Sunday, September 27, 2009

Common Man's Bistro (Lake George, NY)

-leave your own

No Instruments on the walls, thankfully.

I am not sure why this restaurateur thinks he can draw in the common man by joining the words "Common Man" and "Bistro." I know a few people, food-lovers even, who would never eat in a self-described Bistro. Though I have a hatred for anything described as sumptuous, decadent, sinful, or classified as Tuscan, a bistro is ok with me, as long as the food is good. This place serves some pretty good food, and I can recommend it without reservation.

Inside the place, it seems to be a mix between an authentic bistro and a Panera Bread, and I couldn't figure out if this were one of a few semi-local chain establishments. Research on google maps shows it is one-of-a-kind. I usually wouldn't say much about the finer points of a restaurant's decor, but I have to say, it looks like it was finished by one of the teams from Trading Spaces. On the surface, it looks like a classy place, but upon closer examination, it looks a little low-budget and cobbled together. That's all the negative, I promise.

Beer, wine, co-opted Starbucks coffee, fresh-baked goods, Panini, and full entrees can be found here. They serve breakfast on the weekends, and lunch and dinner every day. Prices are very reasonable for such a tourist trap as is Lake George, and most plates come with CMB's homemade chips, which are quite excellent. They brought to mind the eating of McDonald's fries when I was very young, when nothing in the culinary world could bring more joy to my heart. They must use an oil and cooking temperature similar to the old ways at McD's. This might seem like a negative comparison, but I really mean it in the most complimentary of ways, I assure you. I ordered the veggie sandwich, which came on a choice of fresh baked breads (I chose sourdough, and correctly) with cucumber, lettuce, tomato, onion, grilled portobello, a cucumber-wasabi dressing, and a little hit of Balsamic Vinegar. Truly it was the best thing I ate last week, and it came after two annoying interactions with pizza-centric salespeople down the block.

Sad is the town that is abandoned by the summer crowds, and many people have written essays about the end of summer, the lonely winds of fall, the twilight of an age, etc. I will just say that if you are stuck looking for a place to eat in Lake George late in the evening, go to the Common Man's Bistro for some faux-chain restaurant good eats.

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