From the Food Vault Dept.: Schenectady’s restaurant profile has never matched its demographics, but every now and then a dining establishment pops up that strays from the white-bread norm. How nice to see a New Orleans-inspired eatery appear a decade ago on a stretch of Union Street that was threatening to become a vital restaurant row; how tragic to see the place shuttered a few years later because of unpaid taxes. At the space now is a restaurant called Malcolm’s, diligently struggling through the pandemic.
RECOGNIZED – AT LAST! I maintain an impressive anonymity at this job, despite frequent in-print descriptions of my size and usual dining companions, not to mention a scattering of likenesses in the webosphere. But, compared to many other markets, Capital Region restaurateurs don’t worry as much about reviews. They don’t post photos in kitchens; they require no need for pseudononymous credit cards.
|Photo by B. A. Nilsson|
Perched, or I should say newly landed on the service counter, across which all of the restaurant’s finished dishes are passed, was a strange amalgam of flying saucer and hero sandwich. It was large – about 12 inches in diameter, and half of that high if you measure to the top of the toothpick securing each of the sandwich’s quarters.
This is the muffuletta, a sandwich that may exemplify New Orleans better than any other single item. It’s a true melting-pot item, for starters, one that literally came together at the French Quarter’s Central Grocery early in the 1900s, named for the style of Sicilian loaf used for the sandwich or for one of its original customers.