August 31, 2009

al baraki

Getting tired of these reviews yet? Tough. I’m having a blast.


Although my list is still pretty long, when I saw mention of Al Baraki on All Over Albany, I took that as a sign that I should seek it out next.

Al Baraki is not a restaurant. It is a man behind a counter in a space half the size of my bedroom. The kitchen portion makes up the most of the room, and there’s a little space to wait for your order to be prepared.

I ordered the chicken shawarma with my standard tomato and lettuce. I asked for the garlic sauce on the side, a request blatantly frowned upon by the cook. He also wanted me to put pickles in the wrap, but since I’m trying to keep things consistent, I resisted.

The already-seasoned chicken was plopped onto a panini press (yes, like at Anton’s, I could watch what was being done)(I was also happy to see the cook put on gloves)(but alas, there was no hairnet) and sizzled. Although I got the small wrap ($4.75 + tax), a whole piece of pita was used. Used and filled. Three of the pieces of chicken were added to the bed of lettuce and tomato and the entire wrap was then placed back in the press and heated through. This was an awesome touch.


I really, really liked this wrap. The seasoning of the chicken was completely different from that of Anton’s (bliss), but just as delicious. I detected some familiar spices, including cinnamon, so you know I was smitten. My only regret was that the hunks of chicken were in finger-form rather than more easy-to-eat pieces. I guess I’ll be seeing that a lot and will just have to come to terms with it.

The pita, although thin, held together until the very end and kept the innards from spilling everywhere. The sauce, I must say, was not a sauce at all, but a thick and highly potent paste similar to that of Beirut Restaurant. The folks at All Over Albany weren’t kidding--the vampires will keep their distance from anyone who so much as holds a container of this stuff!


Yes, that's a vicious kitten wound on my finger.
They're fur-ocious. Get it? Ha.


All in all, this was a wrap that was well-worth the cost. The appearance of the place is a bit off-putting, but I’m ready, willing, able and eager to return.

Al Baraki
185 Lark St.
Albany, NY 12210

28 comments:

Barbara said...

No, I'm not tired of your reviews, Grace, even though I don't live in your area. I was thinking about doing one for a restaurant in Miami and wondered who would be interested. I then decided a lot of our local friends read our blogs but do not comment. So keep 'em coming!
BTW: this wrap looks great!
BTW 2: Ouch on that kitty scratch.

Kate at Serendipity said...

Me too! I'm enjoying the reviews, even though they're far away from me. This one sounds like a keeper. Next time I'm in Albany...

I wonder if anyone would want to read a review from Verviers?

maybelle's mom said...

I think the hole in the wall places are best.

oneordinaryday said...

Wish I lived there to check out all these places too!

Gloria said...

Im not tired Grace because I really enjoy your comments about all.
This look really tasty.
I live so far but always enjoy your reviews. xGloria

lisaiscooking said...

This sounds like a really good one! Now, I'm already hungry for lunch.

toontz said...

Wish I was in the neighborhood, *sigh*

Lindsey said...

Isn't it always the hole in the wall places and random food carts that have the best food? At least according to Anthony Bourdain it is...

5 Star Foodie said...

The wrap sounds terrific! I always enjoy reading restaurant reviews!

nora@ffr said...

wow!! ye wrap sound amazing!! m already craving!!
cheers!

Ingrid said...

When I saw what you were blogging about I should have taken a past and come back AFTER i had eaten lunch. Now whatever I eat will plae in comparison!
~ingrid

Marjie said...

I enjoy your reviews, and always hope for another good idea. This looks like a great lunch.

Cheryl said...

Yummy Yummy! Looks delish! and a kitten ouchie, bad cat!

Zoe said...

Im enjoying them as well!

Albany Jane said...

Pita, pita, pita!

I'll totally trade you somethin' for that garlic paste =D I swoon over it!

Stacey said...

That looks so delicious... I love anything on a really good, soft pita.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Nope not tired of these at all! Hehe that's toum the fluffy garlic stuff. I love it although I've been accused of being a Vampira so what does that mean? :P

shaz said...

Fur-ocious! ha ha ha...I love garlic - that sauce/paste looks sooooo good. No vampires here.

The Blonde Duck said...

It just makes me hungry, not tired. :)

Hungry Dog said...

I'll take two, please! This post made me hungrier than usual.

my50cheeses said...

One of my struggles with the Times Union is having them recognize places that are not restaurants which still make better food than actual restaurants.

The paper suggests applying a star system to the non-restaurants in unfair. I say harumpf.

I would agree that these places that are not restaurants make some of the best food in Albany.

Maria said...

The reviews are fun! Keep them coming!

Eve said...

I love the reviews especially since that is one of my favourite meals! The only problem is I end up hiking it down to our local kebab shop after everyone to apease my craving!

Hornsfan said...

I'm definitely enjoying the reviews, I just lament that these delicious treats aren't found near enough to me :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That look soooooo good, yummy!

Cheers,

Rosa

pigpigscorner said...

I love reviews! It's always nice to read about other's tastes.

Shelly said...

Keep up the reviews! You crack me up :). I also wish I had this kind of food near me, but darn it I don't.

Stacey said...

Isn't this place the best? The garlic paste is a wonder. I always buy some to take home. And the owner is friendly - nice perk.