Brown's Brewery in Troy on River Street is a perfectly adequate place to go most of the time. It is not one of my favorite places. But after discovering last night that Al Baraki closed at 9, we were left with hungry tummies and not too many options. So Brown's it was.
They seated us quickly, our waitress was friendly and efficient, and the menu offers a wide range of options. It's your typical brewery fare, although I read an article that I can't seem to find online that says there is a new chef there now.
I ordered the linguini with clams and white sauce, which was quite good. I am somewhat of a stickler about my linguini vongole, and this one passed the test. (Although don't expect actual parmesan cheese here. It came with one of those little shake jars with the crumbly kind of parmesan, not the real stuff). It was adequate (I seem to be using that word a lot, but it does describe the food, at least so far).
Some things they do really well: burgers. I don't eat meat but their vegetarian burger is one of the very best I've had. I've had the salmon there before, and it was just okay, not really great. I think they have a new version of it on the menu now, but I'm not eager for it, based on the mediocre quality of version the first.
My husband got the Reuben, and he complained that the corned beef in it this time was chipped. Apparently other times he's gotten it, it's come in the whole form that is preferable.
And the onion rings he ordered were below par. First of all there were exactly 6 onion rings of a standard size. That's not very many. The sauce they came with was basically just plain mayonnaise with flecks of something in it (pepper? I don't know. It didn't have any flavor). And they were doughy, not crunchy.
The other bad thing about Brown's last night was it was so noisy. They had this guy who was channelling Van Morrisson or Creedence Clearwater Revival or just drunk folk guy and I couldn't hear myself talk. So we skipped dessert and left early. Too bad, because I would have liked to try their Porter Chocolate cake.
This remains a standby, a kind of backup plan for us. And, it is a good place to go for beer. But beer alone doesn't make a restaurant.