“Playwrights are like men who have been dining for a month in an Indian restaurant. After eating curry night after night, they deny the existence of asparagus.”

Peter Ustinov

It’s almost impossible to get anywhere in the 518 without having used Central Ave/State St. When I travel the distance between Schenectady and Albany, I can’t help but notice all the places to eat that go unnoticed. Maybe because I always look out for places to write about but it seems as if we get into a habit of thinking of the same places when going out to dinner, the chain restaurants like Applebees, or fast-food like McDonalds. One night, I was looking for something different (after PF Changs was too busy of course) and my boyfriend and I decided to check out Sitar (1929 Central Avenue, Albany), a restaurant I pass all the time but have never been adventurous enough to try- that was the night!

We were seated immediately at a two person table on the side. The middle, main dining room, was quite lit up but it seemed as our area was darker than the rest of the restaurant. The service was great, could be because the waiters all seemed to be in the same age group as us and we were the youngest in the restaurant so we got into quite a few conversations. They were teaching us how to pronounce things on the menu and recommending food for our next visit, some of the best, most attentive service I’ve experienced.

I ended up ordering the Tandoori Chicken Wings (spicy chicken wings cooked in clay oven) which were $6.95, not a bad price for the amount I was served (picture to right) *NOTE- all pictures were lightened on my computer because it was too dark in the restaurant for the pictures to come out correctly on their own. My boyfriend ordered the Reshmi Kabob (chunks of lamb mildly spiced, charcoal broiled on skewers in a clay oven) for $18.95. His food came with a side & some naan and for the side he chose the vegetables which were great! It was a plethora of cooked vegetables in a spiced sauce that wasn’t curry but still tasted very good. I ended up ordering some for myself because I kept hogging his. I also ordered a side of the garlic naan (bread) because it’s my favorite.

All of the food tasted very good. Naan is just bread cooked with garlic and oil, not like Italian garlic bread more like a thick garlic pita. They have a bunch of different Naan flavors so see if there’s a kind you may want. It’s usually my favorite and I was satisfied. The garlic flavor wasn’t as strong as I’d like but it tasted very good dipped in the vegetable sauce.

Since we were both curious, we each ordered a dessert as well. There are 4 options and each is $3.95. The names are hard to spell/pronounce but I ordered the doughnut-like option. They were doughnut balls in maple syrup and honey, very sweet. I actually preferred my boyfriend’s dessert which was mango ice cream with nuts. I don’t usually like nuts but it added a great flavor to it. The taste of mine was very good but it did after awhile get too sweet to eat.

This was all a lot of food for us for one sitting so I ended up taking at least half of it home. When I got home I realized that my chicken wings were a bright yellow color that I was unable to see in the dark- kind of made me nervous. The next day, though, I realized I was correct in being nervous. The following 3 days I was on the couch with food poisoning. For the record, there is no way to prove that my food poisoning came from this particular restaurant or that it was food poisoning at all. All I can say is the 3 days following eating here, I was on the couch with sharp stomach pains and I wasn’t able to eat a thing. Could it have been a 3-day stomach bug? Possibly. I just want to disclose the full truth of my experience to those reading to make sure you’re aware. Therefore, I can’t tell you how the food was as a leftover because after being sick, it was the LAST food I wanted to eat. If you’re not used to Indian food, my recommendation would be to try something light, maybe just vegetables & naan until your stomach gets used to the spices & make sure to leave room for dessert!!

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