Friday, January 30, 2009

Tandoori in Colonie

Update: I've been back to Tandoor twice recently for lunch. The buffet was excellent both times.

We had lunch about a week ago at a new Indian/Pakistani restaurant on Wolf Road. I'm pretty sure the name is Tandoori, though I can't find it on the web. It's next to Emperor's Palace, and in the same building that used to house Bangkok Thai.

They have a lunch buffet - I think it was $7.99. My wife is not big on Indian buffets, so she got Chicken Tikka Masala - her favorite dish.

The food was okay, but nothing special. I remember in particular that the sauce for the Tikka Masala was rather plain. I prefer a sauce with more character - creamier perhaps.

The buffet was fine. There was not much in the way of dessert. The selection of dishes was a little less than some other places, but not bad. When we arrived there seemed to be a shortage of Nan (Indian bread), but we got it eventually.

On the bright side, the restaurant was busy - a positive sign. Everyone seemed to like it so maybe my taste buds were off. And it passed another standard test -- there were people who appeared to be natives of India or Pakistan eating there. If they like it you gotta figure they know better than me. And I did like the mango lassi.

Based on my experience, I prefer two other places -- Sitar about 3 miles to the west, and Karavalli about 3 miles to the north.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Standard in Crossgates

We took the kids to The Standard Restaurant and Lounge, a new place in Crossgates Mall in Guilderland. The space used to be Bugabook Creek.

Overall we liked it. Prices were not outrageous, with most entrees in the $20 ballpark. The menu was interesting. One thing that stood out was the portion size. My wife had the ribs, and the picture below is after she started:

This was, seriously, the biggest rack of ribs I've ever seen. They were good, though not great. It came with sweet potato fries - something more restaurants should have.

I had "dry-packed" scallops over mushroom risotto. This was also good but not great. It seemed a little salty to me (especially the risotto). Not as bad as PF Chang's in Colonie, but just a little too much.

One plus is that the place is kid-friendly, though not over the top like Bugaboo was. They do have a kids menu, and a lot of people had kids with them.

We had an appetizer too. It was a combo - three different kinds of rolls (sort of like eggrolls) along with a spinach-artichoke dip. I liked it. The rolls were good and came with a few dipping sauces. The spinach dip came in a huge container with chips - I don't know how anyone could eat all that. It was more than enough for four adults. I was so stuffed that I couldn't eat much of my entree (especially after I ate a couple ribs).

Update: We went back the other night. It was a Saturday night and the place was jam packed, as was the entire mall. Perhaps a good sign for the economy. While it took some time to get seated, and service was understandably a bit slow, the food was excellent. The portion sizes were, again, outrageous. The biggest standout for me was the cheesecake. I love a good cheesecake, and I'm picky. This was the best cheesecake I've ever had in Albany. Cheesecake Factory may have more variety, but for a straight-up New York cheesecake, the Standard has it. Not only was it great, but it was so big it made dessert for two other meals. My wife got a brownie thing with ice cream and it was monstrous. We haven't finished the brownie yet. She had a burger too and that was done right.