Win cookware from Boscov’s. Really.

Did you know that Boscov’s Department Store, with the Times Union’s Table Hopping, is having a “Best Simple Recipe” contest?

Umm…I didn’t.  And it sort of sounds like I’m not alone.  Maybe it’s because it’s summer, but it seems that the entry count is low and Boscov’s is trying to drum up interest, so they reached out to see if I would be willing to give them a plug.  Local department store chain running a recipe contest with an extra category just for kids?  Heck yeah.

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Persian Bite has reopened on Union St.

Due to visiting family, we didn’t make it out to Persian Bite on Friday when they reopened – but you can bet we’ll be there soon.  Some details from The Daily Gazette’s write up today (story is here, but behind subscription wall – http://dailygazette.com/news/2015/nov/30/restaurant-reopens-after-fire/):

“We opened on Friday, just for a couple of hours,” Zand said Sunday morning at the restaurant’s newly renovated home at 703 Union St. “I didn’t expect all of the old customers to turn up. That was nice. I didn’t work, I just chatted with them.”

Zand and his brother, Rasoul, opened the restaurant for the first time in eight months after being put out of business by the deadly Jay Street fire in March…

Persian Bite’s menu will stay the same, but a few additions are planned in the near future, Zand said. He is also looking to introduce outdoor dining and live entertainment to the restaurant…Persian Bite offers kebab plates, wraps and veggie wraps plus appetizers and side dishes. The restaurant serves herb-infused black tea instead of coffee…

Persian Bite meanwhile is hosting a grand reopening celebration at 6 p.m. Dec. 9. The fundraising dinner will help offset some costs incurred from the restaurant’s prolonged closure.

Due to limited seating, tickets must be purchased at https://goo.gl/h18uJa…

Persian Bite is open 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m. Fridays; and 3 to 9 p.m. Saturdays.

Stewart’s Premium Milk Chocolate with Eggnog candy bar

I can’t say I was ready to rush out and buy this new seasonal candy bar from Stewart’s when I first heard about them.  But I do buy a carton of eggnog each year to sip during Christmas baking, so I guess it was inevitable that I was going to give one a shot given the chance.  Popping in for some milk recently was that chance.

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Another great Armenian Festival at St. Peter

Yes, it’s time again for the annual St. Peter Armenian Church Armenian Festival in Watervliet!  I can’t recommend this strongly enough.  For our money, this is the ethnic festival with the best food in the Capital Region.  It’s going on Saturday and Sunday, tons of fantastic food, music, dancing, bouncy houses and ball pit for the kiddies, crafts, baked items…

And they’ve built a fantastic pavilion on the rear lawn that is a magnificent improvement.  No more chairs sinking into muddy ground under a tent, there’s a concrete base and simple overhead cover to provide shade and makes for sturdy footing for young and old.  Go and enjoy!  And the weather’s great this weekend, too.

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Help me out here, Capital District

Two things.

First: Where are the new snacks at?!  Seriously, it seems like either this region is a black hole when it comes to new snack releases or I’m just looking in all the wrong places.  Does anyone know if a particular store/chain around here is the best source of new/limited edition items compared to the others?  I usually try a few supermarkets, Targets, Walmarts, CVSs, Walgreen…lately it’s been miserable.

I mean, I had to get the Vanilla Frosting Combos at a random gas station.  That’s pathetic.  It took so long to find the last couple of Oreos that by the time I tracked them down I’d already read enough reviews to make it not even worthwhile to get them.  That includes the Fruit Punch ones that were ADVERTISED, but not actually IN local Walmarts.  Don’t you hate that?  The last time I found anything of interest in a timely fashion was the mystery Jacked Doritos that I found the evening before their official launch at the Clifton Park Price Chopper.

Where are the Cheeseburger Goldfish?

Where are the Minion Tic-Tacs?

Where are the Lemon Twist Oreos?

I know S’mores Oreos aren’t out yet, but will they even show up on their launch day that I believe is tomorrow?  Of course thanks to advance packages to some bloggers, reviews are already out there on these, so you can judge for yourself if you want to get them.

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Second: Where do you want to eat?  I’m not going to promise to go and review anywhere that is suggested, but I might.  On a selfish note, it might find us some more good places to eat.  In particularly I would ask for places in the west part of the Capital District – Albany, eastern Schenectady County…

I’ll tell you up front that places specializing in Italian are probably not going to make the cut, which eliminates a lot of options, especially in Schenectady.  Any middle eastern or Greek places we’re missing out on?  On our list already that we haven’t tried is Tara Kitchen, although that’s been reviewed a lot already.  I’ve also got a review started for Alaturco (go there!).   We should try Bel Cibo when she’s able to reopen, too.