Mingling at The Cheese Traveler on Delaware Ave.

Delaware Ave in Albany has some amazing places to get food.  New World Bistro, Mingle, Emack and Bolio’s (I know it’s not locally owned but still delish) and most recently, The Cheese Traveler and All Good Bakers.  The only unfortunate thing is that I have only tried three of the places mentioned above.  Lucky for me, they were all superb.  We headed down to Albany to run some errands and I had one thing in mind; where are we going to eat on Delaware Ave?  All Good Bakers was a top priority for a few reasons.  One, they offer my drug of choice, SUGAR!  Two, I know the owner from way back in the day.  We were actually neighbors and went to school together for many years.  Third, and most importantly, is their incredible reputation.
































It was my fault for not checking their hours but they close at 3:00 on Saturday’s and I got there at 5:00.  I should have assumed that a bakery would be closed but it was wishful thinking on my behalf.  Luckily for us, or anyone else who happens to visit them, they are attached to The Cheese Traveler.  This is new shop that has some incredible cheeses from around the world. Eric, the proprietor, is more then happy to let you sample some of his wonderful selections. We tried samples of 2 different types of Gouda, something from Ireland and Parmigiano Reggiano.














Every single piece was phenomenal.  I feel as though I’ve been cheated in the cheese world after sampling some of the products in his store.  If you are in the Albany area, it’s definitely worth stopping by his shop located at 540 Delaware Ave.  This Sunday (November 18th) is their Grand Opening where they will be partnering up with Tilldale Farms for some fun events like a cooking demo and cheese tastings and demonstrations.  The festivities go from 1-6 and it would be a great way to sample a variety of cheeses.   After we made our purchases, we headed down the street to Mingle to see what all the buzz is about.  We sat at the bar where I had a glass of red wine while checking out the menu.  I ordered the Korean Tacos which is two corn tortillas filled with marinated beef tossed in gochujang and stuffed with apple-radish kimchi, Napa cabbage, scallions and Chef’s spicy yogurt sauce.





















They were everything I had hoped they would be.  The bar tender mentioned that they were spicy and when I first started eating them, I didn’t think they were too bad.  This is definitely a situation where the heat builds because by the end of my first taco, I could feel the spiciness but I liked it.  Mingle likes to support our local community and gives monetary donations along with gift cards and free food to places like Albany Suicide prevention, Senior Services of Albany and Women’s Employment and Resource Center.  If you are looking for a great place to have dinner, Mingle should be on the top of your short list.  While you’re in the area, enjoy some of the other great foods on Delaware Ave. I may pick up some cookies from All Good Bakers then head over to Emack and Bolios  and make an ice cream sandwich out of it.  Or, get some cheese from The Traveler and bread from the Bakers.  Ohhhhh the combos!!

To discover great local food businesses, "Like" me on Facebook and Twitter.  Thank you!

Getting baked at Bake For You

**READ BELOW TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN WIN 2 DOZEN FREE COOKIES FROM BAKE FOR YOU!!** It’s no secret that sugar is my drug of choice (yes, I do love my vino and beer too!:) so when I’m able to get my fix AND shoot an episode of  “Bite Me,” I get really excited.  Linda started Bake for You 3 years ago after friends and family kept asking her to bake for them.  She thought “Hey, I could start a business and call it Bake for You!”  Well the rest is history and now she makes all of her wonderful delights in a commercial kitchen overlooking Washington Park in downtown Albany.  Linda’s favorite things to bake are scones and cookies but she also makes cupcakes, brownies and a variety of other baked goods including a vegan line.











I’m all about butter and eggs so when I found out we were going to be making vegan cookies for the show, I was skeptical. Well leave these specialty type baked goods in the hands of a professional because her vegan cookies were amazing!!!











I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it ended up being rich and soft and everything you want in a cookie.  Lucky for me, Linda sent me home with an EXTREMELY generous goodie box which included her cranberry scones, two types of cookies and mind blowing brownies so I got to sample (I use that term lightly, more like scarf) a variety of her items.











She is truly a wonderful baker and it’s obvious that she puts love and care into all of her baked goods, which are only made in small batches.  Linda hand mixes almost all of her dough’s and uses only organic and local products whenever possible. The other telltale sign that she cares about her baked goods is the fact that she uses Cabot butter from VT.  That’s what I used back in my baking days and there is no question that it makes a big difference in taste and texture.  It looks like Linda’s waitressing days are over.  Because she was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, she now gets to do what she loves and we get to enjoy her goodies.  To learn more about Bake for You visit their website at

**COOKIE CONTEST** WIN 2 DOZEN FREE COOKIES from Bake for You!  For five days, I will be taking submissions on the Bite Me Facebook page for a new cookie flavor. Just tell me what your idea is and what you would like to name your cookie.  The Facebook fan who comes up with the winning idea for a new cookie flavor will receive 2 dozen of them for FREE.  Good luck!

To discover local food businesses, "Like" me on Facebook and Twitter.  Thank you!


An ice cream throw down brought on by a bunch of idiots and one fussy blogger

In the world of foodies and bloggers, there has been an ice cream sandwich throw down brought on by a bunch of “Idiots” from the team at You Idiot which is a blog about life in Toga town.  They challenged local restaurants in Saratoga to come up with their best version of an ice cream sandwich.  The contenders are as follows: The Wine Bar - Strawberry Basil Ice Cream w/ Chocolate Balsamic Cookie. 28 Tables - Lucky Charms Ice Cream Sandwich. Comfort Kitchen - House-made vanilla bean ice cream between two house-made pizelles, chocolate ganache, salted caramel peanuts. Wheatfields - Coconut Macaroon and Amaretto Gelato.

When a fellow blogger at FUSSYlittleBLOG heard this was going down, he challenged the Idiots by saying that Albany had the best ice cream sandwiches and he really heated things up in this cool competition by adding four restaurants from the Albany area. Here is what the Capital is throwing down with:

The City Beer Hall- Cinnamon raisin cookie from All Good Bakers filled with apple cider donut ice cream from Bowman Orchards

Creo- Blood orange and fennel ice cream with a pistachio cookie dipped in dark chocolate Kahlua

New World Bistro- Valdeon-fig ice cream, pine nut cookie and choc-PX sherry-fig sauce

All Good Bakers- Brandywine semifreddo with brown butter and cinnamon basil cookie.

When I heard this was going down, I made sure to find out the details as quickly as possible so I could get my hands on these incredible concoctions.  I headed up to Saratoga and made my way around to try these frozen treats and let me just say that this throw down is best idea ever! People will vote for their favorite ice cream sandwich and the 2 winners from Saratoga will go against the 2 winners from Albany for the ultimate idiotic fussy little contest.  After sampling the 12866 versions, I am voting for Comfort Kitchen and Wheatfields.  First off, the sandwiches were huge, which in the eyes of a sugar addict like myself, is a critical part. The Comfort Kitchen version was incredible with the addition of the salted caramel peanuts. I also LOVED the homemade ice cream and pizelles - nice touch.


The Wheatfields version was excellent because it was unexpected.  The combo of the coconut and amaretto was perfect!


28 Tables put up a good fight but I thought they could have used a better and richer ice cream and they were a little small.


Honestly, I wouldn’t turn any of these down and actually, I may need to head back up for another round because I am hooked!  If you want to participate,  visit the local restaurants mentioned above.  Then comment or email the team at You Idiot to cast your vote for the Saratoga restaurants or comment/email the FUSSYlittleBLOG to cast your Albany votes.

If I were going to come up with the ultimate ice cream sandwich, I would use a chocolate chip cookie on one side and a peanut butter cookie on the other.  Sandwich some chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in between then roll it in crushed up peanut and pretzel pieces.  Any of these restaurants want to make me one? I challenge you :)

To discover great local food businesses, "Like" me on Facebook and Twitter! Thank you!

The Van Buren from Hudson River Coffee House

I eat a turkey sandwich almost everyday.  Yes, that may sound boring to some, but I love it.

When I get the opportunity to try someone else’s version I get psyched since it probably features things I would never think of on my own.  The Van Buren (named after President Martin Van Buren) from the Hudson River Coffee House definitely piqued my interest.  The sandwich starts out on a delicious fresh baked hoagie from Rockland Bakery in NY. They then add bacon which I know isn’t too out of the ordinary but awesome all the same (I will never turn down bacon on anything! Not even ice cream:).  Here is where things get a little different.  They take a wonderful apple grown right here in upstate NY, and slice it into thin pieces which takes this sandwich over the top.  Anton, the creator of the Van Buren and owner of the café, started this business after traveling abroad.  Spending time outside of the States made him realize that he needed to work for himself and after returning home, he did just that.  Open for a little over a year now, the Hudson River Coffee House has proven to be a success! It was great filming “Bite Me” with Anton and learning about his journey to becoming an entrepreneur.