By Liz Witbeck
Good Eats, a restaurant that recently opened in Ballston Spa, combines American diner classics with Middle Eastern specialties.
Good Eats is located at 11 Prospect St. Matt and Ranan Akari own the building and business. Previously, the space had been rented out to Willow’s Bistro. That restaurant went out of business last June.
The Akaris have lived in Ballston Spa for 23 years. They also operate the gas station next door to the restaurant, and have been in business there since they first moved to town.
“It was his idea to start the restaurant, not mine,” Ranan said of her husband. “I cook a lot in the house. Every night I am cooking.”
“We owned the building. We could either open up the restaurant ourselves or rent it out. I think we can do it,” said Matt.
The family operated a deli in Schenectady for a time.
The menu is perhaps the most unique feature at the restaurant. The breakfast menu is classic, standard: eggs—done any way a customer desires—pancakes, French toast, omelette, breakfast sandwiches, home fries, bagels and more.
The lunch menu is inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine. Ranan was born in Jerusalem. There is falafel, baba ganough (a roasted eggplant dip), butter chicken (boneless chicken served in a tomato sauce), stuffed grape leaves, fasoulia (a green bean and beef stew; tagin kuftah), meatballs with vegetables, served with rice; fatoush (an Arabic salad with tomatoes and cucumbers) and chicken gyro wraps.
“I like to get people to try it. They try new things and they always come back,” said Ranan.
They also offer traditional American lunch items, such as Buffalo chicken wraps, Philly cheese steak paninis, chicken tenders and mozzarella stick.
Each day, there is a breakfast and lunch special. There is also a soup-of-the-day.
The eatery also offers a variety of traditional desserts including baklava, hareeseh, and flan.
“Business is going very good,” said Ranan. “More people are coming here every day … We had a customer come in last week and she said, ‘It feels like I am in my own living room.”
Good Eats also offers catering for graduation parties, birthdays, weddings and other celebrations.
The restaurant is open daily from 6:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Its website is www.goodeatsballstonspa.com.