled onions and horseradish sauce on an everything bagel $4.59-$5.29, depending on location), Twisted Brisket (brisket with bacon, Muenster and Dijonnaise on toasted jalapeño cornbread, $6.99-$7.69).

Au Bon Pain -- Superfood Blueberry Chia Hot Cereal, pictured here (oats, quinoa and puffed amaranth with dried blueberries, cinnamon, sunflower seeds and chia seeds, $2.89 for a small, $3.09 for a medium and $3.49 for a large), Avocado BLT (avocado, applewood smoked bacon, romaine lettuce, tomatoes and basil aïoli on toasted country white bread, $6.99), Black Angus Steak and Cheese Sandwich (roast beef, pickled red onions, three Cheddar blend, roasted red peppers and horseradish aïoli on ciabatta, $7.79), Fresh Garden & Avocado Wrap (avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots and arugula dressed in a light lemon-shallot vinaigrette and wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla, $6.39), Garden Veggie Bagel (a bagel with broccoli, carrots and chives baked into it, $1.19), Garden Veggie Bagel Sandwich (egg whites, turkey sausage and Cheddar cheese on a Garden Veggie Bagel, $4.99), Cherry Kouign-Amman (layered pastry with caramelized sugar, filled with cherry preserves, $2.79), Red Velvet Cookie (cookie with white chocolate chips, $1.89), Toasted Marshmallow Latte (espresso blended with cinnamon syrup and toasted marshmallow syrup, topped with frothed milk, $1.99 for a medium and $2.59 for a large). Available through February 22.

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