Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happening Troy Places


This is a response to Lady ChowChow's blog at: Is the Capital Area actually a happening place?

I was browsing the Internet and saw that a blogger nammed "Lady ChowChow" was questioning if the Capital Region was "happening." Being a mobile disc jockey from Troy, NY, I do get to see some very interesting places and meet some really interesting people. I would like to, therefore, respond to their recent post about happening areas in the Capital District. My vote is that this Upstate area is "happening" and not just in the mainstream areas that one would think to visit, like Albany and Saratoga.

While the Big Apple is called "the city that never sleeps" and seemingly always has something going on somewhere, The Capital Region is also happening, and not just in the so-called "hot spots." Areas in and around the state's capital are making an impact and not just by the creation of great new businesses and eateries popping up around Albany, NY.

For quite a while, Albany was really the only real town to go to for Capital Region "happening" happenings, but it seems, as of late, it's neighbor, Troy, NY is also becoming "the place to be." Here are a few reasons that The Capital Region is in fact happening, in Troy, proving that the area, as a whole is worth taking a look at:

Troy NY Place to go 1) CHARLES F LUCAS CONFECTIONERY - Lady ChowChow, first off, you hit sugary nail right on the head with your recent review. You are correct that the Lucus Confectionery & Wine Bar is a delicious place to grab a glass of wine with friends. They have a great wine list, with a vast import selection that allows wine drinkers of all makes the means to find something that they will personally enjoy.

The snacks are great. The cheese offerings at the Charles F Lucas Wine Bar are not cheesy, to say the least, and the sweets menu compliments the attitudes of the staff and owners: "comfortable and engaging."This truly is one of the newest happening spots to break out in Troy, where people go who want to try something new.

2) BROWNS BREWING CO. - Another interesting place the Troy traveler will want to try is Browns Brewing Co. If you are feeling more like beer instead of wine with weekly live entertainment, and interested in looking for a micro brewery with great food to boot, 417 River street is where it is at.

At Brown's Brewing Company, they have an impressive selection of homemade brews including Oatmeal Stout, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Porter, Whiskey Porter, Tomhannock Pilsner, and my wife DJ Maria's personal favorite Cherry Raspberry Ale. Order one of these pints in a membership mug (well worth the money) along with a hot pretzel and you are good to go!

(Brown's Brewing Company is also the host of Revolution Hall, a musical venue that also pinch hits as an in-house catered wedding hall. Here is a recent review I wrote up on it, looking at Browns as a Wedding Venue.)

3) DINOSAUR BARBQUE - The Tres Amigos" Bar-BQ sampler at Dinosaur Barbque in Troy, NY., that is happening. Ask my stomach! In what many refer to as "the best biker bar around," this BBQ joint embraces individuality.The wait staff dress respectably, while at the same time showing off body art and piercings. However, they present each customer with excellent service and arguably the best barbque around.

Even though Dinosaurs Barbque has other locations regionally, they are not at all mainstream and corporate. Dinosaurs is all about the local scene. They book local entertainment, host live events and are really becoming part of the Troy, NY scene. Carrying their own competitor Brown's beer on tap, the atmosphere is one you won't want to write off in your Troy visit, and if you choose, you can even write on their bathroom wall, as that is encouraged, as well.

Troy NY restaurant
4) JOSE MALONE MEXICAN IRISH RESTAURANT - Lady ChowChow, I don't know what ethnic cuisine you prefer, but at this location, it doesn't matter...If you want the best in Mexican-Irish cuisine? (Insert ethnic joke here ___________. I could hit all kinds of stereotypical jokes here, but it is way too easy.)

Local Chef Ryan Cusack is the cultural mash-up mastermind behind this Mexican Irish blend. His mix of of mouth-watering Mexican & Latino dishes with Irish favorites makes this a place you have to experience to understand. If you want originality, this is the place to be, Jose Malone's serves Irish Bangers & Mash with a guacamole. This odd cultural mash-up is also quickly becoming known for their original margaritas and their once-a-week tapas menu.

Jose Malone is seemingly the perfect place to eat corned beef burritos, get drunk and have a siesta with all your friends. This, too, is a definite cultural melting pot in Uncle Sam's hometown that you won't want to miss.

What the hell? They even have a live Bluegrass music night?!

5) FOOTSY MAGOOS - One of the few places near Albany where one can find "pickleback shots" and a great peanut butter white Russian is also in Troy. Footsy's, making it's home in what used to be a savings bank, has a good selection of Scotch and Beers that you can easily bank on.

Whether you are hungry, thirsty, or just looking for a place that you can go to to have a good time with friends, this is a pace that is worth investing your night at. This oddly-decorated little place has a decent shepherd's pie, pictures of professional wrestlers and playing cards shellacked to the walls in the men's room, and a skee ball inside the steel vault from the old bank.

6) VILLA VALENTI PUB - Over on Pawling Avenuw is a pizza pub with great food and a rich history; perhaps one of the oldest and well-known pubs in Troy, owned formerly by Academy Award winner Maureen Stapleton and her brother John. Winning local chicken wing competition awards it seems now yearly, Villa Valenti Pub has a huge pizza take-out business, great pub fare, a beverage list that can't be beat.

This warm and friendly watering hole also mixes their great food and spirits with weekly entertainment. There is an Open Mic night. There are live bands. They have a weekly game-show like trivia game steeped in prizes and they also feature the area's hottest Karaoke Jam with old school music videos and every game playing on the 27 big screen TVs. This is the happening "place to be" for a great mix of food and fun.

So is the Capital Region happening, in Troy? Your thoughts?

Lady ChowChow bloggers, I challenge you to come back to Troy, NY sometime soon and give a few of these happening places a try. Then you will know, first hand, why Troy, NY is helping to better make The Capital Region a happening place!

- Yours smoothly,
DJ Kenny Casanova

P.S. I almost forgot The Brown Bag!!! (Pineapple Salsa Burger! Duh!)

For more on Troy, NY and also party planning tips & wedding information in The Capital Region, check out DJ Kenny Casanova's blog.


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