No matter where you grew up within the Capital Region, chances are your hometown has a spot that belongs on the 518’s bucket list. Whether it’s Gus’s Hot Dogs in Watervliet, Jumpin’ Jacks in Scotia or the local obsession I’ve most recently learned about —Kay’s Pizza in Burden Lake.
I expect most people who read this will say, “I can’t believe you have NEVER been to Kay’s!” but c’mon guys, I grew up Clifton Park, and Burden Lake (AKA Sand Lake AKA Averill Park) was a totally unknown place to me until I started spending all my time in Troy and Albany and got the scoop from the locals.
But, after seeing the social media hype from friends and watching this place sweep year after year in the Times Union’s Best Of contest for local businesses, it was time to make our first pilgrimage after a night of not being in the mood for anything particular in Troy.
Of course I went with my BFFs Jack and Sam, which are two people you guys should be happy if you know, and jealous if ya don’t. They are the best couple around –easy to hang with and even easier to persuade into doing what you want, especially when it comes to food.
So, when we couldn’t figure out what we wanted to eat, I suggested we make an experience out of our evening and take the trip to Kay’s and like I said, we were not disappointed.
After driving through the twists and turns of Sand Lake, we were immediately greeted with a photo opp. of this tiny little lake and the famous Kay’s sign. That’s a win in my books before even tasting the pizza.
Then, we had a very minimal wait, especially considering I’ve seen photos of this place with lines way out the door so we were pleased to find our seats quickly in an atmosphere that I can only describe as a mom-and-pop vacation spot in Connecticut or somewhere totally random and kind of generic. It had character, plastic tablecloths, all of their awards and Kay’s Pizza swag plastered on the walls –it was like a dive bar of pizza joints and it was everything I’ve ever wanted to see in a spot like this.
We were obviously starving by then since somehow it was a 30-minute drive to get there, so we ordered some apps (calamari and an antipasto, to be specific) and then the famous Kay’s Pizza which is a pizza with sausage, peppers and mushrooms. YEAH, BABY!
Oh, and we had to have a pitcher of Blue Moon to really get us in the mood to stuff our faces with the best pizza in the Capital Region. Side note: Jack was weird and put the oranges right in the bottom of our tiny beer glasses instead of making it look pretty and putting the oranges on the rim. He also did this while he complained of being sick so like hey, thanks for touching my orange slice. Clearly this kid has no bartending skills, but he can edit a hell of a video, so whatever.
I have to admit now I was a little worried the appetizers would make me too full to really enjoy the pizza, but I paced myself. And once I had a bite of the crust I was drunk in love for this slice.
The atmosphere was a 10/10, the service was great, the menu was broad and enticing for even the pickiest of eaters, and the Kay’s famous pizza was a dream come true. I can’t believe it took me 24 years to check out this 518 famous spot, but I’m glad I did.
What is your hometown favorite spot in the Capital Region? Shout it out and let us know, you might just see us there this summer trying to blend in with the true locals.
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