Falafel and shawarma at Saati Deli and Catering

Saati falafel and shawarma

By Deanna Fox

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.

Falafel
saati_falafel.jpg

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
saati_shawarma.jpg

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.

Deanna Fox writes about many things, mostly about food. More can be found on her website, Twitter, or Instagram.

More Eat This:
+ Fish tacos at Ted's Fish Fry
+ Ravioli from Ragonese Imports
+ Knish at Nibble Inc
+ Éclairs at Sovrana's

Earlier on AOA: Ask AOA: Where to get shawarma? (2011)

Find It

Saati Deli and Catering
586 New Loudon Road (Newton Plaza)
Latham, NY 12110

Comments

I recommend the combo sandwich #5 on a wrap- it's smokey chicken with bacon OR the French Tuna Melt when you're feeling RAF and want your food to match.

This is my favorite lunch place in region.

Kurtos at Saati is simply delicious. You have to go to Saati at just the right time to be able to grab one (or three, in my case :-)). Too early, and it is not done. Too late, and it's all gone. Your best chance is around 1 PM.

The Shawarma looks great! I have to stop by to try it out soon.

FYI: A second Saati Deli is coming to 518 Broadway in Albany. Their sign has been up for a while - not sure when they plan to open.

Alsoooo, for a traditional lamb + beef shwarma, check out Oasis on Delaware (their falafel can be great too, although I've found it hit-or-miss)

I'm glad to learn that this place is being given a favorable review, as the owner will be opening a second location on Broadway in downtown Albany this month.

How was the service? The one time I went I waited 5 mins and still no counter person to help me. I was quite disappointed.

Yes! My office gets the sandwich platter quite frequently. Their falafel is amazing!

My favorite is the delicous cornd beef,and swiss on rye with Russian, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce.
Like their choc brownies.
Don't like the rude owner, or deli man, and the fact that they charge tax on delli by the pound.Had the same problem at Nosh, and at Bread,and Honey for breads!

I love Saati! They have amazing soups for the winter and their baklava is absolutely killer. That smoky chicken salad, though... So, so good.

Hi everyone! Thanks for the great comments... I'm glad the love for Saati is out there (though why didn't you all tell me sooner, huh?).

I ventured back yesterday, and tried the smoky chicken salad so many of you mention. OH MAN. That was good. But maybe the best thing I tried was the chicken noodle soup. It might have been the best I've ever had.

I still haven't tried the sweet offerings, like the kurtos or the baklava (though you all likely know where I like to get my baklava).

The shredded lettuce was a nice touch on the chicken sandwich. So many times on sandwiches like that, the lettuce is hard to bite into, and it all falls out, and you make a mess, and OY! It's just not a good situation. But many places that do shredded lettuce let the green get limp and soggy. Not at Saati, and I'm guessing this is due mainly to volume.

Service: On the visit mentioned in the post, I had no issues whatsoever. Yesterday, the counter attendant seemed a little disinterested and flustered our order a bit. But nothing that would ruin the trip. You can see pictures of my visit yesterday on Instagram.

Thanks again for reading and commenting!

Living Social Deal for Saati where you spend $10 to get $20:
https://www.livingsocial.com/cities/368-albany-capital-region/deals/1447170-20-to-spend-on-sandwiches-salads-more


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