Nighthawk’s Kitchen – Troy, NY
Let’s put it this way.
I’m not afraid of Scary Gary, whatever it is.
Especially after I sat down earlier this year and tried The Graveyard Challenge at Wagon Train BBQ.
I’ll go pretty much anywhere for a good meal. Hell, I even went to Montreal just to eat dinner.
One idea that has come up a lot, since we go a lot, was to have breakfast at the Troy Farmers Market on Saturday morning. I’m usually reluctant because I enjoy a larger than the usual 6 oz yogurt breakfast on the weekends. But I recently met Christian Noe, owner and chef at Nighthawk’s Kitchen, while judging pizza for All Over Albany. He was actually the guest judge for Troy. Funny story: when conversing with AOA about the identity of the guest judge, Mary indicated that Christian was teaching a class on macaroni and cheese; I had no idea what she was talking about. It turns out he literally was teaching a class on macaroni and cheese in Troy. And the reason why is that he makes award winning Buffalo mac and Bleu cheese. This dish actually helped him win best home cook at the 2011 Mac-n-Cheese Bowl.
At our pizza judging, I got to speak with Christian who is full of energy and very passionate about food. To my surprise, I learned that he rents out kitchen space and formulates the meats and sausages that he uses at Nighthawk’s Kitchen’s farmers market stand. Hell, the dude even makes his own hot dogs! He even opened my eyes to his signature sandwich, the Scary Gary, Smoked Bacon, Egg and Cheese Topped With Buffalo Mac N Blue Cheese on a Hard Roll. That was something I had to try.
So on a nice fall Saturday morning, I attended the Troy Farmers Market and said hi to Christian.
He and his staff were dressed in funny hats for their “Hawktoberfest” festivities. Part of this were special brats that Christian obviously fashioned by hand. A special that morning were these brats with egg, cheese, and onion on a bun. You know I had to try that.
I have nothing but great things to say about this. The uneven grind of the pork gives the brat a rustic feel, and the way it is cooked along with the lightly caramelized onions is perfection.
It was also seasoned beautifully. My biggest complaint was that it was so small, but for $3 or 4 bucks, I’m not really complaining; I just wanted more! That’s ok, though. I also ordered a Scary Gary (you knew I was gonna).
One thing you should notice right away is that real bacon is used on this sandwich. I mean thick, meaty, awesome bacon. The Buffalo mac and bleu cheese looks deceiving. It visibly doesn’t stand out as anything special, but the moment you take a bite, you get taken away to buffalo sauce and bleu cheese land. The flavor is bold and complex, and, taken together with the other components of the sandwich, it is totally over the top in a great way. And it’s only $4.
While I was watching Christian make my breakfast, a whole line of people came to the counter, either to order Scary Garys or to order some of the buffalo mac and bleu cheese. It was bordering on insanity, and it was literally the minute the market opened when I arrived.
If you browse the menu, there are also some lunch selections, mainly burgers. I’ve been told that the meat used for the burgers is a special combination of ground beef, including some brisket. So you know they’re gonna be good.
So next time you’re walking through the Troy farmers market, and you see the long line of people waiting for what looks like innocent breakfast sandwiches, stop by and try one. One warning: I can guarantee you will be back after you try the food.