34 Maiden Lane, Albany, NY
Date visited: Multiple occasions
Type of eatery: Hole-in-the-wall
Dish I ordered: Multiple dishes
Price paid: varies, typically $4-$5 for full meal
In the heart of downtown Albany, down a cobblestone sidestreet, lies a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant unlike any other in the region. It serves many things found at other restaurants - burgers, wraps, salads... but one thing makes Dave's stand out among all restaurants.
Dave's serves excellent Cajun food. It may not be fully authentic Cajun food, but nonetheless it's absolutely fantastic.
The place seats only about 18, and the lunchtime line often runs all the way to the back of the restaurant. The staff knows all the regulars by name, and the place has a LOT of regulars. I, myself, typically went there at least once a week, back when I worked in downtown Albany.
Dave makes his own hot sauce, which is both hot and flavorful. I always smothered my food in it - a single squeeze-bottle is in the dining area, and gets passed around by all the people eating in. Small plastic cups of sauce are available for takeout, or for when you don't feel like looking for the squeeze-bottle. Dave also sells small glass bottles of his hot sauce.
In downtown Albany, there are lots of holes-in-the-wall with great food, but there's not another place in the entire Capital District like Dave's. It's the one thing I miss most, now that I no longer work in downtown Albany.
Rating: **** (4 out of 5 stars)
Excellent food at a great price in downtown Albany.
Would I eat there again: Definitely.