Archive for the Lake George Eats (NY) Category

Lake George Eats

Posted in Lake George Eats (NY) on August 9, 2009 by jaydel818

I’m not going to lie; the whole thing made me a little nervous.

My fiance, Rich, and I had planned to spend an extended weekend in the Lake George area with our two dogs, Charley and Jake.  In the words of my friend Jesse, “Well, ya know, Lake George is hardly the culinary capital of the world.”

When my sister found out we were going, she recommended a place that was “pretty good for up there.”

My own research yielded a sad array of Adirondack log house menus: steak, lobster, more steak, and then some more lobster.

An extended weekend… What would we eat?

After a few frugal (and doubting) days of old-fashioned, charcoal barbequing outside our log cabin cottage, we ventured out into Lake George Village (where we had been warned against eating).  We experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I’m going to share with you two highlights (and avoid sharing the woeful lowlights) should you find yourself in the area.


ALI BABA’S EXPRESS MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT
287 CANADA STREET
LAKE GEORGE, NEW YORK
518.668.2037
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Our first non-home-cooked-meal was at Ali Baba’s Express Mediterranean Restaurant.  Our Turkish proprietors served up a delicious cheese-less pizza appetizer totally unlike American pizza with a lamb and beef tomato sauce and heavy onion flavor.

I had a long, thin, and generously portioned chicken gyro made with Ali Baba’s signature, brick-oven lavash bread, chunks of juicy chicken, lettuce, tomato, spiced yogurt, and sprinkled with black sesame seeds.

Rich had beyti sarma: ground beef and lamb kofte (Turkish meatballs) made with spices, yogurt, and tomato sauce, rolled in lavash bread, sliced to points, and fanned around the plate encircling rice and raw onions.

(I have no pictures because I was committed to a “normal people” dinner, i.e., one I didn’t write about, but –alas!- I’ve failed at leaving this supper unwritten.)

Rich enjoyed his dish so much that I later asked our waiter for pointers in recreating it.  At which point, the waiter gave me the type of amused, indulgent laugh one usually reserves for precocious children with grandiose and outlandish notions of, say, battling superhero foes.  “I don’t think you can make this,” he said then pointed to the flaming, brick behemoth behind the tile mosaic.  “First, you would need this type of oven.”

Okay, so maybe Ali Baba’s has the market cornered on lavash, but it doesn’t mean a girl can’t try….

Given the unexpected great quality of the food, I was really surprised that the casual restaurant wasn’t more crowded.  Rich and I had an unfortunate hunch that some of Lake George’s visitors were likely to misconstrue and eschew a “Middle Eastern” eatery, suffering from a rather unfortunate form of synecdoche in which Turkey and Middle Eastern fundamentalists are synonymous.  [I write with the utmost apologies to Lake Georgians and visitors alike who are normal, intelligent, unprejudiced people.]  Regrettably, we were correct.  We heard several passersby express disdain for the “Ali Baba” name, saying things like, “Really? I wouldn’t eat there” (several folks attributed the “Mediterranean” influence to seemingly “benign” Greek origins).  It wasn’t my proudest moment as an American, and I wish Ali Baba success in what might possibly be a difficult climate.

THE COMMON MAN’S BISTRO
327 CANADA STREET
LAKE GEORGE, NEW YORK
518.668.0007

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I also had a decent lunch at this casual eatery, a homespun Panera knock-off and sister restaurant to the Adirondack Brewery, with indoor and outdoor seating.

The name was irresistible, and the menu offered soups, salads, sandwiches, artisanal breads, and homemade sodas.  For about $10 (including tip), I sat down with a Diet Pepsi (free refills) and a veggie sandwich: cucumber, red onion, lettuce, tomato, and Portobello mushroom on three-cheese, garlic, or organic wheat (my choice) bread with dill or cusabi mayonnaise (I chose the dill).  The order came with greasy, thin-sliced chips and a pickle.DSC04290

Not available today, but coming soon to this newly-opened bistro, were craft-brewed sodas: sasparilla, orange cream, and root beer.

The best sandwich I’ve ever had? Hardly, but overall, a much better experience than I expected.

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