April 2004  - Orchard Tavern
4.63 - 6.5, 5.5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 3, 2 

    A beautiful Spring evening, marred only by the erratic and somewhat dangerous navigation (let’s see, who remembers playing bumper cars in New Scotland Avenue…) of the back roads to The Orchard, an old, family owned restaurant located at the end of the not so nice portion of Manning Blvd in Albany.  Be that as it may, with the old Freihofer factory as our backdrop, we ventured into the friendly old “dining room” to our table of eight.  I think everyone who had not been there before perhaps had in mind what the evening might hold in terms of culinary pleasures, and I hope you were all pleasantly surprised (since this was the choice of the editor’s hubby).  All in all, a good place to go for an inexpensive meal with a very casual atmosphere.
    The Up Side -  I think we all enjoyed our meal choices.  A few slurped their way and licked their fingers through a large platter of ribs.  Beer flowed by the pitcher (an oddity for this group – not that we can’t drink pitchers of beer, but it isn’t usually an option for the restaurants we visit).  Everyone looked full and happy when the meal was over and, as usual, conversation was lively and there was plenty of “risque talk” (What do you think that means – is it Freudian, or is it just that we almost always are out to dinner together on Saturday night???)
    The Down Side – Service was exceptionally friendly and the waitress was very attentive when she was around.  Unfortunately, she would disappear for long periods of time when, of course, we wanted something.