Today’s diner adventure landed us at Farmer Boy Diner & Restaurant, after a friend’s recommendation. It’s located in a not-so-busy area of Central Ave, or at least it wasn’t super busy on this particular Sunday. Farmer Boy has ample parking and and is easy to spot from the road, as it has a massive sign that you can probably see from space. Which is great, because it’s right down the road from Albany International Airport.
Immediately when we walked into the Farmer Boy, we noticed the 1970s banquet hall–meets–my grandmother’s living room type of decor. There are plenty of old-school appliances on the counters, mirrors and chrome everywhere, and a dusty rose color that permeates the seating and tabletops. Someone definitely meticulously planned out the decor in such a way that everything matches.
There was plenty of counter seating (12 seats, to be exact), and the stools looked more comfortable than any we had seen before–they had backs, were super cushy, and the counter had a built-in footrest so your sciatic nerve wouldn’t be irritated halfway through your meal. We’re both into the booth scene nowadays, so we grabbed a booth. The back support in those booths are fabulous, and the tables were at a great height regardless of how tall or not tall you are.
The hostess and waitstaff were extremely friendly. After telling us about the African frogs that live in the glass vase on the bar counter, the hostess seated us and handed us some breakfast menus. We scanned the breakfast menu, and I noticed the “Berries and Cream Omelet,” which I’ve never seen anywhere before. Apparently, it’s made with a compote-type berry spread and sour cream. I wasn’t in the mood to try anything new, though, so we both went for a turkey club with coffee, and Matt got a French onion soup.
The coffee was good, we’re rating it a 3 out of 5. It had a rich, strong flavor that paired well with a fine Hood creamer and Splenda. The water at Farmer Boy is good too; we’re rating it a 4–it doesn’t taste like chemicals, but doesn’t taste like nothing, either. It’s just good.
The food was pretty darn good; we’re rating it a 4 overall. The French onion soup had a darker broth and a mild flavor, but the generous amount of cheese baked on top really made it amazing. There was a definite lack of bread bits, though, which seems to be a staple in other restaurants’ French onion soups.
The turkey clubs, as I mentioned above, were stellar. Not too much mayo, not too much lettuce and fabulous bacon. The fries were lovely, cooked to a perfect golden crisp. We’d definitely recommend Farmer Boy if you’re craving some classic fries and a turkey club.
The service was wonderful; we’re rating it a 5 out of 5. The dinerness was a 4 out of 5–lots of linoleum, chrome, mirrors and desserts baked on premises that were displayed in a lovely case. You could even order a whole cake if you wanted. There was a selection of international coffees that were made with a variety of liquers and whipped cream. (If it hadn’t been 11am, I might have gotten the Bailey’s coffee.) Their wine list is nothing to shake a stick at, and the pricing was good–we think average, based on what we’ve seen elsewhere. The only thing about Farmer Boy is that there is nothing farmer-y or boy-ish about it, so I’m not sure where the name comes from. They do have a great website, though, where you can leave comments that will enter you into a drawing to win a $25 gift card, or you can join their VIP Club and get special offers in your email inbox. If you haven’t checked out their website, it’s just as beautifully laid out as their restaurant, and equally as attractive.
So if you’re on Central Ave someday and need a break shopping from hot tubs, or just want some great food and service at a good price, head over to Farmer Boy Diner & Restaurant for some delicious grub. Tell them Traveling Brunch sent you. Even though they have no idea what that means.