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Affordable Eats
AmericanAsianCajun/CaribbeanIndian/Pakistani
ItalianMediterraneanMexicanPizzaVegetarian

American

Joe Putrock

The Albany Pump Station 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany, 447-9000. This downtown Albany brew pub offers a vast array of American fare. The menu includes meat loaf, fish-n-chips, calamari and a large offering of soups, salads and sandwiches. Full bar. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V, checks. $$

Alcove Marina & Pub 888 Route 4, Schuylerville, 695-6079. Monday-night football, horseshoes and $1 drafts on Tuesdays, video bowling leagues.

Alibis Martini Bar 1100 Madison Ave., Albany, 489-5972. Expanded menu features a creative take on continental fusion with such entrées as pan-seared ahi tuna and appetizers such as clams casino, sushi and potstickers. Reservations suggested on weekends. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $$

The Barnsider 480 Sand Creek Road, Albany. 869-2448. Elegant dining atmosphere, featuring steaks and fresh seafood. Banquet facilities and light fare available. AE, D, MC, V

BEFF’s Tavern 95 Everett Road, Albany, 482-2333; 371 Delaware Ave., Delmar, 475-1111. Known for its pizza, BEFF’s (Big Ed Fat Field’s) also serves half-pound burgers, homemade soups made fresh daily, salads and other bar fare. Try the chicken toes. Daily specials. Full bar. AE, DC, MC, V. $

Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern 611 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham, 785-7215; 4 Middle Mannix Road, Rensselaer, 283-8397. Irish-American is the fare at this casual eatery, famous for its happy hour.

Beverly’s 47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-2755. Gourmet breakfast and lunch (breakfast available all day!) seven days a week. Try the German apple pancake. AE, D, MC, V. $

Big House Brewing Company 90 N. Pearl St., Albany, 445-2739. This three-floor venue serves a wide variety of American fare, ranging from pub food to full dinners. Wood-fired pizzas, pasta, seafood, and, of course, in-house brewed lagers and ales are featured. New homemade dessert menu. Full bar. AE, D, MC, V. Reservations recommended. $

Bleecker Café State and Dove streets, Albany, 463-9382. Casual dining, international menu, late-night snacks, lunch and dinner in Albany’s downtown. Outdoor café in season. Daily lunch and dinner specials. Full bar. AE, MC, V. $$

Blue Ribbon Diner 1801 State St., Schenectady, 393-2600. A “dineraunt” setting with a capacious menu. Save room for the award-winning cheesecake. Reservations suggested for parties of six or more. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. $$

Bread Basket 65 Spring St., Saratoga Springs, 587-4233. Great homemade breads, quiche, scones, pastries, specialty cakes and other luscious treats are available at this small eatery. Cash, personal checks. $

Broadway Joe’s Theater Grill 86 Congress St., Saratoga Springs, 587-JOES (5637). Catch a flick and order from a dinner menu featuring steaks, seafood, pasta, sandwiches and salads (kids’ menu too). Full bar. AE, MC, V. $$

Bumpers Café Armory Center, 64 Colvin Ave., Albany, 641-7618. Cruise on over to the the area’s only automotive-themed restaurant, hop in the back of a ’57 classic and enjoy favorites from the “Something for Everyone” menu. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $

Cooks Deli 46 State St., Albany, 427-2873. A downtown eatery serving up everything from three-egg omelettes to hotcakes to overstuffed sandwiches to grill specials. On the lighter side, try the salads or fruit-and-cheese plate. Delivery available within downtown. Cash only. $

The Country Corner Café 25 Church St., Saratoga Springs, 583-7889. Cozy home-style eatery with loads of breakfast options to choose from as well as sandwiches, homemade soups, jams and more. Cash only. $

Davidson Brothers Restaurant & Brewery 184 Glen St., Glens Falls, 743-9026. Offering a wide variety of appetizers, salads, burgers, wraps, vegetarian dishes and pub fare—including fish and chips and bangers and mash. Full bar including 12 beers hand-crafted on site; seasonal outdoor dining. AE, DC, MC, V. $$

De Johns 288 Lark St., Albany, 436-5660. Stylish restaurant and pub serving dinner on two floors, with an art gallery on the third. A brand-new menu features vegetarian options as well as steaks and seafood, and homemade desserts. More than 35 different wines sold by the glass. Reservations accepted. AE, MC, V. $$

Duncan’s Dairy Bar 890 Hoosick Road, Brunswick, 279-9985. Homemade bread and muffins, eggs any way you wish, fresh soup, Reubens, open-faced turkey sandwiches with gravy, roast beef and baked ham. Great homemade pies, too. No alcohol. Cash only. $

Eamonn’s 151 Menands Road, Loudonville, 463-7440. Corned beef and cabbage isn’t really Irish, but it’s on the menu along with authentic Irish and standard American fare (New York strip steaks, seafood). Full bar. Reservations suggested. AE, MC, V. $

Everglades BBQ and Seafood 827 Saratoga Road, Wilton, 580-9631. Casual, fun atmosphere, serving Florida-style barbecue and seafood. Baby back ribs, smoked chicken and spare ribs slowly cooked over an open pit. Daily fresh selections of seafood, grilled or blackened, including tuna steak, mahi-mahi, shark, salmon and haddock. Appetizers include coconut shrimp, fried gator and wings, and homemade key lime pie for dessert. Beer and wine available. AE, MC, V. $$

Farmer Boy Restaurant Diner 1975 Central Ave., Colonie, 456-2243; fax 869-5480. Where else can you get breakfast all day, any time? Serving steaks, chops, seafood, Italian and Greek dishes just like mom used to make. Full bar. AE, D, MC, V. $

The Fountain 283 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 482-9898. Pizza, finger foods, burgers and other light fare. Also, a selection of Italian dinners. Specials available all week. Full bar. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $

Four Corners Luncheonette 2 Grove St., Delmar, 439-0172. An old-fashioned eatery with counter seating, booths and tables. The menu features a blend of diner fare and fancier stuff; dinner offerings get into more ambitious dishes with a contemporary American touch. Beer and wine. AE, D, MC, V. Cash only. $

Gateway Diner 899 Central Ave., Albany, 482-7557. This traditional diner offers breakfast all day, along with fresh seafood, steaks, Italian dishes and excellent deli-style sandwiches. Full bakery on premises, and all desserts homemade. Full bar. Reservations suggested for parties of eight or more. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. $

Grandma’s Restaurant 1273 Central Ave., Colonie, 459-4585. A comfortable family restaurant with a cozy country interior. Come hungry and enjoy generous helpings of tasty, home-cooked foods from lasagna to roast chicken to huge chef salads. Daily specials, light menu available. Also legendary pie. Beer and wine. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $

Hattie’s 45 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 584-4790, www.hattiesrestaurant.com. Serving authentic Southern and Louisiana cuisine since 1938. Come for the famous fried chicken and biscuits, or try the delicious New Orleans specials, grilled seafood and vegetarian entrées. Specials include crab cakes, seafood gumbo and homemade desserts such as sweet-potato pie and pecan pie. Heated garden patio through October. Full bar. AE, MC, V. $$

Hill Street Café 180 Madison Ave., Albany, 462-3544. Serving good pub food every day and every night. Menu includes chicken wings and grilled chicken sandwiches, wraps, salads and burgers. Full bar. MC, V. $

Holmes & Watson 450 Broadway, Troy, 273-8526. The menu boasts lots of homemade soups and salads, chili, wings, unusual sandwiches, charbroiled burgers, and complete dinners from pasta to seafood and steaks. Daily lunch and dinner specials. More than 200 selections of beer, ale and stout—28 on tap. More than 20 single-malt Scotch selections. Full bar. Reservations suggested for larger parties and Fri-Sat nights. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $$

Hooters Crossgates Mall, 862-9000. Let’s just say this place is known for more than its menu. . . . But seriously, folks, pub-style fare is the mainstay—burgers, wings, all sorts of sandwiches and more. Plenty of televisions for the sports-minded. Full bar. Takeout available. AE, D, MC, V. $$

Horseshoe Inn Bar & Grill 1 Gridley St., Saratoga Springs, 587-4909. Menu features steak, smoked ribs, seafood, pasta and Italian-American specialties. There’s also a pub menu. Daily specials. Full bar. Reservations recommended. AE, MC, V. $$

Hungry Spot Café Collamer Building, 480 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 584-9060. Boasting great homemade soups, fresh rotisserie turkey and daily lunch specials, as well as a vegetarian menu. AE, DC, MC, V, personal checks. $

Indian Ladder Farms 342 Altamont Road, Altamont, 765-2956. An apple orchard with a country store, featuring a café and bakery. Cider, apples and apple products are the specialty. Lunch fare includes hearty gourmet sandwiches, soups, fresh salads and desserts from the bakery. D, MC, V. $

Jillian’s 59 N. Pearl St., Albany, 432-1997. American casual dining is available in the Capital Region’s “eatertainment” establishment. The menu features everything from finger food to full meals with a gourmet flair. Lots of big-screen TVs, a dance club, plenty of pool tables, and a hyperactive video arcade. Full bar. AE, MC, V. $

Joey’s Riverside Restaurant 240 Church St., Albany, 449-5008. Breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual setting, with specials at all meals. Breakfast is served anytime and dinner includes steaks, chops and seafood. AE, D, MC, V. $

Latham ’76 Restaurant 722 New Loudon Road (Route 9), Latham, 785-3793. Look for the fife ’n’ drum sign. It’s hard to miss this spacious eatery, which offers traditional and contemporary dineraunt fare and homemade pastries. Full bar. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $

Lone Star Saloon and Grill 72 Wolf Road, Colonie, 458-7827. A good ol’ Texas steakhouse featuring an 16-oz. Cajun rib eye, the biggest sweet potatoes around, Rosita’s famous filet mignon—and don’t forget the homemade brownie sundae for dessert. Full bar. Takeout available. Reservations recommended for parties of more than 10. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $$

Madison’s End Café 1108 Madison Ave., Albany, 489-8859. An eclectic, thoughtful menu is the mark of this breakfast-and-lunch establishment. Omelettes are a specialty, as are gourmet sandwiches and on-premises baked goods. Vegetarians won’t feel out of place here. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. $

Malt River Brewing Company Latham Circle Mall, Latham, 786-6258. A popular spot featuring regional American cuisine with nouveau brew-pub flair. Try one of the 10 handcrafted beers available. Full bar. Reservations accepted. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $$

Maui Wowi 411 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 580-1433. A taste of the islands in the Saratoga, this Hawaiian restaurant serves up tasty sandwiches and tropical salads nicely accompanied with all-natural and fat-free smoothies. Students receive 10-percent discount with a valid ID.

Metro 20 Diner 1709 Western Ave., Guilderland, 45-METRO (456-3876). Old-fashioned and new-fangled offerings are featured on the menu at this silver diner edged in green, with beautiful art-deco stylings. Look for old-time diner favorites served as daily specials, plus the popular sauté menu. On-premises baking, and breakfast is always available. Full bar. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $

Mild Wally’s 189A Quail St., Albany, 433-1898. A wide array of appetizers, hot and cold subs, wings, pizza, pasta dinners and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Wally’s has party food for pickup or delivery into the wee hours. AE, D, MC, V. $

Miss Albany Diner 893 Broadway, Albany, 465-9148; fax 465-7081. Pre-war diner offers a one-of-a-kind brunch menu, and they cook your fries to your specific request. Menu lists creative lunch sandwiches, and soups are homemade. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $

The Original Saratoga Springs Brew Pub 14 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-3209. A spot that combines the nice ambience (and aroma) of a brewery with the appeal of a good restaurant. The menu features specialty soups and salads, steaks, seafood, burgers, sandwiches and more. Beer list includes original brews made on the premises, plus some guest beers. AE, D, MC, V, ATM. $$

O’Toole’s Restaurant Pub Capital Plaza, Colonie, 464-1200; Quaker Plaza, Queensbury, 793-3389. The menus at both locations feature lots of American classics, like ribs, steaks and chicken, as well as Mexican dishes. Full bar. Reservations accepted. AE, MC, V. $$

The Parting Glass 40-42 Lake Ave., Saratoga Springs, 583-1916. This popular Irish pub serves up more than typical pub fare. The menu features homemade specials like lamb stew and corned beef and cabbage, as well as Italian-American and Irish dishes. Full bar with nearly 100 beers available, including Harp and Guinness on tap. Reservations suggested for parties of 10 or more. AE, MC, V. $

Peaches Café Stuyvesant Plaza, Guilderland, 482-3677. Full lunch and dinner menu includes new appetizers and pastas. Breakfast all day every day, with fare from Belgian waffles to special omelettes. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $

Putnam Market 435 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 587-FOOD (3663). A gourmet marketplace with a gourmet deli serving sandwiches, prepared foods, soups, salads and such to eat in or take out. The mouth-watering sandwich specials include the High Rock (roasted turkey with cheddar and cranberry mayo) and the Karista (fresh mozzarella with roasted red peppers and pesto mayo). AE, MC, V. $

Quintessence 11 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 434-8186. This art-deco diner offers a regular grill menu featuring the house specialty of chicken teriyaki served with spinach fettuccine, and international dishes including Italian and Asian fare. Late-night menu offers wings, pizza and other pub fare. Full bar. Takeout available. Reservations suggested. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $

Ravenous 21 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 581-0560. European-style café serving savory and sweet French crêpes, espresso and pommes frites (french fries). MC, V. $

Sutter’s Mill & Mining Co. 1200 Western Ave., Albany, 489-4910. Back-to-basics bar food is always on tap, and daily dinner specials are served in the back room. Full bar. Takeout available. AE, D, MC, V. $

Sutton’s Marketplace Café 1066 Route 9, Queensbury, 798-1188. A casual eatery in a country store that sells everything from baked goods to gifts to toys. Menu offers a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options, prepared with fresh ingredients. Dinner selections feature creative fresh-fish specials, crabcakes, fresh pasta creations, steaks and traditional homestyle favorites. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $$

TGI Friday’s Stuyvesant Plaza, Guilderland, 489-1661; 1 Southside Drive, Clifton Park, 383-7148. Old posters and found art decorate the walls; the glossy menu boasts Cajun chicken salad, Chinese potstickers, herb-grilled chicken and lots of pizza and pasta dishes. Good finger food, too. Full bar. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $$

Troy Pub & Brewery 417-419 River St., Troy, 273-BEER (2337). A microbrewery selling its own beer and that of many other small breweries, as well as pub-style food, steaks and salads. A new menu places an emphasis on creative sandwiches, flavorful appetizers and dinner entrées. AE, MC, V. $$

Turf House Grill Holiday Inn Turf, 205 Wolf Road, Colonie, 458-7250. Menu includes chicken, seafood and steaks. Full bar. Reservations suggested. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $$$

Uncle Milty’s Route 9W, Glenmont, 434-3761. A traditional diner serving homemade fare. Daily specials, homemade soups and breakfast served all day. Specialities include omelettes, salads, burgers and hot and cold deli sandwiches. Outdoor dining on the deck. Takeout available. Cash only. $

The Van Dyck Restaurant & Brewery 237 Union St., Schenectady, 381-1111. This landmark jazz establishment in the historic Stockade has been resurrected with a menu of eclectic food. Tavern menu ranges from light fare to full dinners, with anything from wings to various seafood combos. Fine-dining menu changes seasonally. Full bar featuring assorted microbrewed beers. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $$$

Washington Tavern 250 Western Ave., Albany, 427-0091. Although this spot is best-known for its traditional tavern fare, the facility has recently been upgraded and is now also offering a special dinner menu (available evenings from 5 to 9) sporting such dishes as steak, ribs and sizzling fajitas. Full bar. Takeout available. AE, MC, V, ATM. $

The Waterfront 626 Crescent Ave., Saratoga Springs, 583-2628. Sure, there’s seafood, as befits a place with a view of the lake, but there’s also a full menu of steaks, ribs, sandwiches, burgers and daily specials. Lots of appetizers, too, like nachos and wings. Full bar. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $$

Asian

A Dragon 858 Madison Ave., Albany, 459-8558. Chinese food. Free delivery, student discount. Cash only. $

Bangkok Thai Restaurant 8 Wolf Road, Colonie, 435-1027. Menu features dishes like basil chicken with fresh green-curry sauce, broiled snapper with coconut-curry sauce, pad Thai noodles, tsom yom goong soup, chicken satay, shrimp and vegetable spring rolls. Full bar. AE, DC, MC, V. $

Ichiban 338 Central Ave., Albany, 432-0358, Japanese and Chinese dishes including donburi, noodle soups and sushi lunch specials. Takeout and delivery available. AE, D, MC, V. $$

Peking Restaurant 1100 Madison Ave., Albany, 489-0606. Specializing in Chinese, Thai and sushi. Favorites include Peking duck, General Tso’s chicken and crispy orange beef. Delivery and takeout available. Reservations suggested for parties of five or more. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $$

Saso’s Japanese Noodle House 218 Central Ave., Albany, 436-7789. Serving traditional Japanese foods, including more than 20 kinds of sushi and a variety of noodle dishes. Takeout available. AE, D, MC, V. $$

Sukhothai 254 Lark St., Albany, 463-0223. A modest eatery where you’re welcome to enjoy your meal at one of the handful of tables or order to go. The exotic menu includes such customer favorites as ginger chicken, vegetable curry and lemongrass shrimp soup, all cooked without MSG. Cash only. $

Tai Pan 1519 Route 9, Halfmoon, 383-8581. All-Asian cuisine, concentrating on Thai and Chinese foods. Takeout available. AE, MC, V. $$

Cajun/Caribbean

Bayou Café 507 Saratoga Road (Route 50), Glenville, 384-7226; 79 N. Pearl St., Albany, 426-8550. The menu boasts a wide selection of Mexican, Southwestern and Cajun goodies. Among the favorites are the jambalaya, a Cajun gumbo and the sizzling fajitas. Full bar with a full line of microbrews, 29 beers on tap and at least 30 types of bottled brew. AE, D, MC, V. $$

Clayton’s Caribbean American Cuisine 244 Washington Ave., Albany, 426-4360. Authentic Caribbean and Spanish food, including arroz con pollo, curry chicken, veggie fajitas and much more. Wine and beer. Takeout and delivery available. AE, D, MC, V. $$

Roy’s Restaurant and Groceries 185 Henry Johnson Blvd., Albany, 433-1343. Specializing in Jamaican food. American menus available. 10-percent discount with student ID. Cash only. $

Indian/Pakistani

Aashiana 118 Jay St., Schenectady, 370-3664. The name refers to either a bird’s nest or a sense of home, and the proprietors offer an assortment of Pakistani-Indian cuisine, with both meat and vegetarian dishes available. No alcohol. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $

Curry House 1112 Madison Ave., Albany, 438-2265. This Northern Indian restaurant features curries, shish kebabs, tandoori and a variety of appetizers. Lunch buffet daily. AE, D, DC, MC, V $

Gandhi Indian Restaurant 1 Central Ave., Albany, 449-5577. It’s the epicenter of Albany’s Indian-restaurant neighborhood, serving Northern Indian food and offering a weekday $5.95 lunch buffet from 11:30 to 2:30. AE, DC, MC, V. $

Little India 423 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 583-4151. Menu features vegetarian dishes, as well as chicken curry, chicken and lamb biryani, seafood shim bhuna. Beer and wine. Takeout available. Reservations suggested. AE, DC, MC, V. $

Shalimar Restaurant 35 Central Ave., Albany, 434-0890; 405 Fulton St., Troy, 273-8744. Very inexpensive, spicy Indian fare to eat in or take out. Serving a variety of vegetarian, meat and chicken dishes, fresh-baked tandoori bread and other stuffed breads. No alcohol. Reservations not accepted. AE, D, DC, MC, V, traveler’s checks. $

Italian

Bongiorno’s 23 Dove St., Albany, 462-9176. Specializing in veal and seafood dishes, including clams marinara, seafood fra diavolo and veal Francese. Full bar. Takeout available. Reservations accepted. AE, MC, V. $$

Cavaleri’s 334 Second Ave., Albany, 463-4320. Traditional Italian home-style food, including huge portions of veal, pasta, homemade sausage and other favorites. Full bar. Takeout available. MC, V. $$

Lombardo’s 121 Madison Ave., Albany, 462-9180. An Albany favorite, with many different pasta dishes and a menu featuring 15 different veal dishes, among many other offerings. Nightly specials, too. Full bar. Takeout available. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $$

Mangia 1562 New Scotland Ave. (Route 85), Slingerlands, 439-5555; Stuyvesant Plaza, 482-8000; Shoppers World Plaza (off 146), Clifton Park, 383-6666. The pizzas come out of the wood-fired oven and include such exotic combos as chicken pesto, barbecued chicken and a healthy vegetarian pizza pie. All pastas are fresh. Beer and extensive wine list (full bar at Stuyvesant Plaza location). Takeout available. Reservations suggested. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $

Mercato’s Pizzeria & Restaurant 155 Delaware Ave., Delmar, 475-7777. Featuring veal, chicken, seafood, pasta, pizza and baked goods. AE, MC, V. $$

Nicole’s Italia 20 Mall, 2080 Western Ave., Guilderland, 456-8242. Southern and Northern Italian specialties served in an intimate atmosphere. Lunch buffet daily. Full bar. Takeout available. Reservations suggested. AE, D, MC, V. $$

The Olive Garden 178 Wolf Road, Colonie, 458-8676. An extensive, Americanized Italian menu includes lots of pastas, appetizers and salads. Full bar. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $$

Ralph’s Tavern 1328 Central Ave., Colonie, 489-8290. Italian-American fare is the mainstay, with the daily specials including hot turkey, pizzas, prime rib and 30-cent wings. Full bar. Reservations accepted Mon-Thu. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $

Ristorante Paradiso 198 Central Ave., Albany, 462-5812. Authentic Italian-American cuisine, featuring pasta, beef, veal and seafood dishes, as well as authentic Italian wood-fired pizza. Full bar. AE, CB, D, MC, V. $$

Testo’s 124th Street and Fourth Avenue, Troy, 235-0444. Family-run Italian restaurant with a family ambience, specializing in pasta dishes, veal and seafood. Home of Testo’s Gourmet Pasta Sauce. Beer and wine. D, MC, V. $

Mediterranean

Bagel Bite 544 Delaware Ave., Albany, 449-1214. Bagels are just the beginning at this locally owned establishment, which serves up omelettes, triple-decker sandwiches and a New York and Middle Eastern-style dinner menu. MC, V. $

Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar 1192 Western Ave., Albany, 438-1144. Mediterranean fare served in comfortable surroundings. Tapas and personal-sized pizzas are part of the menu, and you can make a considerable meal for yourself simply by snacking. But don’t overlook such entrées as grilled portobello with penne. Full bar. AE, DC, D, MC, V. $$$

BFS Restaurant 1736 Western Ave., Guilderland. 452-6342. Fine Mediterranean cuisine, including falafel, spanakopita, kebabs, baba ghanouj, tabbouleh, veggie platters and many other Lebanese, Moroccan, Egyptian, Greek and Italian dishes. Beer and wine. Eat in or take out. AE, MC, V. $$

Mamoun’s Mideast Café 206 Washington Ave., Albany, 434-3901. Serving such Mediterranean dishes as shish kebab, tabbouleh, falafel, hummus and stuffed grape leaves. Special vegetarian menu. Takeout available. No alcohol. MC, V. $

A Taste of Greece 193 Lark St., Albany, 426-9000. A bistro setting serving up the gamut of Greek fare: spanakopita, dolomades, Greek salad, gyros and souvlakia, kebabs, moussaka and more. AE, D, MC, V. $

Mexican

Joe Putrock

Bombers Burrito Bar 258 Lark St., Albany, 463-9635. A healthy-sized menu includes vegetarian-friendly options amid a creative selection of sizable burritos, soft and hard tacos, different kinds of chili (including a vegetarian option), quesadillas and finger foods such as sweet-potato or tofu fries and loaded nachos. Take out or eat in. AE, MC, V. $

El Loco Mexican Café 465 Madison Ave., Albany, 436-1855. An eccentric bistro where the specialties include quesadillas, chili rellenos, Tex-Mex fare and many vegetarian items. Watch for unusual daily specials. Full bar. Takeout available. Reservations suggested for large parties Tue-Thu and Sun. AE, MC, V. $

El Mariachi 144 Washington Ave., Albany, 465-2568. This Mexican restaurant moved closer to downtown, but the food is still of the authentic variety. Try the cochinita pibil, a popular pork roast made with orange juice and red onions. AE, MC, V. $

El Mariachi II 289 Hamilton St., Albany, 432-7580. Authentic Mexican and Spanish dishes, including paella and pollo San Marco. Full bar—featuring over 45 top tequilas. AE, MC, V. $$$

Esperanto 6 1/2 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 587-4236. The eclectic menu boasts specialties from around the world. Look for the burritos, Thai chicken, Israeli falafel and Cajun-style jambalaya. AE, MC, V. $

Garcia’s 1614 Central Ave., Colonie, 456-4116. A menu of modified Mexican items includes pollo fundido, fajitas, burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas, as well as Tex-Mex barbecued ribs. Full bar. Takeout available. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $

Mexican Connection 41 Nelson Ave., Saratoga Springs, 584-4466. Try the burro grande or a California tostada; also fajitas and daily specials. Full bar, including 30 fine tequilas and many Mexican beers. Reservations suggested. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $$

Maria’s 185 1/2 Lark St., Albany, 472-9429. Homemade Spanish and Mexican food prepared fresh daily. Specializing in Spanish salads, soups, quesadillas, fajitas, burritos and tacos. Takeout available. Cash only. $

Pizza

D’Andrea’s 33 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 584-3632. Pizza, focaccia sandwiches, fried foods, “grubs” (grinder-subs), stuffed breads. Takeout only; free delivery. D, MC, V, checks. $

DeFazio’s Pizzeria 266 Fourth St., Troy, 271-1111. Twenty-one gourmet wood-fired pizzas, plus homemade pasta—21 varieties—antipasti, salads, Homemade Italian sauces available in DeFazio’s retail store next door. No alcohol. Cash only. $

Fireside Pizzeria 1631 Eastern Parkway, Schenectady, 382-1616. An Electric City mainstay. Serving pizza, of course, along with burgers, salads and traditional Italian-American dishes. Takeout and delivery available. Full bar. Reservations suggested. AE, MC, V. $

I Love New York Pizza 125 4th St., Troy, 274-0071; 1825 Central Ave, Colonie, 452-9200. Many varieties of pizza with unique toppings, and high-quality fresh ingredients. Inventive pies include, eggplant and broccoli, baked lasagna, chicken marsala, chicken parm, Philly cheesesteak and the new antipasto.

The New Madison Grille 331 Madison Ave., Albany, 434-1938. Pizza is the specialty—the New Madison Grille has revived the famous 50-year-old pizza recipe from the former establishment. Also serving a high-quality but reasonably priced menu of salads, sandwiches, burgers and other entrées. Full bar. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. $

Pizza Baron 315 Central Ave., Albany, 462-2222. Delaware Plaza, Delmar, 439-2222. Pizzas any way you like, but if you’re into something different try the Baron Babies, soft garlic-butter breadsticks, or the jumbo baked (not deep-fried) wings. Eat in or take out. Delivery available. AE, D, MC, V at Albany location. Cash/checks only at Delmar location. $

Pizzeria Uno Crossgates Mall, Guilderland, 869-3100; 601 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham, 782-7166. Chicago-style deep-dish pizza at both locations, as well as salads, ribs, chicken, sandwiches, burgers and express lunch daily. Full bar. Takeout available. Advanced seating requests accepted. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. $

Smith’s Tavern 112 Maple Ave. (Route 85A), Voorheesville, 765-4163. Open since 1945. Serving sandwiches, salads, homemade soups and, best of all, award-winning pizza with homemade dough and sauce. With more than 40 types of beer and microbrews. Cash and checks only. $

Sovrana 63 N. Lake Ave., Albany, 465-0961. Family-owned and run Italian deli serving some of the best pizza around. $

Vegetarian

Antipasto’s Routes 146 and 146A (Clifton Park Plaza), Clifton Park, 383-1209. Vegetarian-friendly restaurant with a Mediterranean flair, serving homemade salads, pizzas with specialty toppings, pasta, greens and beans, and homemade vegetarian soups. Creative specials nightly. Extensive beer and wine list includes 40 beers and more than 400 wines (50 by the glass). Cash and checks only. $$$

Four Seasons 33 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 584-4670. Natural-food restaurant and store with a vegetarian buffet featuring healthful, flavorful whole foods, soups, desserts and breads. No alcohol. AE, D, DC, MC, V. $

Shades of Green 187 Lark St., Albany, 434-1830. This vegetarian restaurant is the healthy choice of the downtown crowd. Special entrées featured daily along with freshly made soups, fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, salads, sandwiches and other whole-earth specialties. Get there early if you want a seat at lunchtime. No alcohol. Cash, personal checks. $$

Stone Soup Deli Honest Weight Food Co-op, 484 Central Ave., Albany, 482-2667. Fresh, healthful soups, salads, sandwiches, baked goods, pizzas and ethnic specialties made daily. D, MC, V, personal checks. $

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Metroland's Dining Guide 2001
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