The Judge’s Inn – Troy, NY

Troy has really been a great destination for non-chain dining experiences in the past couple of years. Located at 254 Broadway in Troy, The Judge’s Inn is one of very few theme based restaurants in the area. Everything pertaining to the experience has a legal theme. When greeted and seated by the server, the server says

Hello, my name is _____; I’ll be your attorney and you’ve been served.

and hands you a folded document that looks like such:

Although it looks like a court summons, it’s you’re menu. Kind of cute.

The beer menu is extensive. On the day that we dined there, they had Dogfish Head Punkin Ale on tap along with 15 other (mostly craft) beers, and, even though I bought an entire case of Punkin that day, I still had to order it on tap to see if there was a difference. The menu, available online only as a note on the Facebook Fansite, has a wide range of decently priced entrées.

As an appetizer, I ordered The Boss Tweed, advertised as “Our take on the Irish nacho:  house fried potato chips covered with grated cheeses, & covered w/a savory meat topping, tomatoes, onions, scallions and sour cream.” The price was $9.75. I ordered it with no tomatoes, and, even though the waitress failed to mention that the “savory meat topping” was stewed with tomatoes, there were not enough for me to make a big deal (even though my dinner company did have a tomato allergy). I was impressed by the size and flavor of the dish. Here’s what it looked like:

Unfortunately, it couldn’t be all good. The pacing of the meal was the first disaster, as my appetizer came out quickly, but my company’s appetizer, Fishing Expedition (aka catfish sliders), took a long while to come. The next disaster was a major mixup in my entrée. Without complicating it with the strange menu names, I ordered a patty melt and was served a crazy burger with tomato bruschetta on top served on a hoagie roll.

This apparently was a big deal for the staff, as the waitress asked me to tell anyone who asked that I had a tomato allergy so that they would not reuse the same burger when remaking my dish. After explaining this whole thing to me, another person, in the guise of a server, came over to apologize and explain the situation. Being that a server already explained their side of the situation to me, I didn’t want to hear it, and got a little embarrassed and defensive. It turns out that this young man was a “front of the house manager.” It would have been nice to have heard an introduction stating this.

When my patty melt arrived, as my guest was finishing her crab cakes, I was actually really full, but I took a few bites of the patty melt and packed the rest to go. It was quite good and is definitely something I would order again. The waitress was far overly apologetic, took an appetizer off the bill, and even offered to give us dessert. We declined the dessert, as it was already embarrassing that they drew so much attention to a simple incorrect order.

I wholeheartedly plan on returning to The Judge’s Inn. This trip taught me that the kitchen doesn’t seem like the most cooperative kitchen in the area, so I’d most likely return for a happy hour and enjoy some great beers and appetizers. The court theme can be a little much, but it’s not like these kinds of restaurants are all over the place.

Have you eaten here or heard of this place? What are your thoughts?


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