There are some amazing people in the Capital Region and thanks to starting this blog, I’ve luckily had the opportunity to meet a great number of them, like the owners of Pj’s Cafe in Rensselaer (212 Broadway).
/edit Pj’s Cafe has since closed.
Pj’s Cafe was founded in 2004 but then about a year ago taken over by Rachel and her family. My cousin and I had the opportunity to try out their new dinner options. Fridays through April 14th (the last Friday during Lent), you’re able to enjoy dinner at Pj’s Cafe which includes fish favorites like a fish fry, shrimp roll or haddock dinner. I had the pleasure of enjoying the fish fry. Otherwise, they’re open for 7:00AM-2:30PM every weekday.
Is it the fanciest menu? No, but that’s not why you came to a cafe. Pj’s Cafe serves the staples and serves them properly. What more do you need than a BLT, salads, burgers, reubens, and Philly cheesesteaks? The fish fry was battered perfectly, it wasn’t too thick where I lost the fish but instead perfectly flaky. Paired with that, we had their homemade French fries, coleslaw, and potato salad. That’s what’s different about this place than other cafe’s I’ve tried. They understand the importance of fresh, homemade food and you can immediately taste the difference. Once you eat freshly cut French fries, you won’t be able to go back to enjoying frozen the same way.
What I loved the most about talking to Rachel and her mother was the respect they had for their community. Rachel used to work in the area and was a frequent visitor of Pj’s Cafe under the old owner so when the business was for sale, she decided to give it a try. She told me that she respected the wishes of those who had enjoyed the cafe since it opened and wanted to keep a lot of the same menu items they enjoyed while still adding items to put her own spin on things.
The building is a little difficult to maneuver with the parking lot around the back on Academy Street, but once settled it was like walking into a living room to enjoy dinner with the family. Yes, the building is a little old but as long as the food inside is delicious, it just added to the more comfortable nature of the room. Rachel and her mother were incredibly hospitable. We had the opportunity to talk to them about their process in the business as well as how they got to this point in life and without getting into private details, Rachel herself is one of the most bravest, sweetest people I’ve ever met. It was a pleasure to meet with them and enjoy a meal at Pj’s Cafe, hope you do so as well soon!
NOTE: Though I was not paid for my review, my meal was comped by the restaurant in order to give me the opportunity to write about them.