Buffalo Wagon

Heather and I went to the Buffalo Wagon this weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised. The recent reviews in Metroland and the times union were not too good. Though we ordered relatively simple fare, we were both satisfied with the meal.

Perhaps the greatest deficit of Buffalo Wagon compared to Emperor's, Ichiban or Hana is its location. It is right off of Wolf Road on Metro Park Road. Those who are not familiar with Wolf Road could easily pass it. In fact, we passed it the
first time around.

Heather noticed that almost all of the clientele in Buffalo Wagon were of asian descent. Perhaps this is because the menu contains real chinese food, like sauteed pork intestine, as well as the americanized dishes, such as sesame chicken. Buffalo Wagon dabbles a little bit in many asian cuisines -- Chinese, Japanese and Thai. We were so overwhelmed by the menu, the waitress came over to our table three times before we decided what to order.

We ended up ordering two classic americanized chinese food staples -- sesame chicken and roast pork chow fun. The sesame chicken had a mild sauce which it took my tongue awhile to get used to. The portion was adequate, and the chicken
was high quality and not overly breaded. This is one dish the mall chinese restaurants often get horribly wrong, but the Buffalo Wagon seems to do just fine with. The chow fun was not very greasy and had a smokey flavor which i love.

The Buffalo Wagon is definitely worth another trip. The pricing is similar with other chinese restaurants in the area, though they offer more expensive fare as well. The lunch menu specials include bento boxes which are always fun.


Heather and I dined at Phoenicians on Central Avenue in Colonie on Friday night, and we were glad we did. The food was excellent and the service was friendly. We are both fans of this relatively new Lebanese restaurant.

This is not a large restaurant, but it is newly built and very clean. The walls have painted on them a mural of scenes from Lebanon. From our seat, we would see the vertical rotisseries in the back cooking what would become our dinner. The staff is very friendly; the owner was visiting every table shaking hands with the customers. I had never seen anything like it, and I enjoyed it.

We both ordered the schwarma, which proved to be a good choice. This was just the right portion of food -- enough to be full but not enough to be bloated afterwards. The chicken schwarma was served with rice, salad, hummus and tzatziki sauce. The presentation was beautiful, the duller colors of the chicken and rice contrasting with the bright tomatoes and hummus. The shavings of chicken were nicely spiced and just delicious. The rice was moist and flavorable, the salad fresh and covered in olive oil. I usually do not like tzatziki sauce, but I was dipping my pita bread in it for the entire meal.

This small restaurant has proven that in any economy, if you offer fresh food and good hospitality, you will get customers.

Pinhead Susan's

Pinhead Susan's was one busy restaurant on Saturday night, in contrast to the rest of Schenectady, which was a little slow. Pinhead's produces great food at a reasonable price.

The atmosphere is that of an Irish pub. The entrance has a couple of stories about how the restaurant got it's name. There is no waiting room inside, but I suppose most people would just sit at the bar before their table is ready. The interior of the restaurant is surrounded in wood, which gives it a very rustic feeling.

The Irish fries (sweet potato fries), are a must-order at this restautant. They were just the right size and consistency. Some places tend to cut them too thin, so you do not get enough sweet potato, or too thick, in which case they come out mushy. These were just perfect, not crisp but not mushy. I would have been happy with just these fries as my entree.

The turkey club was not better than a sandwich I could have gotten at Denny's. I was disappointed by the small size of the sandwich. Each quarter of the sandwich has perhaps a slice or two of turkey breast on it, with a half a handful of lettuce and a strip or two of bacon. The sandwich was tasty, but nothing special. Certainly the Cheesecake Factory sandwich would trump this one.

Prices are very reasonable at Pinhead's. My friend ordered a Guiness Burger, and she was surprised that there is a restaurant out there where you can get a burger and fries for $8.00. The waitress insisted that good food does not have to come with high prices.

In my next visit to Pinhead's I would definitely order something different. I would try a corned beef sandwich, or perhaps the Chicken a la Susan, which looked delicious.