Monday, December 19, 2011

Dining Out in Rensselaer New York

Late summer road trip continued…

As we worked our way south along the Hudson River after departing the Adirondack Mountains, I reserved a room at a Holiday Inn in Rensselaer New York.  Then I did some research in order to find an interesting place with good food for our dinner that evening.
I hoped that my dining choice would be far better than our room at the Holiday Inn!  Our sink had a leaky faucet, the clock didn’t work, the tub didn’t drain, the door covering the air conditioning controls fell off and the “Do Not Disturb” sign was missing.  So much for a 3 star rating… 
When my travel books and listings don’t provide a good lead, I usually just go to and check out the first 2 or 3 ranked restaurants in the area or town… In this case, I chose the top ranked restaurant in Rensselaer.

Yup…This is it!  Trip Advisor’s #1 ranked restaurant in town… At first glance, Casey’s Restaurant looks more like a dive or a corner bar that serves food…

Casey’s opened back in 1995.  The building itself had been a restaurant for over 100 years.  It’s located just a short drive from downtown Albany.

There are two sections in the restaurant where one can dine.  This was a weekday but the place was packed.  The parking lot was full and we had to resort to finding a spot for our car on the street.  With no reservations, we were lucky to get a table in the bar area.  While the main dining area of Casey’s was more calm and dignified, this setting suited us just fine.  It resembled one of our favorite dining environments…a Wisconsin Dinner Club.

Laurie had a house salad with her meal… It was OK and they certainly didn’t skimp on the salad dressing.

It was a rainy cloudy day so I felt like something warm and comforting.  So, I ordered the Tomato rosé marina soup.  I didn’t care for it…but I have to admit that I have enough food dislikes and quirks with my taste buds that it’s not fair for me to accurately rate this soup.  In this case, the texture bothered me.  Laurie thought that it was just fine…

There were 9 different appetizers on the menu, starting at $8.95.  We weren’t that hungry but the Seafood Platter sounded pretty good…with fried calamari, clams casino, scallops and shrimp, both wrapped in bacon…supported with lemons, tartar and cocktail sauce. ($13.95)  Two other soups were available as well, French Onion and New England Clam Chowder. ($3.75 for a bowl)

The waitress brought us a loaf of bread with some oil for dipping along with butter if that was our preference.  The bread was pretty good…

Since I’ve mentioned the waitress, I might as well comment on her.  She was not attentive, a little rude, forgetful, and she lacked any evident people skills.  While we had problems with her, our issues were nothing compared to the couple sitting next to us.  She had gotten their food order totally wrong…and she didn’t work very hard to correct the situation.  We’re sure that she was a regular waitress…maybe she had a long hard day…or she had personal problems…but she was ‘the’ problem with our dining experience at Casey’s.

Laurie ordered the Lobster Ravioli Shrimp Scampi.  This was described as fresh pasta stuffed with Maine lobster meat and ricotta cheese, in shrimp scampi sauce with oven roasted tomatoes ($20.95) Laurie gave it a thumbs up but it didn’t compare to the Lobster Ravioli in cream sauce that she orders when we go to Willie’s Italian Restaurant in Seymour Tennessee. ($10.95 but without the 4 shrimp)

A total of 7 pasta offerings are available ranging in price from $15.95 to $22.95.  Casey’s also offers a couple of steaks, ($18.95 to $23.95), Calves Liver, ($15.95) and   4 chicken entrees. ($18.95 to $19.95)

For my entrée, I ordered the New England Baked Haddock. ($18.95) This is described as fresh haddock, slow baked with garlic butter and white wine, then topped with toasted New England style breadcrumbs.  It was very nice… With drinks, tax and a minimal tip, we spent $60.00 for dinner.

A total of 5 non-pasta seafood entrees are available ranging in price from $18.95 to $21.95.  We were too full for dessert but there are 9 options listed on the menu ranging from $4.95 to $5.95.

We would recommend Casey’s to fellow travelers… It has a laid back old time atmosphere and a nice selection of food to chose from.  Just keep your fingers crossed that you aren’t ‘served’ by the same waitress that we were!

Casey’s Restaurant is a little hard to find but that’s what a GPS unit is good for… Casey’s is open for dinner 7 days a week and it’s open for lunch Monday through Friday.  The restaurant is located at 77 – 79 Washington Avenue in Rensselaer New York.  Phone: 518-463-3318.  Website:

Just click on any photo to enlarge it…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. It looks like the corner bar from the outside. I was really surprised by Laurie's entree order - I'm now totall convinced that it is here favorite food. Since you've been in the South for a couple of years perhaps you've forgotten that your waitress may just be a typical Yankee - espcially New Yorker :-).

  2. Dear Dave, It is just unpleasant when a nice time out to eat is just not as enjoyable when the waitress or waiter is not pleasant and attentive. I am glad that the food was good though and that you enjoyed your food. I guess the soup was just not to your liking. You should have sent it back and asked for something else.
    I wish you and Laurie a very blessed holiday. Catherine