YAY PARTY TIME!
Haha, okay, or not. But I did want to take her out for some celebratory dining, the only catch being that it needed to be vegan.
I’m not terribly familiar with vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants in the capital district (if you do, please let me know!), but I thought Albaraki in Troy, NY was a good bet.
And woo! It was!
The baby has recently started college, and she is quickly learning the joys of cafeteria food. Heh heh. No, actually she said she was sick of “just salad or rice and beans” being her only option, and that the cafeteria admitted to mislabeling their foods and adding dairy to the vegan options. Poor kiddo.
Anyhooooo, I decided to stuff her (like I wasn’t to begin with) with non-salad-y goodness. We ordered the large sampler platter for $18, and it came with a whole ton of goodness, including the tabbouli you see above.
Woah baby, am I glad we got this! Albaraki was very accommodating – they made sure everything was vegan, and answered all my sister’s questions. At $18 this is the most expensive dish on their menu. Most meals tend to top out around $12, and the wraps and smaller plates are $4-7. There are sodas and bottled water as well, and they are under $2.
I ate most of the tabbouli – it was a very lemony, bright, veggie-tastic salad with minimal olive oil. I really enjoyed that, since then I could taste all of the flavors of the salad instead of it potentially getting weighed down with olive oil and tasting heavy.
Big blop of Baba Ghannouj – this eggplant dip was excellent and had just the right amount of smoky flavor. Creamy but not too heavy, and barely any eggplant seeds in the mix.
Big blop of Hummus – creamy, salty, and you could really taste the chickpea flavor. I wish I could get my own hummus as smooth as theirs.
2 pieces of Eggplant with some kind of spice in it. Really descriptive, I know. But it almost tasted like pizza. At first I thought they were like stuffed mushrooms, but I’m fairly sure it was eggplant. Not my favorite thing on the plate, but quite entertaining for the mouth.
2 Dolmas covered in garlic paste (I think). It was a really weak garlic paste (if that’s what it was) and went very well with the dolmas. The dolmas were firm and it tasted like brown rice or maybe bulgur even. (I AM SO NOT HELPFUL WITH DESCRIPTIONS) Either way, this pair was nice, with the garlic paste adding just a wee bit of happiness.
4 balls of Falafel slathered in a tahini sauce. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. They are large, fluffy and cooked perfectly through. LOVE. EAT. ENJOY.
Oh, we were in heaven. Nommy, nommy goodness was had. This also came with some cut up triangles of pita, which were perfectly chewy. I have no idea why, but I think pita bread just tastes better in a restaurant. They just never taste as good at home.
The aftermath. Yum, yum, yum. Oh, and those pink bits are really tasty pickles. Mmmm. Pickles. You can pickle anything and I’d like it, but when it’s neon pink I will LURVE it!
This platter was a great way to try some of the food from Albaraki. Next time I might supplement it with a wrap or two, just to fully ensure we have to waddle out. If you’re looking for safe vegan eats, Albaraki is one place I can definitely turn to in Troy, NY (and also their Lark St, Albany, NY store). And for amazing lebanese dishes as well. My next mission is to try their meat dishes. I’ve always stuck to vegetarian dishes when I go there. It’s so hard to resist the siren call of the garlic paste. (It goes something like this: “Ooo OOO ooo OOOoooh. I’m sooooOOOooo tastYYyyyy”)
Seriously. Get the falafel.
And the garlic paste.
And the halva.
And the baba ghannouj.
Oh man, now I’ve made myself crave a trip to Albaraki.