Sitar plays Indian safe, does it very well

Let’s get this out of the way, we usually go to Karavalli in Latham for Indian food.  But we did finally get around to trying Sitar at 1929 Central Ave.  The first thing that I noticed was the absence of any obviously-Indian diners.  At Karavalli it’s pretty well guaranteed that there will be Indian families there eating.  Just an observation.

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Hot Chocolate m&m’s finally showed up

It wasn’t easy, but I did track down the Hot Chocolate m&m’s at the Glenville Walmart.  Both local Walmarts are doing a sloooooooow transition to Christmas (which is fine with the me-me, but annoys the food-blogger-gimme-new-Christmas-stuff-me).  Target’s are worse, they’ve basically got nothing going on on the food front, yet.

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Lake George’s Ali Baba Express

It is beyond time I got my appreciation for tasty eats at Ali Baba Express in Lake George out on the blog.  It’s no secret by now that my wife and I are great fans of Middle Eastern style restaurants that do it right.  Ali Baba Express is one of them.  Now that we’ve been there 4 or 5 times without a dud I’m plenty comfortable given them my public thumbs up.

Check out their menu.  Not too long, allows them to focus on a few things done right.  One of those things, and I’m sure I’ve said it before, that is hard to get right is falafel.  Ali Baba Express’ falafel is fantastic.  Routinely moist and full of flavor.  Occasionally just a tad crumbly, but I’ll let that go.  I’ve had the lamb before also and that’s a good choice as well.

Their beef and lamb gyro is an oh-so tasty change from the sandwich or burger you might be tempted to mindlessly pick up while enjoying a nice summer day in Lake George.  Or get a falafel wrap if you’re not into gyros.  But they do make a nice gyro there.

If you’re looking for an appetizer, I can only recommend the lavash bread, because that’s the only one we’ve tried.  Look at this:

091215-2That is a giant, poofy lavash…size small!  I’m not sure how to explain it if you haven’t had it.  It’s sort of like a giant pita.  If you’ve ever made your own pita you know how, if you’ve done it right, they puff up in the oven before collapsing back down as they cool, leaving a pocket behind.  If you were to leave it in just a wee bit too long it would get a little crispy.  You end up with a pita that’s almost got more of an Armenian lavash texture to it, cracker bread-like, at least on the bottom.  Rip off a piece and dunk it here:

091215-3Creamy, just a bit thin garlic yogurt dipping sauce for your crispy, warm lavash.

On our last visit for lunch, when I finally took photos, we also got:091215-4a falafel wrap and:

091215-5yup, a gyro.  What I really appreciate is how they don’t completely pack the wrap with vegetables, leaving room for the meat to shine.  Not that they skimp, but some places go nuts with the veggies until you think you’re eating a gyro salad.  The falafel wrap was a little aggressively sauced.

Located right on Canada, this is basically our ‘must have’ when we spend a day in Lake George.  Couple this with an ice cream from one of the many choices and our day is made, food-wise.  Note that out of season they’re only open Fri-Sun, every day during the peak season.

If this type of food appeals to you at all, give Ali Baba Express a shot.  You can even watch your lavash puff up in the oven.



The Stew Leonard’s scam

Wow, did I get suckered by the Stew Leonard’s hype machine and a lot of apparently closeted grocerystourists.  We recently took a packaged day trip focused on a boat tour of the Thimble Islands of Connecticut.  Amongst a couple of other stops, it also included what I was looking forward to the most – a stop at the “famous” Stew Leonard’s flagship store!  Prime grocerystourism opportunity!

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Back to Market Bistro

Credit where credit is due time.  We gave Price Chopper’s Market Bistro another shot for dinner and our experience was quite different from last time.  Unlike our baffling ordeal (with tasty food), this time our tasty food came with a helping of smooth operations.

The booths seemed to be properly staffed and food was coming out in a timely fashion.  Additionally, we ordered and paid at the (same!) counter without incident.  They even scanned my Advantage Card.

Eating notes:

  • Onion rings still quite good
  • Good burger toppings still
  • Would like to see a sturdier bun given the thick burgers (ham- and turkey- this time) and plentiful toppings.  Both of our buns were crumbling and failing by the halfway point.  Not bad tasting, just not soft enough to hold up.