Hao Wei vs. China House

Besides Lee Tang, there are two other Chinese restaurants in the immediate Troy area that fall into the “Chinese delivery places with near-identical, bilingual, red and black menus” genre: China House in Troy Plaza, and Hao Wei downtown. All three of these places serve very similar food, although there are…

Francesca’s

The former Escape Café at the corner of Broadway and Fifth has been taken under new management and steered towards serving more substantial food, putting it at odds with Rotondi’s across the street in competing for the patronage of downtown workers. In an interesting suggestion of karmic balance (or perhaps…

Good Food Company vs. the Commissary

Along the same lines as the pizza battle fought by I Love NY and Gino’s down on Fourth Street, there’s a lunch-food feud in effect between the Good Food Company and the Commissary, both on Third Street between Fulton and Broadway. The two restaurants jostle for the relatively broad “light…

Leahy’s

With such a primo spot in the heart of downtown Troy, you’d think Leahy’s might be able to do better. Alas, this is a restaurant with little to recommend it, an utterly average establishment in every respect. The food isn’t truly bad in the sense of inspiring complaints; it’s just…

The Troy Coffee Roundup

Although one can get a cup of coffee at just about any restaurant in Troy (and at gas stations and convenience stores besides), there are only a few places in the city that are in the coffee business with any seriousness. Downtown there are the Daily Grind and the Escape…

Ali Baba

Some may remember this place as the former East-West; the name and ownership have changed but the menu remains much the same: kebabs and other South Asian items, and, somewhat incongruously, pizzas (presumably owing to a desire to squeeze every possible ounce of use out of the massive stone oven…

Country View Diner

This is the nearest (to Troy, that is) incarnation of the entity perhaps best described as “upscale diner,” a slightly more glitzy (that is to say, self-conscious) and physically larger version of Bob’s or Manory’s; the sort of place where you can get diner food in a setting that won’t…

Hoosick Pizza

This restaurant sells bargain pizza (among other things); a large cheese pizza for $4.00 (carryout) sounds too good to be true, and of course it is. As I say, it’s bargain pizza, which means you can definitely get better quality elsewhere. Much better, in fact, although of course at a…

Bob’s Diner

When it comes to getting yourself righteously torqued on coffee and protein in the wee hours of the morning (or any other time, for that matter), Bob’s is likely the cheapest and quickest option. There are a couple other all-night diners in the area, but they’re not really worth the…

Rotondi’s

Although the food here is basically average, Rotondi’s Luncheonette nonetheless merits mention for ambience. It’s a very cozy, friendly diner with all the respective accoutrements: phone booth, counter and stools, picture windows, the whole nine. The Hopper print (no, not Nighthawks, Early Sunday Morning) behind the register almost leads me…

Manory’s

Trying to think of what to say about Manory’s, I finally come to the word “comfortable,” which I think probably sums things up as well as possible. Manory’s is a comfortable place, one of the least “restauranty” restaurants I’ve been in. It is, after all, the oldest operating restaurant in…

Sushi King

This place isn’t really the king of sushi (Troy is still waiting for a really first-class sushi place to come along): actually, your best bet here is Chinese. Sushi King pretty much owns the downtown market for “classy” Chinese food, and in Troy overall only Plum Blossom seems to do…

I Love NY vs. Gino’s

On Fourth Street between State and Congress, I Love New York and Gino’s duke it out for the title of Best Place to Get a Quick Slice of Pizza. Although they’re fairly evenly matched, I think I have to give the edge to I Love. Both places offer a big…

Famous Lunch

It’s all about the hot dogs (cranked out over at the Troy Pork Store): four inches long, fifty-five cents apiece, loaded up with mustard, onions, and Zippy Sauce. Don’t waste everybody’s time ordering fewer than six of them. Famous Lunch is very likely the most unusual food spot in Troy…

DeFazio’s

For top shelf Italian food in Troy, there’s no better value than DeFazio’s: monster plates of pasta (freshly made: check out the big brass Impasta in the dining room) for eight to ten dollars, and maybe the best pizza in town (I Love New York is about the only potential…

Lee Tang

Dirt-cheap Chinese food is not especially rare; less common is Chinese food that’s both dirt-cheap and reasonably good, and into this category falls Lee Tang. It’s not the best Chinese food around, but it is affordable on even the tightest student budget (q.v. the $4.99 “RPI Special” combo plates), and…

Shalimar

One could give Shalimar credit purely because it represents Troy’s whole Indian food sector, but the place holds up just fine on its own merits. Dinners are inexpensive and a good for a change of pace from the town’s other offerings (timid diners needn’t fear fire: menu items run the…