Peddlers Bar & Bistro
WHERE: Peddlers Bar & Bistro, 16 Clifton Park Village Road, Clifton Park. Phone 952-7166. www.peddlersbarandbistro.com
WHEN: Monday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 a.m. Full menu served until 3:30 a.m.
HOW MUCH: $62.25, with two sodas, tax and tip.
MORE INFO: Children’s menu, wheelchair accessible.
It may be no surprise to learn that the recently opened Peddlers Bar & Bistro, just off Route 9 on the vintage Clifton Park Village Road in Clifton Park, is owned by the same people who brought you JT Maxies (Albany) and JJ Rafferty’s (Latham).
It has the same feel: a new, nice-looking building, with plenty of wood inside and out, and a wide deck across the front with tables and comfy chairs and plenty of elbow room.
Inside, it’s casual, with a wooden beamed ceiling, but tall windows all around and more than a dozen big screen televisions keep it from being too dark or oppressive. Several dining areas, a place for pool and darts, and a central bar round out the interior.
I chose a table by the front window, and although it was early for dinner, several parties were already seated. Families, groups of middle-aged adults and some older people filled the room.
For the children, Peddlers offers a separate kids’ menu.
First-time visitors might find the adult menu quite lengthy, so you may want to visit their Facebook page or check out www.peddlersbarandbistro.com before you go. There’s a long list of appetizers, mostly of the fried variety, plus wings and combination platters suitable for a crowd.
Peddlers covers a variety of cuisines, with Mexican, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean and Asian represented, presenting them in a such way as to suit American palates.
My table was close to a busy hostess station, which gave Mom and me some perspective on the jobs held by the young women who served and bused tables, and reminded us that sometimes their work is not only a grind but also downright demoralizing.
Our cheerful server was patient and offered helpful suggestions while juggling tasks, keeping very small children occupied, and enduring cranky customers.
The table could have been cleared more often, but I think she did the best she could.
But first, salad ($3.99). There was chopped Romaine and some leafy stuff on the chilled glass salad plate, sliced cucumbers, and two very tasty cherry tomatoes. Red onion made it colorful, and what it lacked in finesse it more than made up for with the abundance of very crunchy croutons and tangy dressing.
Mom ordered the macaroni and cheese bites ($6.99), which at first horrified me, then quickly won me over. “How do you think they make these things?” said Mom, holding up a fork with a speared crispy pasta-filled triangle, an answer I didn’t care to contemplate.
They’re breaded and then fried, and we would swear to our graves that the filling was none other than what you get out of the blue box of Kraft macaroni and cheese. And they were good.
Meal in istelf
The serving of about 10 would make a meal, although the small pile of greens that gave the plate some color hardly qualified as a serving of vegetables.
The Tijuana scallops dish ($13.99) recommended by the server was one of the leaner entrees and, aside from the steaks, it was the only one without a creamy sauce.
I didn’t know couscous came in red, but it was tasty, with bits of salty bacon and lots of flavor. Several sea scallops were perched atop, delicately breaded, seasoned and fried until browned and tender. Sliced red and orange and yellow pepper added even more color.
Anyway, it was good, and it looked real nice. Mom thought the scallops were cooked just right, and I ate as much couscous as I thought prudent, wary the saltiness would haunt me later.
I can’t believe Mom has never had hanger steak ($16.99); she loves flank steak and they’re similar in texture and flavor.
Hanger steak is hard to find in the market, though. The dramatically long and narrow white dish featured the juicy red slices of beef in the middle, with colorful vegetables on one side and sauteed mushrooms on the other.
We both found the steak perfectly cooked and commented favorably on the flavor.
The veggies were made up of a familiar-looking mixture featuring diagonally-cut yellow and orange carrots, possibly previously frozen and agreeably seasoned. We both liked it.
Mom had substituted the garlic mashed potatoes for french fries (of course she did), served on a separate plate, with potato skins evident here and there, and hot as can be. They were excellent fries, browned and crisp.
You’d think we were full, but we happily acceded when the server suggested dessert. Mom ordered the chocolate coconut cake ($4.45) and I got the blueberry lemon pie ($4.45); they were both pretty darn good, even though the server said they were not made in-house.
We were both impressed with the combination of moist chocolate cake and coconut buttercream frosting, and the coconut-rich filling between the layers didn’t hurt. But the snowy white shredded coconut put it over the top.
The blueberry lemon pie turned out to be more cheesecake than pie with firm, less than stellar blueberries and lemon flavor that eluded me, but the smooth, dense cheesecake made up for it.
Peddlers is a casual place with fun food and corresponding casual service. Food comes in generous volumes and tastes good. It gets crowded as the evening wears on, and I recommend you go early, as we did.
The tab for dinner, with tax, two sodas, and tip came to $62.25.
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Categories: Food, Life and Arts