Randy’s Best Ice Cream, a nostalgic ice cream cart, comes to Albany

Randy's Best Ice Cream is an ice cream cart business started by Albany-based chef Brandon Nguyen.
Albany-based chef Brandon Nguyen started Randy’s Best Ice Cream after getting laid off from his restaurant job during the pandemic. Credit: Paulina Barrack

On April 23, Randy’s Best Ice Cream, a new small batch ice cream cart offering five rotating flavors, will set up shop at 1115 Solano Ave., in front of the Albany Twin theater.

Randy’s comes from Albany resident Brandon Nguyen, who until last year had been working as a savory chef at San Francisco restaurants like State Bird Provisions, The Progress and, most recently, Verjus. In May 2020, when the shelter-in-place ordinance was in full swing, Nguyen lost his restaurant job. He had casually thought about building an ice cream business in the past, and the more he reflected on it, the more he realized it could be the career he had been hoping for.

“Once I got laid off, I realized I had to change career

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Michelin Stars 2021: Best Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

The pandemic might have shuttered more than 110,000 restaurants across the country, but Michelin is looking on the bright side. 

On April 22, the French-based restaurant rating company announced its star ratings for Washington, D.C.-area dining spots. It’s the first U.S. city to receive them since October 2019.

The top of the list looks similar to years past: The Inn at Little Washington, in Washington, Va., which uses dressed-up mannequins to fill seats with their current dining capacity of 50%, retained its three-star status.

Two two-star places also held their rank: Minibar, the modern counter spot from José Andrés, and Aaron Silverman’s Pineapple and Pearls, a modern American spot. Both are currently closed. “If the restaurant was temporarily closed for the pandemic, we did retain them,” said the chief inspector of Michelin’s North America team, who spoke on condition of anonymity, in a phone interview.


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