First we eat, then we do everything else.

I had the chance to visit Troy Kitchen (77 Congress St, Troy) before they opened. I saw where they described a bakery was going, a place for a window to the outside to get early morning workers get food quickly, I saw the four different colored spaces to be filled with four different kinds of food, the bar where you can find wine and beer on tap, the stage area and the communal seating. I haven’t had a chance to go back since so I was excited to see what it’s become now that they’ve been open about a year. The style is similar to a food court but upscale and the food, as I mentioned, is broken into 4 different places and I had a chance to try something from each.

K-Plate Korean BBQ: What started as a food court on the RPI campus, it was just announced that K-Plate Korean BBQ will be the first of the Troy Kitchen restaurants to break off into a stand alone location, to 75 Fourth St in Troy. I ended up getting a K-Plate ($7) with marinated beef sirloin/bulgogi. Each of the plates are served with rice and veggies (lettuce & pickled radish). This was my first experience with Korean BBQ and it was delicious!! The meat was so tender, cooked perfectly and the sriracha mayo that is drizzled on the top is a perfect addition. This is one of those meals where once you start eating, there’s no leftovers, it’s too good to save it until tomorrow. I can see how successful their own storefront will be with the amount of people ordering K-Plates. Their service was very quick though so the line was never too long. I can’t wait to try out their new place when it opens!

Hoist Sandwiches: from Hoist Sandwiches, I ordered the Pork Belly Bahn Mi ($10) which was five spice glazed pork belly, pickled carrots, cucumber, cilantro & sambal mayo. Wow. I felt like I could taste each of the five spices in the pork belly, it was incredibly flavorful. The sandwich was a little messy to eat but that’s how I like my sandwiches, I feel like they taste better that way. The flavor of the vegetables wasn’t too strong, as some pickled veggies can be. Sambal mayo is a sauce made of various chili peppers but the spice wasn’t too overwhelming, it only enhanced the star, the glazed pork belly.

Bespoki Bowl: this is the stand I was most excited about. I’ve only heard great things about poke bowls and I couldn’t wait to try one for myself. Poke is a traditional Hawaiian dish with raw fish. The base of the bowl is rice or mixed greens (I had rice), then you can add 1-3 proteins (I had tuna & salmon – $11), next you decided on toppings (I got all of them) and last the dressing (spicy mayo). I was in seafood heaven. All of these flavors together was amazing! It kind of tasted like a deconstructed sushi roll. Instead of eating it with chopsticks, you eat it like a salad. The fish was fresh as were all of the vegetables, and there were a TON of choices.

Last, we had Mexican food but the stand wasn’t advertising a name. After all of this food, ending on a chorizo burrito ($7) was probably not our best idea but boy, was it delicious. You can also choose from taco salads, quesadillas & more! I was pretty full by this point but I love a spicy chorizo so I wasn’t skipping this one! Burritos usually aren’t my favorite but the flavors were very well rounded. The chorizo wasn’t as spicy as I would have liked it but I still enjoyed it.

Overall, if you’ve never been there, Troy Kitchen just has a really great feel about it. I like the separation between the bar and the food. If I wanted to eat near the bar, I could, but if I wanted to eat and have a conversation there was enough space so I could. The food is reasonably priced and delicious, it’s a huge space and they have great events throughout the week (DJs, spoken word, etc). Before we left, I wanted to try something at the bar so I ordered a sparking raspberry muscato and noticed that I had the option of adding rock candy or cotton candy. It was the first time I had rock candy in my drink but I loved the idea. I feel like the drink describes the mood of  Troy Kitchen: it’s bubbly, fun, classy but not too upscale where I feel like I have to be a member of some exclusive club. Check it out, Troy Kitchen has great things to offer and they already announced the addition of a few new booths with the warmer weather coming so keep up to date with them on Instagram @TroyKitchenNY.

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[Quote by M.F.K. Fisher]