Monday, March 15, 2010

Cardona's Market

Yesterday was my first actual experience using AllForLocal to find something that I wanted/needed locally. In this case, I was looking for lunch on a Sunday somewhere near Troy (lunch, food, deli). If you know Troy well, finding anything on a Sunday downtown is a difficult experience, so I knew I would need to go further than Troy for my meal. Since I was on my way back from Stuyvesant NY, this would be a perfect opportunity to find something in Albany. After narrowing down my choices online, I called a few local delis and restaurants to get more information if AllForLocal did not yet have it, such as hours of operation and menu items. Eventually, I was pleased to find Cardona's Market in Albany NY.

Review: Cardona's Market
Location: 340 Delaware Ave, Albany NY, 12209
Store Type: Specialty Italian Food Store and Deli

I ordered my food ahead of time to avoid the lunch rush. Just a simple chicken parmigiana grinder, a classic favorite of mine, can't mess that up! I arrived at the store, conveniently located a minute from the entrance to I-787 (easy to get to). Even though parking around this establishment was horrid, I managed to find a parking space right in front of the shop.

Upon entering, I was immediately taken into a different country, to Italy that is. This market reminded me of the same type of grocery store you would find in my parent's hometown in Italy, very similar to one that our family owns. It had all the items you could possibly need from your home, and specialized in Italian imported items such as Nutella, Italian coffees, Italian sweets, and pretty much everything you would find at a regular supermarket. It also had a full-service meat market, with deli meats, the most fresh meat you will ever find, and sausages and sopresata for great home cooking. The atmosphere was very homey, and it made me feel like I was in the family.

This kind of market is not too common with the growth of big supermarket chains, but Cardona's maintained a great atmosphere, a very up-to-date store, and was extremely clean. What surprised me the most was with how busy it was at lunchtime on a Sunday. I assume all the local college students make this store one of their regulars after a long Saturday night. This was the biggest problem I had - long lines 15 minutes before closing (but hey, if being busy is their biggest problem, then they don't have much to worry about).

Anyway, back to my food. Since I was splitting the grinder I purchased (which was a total of 8 bucks with potato chips), I only had the pleasure to eat half. It was excellent and surprisingly satiating (for half a sandwich...usually I eat a whole grinder with ease). Since chicken parm grinders are the most common sandwich I purchase, this was no easy feat. I have to put this sandwich on the top 5 grinders I have ever had! Now I am motivated to go back and shop around more, once I have the time to do so. I will definitely visit this deli/market again maybe for some food, maybe to shop instead of the less local alternatives. This way, I can give a more thorough rating of this shop and tell you more about it.

Take my advice and try this place out! The prices are very reasonable, and even if it is not within your budget, the food and atmosphere make the trip worth it!

-Joe Balestriere

1 comment:

  1. Cardona's is a local favorite for the holidays, too. Our family ordered an amazing roast this year, and though we had to stand in line to pick it up, everybody in line was friendly and chatty, so it was a very positive experience.

    This section of Delaware Avenue has a lot of character. A short walk from Cardona's is the Spectrum 8 Theatre (Hollywood and indie films), Ultraviolet Cafe (eat chocolate cake and play board games there while waiting for your movie), and Emack & Brolio's ice cream shop (live music on weekends, plus--gulp--an open microphone). And it's all on the CDTA's Delaware Avenue bus line (Nos. 13 and 18).