Route 7 Diner – Latham, NY
I don’t know, maybe it’s in Colonie, maybe it’s in Niskayuna. Whatever, it’s 1090 Troy-Schenectady Road. You’ll find it. It’s across the street from Keeler on Route 7, as the name of the establishment would instruct.
This place has become my default diner as of late, as I live nearby, and they have been consistent. You will remember from previous installments of “derryX Dines” that consistency is an important thing for a place to have, whether it be a diner, a fine restaurant, or a third rate balloon factory.
So since I’ve been going to this place for a while now, studying it, getting acquainted with the menu and the staff, I will now take you on a tour through the process of one of my typical visits there.
Sounds like fun, no?
I enter the restaurant, after either driving there myself or being driven by Cassie. Parking is NEVER an issue. As I walk up the steps, I always read the specials board, which usually has the same things, waffles and pancakes with fruity toppings, but one time had a sick special for a corned beef omelet for $6…two days after St. Patrick’s Day.
I am seated by one of two ladies, either a middle aged lady with dark black hair or an older lady with a thick Greek Accent. There are two areas in which I can be seated. To the right is a more private area filled with booths; to the left is an open area with booths and counter seats that is more reminiscent of what you think when you hear “Diner.”
I read over the menu while scoping out the service situation. You see, after two or three visits, you will get to know the staff pretty well. There are just over a handful of servers. All are cordial with the exception of the really old woman who, while always accommodating, always seems to be put out by everything from taking your order to bringing drinks and food to the table. That’s not to say she’s not nice; it’s just a tone that is really difficult to describe. There’s also a rather unique looking fellow who I just started getting as a server; he has some pretty good one liners.
By now, you all know me; you know damn well I know what I’m going to get before I open that menu.
Here, it’s 2 eggs scrambled with corned beef hash, no hash browns, wheat toast and a side order of Italian sausage patties. It usually comes with a 2 oz cup of juice; I opt for pineapple for multiple reasons, including the fact that pineapple juice helps the body absorb protein.
Sometimes I get feta cheese on my eggs, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I remember to ask for dry toast for no other reason than that it gets too floppy with the butter, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I get the juice, sometimes I don’t.
I basically alternate bites of everything, but I usually eat more eggs first, after adding a generous but conservative amount of salt and a ridiculous amount of pepper. They are pretty good about scrambling the eggs. They usually come out bordering perfectly cooked and well-done, and that’s actually the way I prefer them.
The corned beef hash probably comes from a can. But in the defense of the stuff from the can, it’s usually pretty good. It’s not the fresh stuff, that’s for sure…
The toast isn’t anything special.
The sausage patties are interesting. Having grown up in a household that prides itself on homemade sausage, I have no shame in eating these at all. They are very good: perfect amount of fennel, well-seasoned, un-uniform grind, a bit of spice, and the light caramelization from being on the flat top just enough time.
Some days I can finish everything, most days I can’t. It’s a function of (a) how hard I’ve worked out all week, (b) how much I ate the night before, and (c) what I was planning on eating for the rest of the day.
When I’m done and the server brings the bill over, I take my payment information to the front counter and ride off into the sunset.
I usually get away for about $11 or $12 and that usually lasts me the whole day.
Ok, here’s your stop, now get out…
MORE derryX Dines!!!!!