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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.