7/08/2011

Sahara



A coworker suggested this place as we passed it on our way back to the main office.  From the start, I had a garnered a reputation as a foodie for the mere existence of this blog.  I guess I should be thankful because now whenever someone talks to me, there is a greater chance the topic will be food-- whether it's what we are ordering in for lunch, reading menus online, or just sharing tips with one another.  Today, my coworker said he wished he could be treated more like a regular at his favorite place, rather than just any old diner-- my tip to him was to find out what his regular server's first name is, and to keep addressing that server by their first name each time he goes back.  Of course, this tip just flew out of my mouth, but usually my best gems come out like that!

Anyway, I went for lunch here yesterday with a friend of mine and her three young daughters.  Our original plan was to eat Thai food across the street, but alas they were closed for a good part of the summer.  As New Brunswick is a big college town, they probably thought it was a safe bet to go on vacay... but boy were they wrong!  After us, we saw other would-be diners trying to eat Thai and they dispersed to the pizza place next door or this place across the street.

Upon entry, my friend said it may be too fancy for a lunch date with kids.  Partly, she was right: the first thing that greeted diners was a full bar.  It had charmingly painted murals on the walls which reached the top of the cathedral ceiling.  They used cloth napkins even at lunchtime and had only goblets for water.  But partly, she was wrong: no one flinched when the kids toddled in and the server didn't flinch either when he poured water for the 3- and 5-year olds in said goblets.

We started out with warm pita triangles, which were plain until I asked for some olive oil for dipping.  My friend ordered a baba ganoush salad, a chicken kabob sandwich with fries, and chicken fingers to share with her daughters.  I had a taste of her baba ganoush which had pleasant chunks of eggplant, rather than being a puree that I had been accustomed to.  It was mild but well seasoned.  I had the shawarma sandwich with fries, which had a cool tahini dressing on it.  It was so good I asked for an extra serving of tahini.

Our server was quick to point out that this was Turkish cuisine after comparing the offerings to Greek food.  For some reason he assumed we'd be more familiar with Greek food because of gyros.  I was kind of blindsided by that and had trouble distinguishing the difference for myself.  I guess that means I have to go back!

Sahara resturant on Urbanspoon

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