Some weeks, I get a really good pace and get my workouts and meals under control. And then some weeks, something on social media throws a wrench into my progress. They say throwing in a meal with higher calories from time to time when you’re cutting (a “cheat meal” if you will) shocks the metabolism and is beneficial. I don’t know how true that is, but an occasional indulgent meal definitely helps me stay on track mentally, especially when the indulgent meal is good.
Recently, an account called Route 20 Cafe followed me on twitter, and being that it’s a local business, I followed back. They’ve posted pictures of their food for weeks, but the picture of their egg sandwich was weighing heavily on my mind one day when 4 oz of roasted sweet potatoes, 4 oz of roasted chicken breast, and 4 oz of steamed asparagus with Thai green curry sauce just felt played out.
Stop in for our famous egg and cheese on a hard roll$3 with FREE coffee! 👍 pic.twitter.com/yOxMWQtvxU
— Route 20 Cafe (@Route20Cafe1) April 1, 2016
The Route 20 Cafe is west on Western Ave (Rt. 20) going toward Altamont. The physical location was a place where I had a little history. A few years ago, on a day that the Times Union ran a small Q&A with me, I went there looking for a copy of the newspaper at 8:30am. They didn’t have any, and the then owner told me they don’t carry the Times Union. o.O
They had food, but, in a million years, I wouldn’t have eaten there based on what I saw at the time.
Well, it’s under new management, and, while the newsstand is a prominent part of the business, their social media posts illustrate a shift toward providing good food for the neighborhood. And given that my job is in the neighborhood, why not support the neighborhood.
The regular menu has a lot of breakfast and lunch staples, and they also feature puddings and other special items that are scratch made.
Although I went for lunch, I had my heart set on an egg sandwich. When I arrived, I saw a special I couldn’t skip:
— Route 20 Cafe (@Route20Cafe1) April 29, 2016
Me justifying it in my head, “it’s just the same egg sandwich I was going to get with a little corned beef hash and some bacon.”
It was great! The sandwich was built on a hard roll variant. It was possibly sweeter than a normal hard roll, but I wouldn’t exactly classify it as sweet. The corned beef hash patty was very crispy, which is the only way to have this style of pre-made hash. One could argue that the bacon wasn’t crunchy enough, but it was right at the point where I enjoy my bacon. I expected the egg to have a slight amount of run to the yolk, but it was more like a coarsely scrambled egg, which was fine. I didn’t really get much of the cheese, but there was enough fatty goodness to bring everything together. It was tough to eat like a sandwich after getting about halfway through it, so the fork definitely helped.
For $5.25 (including free coffee, which I didn’t take advantage of that day), it was a great deal and a worthy indulgence. On the way out, I bought $5 worth of Lottery scratch-offs, and won $10, so thanks to dumb luck and NY State, my lunch only cost me a quarter (plus tax) that day.
While I was there, the woman who was cooking the food was very interactive with the customers and clearly showed pride in this new venture (I’m assuming she’s the owner/manager). It looks like they’re also very supportive of the military and have already organized some antique car events in their parking lot. All of these charming little touches coupled with good food makes this a place I’d recommend checking out.