When I was a little kid I wanted to open my own restaurant, it would be called “Just Chicken”. Why? Because who doesn’t like chicken! Of course now I realize there are many people who don’t like it, but if you do, I highly, seriously, completely, and 100% absolutely, recommend getting a fried chicken sandwich at the new Albany restaurant The Cuckoo’s Nest.
The Cuckoo’s Nest is owned by the minds behind Crave, a burger and frozen yogurt restaurant that resides across the street from The Cuckoo’s Nest, which has found a home on Western Avenue in the former Ginger Man restaurant.
Walking in on Friday evening shortly after opening, and without a reservation, a table for two was not an option. The host quickly offered an alternative with plenty of seats available at the bar. Refurbished tables and a brighter, friendlier look, made the interior feel much more welcoming than the Ginger Man previously had. Despite being seated at the bar, we were met with helpful and attentive service all night long.
The menu’s selection of southern comfort foods allowed for options for even the pickiest eaters. Despite the options, me and my date for the evening both opted for fried chicken sandwiches, though we did try different ones. But before digging into our sandwiches we couldn’t resist indulging in an appetizer of grit tots and the Cuckoo Wedge Salad.
The grit tots were more than just tots, but could be described more like croquettes, full of cheesy potato filling and covered with sausage gravy. The serving was about 6 large “tots” which was plenty for the two of us, but you may need two orders for a larger group.
Visiting shortly after Thanksgiving, and indulging in so many rich and carb filled foods, I was craving some sort of vegetable. We split a wedge salad, which was the perfect amount of freshness I needed and the perfect serving size as well.
There wasn’t a question as to what I was going to order the second I looked at the menu. The Cuckoo fried chicken sandwich was a classic fried chicken breast covered in sausage gravy with cheddar cheese, roasted brussel sprouts, and a fried egg on top. At first glance I thought that it was going to be far too messy to eat, but I’ve realized the messier the meal the better it tastes, and it tasted good. The sandwiches came with a pickle and macaroni salad on the side, but filling up on appetizers limited my ability to fully embrace them.
A selection of entrees and additional sides piqued my interest, but my wallet wasn’t as enticed. The entrees were quite a bit pricier than the sandwiches, but they definitely sounded good enough to keep The Cuckoo’s Nest on my lengthy “restaurants to visit” list. Perhaps, I may even visit for brunch as well.
In the event that you are a creature of habit, someone who doesn’t like to venture out too much, I highly recommend that you try something new with The Cuckoo’s Nest, you will not be disappointed.
P.S. follow along on Instagram so you can tag along to my new restaurant visits in real time.
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