I know what you’re saying. Having been reading my posts, you know that I’m supposed to be following a high protein food plan; what am I doing eating at a bagel shop?
I actually finished my shopping at the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market and arrived at Aquilonia Comics in Troy over half an hour early for Free Comic Book day on May 7, so rather than drive home and drive back, a round trip that would have just been a waste of time since I wanted to be back at noon, I took a walk in the immediate vicinity of Fulton Street. I actually had my heart set on an espresso from Francesca’s on Broadway and 5th Street, but to my chagrin, they were closed (I forgot she closes on Saturdays). While walking to Francesca’s, just at the point where I made the realization that it was closed, I was in front of a sandwich board that was advertising a hot pastrami sandwich with soda for $7.99. Yes, I was in front of Uncle Ricky’s Bagel Heaven at 1809 5th Avenue.
I had my heart set on this pastrami melt and soda, so I went in and peeked around a little.
I thought it was a cute little place that seemed to offer many deli staples, both breakfast and lunch style fare. I was pleased to find that the bagel case was not jammed full with fresh bagels, with my rationale for that being some combination that (a) it was just past Saturday morning rush, so it should be tough to find tons of fresh bagels at a small shop, and (b) I had hoped they were baking small batches as they went along all day. I think both of these assumptions were reasonable, as I saw an older man bring a tray of freshly baked bagels out for placement in the display case. [The menu touts NYC water bagels, which leads me to believe they order frozen bagels that have been boiled somewhere presumably in New York City and simply need to be baked.]
So I ordered my pastrami melt, and the lady who took my order asked for my choice of bread. She had rye and pumpernickel, but I opted for an everything bagel, I mean this was Bagel Heaven, how could I not have a bagel?
So I took my sandwich and entered the small lounge area that they have.
Uncle Ricky’s features a fun little area with tables and couches as well as a flat screen TV for you to enjoy while you have your meal. I had to block out the television which was being viewed by another patron and was airing some pretty obnoxious conspiracy theory “news” regarding the Osama Bin Laden passing, so I was enjoying the free WiFi that they offer on my Droid. Ohh yea, there’s a fireplace there if you care about that sort of thing. I don’t.
When I remembered that I had a sandwich in front of me, I finally started eating it.
The portion was reasonably sized for a bagel sandwich in the capital district of NY. The bagel is larger than a bagel from Breuggers, and the amount of meat that they give at Uncle Ricky’s is sufficiently more than what you get at Breuggers. In fact, I contend that for $8, you couldn’t even get an equivalent meal at Breuggers, even with their downsized portion. For a meat-containing sandwich and drink at Breuggers, I haven’t gotten away with spending less than $10 since 2003. And, mind you, since the most expensive sandwich on the menu without soda is under $8 at Uncle Ricky’s, most people could eat and drink here under for $10, which is an important consideration in this day and age.
The pastrami on the sandwich was very good. The man who made the sandwich used a special piece of steamer equipment next to their flattop. I was unfamiliar with that equipment, but it did a good job at heating the pastrami and keeping it moist. I opted for deli mustard which is my default for pastrami, and the mustard they use has a decent amount of vinegary spice; it complimented the pastrami and the spices from the everything bagel well. The bagel had the right texture: crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. It wasn’t the usual gummy bagel that we’ve all been forced at gunpoint to buy at Breuggers.
The amount of cole slaw they gave me was meager, but I’m not a huge fan of most cole slaws in the first place, and it was only $8 bucks total. It tasted fine, but I didn’t really bother much with it other than to keep the liquids away from my crispy bagel. The pickle was pretty good too. It was certainly cured lightly in dill; I’d say it’s a half sour, but I’m not fully sure. I liked it, so who cares what it was?
While I was eating, the nice lady walked around handing out freshly baked cookies. They smelled delicious! I showed my gratitude for her hospitality, but declined because a bagel and a cookie would have been a little O T T. I’m kicking myself in the ass for saying no, now, though. I’ll definitely be trying a cookie next time I’m there, even if I have to pay for it.
Uncle Ricky’s is a great little place in the heart of downtown Troy. Since it’s in comfortable walking distance from the farmers market and the comic shop, it’ll probably become a regular place I check out; you should do the same if you ever find yourself in the vicinity.
I guess I never did really address that first point. Hey, part of eating healthy is being reasonable, right? You have to live sometimes, and one pastrami on a bagel sandwich isn’t going to kill anyone.