Where did you get your audio system?

        Since June 2007 our new German engineered Behringer sound system has been up and running, and balanced.  Designed by Steve Aldi of the Rhythm Section in Scotia (www.rockbottomguitars.com), it allows us to offer realistic reproduction of our musical artists, complete coverage of the dining room and deck, and a drop in volume in the areas that were always a little loud near the old Bose speakers.  Steve is also the base player for the Alan Payette Band (www.myspace.com/thealanpayetteband) and also plays for the Chris Busone Band.  Many of our jazz aficionados remember Steve's dad, local sax legend and A-call guy Paul Aldi, who played with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennet and Tom Jones.  The Rhythm Section offers a full range of sevices from lessons to instrument rentals to system installations, and we found Steve to be a great help determining our acoustic needs.

​Who are all those people around the fireplace every Tuesday morning?

         Every month we buy three Lincoln Wear-Ever, Professional Strength Non-Stick Coated Eight-Inch Frying Pans promising, among other things, '20% improved durability and scratch resistance.'  By using the Lincolns for omelets we free our grill from egg duty so that we can fire it at the higher temperatures required for pancakes and homefries.  In three decades of using this combination for cooking, we've found that the Lincolns' shape and size is ideal for omelets, the slopes of the sides perfect for flipping eggs, and the 'Cool Hand II' soft plastic grip a lifesaver on busy days when the pans don't have time to cool off between uses.  We've never, however, in spite of escalating durability promises on the labels over the years, been able to use these pans for more than four weeks before their '20% improved releasability' degrades, seemingly overnight, to an 'insta-stick' condition where anything placed in the pan immediately fuses to the bottom surface and remains there until either the end of time or the removal of the non-stick surface.  The pans are retired before their Universal Product Code stickers even burn off the bottom!  That's three dozen pans a year, for many years.  We've considered spraying them with festive metallic flake colors for use as hanging holiday decorations in the trees, but have deferred 'til now over fears of what gale force wind driven cooking utensils might do in an icy parking lot.   And then there are the ten inch dinner sauté pans that need replacement every eight weeks.

           We always serve our blue cornmeal-raspberry Johnny cakes with pure maple syrup.  It's an option with the other pancakes and French toast on our menu; some people do prefer cane sugar based 'table syrup', but there is a gastronomical synergy that occurs with the combination of New World earthiness from the blue cornmeal, the rush of the summer tartness of the raspberries, the pooling of melted butter, and the unmistakeable bracing smoky New England maple syrup sweetness.  As long as we've been making the Johnny cakes, Paul and Bernadette Lounsbury of Berne have been making our syrup.  Paul's father, Paul Sr, made the syrup before that; his grandfather George Wiedman was there boiling off the sap before him, and Paul expects his twelve year old son Paul III will someday take over the operation.  Mid-February every year, since Hendrick Knieskem settled there in 1756, the family has begun collecting the sap of sugar maples to boil down and concentrate.  This year Paul will collect twelve thousand gallons of sap from over thirty acres of sugar maple groves.  Freezing nights and slightly warmer days through mid April will allow the dilute syrup to flow to the sugar shack, through over twenty-seven miles of plastic tubing, where it will be boiled down over a wood fired Vermont Evaporator (made in Ogdensburg, NY) to about three hundred gallons of Paul's distinctive Grade A Dark New York maple syrup.  Paul and Bernadette's maple syrup is available in single servings or in quarts at the Luncheonette, or Paul and his family can be reached at 872-1222 for inquiries on larger quantities.

What's with 'the Pure Maple Syrup'?

Why is the brown rice in your rice pilaf yellow?

​​          Because it has turmeric in it, a spice made from a plant indigenous to Southeast India, and related to ginger. Not very much, just a scant half teaspoon for a regular dinner batch, (along with minced apples, onions and carrots) but enough to not only color it yellow, but also, according to common folklore, Wikipedia and innumerable other web sites, give it the ability to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease, provide relief from Rheumatoid Arthritis, prevent cancer cell metastes, guard against Childhood Leukemia, colon cancer, and Alzheimer’s, improve liver and cardiac function and lower cholesterol!  Geez, why wouldn't we put it in there?  Besides, it's a great color.

        ​The preferred bicycle location for the last two decades has unaccountably been the handicapped access ramp. Granted, the bicycle rack started out as a dumpster enclosure in the eighties, but when the dumpster was banished to the backside of the property, we upgraded the notch in the hill with the addition of a railroad tie enclosure, concrete pavers and a custom built, treated lumber, bike rack. In the summer of 2006 we again enlarged the bicycle parking area and enclosed it with an engineered block wall system, complete with a hundred yards of plastic tie-back mesh buried in the hillside, twenty tons of crushed stone for drainage, and a ten foot tall, eight inch diameter, concrete filled vertical steel pipe painted chromium yellow and sprinkled with a handful of the highly reflective tiny glass beads used to keep sleepy drivers between the lines on the interstates, as an absolutely non-equivocal guardian to keep cellphone distracted automobile drivers from backing into the rack. With the added inducement of thousands of tulips, we can't imagine anyone wanting to park bicycles elsewhere - certainly not on the handicapped ramp.

Where can we park our bicycles?

       ​If our customers are the soul of the Four Corners Luncheonette, then the heart of the restaurant is our bread oven. We originally purchased our Fish Oven Company Space Saver in 1983 for Fagan's Bakery. 'Mr. Fish' is an eight pan revolving self bread oven built in 1957 in Beloit, Wisconsin, and then abandoned as "too small for a bakery and too big for a restaurant" for a quarter century in a food service equipment warehouse in Buffalo. It is gas fired, white porcelain faced, features steel double wall construction, and is insulated with several hundred pounds of ceramafiber insulation - like fiberglass, but far more itchy and approved for food service use. It is approximately a seven foot cube and weighs over a ton. During 'Mr. Fish's' long exile behind the discarded burned out pizza ovens and dented doors of Buffalo's failed eateries, it remained amazingly intact, losing only its thermostat and controls.

         We retrieved the majority of the oven in a rented panel truck equipped with a speed governor that wouldn't allow travel faster than forty miles an hour, and a rear door that kept popping open and threatening to scatter our new treasure the length of the Thruway. As Al Gore hadn't yet invented the internet in the early eighties, we were forced to trace the missing components through various iterations of the parent corporation with innumerable phone calls across the country. We finally located a direct descendant of the Fish Oven Company and were able to order original parts to complete our oven. 'Mr. Fish' spent the next several years in the Paddock Building where our bakery was located.

          In 1986 we disassembled 'Mr. Fish' for relocation to it's present spot in our bakery under the restaurant. With the exception of the single several hundred pound panel that makes up the front of the oven, all of the pieces fit neatly down the stairs. The unwieldy front section was lowered through a slot in the newly constructed basement addition roof with the help of a local service station's tow truck. Today 'Mr. Fish' is fired twenty-four hours most days. Up to a hundred loaves of bread a day, in hundreds of varieties from Ale & Onion Rye to Whole Wheat Walnut are produced from our own recipes. Pastries, cakes, and muffins and pumped from it's roomy interior all through the day and often the baking continues through the night as well, with slow cooking lunch time favorites like pulled pork or a hot slab o' corned beef or apple maple baked beans. 

Where do you get your baked goods?

         ​As the Pleistocene drew to a close with the retreat of the Wisconsin Ice Sheet ten thousand years ago, condors with a twenty foot wing span cruised up and down the glacial melt water shores of Lake Albany. They paused to rest, no doubt, in the high conifers where Delaware Avenue begins it's ascent into the Helderberg Escarpment. At least this is according to one of the guys who sits at the counter. We chose to believe him, and since it was pretty cold that winter several years ago, we built a bird house suitable for one of the flying beasts, and lofted it into our tallest maple with the help of five guys and a Chevy truck. With the advent of "global warming" (lately re-named "climate change") we are still waiting for our Gymnogyps Brendanius Giganticus to show, but we remain hopeful!

What is that thing in the tree?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why don't you have more parking?

         We do! In addition to the two lots immediately adjacent to the Luncheonette, we also have a twenty car lot behind 6 Grove Street, the blue house next to the restaurant, and we rent the Northern end of the First Care lot for our customers. See the diagram.

          Sergeant At Arms Harold Kelp gavels the meetings to order promptly at 8:00 a.m. every Tuesday morning.  The Invocation is followed by the Count (a formal attendance), and then the business of the day is announced.  With twenty-four members, quite often the first business is the acknowledgement of a member's birthday with a card signed by all present.  The low tones of 'Happy Birthday' carry across the dining room but, after nearly two decades of weekly meetings, most of the other customers accept the song as normal background music.  Next on the agenda might be Church business.  The members of the Mens Fellowship Breakfast of the First United Methodist Church of Delmar (but all are welcome) order breakfast and settle down to their weekly discussions of any number of wide ranging topics.  Current events, newspaper articles, internet stories and, sometimes, long ago incidents from their service in World War II, or their business careers in the years since, are all fair game.  One week, plans were suggested and agreed to about who would look in on a member who had recently undergone a hip replacement.                             Predominately veterans and retired professionals, ranging in age from early sixties to late eighties, these are men of the 'Greatest Generation.'  Among them, men who fought their way across North Africa and the South Pacific.  Another who was a surgeon on a British carrier.  Men who came home to raise families and make their mark in their chosen profession.  Among them a helicopter pilot, a retired doctor, a teacher, several engineers, a number of businessmen, a former school board member and a local record holding pilot.  Most Tuesdays find at least a dozen members in for breakfast, but years of 'Counts' in Sarge's folder show as many as nineteen in attendance one morning.  "Solving" they say, with good humor and fellowship, "the problems of the world one morning every week."

What do you cook your eggs in?

A Verdant Oasis in the Gustatory Badlands

Four Corners Luncheonette​

What happens to your used cooking oil?

        In April 2007 we welcomed Baker Commodities of Albany to the Luncheonette family of vendors and suppliers.  They are a recycler of used frying oil, and transform our 'Zero Trans Fat' soy and grape-seed fryer shortenings into chicken feed.                             For several years we gave our used oil to a succession of private individuals who used it as fuel in a long haul diesel tractor-trailer engine or in modified family sedans.  They were initially excited at the prospect of a free fuel source but then the reality of hauling around and processing greasy tubs of fishy smelling oil every week sunk in, and the discarded oil stockpile threatened to take over the North parking lot.