I have had some rather disappointing meals lately in Albany...
CHRISTOPHER'S NOTHING FANCY CAFE
First, we visited Christopher's Nothing Fancy Cafe in Albany. "Christopher's Nothing Special" is more like it. (Thank you, I'll be here all week.) At Christopher's you order at the counter and choose a table in the small room which has a toasty fireplace at one end.
The menu is all Mexican food but unfortunately it's uninspired. The complimentary chips were fine, but we weren't as thrilled by the salsas which lacked flavor. I had the chicken enchilada/beef taco combo ($7.25) which comes with rice and beans. The rice seemed like the Spanish rice my mom made from a box growing up (i.e. not very good).
The chicken enchilada was covered with cheese (not a preference of mine) and only tasted OK. Unfortunately the soft taco was placed next to it so the sauce and cheese of the enchilada soaked through the tortillas causing some structural problems. (Why do places always have to do that?) The steak in the taco was fairly good but tasted like nothing special overall. My boyfriend ordered a half order of chicken/beef fajitas ($12.95?) and wasn't thrilled by his food either. We'll stick to our new favorite Mexican place, La Tapatia in Concord.
We also paid a return visit to Kathmandu on Solano. A couple we are friends with love this place and wanted to come here. We had eaten with them here several years ago and remembered being underwhelmed by the food, but we were willing to give it another try. My boyfriend and I avoided the chicken entrees which we had tried before and ordered several appetizers. They tasted the same! Both had very similar spicing and similar ingredients. Some other friends had ordered the entrees (and barely touched them) which we didn't like on a previous visit and I discovered that the taste was again, very similar to my appetizers. I would be OK with this if I liked the spicing and flavors, but I really didn't. Granted, I haven't had a lot of Nepalese or Tibetan food, so perhaps my palate isn't as sophisticated to appreciate or differentiate between dishes. However, I did enjoy a past visit to Cafe Tibet more (and it was significantly cheaper), though it didn't blow me away either.
The one bright spot in our meal were our vegetarian momos (sort of like dumplings or potstickers to the uninitated) which we thought were just OK and are sort of overrated in general. My friends that love the place simply ordered a couple plates of momos and the lentil soup, and I think if I end up here in the future (hopefully not though) I will take this route.
Someone told a story within the last year on Chowhound about a really bizarre service experience at Kathmandu. I wish I could find it so I could add the link to it here. We had no service problems similar to the one in the post.
However, we did call ahead of time for a table for 6 (it's a very small place and decorated very nicely by the way). They took our reservation (for 15 minutes later) and assured us a table would be ready. We arrived to find that no table was ready and they seated us at a long table where we only had chairs at the ends and along one side because another table's occupied chairs were almost butting up to our table. It was a very uncomfortable seating arrangement to say the least.
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