Last July, I blogged about the delicious (and seemingly Albany-centric) restaurant delicacy known as the Italian Cheeseburger. An Italian Cheeseburger consists of two beef patties on a toasted or grilled grinder roll, with the beef patties layered with cheese, mustard, ketchup and French fries inside the grinder roll. The sandwich is sliced into a “short” section and a “long” section, and is served with additional French fries and ketchup.
So far, I’ve found three locations for this delicious comfort food in the Albany area – mostly in “mom and pop” Halal-specific fast food eateries downtown.
Yesterday – I found a fourth restaurant in the most unlikely spot.
The Colonie Center shopping mall.
This little nondescript sandwich place in the Colonie Center food court – just adjacent to the movie theater – has the Italian Cheeseburger on its menu. What, you can’t see it on the menu? Let me help.
Yep. Not only do you get a delicious Italian Cheeseburger (with fries and diet cola, as it should be served) for $10 and change, you can also watch a little La Liga soccer between Villareal FC and Real Madrid on the back screen (someone from Villareal FC scored between the time I ordered my food and the time it arrived, didn’t pay attention as to who).
Anyways … here’s what an Italian Cheeseburger looks like, dressed and served.
Now is this the best Italian Cheeseburger in the Capital District?
I still say that Pearl Fried Chicken on the corner of South Pearl Street and Madison Avenue blows all the other Italian Cheeseburgers out of the water, but this one comes pretty close to success. Fries are crispy, bread is nice and toasty, and the beef inside has a nice texture to it.
See, here’s the thing. I believe that Capital District residents deserve their own true Capital Region-centric delicacy. Rochester has its garbage plate. Binghamton has their chicken spiedies. Saratoga Spring gave the world potato chips. Heck, even Plattsburgh has those Michigan hot dogs.
What does Albany truly have? Sturgeon? Maybe 100 years ago, not now. Freihofer’s cookies? You know as well as I do that Freihofer’s changed the recipe from chewy melt-in-you-mouth tastiness to brick-hard Chips Ahoy! knockoffs when Freihofer’s became part of Bimbo Bakeries. Raspberry dipping sauce for mozzarella sticks? Dipping sauce? That’s the best we can pull?
No, seriously. The Italian Cheeseburger is the Albany-centric taste treat this area needs, and I’m willing to die on its French fried hill to make it so.
So I’ve got four Italian Cheeseburger eateries on my list- two on Central Avenue, one in the South End, and the one in Colonie Center.
And somewhere in this great city … there may be a fifth place.
Or possibly a sixth. You don’t know. 😀