By Matt Olson
You can call it luck or fate, but the founding of Bombers Burrito Bar has led to something special in the Capitol District.
The first restaurant, located in Albany, was opened after Matt Baumgartner ‘95 won a poker hand for $15,000.
The success of the first restaurant has led to the opening of a restaurant in Schenectady, as well as the plan to open one in Troy. Both will sport the Bombers name. The Troy restaurant, however, will be the first franchise Bombers, meaning it will be owned by someone other than Baumgartner.
The restaurant is known for offering giant burritos. Of course there are other options such as tacos, quesadillas and some specialty items that are unique to Bombers.
The Schenectady Bombers is located at 447 State Street, across the street from Proctor’s Theater. It opened at this location in 2009, and is part of the city’s mission to rebuild and re-invigorate Downtown Schenectady. The mission has kept Union on its mind throughout a majority of the project, looking to make the city more college friendly.
The restaurant offers a sit-down area located on the second floor, with a lively bar scene. On the first floor is an alternative sit-down area with a to-go option for those in a hurry.
Perhaps the most famous Bombers tradition, at least for college students, is the birthday margarita. Show your ID to your waiter or waitress and you’ll get a free margarita that is almost big enough to swim in.
But, don’t go flashing your ID around until you’re 21—if it’s after 9 p.m., minors are not allowed upstairs on Friday or Saturday nights.
If you’re looking for a perfect party spot that offers privacy as well as a great atmosphere, the third floor is decked out in a tropical oasis aptly named La Playa (The Beach).
The restaurant offers a variety of options that can suit your next party. You can find out all pricing options, as well as an everyday menu on their website, www.bombersburritobar.com.
My favorite item on the menu has to be their piggy fries. As the name implies, they’re not for the vegetarian appetite. It’s an order of Bombers fries, covered in cheese, barbecued pulled pork, jalapenos and even more BBQ sauce. It’s enough food to split between two people, and will keep you full for hours. I also really enjoy rasta fries. They have a Jamaican jerk seasoning on them, so order them with a glass of water…or two. Of course, everyone should try their massive burritos at least once when they go to Bombers. You can choose between chicken, beef, pulled pork or tofu for a vegetarian option. They are what made the restaurants famous, and for good reason.
Lastly, chicken wings are also a popular option among the customers. There are more flavors than you can imagine, ranging from mild to hot, with flavors such as ranch and Cajun whiskey in between.
Bombers also delivers food to their hungry customers, and this includes to Union’s campus! Sunday afternoons in the fall are perfect with some NFL action and Bombers wings. But, as you can imagine, they are good for just about any occasion. And now you don’t even need to waste any gas getting them—Bombers will deliver to your dorm or house!
It isn’t very often you meet a Union student who hasn’t gone to Bombers at least once. For college students in the Capitol District, Bombers has supplanted itself as a dietary staple. I myself can claim this—I’m pretty sure I go at least five times a month. But, if you haven’t, go out with your friends to experience trivia night, the Friday night bar scene or just to enjoy some great Mexican food. You definitely won’t be disappointed.