Pros: Everything large -- but the price! Large menu! Large flavor! Large portions!
Cons: None that any of us noticed.
Our first dinner in Latham (just outside Albany,New York) was take-out from Route 7 Diner. My husband, who managed to get a ride there to pick up our dinner for five, said it was larger than he expected when he heard the name. The menu is also larger than what one would expect. In the list of seven appetizers are baked clams, fried calamari, and shrimp cocktail. In addition to the soup of the day, they serve French onion soup (one of my favorites). Dinner entrees are organized by Entrées and Roasts; Steaks and Chops; Seafood, broiled, fried, and stuffed; Italian; and Greek. The most expensive dinner entrée on the menu is the Rib Eye Steak at $14.95. The majority of entrées run in the $8-10 range.
We all had very different dinners from each other. I went for the eggplant parmigiana ($8.95), a dish I love so much that I make it at least once or twice each winter despite the hard work involved. It measured up to mine in every way! One of the hallmarks of the dish is to slice the eggplant, dredge it in breadcrumbs and egg, and then fry each slice separately. Several (enough for two people) medallions of eggplant rested on a mountain of linguine (my pasta choice) peeking out between layers of mozzarella and a perfectly seasoned tomato sauce. It’s very rare for me to find eggplant parmigiana at any restaurant, and it was so satisfying to eat it without the exhaustion of having cooked it!
My husband had the London broil in mushroom sauce ($10.95). It was also an ample portion with what seemed like tons of fries. The next generation ordered from the lunch menu. Our son had a very thick pastrami sandwich ($5.25); his girlfriend had a Ranch Chicken Wrap ($6.95) overflowing with grilled chicken breast, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and ranch dressing; and our daughter had an All Vegetable ($5.95) with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and onions.
The dinners came with both soup and salad. My husband chose clam chowder, and (for a little extra) I had the French onion soup. I got a whiff of the clam chowder, and it was delightful! My French onion had the large crouton covered in melted Swiss cheese – a real treat for me. Our salads were full dinner salads, brimming over with cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and thinly sliced onions.
Reminder: This was our “take-out dinner!” Some restaurants will skimp a bit on take-out meals because they’re difficult to pack and don’t generate tips for their servers. I could almost swear that Route 7’s staff went out of their way to send my husband back to the hotel with a feast! We had leftovers to cover lunch and snacks. They packed plenty of napkins, plastic flatware, and condiment packets. The Styrofoam boxes were lined with aluminum foil. It’s a small touch but much appreciated. It helps food maintain heat and moisture, which is a big deal when dinner has to travel a bit before getting to the table.
I certainly wish that we could have eaten our dinner at the restaurant, but Route 7 did an incredible job of preparing and packing our dinner. The food was ready when my husband got there and traveled well in the hotel’s little shuttle. It even withstood the mishap of the shuttle driver leaving without my husband and our dinner (the front desk clerk forgot to tell the driver to wait for my husband).
If you live anywhere near Route 7 Diner not too far from Albany International Airport, bring your appetite and as many friends as you can round up. Your belly will be full and your taste buds will be satisfied for days!