Over at the Fussylittleblog, Daniel B. is once again trying to steer the "Best Of" voting (food related topics) at the Times Union towards deserving establishments. The idea being that a block vote helps local favorites get noticed instead of getting diluted in a sea of votes for chains. Maybe it is a little shady, but I'd argue the results of this annual poll are flawed at best without this tampering. So, I will tamper away.
Before my tampering begins, Daniel and I disagree on a few selections. The only choice I complained about over at Fussylittleblog is Health Food Store. While it may be a beautiful store (don't know-never been) the new Healthy Living Store in Saratoga is not a health food store. Neither is Whole Foods, Price Chopper, Shop Rite or Wegman's. All of these stores sell things that can be found in a health food stores, but they sell a lot of other stuff too. Health Food Stores don't. No beer, seafood counter, nose to tail butcher. The Price Chopper in Westgate has 3 aisles of international foods. Latin stuff, Asian stuff, Caribbean stuff, British stuff, Indian stuff...it isn't an ethnic market.
Since I'm ranting, here are the other parts of the election where I would differ from the block vote
Best Restaurant to Open in the Past Year – Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar
Never been, but it looks like it is a bar that serves some food and not a traditional restaurant. The place sounds great, but not like a great restaurant. No matter what Cheryl Clark says. I recommended Tara Kitchen, but I'm told that place is about 15 months old and doesn't qualify. So how about Comfort Kitchen instead. Never been but it sounds good. There's got to be a few others out there too.
Best Wine Store – All Star Wine & Spirits
I prefer Empire Wines. If you are looking for someone to guide you through the wine world, you are better at All Star. If you know what you want, you can probably save a few bucks getting it at Empire.
Best Italian Market – Cardona’s
In my opinion, Cardona's focuses on prepared foods more than the market side of the business. I used to get pork butt at their meat counter, but haven't for awhile. When I think Italian Market, I go to Pellegrino's on Central.
Best Health Food Store – Healthy Living Market & Cafe
Dean's is the best local health food store.
Best Standalone Butcher – Roma, Latham
Since it is attached to an Italian Market, I'm not sure how "standalone" Roma's is. Plus I have been unimpressed with the butchery side of the store. I think you could do better at Fresh Market down the street. How about we show some love for Sal's or Flavo or Fred the Butcher or Greulich's (also not 100% stand alone).
Enough whining, I'm off to go skew an election. Stop by Fussylittleblog and follow the link to cast you votes. Or you can go the Mr. Dave route and write in "Kurger Bing" for everything.