The most bizarre derryX Dines posts

I’m coming up on my 300th installment of derryX Dines, a feature I started 4 years ago. The purpose of these posts is usually to provide some insight into how it is to dine at all different types of establishments. And if I tallied up the money spent on the dining that went into writing these posts, well, let’s not go there. We all have to eat, right?

I try to write these posts as if we were sitting there having the meal together. My perceptions and observations take the stage, and, sometimes, things take a turn for the bizarre.


Here, I’d like to revisit some of the more bizarre experiences that have made it onto the blog.

(In no particular order)


The Brown Derby – Albany, NY


I walked in looking for a Cobb Salad (since the dish originated at the original Hollywood Brown Derby), and they didn’t have it. I had a decent salad, but they managed to screw up chicken parm. How do you mess up chicken parm? You add cauliflower. The Albany Brown Derby is long gone, but I’m still pissed about this one.

Mr. Fuji Sushi – Albany, NY

Chopsticks at Mr. Fuji Sushi

This one is a little more fun. I think the waitress was having a little fun with me and my unusually large belly. This place goes down as the only restaurant to date where I’ve gotten a complimentary belly rub with my meal. I truly hope I do not encounter this again.

Burger Centric – Albany, NY

Burger Centric Menu

This was one of those cases where (big surprise) the information on yelp was completely useless. Based on those reviews, we thought the food was going to be crap and that the staff were going to be awful to us. Well, the food was great, and we (and the other customers in the restaurant) were treated like family. I’m going to say that’s pretty bizarre. Things didn’t work out for the owner, Dave, at the Delaware Ave location, but he’s back flipping burgers at a new location on Fuller Road, Dave’s Gourmet Burgers.

Mingle – Albany, NY

LARGE Roasted Jerk Wings at Mingle

This one fits the bill of being bizarre from the pure fact that this experience did not match any of the dozens of experiences I have had since then. Walking out after this visit, I was upset. Service matters. I made a few mistakes that night, and I went back a number of times and never encountered anything like that first time. (Ohh yeah. Order the Kimchi Fries when you go!)

Illium Cafe – Troy, NY

Dollar-for-dollar, Illium Cafe is my favorite restaurant in the area. Just recently, the chef/owner, Marla Ortega, won $18K on an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games. Looking back on one of the very first derryX Dines posts, I’m astonished she was making a sushi roll on the regular menu back then, and I’m pretty sure we ate there the first week she opened. Fun stuff!

Wine-N-Diner – Albany, NY

Before Mingle, the space was home to a short-lived restaurant called Wine-N-Diner. We went a couple of times, since there was a lot about the menu that appealed to us. On our second visit, the owner was quick to promote some other aspects of his business but absent from any acknowledgement that they had just served tomatoes to someone who is allergic. I’m simplifying what happened here, so go read the original post.


That was fun!


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