Geez, guys, thanks for telling me about Saati. (*eyeroll*)
How is it that I have lived in the Capital Region nearly eleven years, and Saati has just recently come into my gastronomical consciousness? I'm not sure, but I'm glad it has.
With an extensive menu and convenient location, its popularity shouldn't be questioned: Think about a dish from any variety of deli. Chances are Saati has it. Beef kebabs nestle in next to pastrami sandwiches on the lengthy list of offerings.
Saati's offerings have a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern bent, so that's a good place to start.
The falafel I had at Saati definitely falls on the "good" end of my (admittedly-not-a-falafel-expert) spectrum. Make that real good. The falafel appetizer ($5.99) features the chickpea and fava bean fritters on a bed of homemade hummus. Don't be surprised by the burnished color on the crust of the falafel - inside, the fritters are a verdant green. The crunchy exterior is balanced by the soft, airy, and tender middle. Hints of coriander and cumin round out the fritters.
Shawarma is new to me. At least under that name. Shawarma is similar to a gyro -- they share culinary roots, and both feature slow-roasted meat (typically on a spit, rotisserie-style) that is shaved and layered with assorted toppings (like tahini or hummus) and vegetables. The shawarma at Saati ($9.99) is a take on this, consisting of grilled strips of marinated chicken with sautéed onions. The chicken is flavored in an assortment of Mediterranean spices (think cinnamon, pepper, cumin, turmeric and paprika) and paired with hummus before being placed inside a wrap.
The shawarma is served grilled with a side of French fries. It is deeply earthy and pungent, and every bit delicious. It would be hard to explore the rest of the Saati menu knowing there's shawarma to be had.
The thing I missed when I was at Saati seems to be the kurtos Hungarian pastry. Among the pages-long menu on the website, the kurtos gets its own tab. This baked pastry is cylindrical and can be filled and topped with anything from Nutella to pistachios.
So now that I'm in the know about Saati, I'll be back. The cold case filled with salads and meze-style dips and spreads that look like the perfect pickings for a summertime picnic. And I won't hold a grudge for all those "friends" who have kept this little secret from me.
Let it be a secret no more: Get thee to Saati, post haste.
Earlier on AOA: Ask AOA: Where to get shawarma? (2011)
Saati Deli and Catering
586 New Loudon Road (Newton Plaza)
Latham, NY 12110
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