My husband and I have eaten over 500 steaks at this place and it's excellent. You can smell the quality from the moment you pull into the parking lot.
The Barnsider has a full menu with many choices, from chicken and pasta to supreme steaks and seafood. Yet, we get the same thing almost every time. I am a Filet Mignon with berenaise fan. My husband loves a spicy cajun style sirloin with baked scallops. I admit, I'm quite finicky about how my streak is grilled. I order it medium rare and it's consitently done correctly every time. It's never dry or overdone, nor is it cold and dark red. It's so perfect I don't need the bernaise that comes on the side. If you like it a little more pink than red, go with medium. if you aren't sure, ask your server. The waitstaff is second to none and they will know just how to order it to suit your needs.
For the first time this weekend, we ventured into appetizer land. We both like seafood and most of the appetizers are just that, except of course for tomato mozzarella and soups, which are also fantastic. We reccommend the clam chowder, and usually get that, but we were celebrating tonight, so we splurged a little and went with the Seafood Sampler for Two. It turned out to be an excellent choice. He likes shrimp and scallops. I really like clams casino and crab cakes. We both got what we wanted and for less than we would have spent each getting a full appetizer of our own!
The salad bar was the next step. we've learned to watch for a break in the action, which the salad bar attendent is also doing, then we make a dash for it, so does he! In the end we get first dibs on fresh items, like lettuce, cucumbers,carrots, olives, garbanzo beans, bacon and more. This salad bar is a rarety, so if you are considering another steak house in the area, think again. This is a well stocked salad bar, frequently refreshed, having homemade dressing, fresh baked breads and a huge "cut your own peice" cheese wedge. You really have to pace yourself because it comes with the meal and the meal portions are also plentiful, so save room!
The waistaff times your meal to come out shortly after clearing away your plates from the salad bar and replenishing your drinks. It's a well oiled machine the way this place works. We have never had to wait, wondering where's dinner. This is what we mean by excellence.
Try as you may, but you might need a doggie bag, because dessert is also worth it! The Barnsider has dessert specials and frequently serves this Swiss Chocolate Bread Pudding. It's to die for and if you can't finish it, it goes great with breakfast. there are many other items on the dessert menu such as an ice cream sundae, chocolate mouse cake, pies and often a hot apple crisp. Sometime there is a homemade strawberry shortcake that has hommade strawberry flavored biscuits. It's also out of this world.
As you can see, I can't say enough good things about the Barnsider. We've been going for 11 years. We are picky and they still amaze us. We just sit there after the meal and say "I love this place". We don't even live in Albany, but find it well worth the trip. Give it try, you won't be dissappointed.
Melissa and Ed Durant
Ballston Lake, NY
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