The Cat’s Meow – Guilderland, NY
I want you to think back. Back to June 14, 2011. At my “1 Year of derryX” get together, this happened:
ohh…and one other thing that came out of that afternoon…the one thing I actually may end up regreting–I’m not sure–…I agreed to go for lunch with Daniel B. at The Cat’s Meow in Guilderland, NY. So I guess that’s gonna happen now…
Daniel B., as many of you know, is the proprietor of the FUSSYlittleBLOG where he frequently writes about his journey to find quality in the capital region of NY. Daniel is a rather picky guy, and that’s no insult; it’s even part of the name of his blog.
Daniel and I met for lunch at The Cat’s Meow, located at 14 New Karner Road in Guilderland, seconds away from my workplace, on a Wednesday afternoon. The sun was out and the breeze was pleasant, so Daniel was there with his young daughter waiting for me on the patio. For this, I am thankful. I had to enter the patio by walking through the bar and restaurant area, which, let’s say, was far from visually appealing. The patio was small, cute and left a great balance of sun, shade, and breeze. Under any normal circumstance, I would never sit outside at a restaurant. This was a special event.
There were paper menus sitting on the table when I got there. Here’s a pretty accurate listing of their offerings, although the prices may have increased. I had some difficulty deciding how I would choose something that would play to the occasion and assess the chops of the kitchen. Then I found The Dagan – roast beef with fried onions, melted Swiss and horseradish sauce on a garlic hoagie roll with fries and salad of the day.
Surprisingly, Daniel B. went with a BLT with chips while his little girl had the clam strip sandwich with fries. I guess that’s a convenient way of trying multiple things, since she would most likely not finish the whole portion.
Anyway, here’s The Dagan in all of its glory…
Off the bat, the portion was well worth the price. But how did it taste?
The fries were not bad, not great. The cole slaw was confusing. It’s funny because I tasted it at the same time as Daniel, and we gave each other a look. I said, “what is that like red wine cole slaw?” to which he responded “maybe red onion.” It turns out, neither of us got it. It was cole slaw with some horseradish. Based on the taste, I would have never guessed that. I don’t think any of us took more than one bite.
The sandwich was very good. You can tell from the pictures that the cheese was sweating and wasn’t fully melted, and this also manifested in the ever-so-slight crunch on the roll. The roll had garlic butter on it as well as horseradish mayonnaise (they even gave more of this on the side, which was cool). The roast beef was done medium, and I like that. Even though I dislike swiss cheese (but elected to keep it for the occasion), I wouldn’t change a thing other than to toast it a little more, and that’s something I can easily ask for next time; that would boost this sandwich into greatness.
If I may be fussy for a minute, I would have also liked the sandwich to be cut before service. Cutting a sandwich like that on my own with a butter knife isn’t a particularly pleasant or efficient thing to do. I could have asked for a steak knife, but c’mon…
It looked like Daniel’s BLT was exactly what you’d expect it to be. The portion was modest. They gave him crinkle chips. It honestly looked like a very good patio meal. The clam strip roll his daughter had falls in the same category. It was a New England style roll, grilled and loaded with fried clams.
All in all, I don’t think there’s anything to be afraid of if you’re skeptical of eating there so long as you sit on the patio. I’m not going to vouch for the inside of the place. And, in an area with a fairly low density of places to eat, The Dagan stands out as a formidable sandwich option on the western end of Albany.