I am still discovering things in the area I’ve never heard of. It honestly is sad that I have lived here (Capital District of NY) since 1997 and have sampled so few of the institutions that make the area special; it’s even more sad that I’ve never heard of some.
In a recent exchange between myself and Ginny, the marshmallow wizard of Troy, on Twitter, she brought Duncan’s Dairy Bar to my attention. I regret to admit that the best information I could provide for you from the interwebs is from yelp!, but you’ll live.
A Saturday morning opportunity to dine at Duncan’s arose when Cassie and I were looking for somewhere to eat prior to our weekly trip to the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market. So we took the ride up Hoosick Street (Route 7) up to 890 Hoosick Street, well past Walmart, well past Rensselaer Honda, well past everything, in the middle of a field, just about.
The place was packed. We couldn’t find anything that looked like a parking spot, but, luckily, there was enough space in between a motorcycle and a monster truck to fit Cassie’s Hyundai Accent behind the restaurant. There are doors all over the place. We tried going into two of the doors which were locked before we reached the front of the restaurant, where the front door was open.
There were counter seats in both directions as far as the eye can see. We made our way to the right side of the restaurant where the tables reside and found an empty seat in an unoccupied part of the restaurant. As indicated by ThinkAndD (the only Yelp!er that needs to exist), the building looks like they just kept adding onto it. The area we sat in had trophies and a defunct coffee machine in it.
The server brought us menus. The menu is nothing fancy, and you’ll find anything you could want from a standard diner for breakfast or lunch and even some ads for local businesses.
See that box in the bottom left? The one that says “Homemade Corned Beef Hash?” Yea that’s all I needed to see. I ordered that with two scrambled eggs, raisin bread (homemade) toast, and an extra side of sausage (no homefries).
I didn’t realize it was sausage patties, so I was a little surprised when it came out, but none of that is important anyway. Here’s what I had for breakfast:
I was so happy that the corned beef hash was homemade, and that they don’t feel the need to load a whole bunch of potatoes into the hash. Their hash was light and onion-y, made with an excellent piece of corned beef, and wasn’t overly salty or overly seasoned in any other way. In other words, the corned beef hash was perfect. On my little scorecard of places that don’t use canned corned beef hash in the Capital District, this is at the very top, levels above the Miss Albany Diner, which had held the best hash honor until this faithful morning. And for under $7, they give so much. It’s hard to tell because I didn’t do you the favor of moving the sausage patty before taking the above image, but there was a lot of hash under there. I couldn’t even finish all of it.
The eggs were scrambled well. They don’t overcook the hell out of the eggs like other places do, and the eggs I had maintained the light and fluffy scrambles. The raisin bread toast was pretty good. My slices may have been over-toasted because I thought it was a little dry, but it was cinnamon-y and raisin-y and butter-y. The sausage patty was alright. This was a definite example of my eyes being bigger than my stomach, because I never expected the portion to be as big as it was for the price that it was.
Cassie ordered pancakes, and, although I didn’t take any pictures of those, I can attest to the fact that she was served 3 very large (9 inch) pancakes that were very well leavened, probably the fluffiest I’ve ever seen; they looked like a plate of pillows, almost like that short film from The Three Stooges when they mistake the cakes they bake with actual pillows and hilarity ensues.
It’s a bit out of the way of most of the action in the area, but that’s alright sometimes. I urge you to check this place out for yourself to get an idea of what good corned beef hash is supposed to be.
I mean, let’s take another look at this plate: