Restaurant Review: Bread and Jam Cafe

Bread and Jam Cafe is the kind of place where you can lose track of time. Located just 15 minutes up highway 787 at 130 Remsen St. in Cohoes, this cozy spot has all the standard makings of a coffeeshop. Mismatched furniture, soft lighting, and a quirky assortment of decorations set an inviting atmosphere that make you feel as if you could spend hours sipping coffee and listening to music without getting that nagging feeling that there is something better you should be doing.

Opening in August of this year Bread and Jam took off running, filling up a music and event calendar that rivals many Albany venues.

Weekly events include a Sunday jazz brunch (with homemade crepes) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a Thursday night open mic, and live music most Friday and Saturday nights.

Bread and Jam features a stage, P.A. system, and even lighting system for musicians. All shows are free and open to the public.

Owner Salvatore Prizio previously worked in the music industry, and handles all the booking and sound issues in house.

They started to build their busy calendar by utilizing advertising on websites like Craigslist and the Times Union blog to attract local bands that are willing to play for donations, exposure, and free drinks and treats.

While the atmosphere doesn't really lend to more raucous musical group, acoustic, folk, jazz, and variations thereof thrive in the venue providing warm acoustics and a full sound regardless of whether you view the live music as background or the main attraction.

Prizio makes an effort to buy food products from area bakers and providers. There are the usual scones and cookies, as well as a an excellent lemon cake.

Aside from the typical coffeeshop fare, Bread and Jam also offers a full lunch menu with a variety of sandwiches, soups and wraps. Most entrees come with a house noodle salad. The Mastadon sandwich (which is not as intimidating as it sounds) has that great taste of something that is made with quality ingredients. Soups rotate daily, and the lunchbox special lets you choose any half sandwich, a cup of soup, and a coffee or tea for $6.99.

Another neat featured item is the S'mores for Two, a dish that comes with a tiny tabletop burner to toast your own marshmallows.

They also boast a modest breakfast menu, including the previously mentioned crepes, oatmeal, and various danishes.

The employees are friendly, eagerly offering up suggestions and can often be seen dancing along to whatever band happens to be playing that evening.

The biggest obstacle for this small business is undoubtedly the location. While located on a main strip in Cohoes, the distance from Albany may make it difficult for colleget students without a car to attend shows. However, it is worth the drive, and the CDTA buses also travel to Cohoes for those wishing to travel by bus.

Upcoming events include Matt Durfee of Palatypus fame on November 22 and a special Ernie William Trio show on November 24 where those of legal age can bring their own wine and purchase wine glasses from Bread and Jam. For more information, visit

© Copyright 2009 The Saint Rose Chronicle

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