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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Capital Q Smokehouse (Albany, NY)


I was up in the Capital Region last week on a super secret missionor not. When secret activities were said and done, I played the role of awesome girlfriend and drove M to work. Since I was already in the area, I drove down to Ontario Street for a Capital Q lunch.

Capital Q is where Meister’s Meat Market used to be, a store front I used to walk by on the way to my apartment. And just like the market before it, Q has this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it thing going on. I’ve wanted to go there several times, but I always kept missing it. This time I slowly drove down the street until I saw the big Q outside.


It’s a small space, with a counter by the window if you want to eat there. The rest is the service area, and the kitchen in the back. The menu is posted along one of the walls, and the enclosed food warmers have signs identifying what’s what. For a first timer, this was all pretty overwhelming. I ended up going with a pulled pork sandwich (Capital Q style), hoppin’ john and collard greens.


The pulled pork sandwich was topped with coleslaw and served on a soft roll. I should have eaten it there, as the juices from the meat had started to make the bread all soggy. And while I’m not a fan of soggy sandwiches, I happily devoured this. The meat was well seasoned, and it had enough heat to induce a bit of sweating (or maybe I’m just a heat weakling).

For the meat being so moist, I did hit a dry spot or two… which would have been taken care of with some sauce, which I had prepared in one of those take out cups but forgot. The slaw went well with the pork, and I wish that there was a little more on there.


As great as the sandwich was, the sides were a bit disappointing. Hoppin’ John is made with black eyed peas and rice, and is traditionally served on New Years to help bring the eater good luck during the year. I don’t remember seeing it on a menu before, so it was a given that I needed to try it out.

The hoppin’ john was a bit on the dry side, and eating it seemed like a thick paste. I’m not sure what I was tasted in it, but whatever it was I did not find appealing.


I had really high hopes for the collard greens. I’ve made it before in the past, and from what I remember, I’ve liked it when I’ve ordered it. So I expected no less from Capital Q… especially after that sandwich! But it was slightly sour (vinegar perhaps?) and left me somewhat disappointed. I don’t know how it was cooked, but if there was vinegar in it, I think I would have enjoyed the greens more if less was used.

Maybe it was an off day. Or maybe I just need to try other sides. Either way, I plan on going back for some more. Who’s down for some smokin’ wings?

Sandwich, two small sides, and a soda came out to $12.00.

Capital Q Smokehouse
329 Ontario Street
Albany, NY 12208
(518) 438-7675
cash only


llcwine said...

Vinegar on greens is very North Carolina bred husband and inlaws would be putting on extra over and above what Capital Q puts on. It's an acquired taste for sure. In fact if you go down th NC, and head way east, the pulled pork is only seasoned with apple cider vinegar, and red pepper flakes (S & P too, I'm sure) and NO SAUCE other than extra vinegar or red pepper. Not my favorite, but then again barbecue is as regional as is pizza or hot dogs.

Albany Jane said...

Sign me up for smoked wings. Still haven't tried them yet!

Lilimonster said...

llcwine - Definitely very regional. I should try making collard greens again and adding a bit more vinegar to it. Or maybe I'm just too used to eating my collard greens with tuna and coconut milk (like right now).

Albany Jane - Ahhh!!! WING CRAWL!

Daniel B. said...

I'm always down for a wing crawl.

My wife can't stand the vinegary greens at CapQ, but I love them. I love vinegar to pieces. Sometimes you can find me licking clean the inside of a Herr's salt and vinegar potato chip bag.

For me this place is never about the sides. I just go for the meat. If the meat isn't enough, I'll get a side of meat to go with it (everything is sold by the pound or by the rib).

Pork sandwich, pickle and one rib is a fantastic option. Oh, and their chili is so meat-a-rific I lump it in with the meats and not the sides.

Although I haven't tried their deep fried mashed potato ball things. I really want to give them a go. Maybe when we go there for wings (with a slice of brisket on the side).

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