This is a collaborative review between three reporters who attended the grand opening of Troy Kitchen; an upscale food court in downtown Troy. There are currently three dining options: Troy Lobster—seafood restaurant focused on lobster, K-Plate—Korean food truck-turned-restaurant, Magdalena’s—Mexican food vendor from the Farmer’s Market. A vegan vendor is to be announced.
Walking into the Troy Kitchen, two things quickly caught my attention: the weird smell and the interesting lack of lighting. The whole place was packed, all types of people: young, old, and college students. Out of the three food court options, I decided on the Troy Lobster and to order the Connecticut Style Lobster Roll. The price was marked 11-15. I realized I had to pay extra for chips and a pickle; the final total came out to $17.28! The lobster roll was quite small and no coleslaw was included either. The environment was very different from that of your usual food court or casual restaurant. I enjoyed the unique upbeat music! Just the experience was very different altogether. Troy is trying its hardest to change its reputation to become a bit more updated to assimilate to the modern age; I believe the Troy Kitchen is a big step in that direction, yet it’s a bit soon for it.
When I first agreed to do this review with the rest of the Poly staff, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. At the end of my newfound culinary experience, I still had no idea what I got myself into. Neither did a friend from my hometown who was visiting RPI for the weekend. Troy Kitchen attempts to be a new, revitalized food court that features some of Troy’s unique street food businesses. I certainly enjoy street food, but it really seemed out of place in a dimly lit hipster style bar venue. In fact, the bar looked to be the best part of this venue, but being underage I obviously couldn’t partake.
For this review, I got nachos from Magdlena’s Menu, which appears to be a small food stand serving Mexican food. It was more reasonably priced than Maria’s lobster so my complaints are not centered around the price of my meal. In fact, the nachos were not bad, but they certainly were not remarkably good either. It did seem that all the places were swamped by the large crowd of people that came to Troy Kitchen on it’s opening night. I would certainly encourage people to give the place another chance once it gets running for a couple of months to fully work out all of the kinks inherent in an operation of its size.
Let me be brief: this place needs to decide what vibe it wants. The lights and the walls of the entrance painted elegant sophistication; the restaurant stalls had a street market feeling to them; the dining area had a hipster or alternative atmosphere; and the music that was blasting had a young, boisterous energy to it.
The restaurants had quite a nice variety, as promised in interviews and news reports. Not all lines, however, were moving equally—in the line for K-Plate, I was moving at about the same rate as my friends in the line for Troy Lobster, but the ones in line for Magdalena’s were about five customers behind. Just when I arrived at the counter, I was greeted with a five-minute wait on rice, and I ended up being the last of my friends to arrive at the table.
Furthermore, menus were not balanced either. Troy Lobster had tasteful but pricey dishes, K-Plate had (only) three items at a great price point—I had the spicy K-plate, a sizeable portion which was tasty in a home-cooked way—and only Magdalena’s held a fair middle ground between price point and menu offerings. Perhaps it’s because they’re new, so I’m hoping these restaurants can figure out the proper prices and selections to keep customers coming back for more. The grand opening was the busiest scene I’ve witnessed in downtown Troy; after the break-in period, I expect great things from this food court.