The Centre Street Pub has been open in Schenectady for, what? A year and a half or so now? We finally got around to checking it out on the basis of their…eclectic menu.
Let’s get this out of the way. I don’t drink beer, so I can’t comment on the quality or quantity of what they have on tap, etc. This review is about the food.
We went early-ish on a weekend night and got a booth inside the converted industrial space. A large bar dominates the room along with some oversized booths and I believe some tables at the far end, which we didn’t get to. I guess you can also sit outside where these is another bar and picnic tables. The booths are pretty big, so feel free to go with a group of 6. Although the tables are oddly small compared to the seats so you’re sort of far from the table. And the space is just awkwardly enough sized that there is a lot of empty space, but not enough to add more tables. It is what it is.
The menu, as noted, is eclectic. There are typical pub items – wings, burgers, steak…But then there’s gyoza and a charcuterie board appetizer. Roasted vegetable panini. Portabella burger? Pierogies? Weiner schnitzel? Perusing the menu we knew this was either going to be good, because they wouldn’t dare put this stuff on the menu if they couldn’t pull it off, of it was going to be a train wreck, because they couldn’t pull it off.
As usual, I played it safe, mostly because I was in the mood for a burger, so that’s what I had – the Centre Street Burger. Typical burger with choice of cheese (cheddar). VERY reasonably priced at $8, I paid the upcharge for onion rings over fries. I’ll cut to the chase, this burger was fantastic. I wasn’t expecting much beyond a passable pub burger. It helped that they came pretty close on the temp. I asked for medium well and got a solid medium+, which is a win in my book. At first it just seemed OK, like a decent burger, but the more of it I ate the better it got. I don’t know exactly what it was, I think the spices in the meat, it just tasted really good. Not like any weird flavor, just standard spices, it just really worked and tasted great. The onion rings were big and, happily, made from real onions. Tasty, but not worth a trip on their own or anything. I was glad I went with them.
My wife went with the pierogies that comes with kielbasa, but she asked if she could sub out the kielbasa for the potato pancake that comes with the weiner schnitzel. Despite the potato overload, they happily subbed it for her. They also include braised red cabbage. The report I got was that the pierogies were pretty good. They were either house made or sourced from a good source. The potato pancake was clearly fresh and not a frozen patty. The red cabbage also seemed fresh, more crunchy than expected. Not like soupy soft cooked cabbage, but more like a slaw.
OK, that all sounds good, right? I was happy, and stuffed, when we left. My wife was satisfied with her meal. All in all I’d give it a thumbs up. However, the party adjacent to us probably had other ideas. They just had nothing going for them. The waitress couldn’t answer questions. Several of their beverages weren’t available. One or more entrees weren’t available. The drinks were seemingly the result of the waitress not knowing what they had. The food was more of a mystery. They don’t have that large of a menu. How are you out of anything early on a Friday night? If something weird happened with your supplier, your waitress should be informing people it’s not available when they first sit you down. I hope they ended up happy with what they got, but it seemed like a tough slog for them.
Soft drinks were reasonably priced at $2, which was appreciated. (reasonably priced for a restaurant that is, still a total ripoff, but less than a lot of places nowadays)
I loved my burger and I wouldn’t mind going back, but I don’t know that I would given the limited menu. Parking is…awkward. Unless there’s no one there, don’t bother with the lot that holds like 8 cars, just park on Broadway. The Pub is at the intersection of Union and Broadway. I’d recommend checking out the menu and if it appeals to you, definitely give it a shot.