Revisited: Miss Albany Diner (Exodus)
I’ve written about this place before. Well. Kind of. Actually, I was there in the background once when they were filming a news story for the passing of one of the owners. That video is here.
The owners have sold the restaurant to Matt Baumgartner, Albany restauranteur, and are looking to finally retire. It is a very bittersweet occasion; I am happy for the owner to finally realize her dream to retire, but I will miss the Miss Albany Diner.
I went for breakfast on the final morning of breakfast service, February 10, 2012, and, even though I’ve before said that I “might refrain from writing about it,” well, “might” is a pretty cool weasel word.
We arrived at 6:40am, 20 minutes before the famed Albany institution opened its doors. There were 10 people ahead of us on line already, including Times Union reader/blogger Chuck Miller. There were also news cameras, including WTEN and YNN, covering the final breakfast for this business. Steve Barnes also showed up for breakfast right before the doors opened.
We were seated in one of our regular booths on the right side of the restaurant, and greeted by the server, a guy, who is frequently our server when we go for brunch on the weekends. The rest of the wait staff looked unfamiliar to me today. There was a young lady, and a man in a tuxedo with a crooked tie. [If you don’t believe me on this last detail, JonCampbellGAN on twitter posted a picture.)
I ordered my standard bottle of Diet Pepsi. The YNN reporter interviewed me while I waited for my food.
I ordered my usual “Rocky Mountain High.” It’s griddled corn bread topped with crispy, thick cut bacon, and eggs (scrambled in my case), topped with a jalapeno cream sauce and served with hash browns. (Mind you, many of the other things were already sold out. It’s the last damn day of service.)
The combination of the sweet corn bread with the salty bacon and creamy sauce is just perfect. And this is just one of the many menu items that will no longer be available. The owners have retained the rights to their recipes, so, in the event that the diner does come back at this location, it will be different; there is no two ways about it. Who knows? Maybe the son of the owner will reopen or bring his menu elsewhere.
I picked up a t-shirt, which is not even produced by the people who own the diner. The guy who is trying to make a movie makes the shirts. But whatever. It’s a keepsake.
From my experiences with the place, it was never somewhere you went for a fancy meal. It was never the cleanest place. It wasn’t even an inexpensive or convenient diner breakfast. But the place always had charm and history, and the people working there always took care in what they put out.
I am happy that my final meal there was just as good as any other.
Thanks for the memories.
UPDATE: I have a cameo in the YNN News Story. Here’s a link to the video. Time – Approx 1:30