Troy is the latest Hudson Valley address to mount a comeback, at least according to an article in The New York Times Travel section that cited “new stylish restaurants, quirky boutiques and a craft brewery in a downtown rich with Victorian architecture.”
I can hardly keep up with all the new restaurants. They’re all good and reasonably priced, like Muddaddy Flats on Third Street, which bills itself as a “quesadillary” selling American sandwiches with a twist. They’re flat. And they’re delicious. Good idea.
Folks were walking out of Muddaddy’s with flat square boxes as Kathy and I went in for lunch. We gazed longingly at the rolled-up black and white awning and the metal cafe tables and chairs as we ducked out of the wind into the restaurant.
Muddaddy Flats Quesadillary
WHERE: 49 Third St., Troy. 326-0630, muddaddyflats.com
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday
HOW MUCH: $16.98, before tax and tip
MORE INFO: Credit cards: Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover. Children’s meals. Wheelchair accessible. Parking on street.
The large dining room has a cheerful decor, mostly white, with orange and lime accents that somehow make it look spotless. There’s a counter to the rear that opens to the kitchen.
If you don’t want to read the whiteboard, grab a paper menu from the counter. About a dozen high and low tables fit comfortably in the dining room. The ceiling is high and handsome glass pendant lights add a bit of class.
You can choose from chicken, Philly beef, pulled pork or veggie quesadillas, and they have some fun putting the ingredients together.
All of the flats feature some kind of protein, cheese and sauce, which makes for a lot of variations. Prices run from $4.99 for a Plain Jane, a cheese-only quesadilla, to the vegan ($8.49) — with lots in between.
Kathy and I both had the soup and small quesadilla lunch special ($7.19). We helped ourselves to homemade sausage and tortilla soup, which gave off a wonderful chili-like aroma, and headed to our table. The cashier had already brought two cups with lots of ice so we could share the bottle of diet Coke.
The soup ($4.75 for a cup) was out of this world. Kathy said it was a bit salty, but I thought it only made it better. It was tomato-based, with firm tortellini, fresh carrots and vegetables, and little juicy nuggets of fennel-scented sausage. It’s a hearty soup that would make a great meal on its own, and I could eat in many days in a row before I tired of it.
Soon our half-quesadillas arrived in paper-lined plastic baskets. Kathy had the Oh My Pulled Pork, made with in-house slow-roasted pork, chopped pickles, cheddar-jack cheese and barbecue sauce. “Just the right amount of sauce,” she said. “It’s smoky, and I can taste the pork. It’s spicy and just right,” she said.
I was just as pleased with the Parm Bird, filled with chopped chicken, melted mozzarella, Parmesan and tasty marinara sauce in a crispy shell that held all together but took nothing away from the flavor of the filling. Hot, with melted cheese, it was faithful to the Italian version, with a bit of cumin to make things interesting.
Muddaddy’s sells “brookies,” the ideal marriage of brownie and cookie (75 cents). They taste a like rich, homemade, fresh brownie and Tollhouse-perfect chocolate chip cookie, baked together in a cupcake liner.
Another brilliant idea, and just the right size serving.
The tab for our meal, including a bottle of soda, came to $16.98 before tax.
At Muddaddy’s, you can get reasonably priced, delicious food that’s not mass-produced. It’s charming and comfortable, the staff is welcoming and the food is inspired.