At the Table: Genoa Importing’s quality ingredients in Loudonville get a little lost in the mix

A Smokey Bob sandwich consisting of smoked turkey, melted cheddar, bacon, honey mustard, lettuce and tomato at Genoa Importing.
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A Smokey Bob sandwich consisting of smoked turkey, melted cheddar, bacon, honey mustard, lettuce and tomato at Genoa Importing.

“I love sandwiches!” Favorite Nurse announced at the lunch table one recent Saturday afternoon. She was in luck. Genoa specializes in sandwiches — those special subs stuffed with Italian meats and seasoned with vinegar peppers and Italian dressing.

We had picked up the food at their shop in the loveliest part of Loudonville’s Route 9. The building graced the other, mostly private residences. Attractive emerald awnings hung above the two bay windows on either side of the front door; window boxes had yet to be filled with spring flowers.

We assumed it would not take long to fill an order for two people, and we judged correctly. Plus the slack gave me enough time to look around inside the small building. Not as elegant as the outside of the deli, the coolers and plain racks packed with Italian imports inside were serviceable and well-used.

We ordered from one of the three courteous gentlemen behind the counter. Unpacking the garlic-scented food was almost as exciting as devouring it.

The portions were generous, providing more than enough for a second meal.

From a modest menu of hot and cold subs, grab-and-go entrees, pizza, salads, wings and soups, guest selected a Smokey Bob sub ($10.99, consisting of smoked turkey, melted cheddar, bacon, honey mustard, lettuce and tomato). Nurse L. reported that sub was filled with high-quality meats and cheeses, but that as good as the honey mustard dressing was it overpowered the sub by its sheer abundance.

I am fond of antipasto salads ($13.99, which includes mixed field greens, salami, pepperoni, fatty capicollo, jardinière, roasted red peppers, provolone, mixed olives and Romano cheese), but while the quality of imported meats and cheeses was excellent, the individual flavors were neutralized by the powerful acerbic sting of the vinegar from the jardiniere that had been used to dress the salad. Without tasting the blend, I mistakenly added half a small container of Italian dressing to the plastic bowl. It’s possible I could have managed the acidity if the pieces of cheese, meat and lettuce had been cut larger.

While I chose to forgo dessert, I did opt for a pint of chicken soup ($4.99). Chicken is always the variety on the menu, although a second choice (broccoli cheddar) was available the day we were there.

While I tasted the chicken soup at the lunch table, it wasn’t until supper at my own dinner table that I was able to fully investigate and enjoy my selection.

One might describe the golden stock as “sturdy.” It was loaded with large pieces of white-meat chicken, celery and carrots, and nearly invisible pieces of translucent onion.

But the best part was the mass of what appeared to be thick, house-made noodles. They appeared to be torn rather than cut, a telltale sign of their homemade goodness.

What Genoa’s chicken soup was lacking was seasoning of any kind. The lack of salt and pepper was easily remedied. But the addition of herbs such as thyme, rosemary, parsley and sage would be trickier. These culinary herbs could change the complexion of the soup if the chef had a heavy hand.

Genoa Importing Co. is strictly a take-and-go establishment. There are no tables or seats, although it is possible to phone in your order, order online or just walk in. This setup still works for my guest and me.

Despite being fully vaccinated and paying strict adherence to social distancing, we continue to avoid indoor dining. But with warmer weather creeping northward, outdoor dining should soon be within our grasp.

Genoa Importing

WHERE: 435 Loudon Road,Loudonville, 12211; 518-427-0078

WHEN: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sunday

HOW MUCH: $37.44 without tax or tip

MORE INFO: Parking area in front, handicapped accessible except for one 6-inch step to access front door, credit cards accepted, takeout only, no more than six people at a time in store, face mask required, curbside service.

Categories: Food

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