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!!

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“Cake” by Alissa makes me wish my birthday was everyday

I discovered Cake last year when I was looking for businesses to feature on Bite Me. Alissa started Cake after leaving a career in executive recruiting.  She wanted to follow her passion for food and baking so after 7 years in Boston, she packed up her bags and moved to Lake Placid with her husband to pursue a career as a pasty chef at Paul Smith’s College.  After graduation, she became the pasty chef at Putnam Market in Saratoga where she satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth for 8 years.  Combining her education and experience, Alissa launched Cake in 2011 and let me just say it’s to our benefit.





















When it comes to desserts, cake usually isn’t my first choice.  If it were up to me, I would much rather have a cookie, brownie or ice cream.  That’s not to say I don’t like it and if it’s exceptional cake, then I’m all for it.  When it comes to sugar, I’m not turning too much down anyway (I’m two bites away from a 12-step program for sugar addiction. I kid I kid but I do love sugar☺) .

















After filming the episode with Alissa, she sent me home with a strawberry chocolate ganache cake and chocolate peppermint cupcakes.











First of all, the chocolate peppermint cupcake (it was December) was one of the BEST cupcakes I have ever had.  It was a chocolate cupcake with peppermint butter cream sprinkled with crushed up candy canes.  I honestly only planned on eating one, but ended up having two and a half!  I couldn’t stop myself!  Thankfully my husband was there to take down the other cupcakes otherwise it could have gotten messy.  We both thought that the cake and the frosting were wonderful.  I also tried the strawberry chocolate ganache cake (I had to share this with my neighbors otherwise I would be writing this post from fat camp), which was also phenomenal.  Rich chocolate cake layered with strawberry mouse then topped with chocolate ganache!!! Drooling yet??? I am just thinking about it!! The cake was so rich and had a deep chocolate flavor.  The ganache was a wonderful addition (when is it not?) and the strawberry moose was light and tasted like a fresh picked strawberry.  Last week I ordered her Pumpkin Pie cupcakes which consisted of a pumpkin cake with buttercream frosting.





















I could hardly wait to try them since my last experience was so good.  The pumpkin cake was so moist and wonderfully spicy which went beautifully with the buttercream frosting.  It’s the perfect fall cupcake!  Alissa makes exceptional desserts so if you are looking for cupcakes, wedding cakes, grooms cakes, cake pops, or any other cake, I highly recommend CAKE by Alissa.  You will want to have your cake and eat it too! The only problem is that you might not want to share.





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!

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Raspberry Rugalagh from Cinnamon Spice Bakery

Another bakery being featured on “Bite Me” means another delectable treat!

In my world, bakers are enablers since they make such wonderful creations and I'm forced to eat them :)  I had the pleasure of trying raspberry rugalagh from Cinnamon Spice bakery and boy am I glad I did!  The raspberry preserves were incredible!  They had the perfect balance of sweet and tart, and the brown sugar made me wish rugalagh weren't so small (although small cookie = many servings in my book).  The outside was light, flaky and still warm which took this cookie over the top!  John, the owner of Cinnamon Spice, has been in the bakery business a long time.  He said that baking is his passion and he never feels like he's going in to work.  John originally had a bakery downstate but moved to the Clifton Park area and continues to bake his goodies for all of us in the Capital District.  It’s definitely to our benefit that he decided to move his bakery here and I hope they have continued success for many years to come!


Sweet Cream Scone from Wheat's and Sweets

Happy New Year!  I am looking forward to 2012 and uncovering more delectable spots right here in the Capital District.  We kicked it all off at Wheat's and Sweets bakery located in Ballston Spa, NY.

Opened in May 2010, Wheat's and Sweets has been sweetening up peoples lives ever since.  The owner launched this business because he was in search of really great bread and couldn't find any.  He figured if I can't buy it, I'll make it! Well after much trial and error, he not only perfected his bread recipe, but the recipe for all of his cookies, cakes, muffins and scones as well.  After hearing about their Sweet Cream Scone, I knew that's what I had to try.  Faboosh!!!  And to celebrate the fact that I have just been celebrating all of the holidays for 2 weeks straight, I also tried the spritz cookies and the unbelievable carrot cake muffin!  Happy New Year to me!  New Year's Resolutions?!?!?!?! NAH! I'll take a scone with a side of cupcakes please! Especially if they are from Wheat's and Sweets!


Chocolate cake with strawberry moose and chocolate ganache from Cake in Schuylerville, NY

So I don’t think this will come as a surprise to anyone but I have a serious sweet tooth!

I’m two bites away from a 12-step program for sugar addiction (I kid I kid but I do love sugar☺)  Well I certainly got my fix at Cake in Schuylerville, NY!  I had the pleasure of trying her chocolate cake layered with strawberry mouse and then topped with chocolate ganache!!! Drooling yet??? I am just thinking about it!!  The cake was so rich and had a deep chocolate flavor.  The ganache was a wonderful addition (when is it not) and the strawberry moose was light and tasted like a fresh picked strawberry.  Alissa, the owner of Cake is some baker!  I am pretty picky about baked goods and this place takes the cake (pun intended).  She started this business after years in corporate America.  Alissa decided to quit her job, become a professionally trained pastry chef and start her own business.  Her wedding cakes are beautiful and her cupcakes are decadent!   I am so glad she decided to start this business because it means we all get to benefit from it.


Carrot Cake from Laurie’s Gluten Free Goodness

My adventures in filming “Bite Me” have led me to Laurie’s Gluten Free Goodness in Scotia, NY.  Laurie’s was born out of a need for great gluten free products at a reasonable price.

After she was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease 10 years ago, then finding out her son also suffered from the same condition, Laurie made it her mission to make wonderful baked goods for people suffering from a gluten allergy.  She started her bakery 2 years ago and they are still going strong.  Laurie sells her products both locally and in NYC.  I was lucky enough to try her Carrot Cake which includes locally grown fresh carrots and is both gluten free and dairy free .  All I can say is DELISH!!! Honestly it was so darn good I had to be convinced that there wasn’t any butter in it! I mean WOW! It was spicy, rich and moist.  Not only did I love their products, I loved them as well.  The owners were so sweet, much like their baked goods.