Hello dear readers! Our next food adventure brings us back to Albany. One of my favorite places to go on my quest for The Grail burger is The Cheese Traveler for their Friday night cookouts.
They run from about the first week of June through September 5-8 pm or until they sell out. This was their second cookout of the season so we got there early as not the miss out. This season instead of a rotation of local guest chefs they will have their house chef Anthony Domenech doing all the cookouts.
We were greeted by David the cheesemonger who was very helpful and friendly. He gave us our menus and beverage list and explained how ordering worked. They also offer gluten free buns and vegetarian options.
I decided to start with the Bulgarian Feta, Kalamata Olives, English cucumber, hummus, mini pita and my mom opted for the Tulip Tree Beer Cheese, house made bacon jam, Potter’s organic Caramelized Onion crackers.
The hummus was creamy and clearly very fresh and tasty made in house for the cookout. I tried a bit of the bacon jam my mom got and wow was it the standout of the starters. I also tried the tulip tree beer cheese which I found to be very soft with a very mild flavor. Overall we both thought the appetizers were very good and the perfect size before our meal.
For our mains we both got the Tilldale Farm Hamburger-Chipotle & Espresso rub, preserved orange aioli. I got the salt potatoes with mine and my mom got the Mexican street corn.
I was a bit surprised they didn't ask us how we wanted our burgers cooked and both were completely different cooks when we got them. Mine was a medium well which is exactly how I like it, while my mom's was much closer to medium rare which isn't her preference. While I thought the burger was very good, I didn't really get any flavor of the espresso rub which was what I really was looking forward to. I did get a sweetness to the flavor which I'm sure was the orange aioli but I couldn't have put my finger on it being orange. Aside from the few minor issues we did really enjoy the burgers.
Last but not least the sides. I was actually pretty surprised by the size and quantity of the salt potatoes. I'm used to salt potatoes being a rather smaller sized potato, but these were 4 medium sized (pretty sure) Yukon gold potatoes. They were cooked to the perfect tenderness slathered with a very generous helping of the chili crunch aioli. The first flavor I got was garlic and then slowly the chili built, so it was very subtle. I didn't try the street corn but my mom couldn't put it down. I think that partially had to do with the massive amount of butter on it getting everywhere.
After finishing our meals we shopped around a bit. They have a great selection of meats, cheeses, ciders and beers. We asked if they sold the house made bacon jam but unfortunately they don't. David the cheesemonger told us exactly how we could make it ourselves. Seriously who gives away shop secrets like that?!
Aside from the Friday night cookouts they do serve a small lunch / dinner menu consisting of cheese / charcuterie boards, a wide variety of grilled cheese and daily soups. They cater as well!
Check out their website here: https://thecheesetraveler.com/
They have a cheese blog here! https://thecheesetraveler.com/cheese-blog/
They are located at 540 Delaware Ave in Albany, make sure you put the zipcode 12209 in your gps so that you don't end up in Delmar like my mom did.