Crispy Basil: A new pizza place in a very crowded market

My girlfriend and I tried the new Crispy Basil restaurant, inhabiting the old Friendly's on Western Avenue.  It is the second Crispy Basil in the area.  As I drive along that stretch of Western Avenue every day, I have peeked at the Crispy Basil parking lot and have noticed that they do not attract much business.  I was somewhat concerned about whether or not our food would be good, but I wanted to try something new.

Crispy Basil has tons of coupons in this month's Coupon Clipper magazine.  One of the coupons is two salads for $11.99.  My girlfriend and I were in the mood for something relatively healthy after working out at the gym, so we figured we would take advantage of this great deal.

The restaurant is fairly well appointed on the inside, especially for a pizza place.  It is a casual fare restaurant than a fine dining experience.  There is no waiter/waitress service.  There is seating for around 20 people.

Upon entering the restaurant, the first thing we encountered is the display case of pizza.  The pizza in the display case did not look too appetizing.  It did not look inedible, but it looked like it had been sitting there all day.  That confirmed my idea that business is slow at this establishment.

We ordered our salads from the owner and picked up two drinks from the refrigerator.  We handed him our coupon but he allowed us to keep it, which we both thought was very nice of him.

Both of us got very nice sized salads, as you can tell from the picture below.  Mine was a chicken salad with the chicken tossed in mild buffalo sauce.  The lettuce was high quality romaine, which I appreciated.  The chicken was fresh off the grill and in plentiful supply.  I liked my salad a lot.

Overall, we had a very positive experience at Crispy Basil.  Now that we still have our coupon, we will go back again for salads.  I will not be buying my Super Bowl pizza from them though.  I will get it from Price Chopper, which surprisingly enough has excellent pizza for a supermarket.

Montreal Poutine is worth the calories!

I first came across Montreal Poutine at the Saratoga Race Track this summer.  I wandered by several times, allured by the smell of the fresh-cut french fries.  I did not give way to temptation this summer though.  I figured my trips to the track were expensive enough without me having to buy french fries.

Tonight, I dropped my girlfriend off at Crossgates and I noticed a Montreal Poutine in the food court area.

Business appeared to be booming.  I had to try it.  I did not have the poutine, however.  I had a smoked meat sandwich, which cost around $6.00.  That is a pretty good deal for the mall.

I have not had smoked meat in awhile, so I do not have anything to compare it to.  It was a very good sandwich though.  Very fatty, but very good.  The meat was so soft, tender and flavorful.  It tasted exactly like corned beef, but a little moister.

It is not something I can eat every day, but once in a while, I would like to stop over at Montreal Poutine for something different.  Maybe next time, I will even try the french fries.  They have sweet potato fries too, which is a healthier alternative.  I give Montreal Poutine a thumbs up!