Revisited: Dave’s Gourmet & Exotic Burgers – Albany, NY

Whenever I need a bison burger fix and I’m not in the mood to make it myself, I always stop in to see Dave. Going back to his Burger Centric days, I was always a fan of what he was doing. Recently, he transitioned his business away from pizza and now focuses on burgers.

He even changed the sign outside.

Dave's Gourmet Exotic Burgers

He’s also redesigned his menu to reflect his culinary passion. I snapped some pictures of the menu, and, while there are some fairly comedic and unfortunate typos, I present them here as information; coming from a family of Italian immigrants who worked hard to learn the language, I think it’s more productive to focus on getting the idea rather than correct someone’s grammar and spelling.

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He even updated some of the decor and paint inside the restaurant.

All of the changes merit a blog revisit.

On this trip, I started my meal with an order of onion rings.

Onion Rings at Dave's

Onion Pakora

I actually didn’t expect these to blow me away, but they did. I’d describe them more as “onion pakora” to differentiate them from standard issue onion rings. The batter coating the rings is clearly spiced with Indian spices and, on their own, they pack a peppery kick. The sauce on the side (akin to the standard burger sauce) was sweet and tangy and went well with the pakoras. But honestly, they didn’t need the sauce at all.

I ordered my bison burger bigger than his normal portion and I added the chef’s touch (a special concoction Dave makes by cooking down onions and ginger in a secret mixture of spices). I think the burger came to something like $19 bucks, which is steep for a burger, but, remember, this is bison, and I requested a large portion.

Dave's gigantic bison burger

Every layer of the burger is seasoned perfectly. The chef’s touch really sets Dave’s burgers ahead of the rest and makes the experience, but it also makes things messy. The fries are inconsistent at Dave’s. On this trip, it was fried coins of potatoes. Other times, it’s been fried frozen potatoes. Regardless, they’re tossed with a seasoned salt prior to service. The coins were a little soggy, but they had some good flavor.

Dave's amazing bison burger

A variety of exotic meats are available in burger form, but bison is probably the most exotic I’ll go. Honestly, the plain old beef and grass fed options are great there, as I’ve mentioned in the past.


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8 thoughts on “Revisited: Dave’s Gourmet & Exotic Burgers – Albany, NY

  • Pirate Jeni

    I know it makes me a total hypocrite but I can’t with the camel and kangaroo….


  • Mike Floyd

    We have one good burger joint around here…I would love that place and the onion rings do sound fantastic! Fast food chains have completely ruined the noble hamburger. When I was growing up in Los Angeles in the 50’s, there were dozens of great independent burger joints…when we’d pick up my grandparents at LAX, we’d drive down Firestone Blvd. and pick up a couple of sacks of cheeseburgers and chocolate malts and head back to Orange County happy as a lark.


  • Woodrow

    Thanks for the review on Dave’s. I haven’t been there but now especially want to try. I’m an onion ring fan (good ones, that is), and Daves’ sound awesome. On a side note, I notice a “Kobe beef” burger on his menu. He’s not alone in offering what he may think is Kobe beef. A few other places do as well. I’m including a link to an article on the Kobe Beef Scam, from Forbes’ Magazine. I’d love to have a Kobe beef burger, but apparently it’s not possible.
    http://www.thekitchn.com/kobe-beef-foods-biggest-scam-forbes-170268
    Best,
    Woodrow


    • derryX

      I’m aware of the mis-designation of the “Kobe beef” that’s sold in the states. One day, I’m sure I’ll be in Japan and I’ll be able to try the real deal. With no direct experiences to compare, I’m sure what we call Kobe here in the states doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing, but I’ve come to accept the spirit of what is meant by the term. A lot of places call what they serve “risotto”, but that doesn’t mean it’s anything like the real thing!

      In most of the cases where I’ve ordered Kobe or Wagyu in the states, the meat has been of a fattier variety that benefits from just a touch of a sear, and it’s been pretty good.


  • Woodrow

    Can you comment on the roll? It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like a decent roll that’s been grilled or toasted. For me, the roll plays a big part in the burger-eating experience.


    • derryX

      It is browned on the griddle and warmed through in the oven. It’s a hard roll from a local bakery (Dave has told me the name of the place, but it escapes me now). It stands up as well pretty well against the toppings. Because I always get my burgers there with the chef’s touch, they get a little messy about halfway in. But sometimes that’s how eating a burger goes!


  • Mike Floyd

    Having the right roll is so important and it’s amazing how many places don’t line up the right roll with their ingredients, it’s uncanny. What really kills me is when a ciabatta roll is used for a burger or a sausage sandwich and it never fails to push the meat out from under. The best non-commercial burger bun I’ve found is a Pepperidge Farm Whole Wheat Burger bun and the best for a great grinder is a fresh sour dough baquette from my friend’s bakery up in Martinsville, Va. or a fresh Portugese hard roll up in the northeast.


  • james

    OVERPRICED – dining room full of smoke and left cold. Owner doesn’t have kitchen exhaust fan on as to not loose the little heat that was in the place. Cooked food in old oil as fries , mozz. sticks and fish was excessive dark and terrible taste. Would not let my dog eat here as I would NEVER return or suggest to anyone. Owner uses restaurant.com to screw customers out of using certificates paid for.



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