It's summer, so that means we (coworker friend and self) unchain ourselves from the downtown Buffalo desk life to seek out a lunch away from the office.
It was a hot, breezy Tuesday when we hit up the new Bay Leaf Halal Food Restaurant (864 Broadway), a place yours truly noticed not too long ago on our commute out of the city. As we discovered our beloved Alibaba Kebab on William Street this way, we figured why not take a shot? We cannot get enough of the kebab cuisine.
The building is cute, with several tables and a menu posted behind the counter. We admit we don't know what half the stuff is, but who cares? We love to eat.
The menu is similar to Alibaba, with biryani (a meat/rice dish) coming small or large ($7.50-$10.99) featuring goat/lamb, beef, shrimp, chicken, vegetable and something called morag pulao (although we couldn't tell you the difference from the other chicken). There are kebabs, small and large ($3.99-$10.99 each), chicken and beef (boti, tikka, tandoori, seekh), tandoori shrimp and goat boti kebab.
Curry/masala come small and large ($6.99-$9.99), also goat, chicken, beef, vegetable, spinach (saag paneer), aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower) and shrimp. Gyro, steak, falafel and chicken wraps are $6-$7.
The menu is extensive. Family packs (tandoori, mixed kebab and curry or just curry) are $23.99 to $25.99. There is an entire American menu with chicken wings (9) starting at $7.99 (with fries and soda, $10.50). Chicken tenders (2 for $3.99/$5.99 with fries and drink), 8-inch pizzas start at $6.99 and 12-inch subs start at $8. You get the idea.
For the coworker, a large chicken tikka masala ($8.99). She asked for rice, but due to a slight language barrier we never figured out if it came with the order. Nonetheless, she got a beautiful plate of fluffy rice. Creamy and nicely orange (as it should be) she sighed in delight spooning in the tender chicken.
Because I love it, I ordered one each of chicken ($3.99) and beef ($4.99) kebabs to wrap a butter naan ($1.50) around. Each kebab (de-skewered) arrived with fresh peppers and onions, and my super fluffy naan.
Both meats were super tender and delicious, the beef especially with a slight kick of heat. Soothing yogurt sauce served on the side brought the wrap together.
Looking for an excuse to lag back to the office, we spotted a cooler with these Shahi Kulfi ice cream treats (popular in India and its subcontinent): pistachio, mango, almond and coconut ($2 each). Oh my.
Super creamy, dense and not too sweet, the treats beat anything we've had in the ice cream novelty department. A more sophisticated adult treat, they are made in the USA. (Why have we never discovered them until now?)
A quick look at my label showed the first four ingredients to be milk, cream, sugar and almonds. The subtle flavor of the almond was perfect, with bits of the nut throughout. Coworker's mango was fruity with an almost upscale Creamsicle-esque flavor. Each treat left us with that fantastic creamy feel in our mouth from cream and milk. We don't wonder if the treats are meant to cool after spicy foods? Each 170 calories, an OK splurge compared to 400 calories of something like a mini DQ Blizzard.
The darling owner told us he came to Buffalo from New York City because it was too noisy and expensive. He served us some delicious milk tea while we waited for our food. Looks like he found a home in the City of Good Neighbors.
INFO: Bay Leaf Halal Food Restaurant, 864 Broadway. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.