Scarboroughs Restaurant & Tavern
WHERE: 497 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham. 713-4501, www.scarboroughstavern.com
WHEN: Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday noon to midnight, Sunday noon to 9 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $41.88
MORE INFO: Wheelchair accessible. Credit cards: Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover. Children’s menu. Reservations accepted for parties of five or more.
LATHAM Scarboroughs Restaurant & Tavern, newly opened in Latham, is trying to get your attention. I’m surprised there isn’t a big line painted on Route 7 from the helpful billboards right to the restaurant. If there were, it would go around Peter Harris Plaza. The restaurant is just behind, on Old Niskayuna Road.
People have noticed. Melissa and I went on a lovely fall evening when it was everyone else’s idea to go, too. There was a line out the door from the hostess station before 5 o’clock.
Scarborough has moved from its longtime home in Rotterdam to a refurbished, farmhouse-style building. It’s roomy, with wood floors and rooms of varying sizes, some large, some cozy. “I like the picket fence out front,” said Melissa. There’s a patio with umbrella tables and the vista is parking lot and woods, a step up from most patios around here, which are just parking lot.
Prices are reasonable, and the menu is heavy on sandwiches and burgers, with some unusual appetizers. Dinners top out at $18, and a half-pound burger with fries is only $7.50.
Specialties with spark
House specialties include your standard hot turkey sandwich and open-faced steak sandwich, but show some geographic spark with an Oregon baked hot crab and seafood salad, a Philly steak, a Louisville sandwich of turkey with bacon and cheese, and a breaded pork sandwich called an Iowa Skinny, which sounds great, but not skinny. All but the steak sandwich are under $10. On Tuesday night two can eat for $17.99 . They show remarkable restraint in leaving off the chicken Parm.
All this might lead you to believe that Scarboroughs is family-friendly, and you would be right. There is the occasional screaming baby, but it’s the price you pay for a nice dinner out that’s within the means of most folks and young families.
We were seated in a large room just past the bar and fireplace, in a wooden booth that could fit four people. I liked the little curtains that help separate some of the booths. Carpet helps keep down the noise, but it’s still a bit loud. It’s not an intimate first-date kind of place, but you’ll go there a lot when you’re a couple.
The house specialties are popular, the server said, so Melissa chose the smothered Yankee ($10.99) and I went for the chicken bruschetta ($9.99).
The armadillo eggs (cute–stuffed jalapenos) sounded interesting, as did the other appetizers, but as the server pointed out, it was wing night. So we started with an order, medium ($6.75, eat-in only). They’re served in a paper-lined basket with fresh celery sticks and a plastic cup of what Melissa described as “typical” blue cheese dressing.
These were pleasant, in an orange sauce that was a hearty medium on the heat scale. I wish I’d asked for crispy, because the skin was not. But the meat was moist and the pieces were hefty. We didn’t love them, but they were perfectly good. We each had two, and Melissa took the rest home.
You can get in and out of Scarboroughs quickly; we weren’t rushed, but the dinners arrived before we were done with the wings. Service is attentive and not overbearing.
Melissa loved the fries that came with her turkey cobbler sandwich ($9.75). Scarboroughs gets points for excellent crinkly fries. She also liked the sandwich, with three slices of turkey, canned cranberry jelly, and plenty of gravy. She enjoyed the meal, and said she would order it again.
Scarboroughs also gets points for reasonable servings. The dinners are all more than you should probably eat on a regular basis, but they’re not the over-the-top, which probably helps keep the prices family-friendly. For this reason alone, you should patronize them.
My open-faced, chicken-topped bruschetta ($9.99), with its fresh and sun dried tomatoes, hefty chunks of artichoke, and cheese and herb topping was appetizing. The sliced French bread was a bit chewy around the edges, but where it was soaked with oil in the middle it was delicious. There were good-sized chunks of tasty sauteed white meat chicken and enough minced garlic that the leftovers will perfume my car for quite a while.
The vegetables and lean chicken were healthy, and plenty of seasoning added flavor. I would order this again, too.
Desserts are brought in, and delicious, I’m sure, but we were ready to go. The server brought the tab and ran my card in record time. The bill, including a glass of Sauvingnon Blanc and a nice tip, came to $41.88. Now that’s friendly for anyone.