Lunch Break (Downtown Albany)

Lunch Break: Fin at Empire Plaza

Alternate title: Go order this for lunch tomorrow.

I wasn’t planning on doing another Lunch Break piece so soon, as I’m a bit behind on posting some full dinner reviews. That was, until I tried the lunch offerings from Fin – Your Fishmonger at the Empire Plaza farmer’s market last week. I don’t think I can rave enough about how delicious and fresh and wonderful my meal was.

Fin is a newcomer to the Plaza farmer’s market this year, which is held on Wednesdays during the summer from 10:00 – 2:00. You may be familiar with the regular Fin store in Guilderland, and I believe the vendor stall appears at a few other locations during the week. In addition to a tight offering of lunch options (a lobster roll, crab cake, salmon burger, and two types of fish tacos), you can also bring home a full piece of fresh fish to cook later. I’ve been struggling to think through the logistics of how someone could buy some fish on their lunch and keep it cool during the day to transport home – seems a tad awkward for the typical office fridge. But this could be a great option for someone who lives nearby and can run home, or someone who doesn’t work during the middle of the day.

Mahi Mahi Taco from Fin
Mahi Mahi Taco from Fin

For lunch, I decided to try the Mahi Mahi fish taco, which is served with a pico de gallo and some sort of pickled slaw underneath everything. It was small, but for only $3.50, the taste and quality of the ingredients were well worth it. The chunks of fish were melt-in-your-mouth tender. The pico de gallo had nice bright red tomatoes that were full of flavor, although I’m always hesitant about a lunch that includes too much raw onion. There was some zest to this mix, but it was minimized with the fish and the firm outer taco shell.

I also opted for a salmon and sweet potato burger, which can be served on a bun or a bed of mixed greens. I went with the latter.

Sweet Potato and Salmon Burger from Fin
Sweet Potato & Salmon Burger from Fin

The greens were kept remarkably fresh and crisp considering how warm and sunny it was outside. They were tossed with a dash of balsamic and then topped with the moderately sized burger. I threw a little remoulade on the side for dipping (there was also an interesting lemon curry aioli that I was nearly tempted to try).

The salmon burger really hit it out of the park for me as well. The first bite was robust with the flavor of the fish, but then it transitioned into this lovely, rich, sweet potato smoothness. The top and bottom were crisp from the grill.

I went to order at peak lunch time and there was a decent line ahead of me, so waiting for the food probably took close to half an hour. Of course, this was also their opening day, and I wouldn’t want them to rush the proper cooking of seafood anyway. No real complaints there.

Fin’s appearance on Empire Plaza this summer was a much needed addition to the farmers market. The top notch seafood quality, reasonable prices, and fantastic execution all warrant this place a spot on your list of lunch places to try. I’ll certainly be returning soon.

 

 

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One thought on “Lunch Break: Fin at Empire Plaza

  1. Thanks for the kind review! We’re so pleased that you enjoyed your lunch and took the time to write about it. Pop on back for our warm, brown butter vinaigrette lobster roll one of these Wednesdays! We do offer insulated bags and frozen ice packs for folks to purchase and return with each week to keep their fresh seafood icy cold. Foil is on the table to wrap and run if folks are pressed for time. We imagine that once our cooktop trailer arrives, the wait time will be cut down substantially. We hope that folks will continue to make us aware of areas that we can improve to serve the community better. Thanks, again. -Dora Swan- proprietor, fin – your fishmonger

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