I’ve been following the facebook updates of a new place called “Dave’s Pizza and Burgers” which used to be the facebook page of Burger Centric when it was open. I got a chance to cook with Dave prior to his grand opening at a new location (53 Fuller Road), and, once I saw the date of the grand opening, I marked my calendar for a definite dinner there. I met my buddy MetalFrog there; he never turns down an opportunity to talk to Dave.
I got there a little early and snooped around. It was clear that pizza wasn’t going to be the only focus at this place.
Just like Burger Centric had, there were a bunch of exotic animals written on the windows. Alright, I understand that Dave likes to do things that are exotic, and it’s definitely a bit much for most to handle, me included. The most exotic thing I’d really ever order is bison, and I already had that at Burger Centric.
I honestly really wanted to try the pizza, so I had a slice of plain cheese pizza from the counter that was warmed briefly in the pizza oven.
Dave hasn’t been making pizza his whole life, and it kind of shows in the pizza. It is very average. I find it difficult to believe the pizza would ever win any awards or honors, but it’s a decent slice if you’re in the area and want something quick. It’s a little short on cheese, and the sauce is forgettable, but the dough (made by someone with years of pizza experience who helps Dave with the one function of making the dough) is pretty good albeit a little more dense than most would be used to around here. Two plain slices and a can of soda is $3.75. That’s about right for this type of pizza.
I thought it was funny that the condiment table had an uncommon condiment for general use.
Once MetalFrog arrived, I focused on what to order. As it turns out, Dave had something special planned for me, a pizza he referred to as “chapathi.” He was working on it while I was deciding on what else to order.
I decided to get a burger too. The grass fed option intrigued me, so that’s what I got with the chef’s touch.
The burger pretty much matched my expectations. I’ve said before that the chef’s choice “chutney” of sorts is really what makes his burgers special. He also adds some other sauces to the burger. The grass fed beef was really good, and was a bit juicier than the bison I got last time at Burger Centric and about as good as the “kobe” beef from the first stop there. For $10.99 ($8.99+2 for chef’s touch), this is a pretty good deal. An even better deal is the $6.75 regular beef burger with fries. For a few bucks more, you can get the “kobe.” I think the burgers are a major strength of Dave’s.
MetalFrog ordered a pizza with extra cheese and pepperoni. He wanted leftovers.
I tried a piece. It was cooked thoroughly but a touch underdone and gummy. The amount of cheese and sauce on this was just right, and the pepperoni added that spiciness that people look for when they order pepperoni on a pizza. This was much better than the counter slice.
Dave’s chapathi creation was ready just as I was finishing the burger. And he made me a huge pizza!
Because I was honest and told him his Naga pepper achar wasn’t terribly spicy the first time he and I cooked together, he topped that by adding a chile that’s supposedly hotter than the ghost chile. There was also a bunch of beef and other spices in addition to the same chef’s touch chutney that goes on the burgers.
The bottom crust was a bit thinner than the regular pizza, but the outer crust was just about as tender and lightly browned. This was intense. There were lots of flavors going on, and the heat was crazy. It made me sweat, which doesn’t happen often. It was very good, though.
He has a couple of other gimmicky things going on, like the advertising you can buy on a sign at a table. but, more importantly, the burger of the month, which was a pizza burger, bridging the gap between old and new for Dave.
Dinner was really enjoyable, and, even though the pizza is just about par for Albany, there’s some great food at Dave’s. I don’t want this to get too personal, but I do want to say that Dave can be a bit rough around the edges at times. He really does mean well, and wants to have people enjoy his cooking. He might try hard at times, and some of the things, like offering exotic animal meat, may not appeal to many, but there’s otherwise a lot of general appeal at this place.
The other cool thing is that you can order from Dave’s off of Mealeo, which is definitely a convenience because I hate calling places to place takeout or delivery orders.
On my way out from this trip, as an offering of good luck, I gave Dave a defaced dollar bill.
I hope this location works out for Dave.