I am a big Lebanese food fan, I frequent Al Baraki in Troy and they never disappoint. I was driving up Central Avenue the other day when I noticed the new Phoenicians Restaurant at 1686 Central Ave, kind of around where that plaza with the Harbor Freight is. I immediately made a note to drop in there as soon as possible. So when I was in the mood for some takeout last night I swung by around 7:30. The restaurant was relatively quiet, only a couple tables were filled. The restaurant was neat and tidy with amusing hand done murals of Lebanon on the walls. I especially liked the bright blue starry night motif of the ceiling. The Phoenicians advertised itself as an eat-in/take-out restaurant, but it is actually very nice on the inside and features table service. I noticed two pillars of schwarma meat rotating deliciously in the back of the open kitchen and was immediately encouraged. I decided to order a few dishes to get a feel for the menu.
I started with the Meza Sampler.
At 10.99 this was a nice selection of tabbouleh, hummus, baba, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, and nice thin Lebanese flat bread. All of it drizzled with some nice, richly colored olive oil. No complaints on this one, it was excellent. I am usually neutral on baba ganoush, but I really enjoyed this one. It was creamy and had just enough grilled/smoky flavor. I have had some baba ganoushes that tasted like cigarette buts.
I am a hummus fanatic, so even thought the Meza Sampler included hummus, I ordered the Hummus with Meat. I forget how much this cost exactly, but it was around 6 dollars.
The hummus at the Phoenicians is very good, just the style I like. Not too dense, creamy with a nice garlic flavor. This dish was a healthy serving of hummus with a nice amount of beef schwarma slices on top. The schwarma meat is nicely spiced with a nice lemony taste and goes very well with the hummus and flat bread.
For my main course I ordered the Beef Schwarma dinner. Again, I forget the exact price, but my entire bill was 33 dollars and some change. Regardless, I felt that the amount of quality food I got in these three dishes was a value.
The Schwarma dinner was a healthy portion of beef slices over some delicious seasoned rice. You get a small portion of baba and a nice side salad with a couple Lebanese pickle spears. This was way more food than I could eat and I had plentiful left overs.
Verdict: I will probably visit this place on a weekly basis. It is reasonably priced, the takeout is lightning fast, the staff is very friendly, and the food is delicious. As I live out in Guilderland, it is nice not to have to drive downtown or to Troy to Al Baraki for my Lebanese food fixes. I was a little worried by the lack of patrons though, so if you read this go give the place a try. It would be a shame if this place closed down as it is really very good.