Foodie by April

Local restaurant reviews by an food explorer & enthusiast!

Cafe Baci, Westbury, NY

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We met our friends at Cafe Baci a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night for dinner.  They don’t take reservations; so you have to get there no later than 5 pm to get a decent parking space and so you don’t have to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes for a table.  We got there at about 4:45 and walked in at 4:50 – parking was a breeze and there was no waiting at all.  We were seated immediately.  I’ve been there a few times for our work holiday lunch, and so I know the food is very good. Plus the portions are generous and the prices are reasonable.  It’s a decent sized space; plenty of tables, but if you get there even after 5:30, forget it, you’ll have to wait.  The food is that good.

Since my girlfriend is a regular at Baci, they brought us over an appetizer on the house right away.  It’s good to have friends with connections.  I went meatless that night since I’m trying to watch my fat intake more and didn’t get a dish loaded with cheese; my dish was called Fusilli Ortolana.  Maybe this entrée is new and the menu on their website hasn’t been updated, as this dish wasn’t listed on the menu online.  At either rate, I ended up feeling like I missed out in my attempts to “be good”.  Next time maybe I’d get the cheesy dish or at least a chicken or shrimp entrée.  On the other hand, my girlfriend got a breaded chicken dish called Fusilli Formale that she felt was a little heavy – I ended up having a few bites to make my dinner more interesting 🙂

On the whole, the food is very good and the service was great.  It’s a hopping place to be on the weekend, and I’d recommend this restaurant as a fun environment to meet good friends for a decent meal at reasonable prices.  Check out their site at http://www.cafebacirestaurant.com/about.html

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Kabul Restaurant, Huntington, NY

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Met my girlfriend at Kabul restaurant in Huntington a couple of days ago; it’s closer to Huntington Station, not in Huntington Village.  You can find their menu on their site:  http://kabulny.com/Menu.html.  I’ve had Afghani food only once before at a place in Huntington village a few years ago and wasn’t impressed at all, and wasn’t sure at the time if this was because my boyfriend and I chose to go vegetarian that night.  I’ve heard that food from Afghanistan is pretty heavily into meat.  I found this site from Scholastic that made me feel nostalgic for the booklets from when I was a kid:  http://www.scholastic.com/content/collateral_resources/pdf/t/target/9-12/target_fact_sheets_1_south_asia.pdf.  This gives some basic facts about countries in this area of the world.  I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty geographically challenged.  I know this is because I haven’t traveled enough, and tuned out much of geography/history from when I had to learn it in school.  Thank god for my great memorization skills, or I probably would have failed these subjects.

The verdict for this place is that I wouldn’t go there again (: I wouldn’t say it was horrible food; it was just barely okay.  That’s it.  After splitting the bill, my half (with tip) was $33.00.  Not nearly worth that kind of $ for sure.  My friend and I have a wide and eclectic palate; we both love Indian and Thai food.  I thought I’d like this food, but it was pretty blah!  We got two versions of the appetizer that my friend chose – one with the meat sauce and one prepared vegetarian for me.  My friend was not impressed at all with the meat sauce and said it reminded her of “Dinty Moore” (from the can).  She said it wasn’t seasoned enough.  I had a limp dumpling type of thing (same as hers sans meat), and put some yogurt sauce on top and their jalapeno side sauce, but there was no chance of rescuing this sad dish.  The humus was uneventful. I like some of the hummus from Trader Joe’s much better. I had a shrimp dish for my entrée called Shrimp Gulpi.  My friend tasted it and commented that it seemed to have some nondescript tomato sauce.  This dish was loaded with cauliflower, and that was probably the best part of it.  It was sad and not impressive. My girlfriend is Jamaican and grew up eating goat as part of her culture.  So picking a lamb entrée to her was the closest thing to eating goat.  Let me say first that her dish was covered with a ton of their brown rice, and I was given that huge plate of the same brown rice for my dish alone 🙂 Her lamb was well hidden under the mound of brown rice; this was pretty bland and heavy rice.  Nowhere near as good as even some frozen brown rice that I use to make stir-fry dinners at home – this was bad.  Again, her meat was under-seasoned, and she didn’t like that the  plate was loaded with shredded carrots and bloated raisins either. I didn’t take my leftover rice home, but did take the shrimp, which wasn’t great on my stomach the next day.  Eating fish leftover is a bit risky.  I’ll stick to Indian next time.  My friend didn’t take a doggie bag for any of her food.  Not worth my $33.00 at all.  

Oh well…you never know until you try.  That’s why I encourage  you to try things out for yourself and decide whether or not you like Afghani food.