Some Chains I’d Like to See Come to Albany

Let’s face it, chain restaurants are ubiquitous. And people that don’t eat at chains are the exception rather than the rule. Chains get a bad rap. They’re associated with poor quality, highly processed foods, with little nutritional value. I’ve even chronicled some of them in my Bad Chains series.

But good things are happening. Consumers are demanding better quality food, while still desiring the convenience and familiarity that chains deliver, and restaurants are responding. Just recently, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell announced they are removing artificial ingredients from their food. Panera has pledged to do the same. Even Chipotle—arguably the leader in the “better fast food” category—has announced it will no longer use ingredients that contain GMOs.

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Quick and Easy Mashed Potatoes

Is there anyone on the planet that doesn’t love mashed potatoes? If there is I haven’t met them. Mashed potatoes are a crowd pleaser, and any self respecting home cook needs to be able to make a good version of it. They’re incredibly easy to make to make well. Any home cook can make satisfying and delicious mashed potatoes.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have a repertoire of dishes that are delicious, easy to make, and everyone loves. Mashed potatoes are also on that list.

Making them over the years I’ve learned a couple of tricks to make them taste better. And I think my mashed, despite being simple, are quite good. I’ve even had a family member tell me once my mashed were the best they’d ever had. I say that not to boost my own ego, but to make the point that great mashed potatoes are easy to make. Anyone can do it.

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Staycationaurant III – Chicago

Welcome to part 3 of what I’ve coined as a ‘Staycationaraunt’. I’ve been chronicling my overeating-at-special-restuarants in Staycationaurant I and Staycationaurant II. Please check out those posts if you haven’t already.

In my last post, Feeding Twenty Three Thousand, I recounted the horrible food served at the tech conference I attended. It wasn’t all bad though, because I failed to mention the conference was held in Chicago.

I had never been to Chicago, so I was very excited to go, and obviously, I was most excited to find some great restaurants. That task is not as easy as it would seem. A big city like Chicago is loaded with great restaurants, but it’s not just great food I like to seek out. I love places that are unique or special in some way, or at the very least, considered to be the best at what they do. Best pizza, best tacos, etc. And they have to be cheap. I just cannot afford high end dining.

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Feeding Twenty Three Thousand

I’m an IT Professional, and as part of my job, I go to a technical conference every year. This year I had the pleasure of attending Ignite. Ignite is put on by Microsoft, and it’s huge. There were 23,000 attendees this year. 23,000 IT sys admins, developers, engineers, and managers. It’s fun and you learn a lot about upcoming products and technologies.

But I want to talk about the food of course. The conference fee includes breakfast and lunch. I can only imagine the logistics of trying to feed 23,000 people. It’s got to be a massive undertaking. And as you can imagine, just getting that many people in line to get their food, and setting up tables is a job that requires a lot of staff. The hall where the food is served is gigantic. It’s mind blowing how big it is.

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