j | a prep kitchen – Albany, NY
A new restaurant opened recently in Crossgates Mall. Located at the entrance to the mall closest to the movie theater, J&A Prep Kitchen opened in early September, filling a physical void at the former location of Houlihans.
Now, bear with me a second…
So far, you have seen two ways to represent the name of the prep kitchen, “j | a” and “J&A”. Via the image on the company’s facebook page, I’ll introduce a third, “J / A”. I am going to split hairs; these three are not equivalent mathematical or logical expressions. Focusing on the logical aspect, J&A would mean “J and A”. This, I believe, is the intended usage, as it is named after Jacob & Anthony, the same people represented in the name of a Saratoga eatery. J / A would mean “J or A,” which doesn’t make any sense at all. Back to the first usage, “j | a”, the usage on the logo (also on the facebook page) can be logically perceived to be the same as “J / A” but took on a completely different meaning for me. It looks like lowercase JLA, and, since I’m a comic book fan and a person who will continue to use the improper usage whenever possible, my company, consisting of Cassie, my brother and girlfriend, and a friend with her husband and children, had to put up with me calling it “JLA Prep Kitchen” for the rest of the meal.
Yes I did just type all that, and you probably read it.
Upon first scanning the menu, I found the house rules.
I don’t know if I think it’s amazing or if it’s horrible that the place encourages fist pumping. You know what? Even though I would never seriously fist pump, I think it’s awesome.
I looked over the propaganda on the table, and I found this:
I ordered a burger. There are a handful of burger options on the menu as well as some sandwiches and interesting sounding plates. I went with the chipotle cheeseburger – pepper jack, chipotle mayonaise, onion straws, and green chile salsa.
I only had the opportunity to take one picture before I devoured the burger. There are a few things you can take from the image.
- They provide a pickle.
- They pre-dose ketchup. (I am sure they are obliged to give you more — I like this idea, as it gets the dirty ketchup bottles, which should be refrigerated after opening, you know, for best results, off of the tables.)
- They give an average to below average amount of fries for a burger priced at $10 in the Capital Region of NY.
- The burger did not come as described.
I believe it’s not nitpicking at all to point out that I got raw onion when it was advertised that onion straws would be on the burger. I also didn’t get any green chile salsa on the burger. I am not completely convinced I got the right order, and the lettuce and tomato on it kind of adds to this. Because we were a large group and because the waitress was more than accomodating to our group, I just ate it without bothering her.
It was a decent burger. I’m going to say it was average. I think it would have been better as advertised. If not better, it would have at least been a little more interesting.
Cassie had a rough time. She ordered a chicken wrap, advertised to have arugula, goat cheese, grilled chicken, walnuts, and garlic aioli (doesn’t that sound amazing!?). It was loaded with tomatoes, not advertised, and she has a tomato allergy. This happened before at a now defunct establishment. Not cool.
On the way out, a manager greeted our party and asked how our experience was. I explained what I was served, and he indicated that it was indeed not correct. Cassie also shared her story, to which he was equally flummoxed. We were very nice about it and really intended to provide the stories for their own quality purposes. He was very receptive, and wished us well.
I think this place has a lot of potential. I am thinking a second visit is merited, for science.