Deep in the heart of mid-town Woodstock is an eclectic, yet mainly mid-Eastern style cuisine oriented restaurant, Joshua’s Restaurant and Bar, that has been very well established since 1972 and is probably Woodstock’s oldest restaurant. Joshua’s serves many of the finest appetizers and entrees ranging from Baba Ghanoush appetizer and Shish Kebab of the Galilee Shammatov Chicken to its signature appetizer, Joshua’s Smorgasbord and Shammatov Chicken. However, the best entree(albeit the most pricey) I have savored while having dined at Joshua’s within last ten years is the Bedouin Mixed Grill which is definitely the meal that keeps on feeding.
It was a clear evening when my father and I decided to have dinner at Joshua’s Restaurant. I had given my father a gift certificate for his birthday purchased from this restaurant about four months ago and had requested to have it written out in the same number of dollars and cents as the number of his age. That night, we arrived at the restaurant barely in time for our reservation.
While Joshua’s Restaurant is located in a rather small town, the exterior and interior have an urban-esque look with its red brick wall front and solid sheet rock dining area. Even though the room where customers are served meals is not quite a “hole-in-the-wall” and yet looks just slightly cramped, the management has the tables positioned meticulously enough accommodate a feasible amount of space between seated customers. This ambiance definitely gives many customers the feel of being part of the town community in its center.
The table with the window view overlooking neighboring Tannery Brook Road around the corner looked like an ideal place to be seated. However, my father and I decided to instead sit at the next table over. Personally, I decided on that table away from the window for the following reasons: a) to give the nearby customers more space and b) so I could take a picture of the main entree I was going to order without blinding the nearby customers with the camera flash of my digital camera. My father and I were then finally seated by a competent, cordial waitress.
We had both ordered the same entree, the Bedouin Mixed Grill which came with the Middle Eastern Antipasto Appetizer featuring hummus and tabouleh, well prepared pita bread and a wholesome salad. the appetizer contains Baba Ghanosh mix with some herbs, a couple of olives, and a jalapeno pepper. The Bedouin Mixed Grill features a cornucopia of surf and turf helpings along with some vegetables: lamb with palatable Mediterranean shallot sauce, natural Bell and Evan piquant, spicy chicken breast, two garlic black tiger shrimp and Hereford farms succulent skirt steak with savory cucumber-feta sauce, grilled vegetables(green and red peppers, eggplant, mushroom, sliced squash, sliced zucchini, red onions and tomatoes) and brown rice.
Starting from the 1:00 section of the plate, the Mediterranean shallot sauce on the strips of lamb seems to have a piquant hint of coconut flavor which is awakening for the taste buds. All the vegetables are juicy, hearty, grilled to perfection and are hard to get enough of. The skirt steak is tender to perfection and the cucumber-feta sauce poured onto it tastes as if it came from a fine, succulent rich stew. The chicken breast is very-well seasoned with its tasty spices. Their grilled shrimp tasted as if they came right off a domestic barbecued grill at a summertime cookout event and yes, the shrimp was that palatable. Even though I would order this entree again for a twentieth time, I would ask the waitress to have the peppers excluded from the ordered dish.
I've eaten at Joshua's on three other occasions as well. First, when I returned for dinner there and re-ordered the Bedouin Mixed Grill, I asked my waitress to omit the green peppers, red peppers and eggplant from my entree and had them replaced with broccoli and an extra grilled quarter sliced potato. Second, when I ate there for lunch, I enjoyed their cheeseburger on French bread with crinkled cut(2nd Ave. Deli style) French fries luncheon entree. Their French fries are bar none, are the palatable in Woodstock. For those who miss the crinkled French fries served at the now defunct "Ruth's Country Kitchen" restaurant formerly located at 138 Tinker Street, Joshua's crinkled fries are the cure. Recently, when I went to Joshua's for breakfast with two friends, I ordered their pancakes with bananas, raspberries and strawberries special and savored every bite.
Joshua’s is an excellent restaurant for lovers and loners, has a nice relaxed ambiance and is number one on my “Top Five Best and Favorite Woodstock Restaurants” list. Out of all the entrees on the menu, especially on the page and the list referred to as “Joshua’s Classics”, the Mixed Grill of Bedouin, wins!
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