Middle Eastern Restaurant Sara’s Kitchen Opening on Broadway

There are passionate restaurant owners, and then there’s Sara Ali. Born to Egyptian parents and raised in Abu Dhabi, Ali got her master’s in engineering in Cairo before her then-husband got a job at GlobalFoundries. The couple moved to the Capital Region about eight years ago and worked at their respective jobs while raising two kids. But massive change was on the horizon.

“I was known to invite strangers—people from daycare—to my home just to feed them,” Ali says. “Cooking is my passion. It’s the way I communicate and relate to people.” After trying her food, friends encouraged Ali to open a business, since there wasn’t any authentic Middle Eastern food available in the Saratoga area. 

Ali entered the farmers’ market scene with her brand Sara’s Kitchen in 2022. Eventually, a cult following grew around her shawarma (beef, chicken or falafel), sambosak (deep-fried pastries with a savory filling), hummus (made with spices from Saratoga Spicery) and baklawa (not to be confused with Greek baklava). But between the markets, catering, her engineering job and her kids, Ali felt she was being spread too thin. “I started thinking about leaving my job, and felt it was worth a shot,” she says. “I’m trying to break free from the Middle Eastern culture where you are going to be an engineer or a doctor. I’ve always caved to my parents’ needs and wants. I’ve never made a decision in my life. I loved being an engineer, but it was not my passion.”

Ali’s marriage didn’t survive her break from tradition, and she plowed forward alone, opening a permanent Sara’s Kitchen in the Wilton Mall last August. Since then, she’s been on the fast track to Saratoga restaurant stardom.

At press time, Ali was in the process of moving Sara’s Kitchen from the mall to Broadway, where she’s taking over the space previously occupied by Whole Harvest. (Whole Harvest will serendipitously take over her spot in the mall.) The restaurant will open with a walk-up counter like Whole Harvest had—“with cozy seating,” Ali adds—and eventually may expand to include sit-down and late-night services.

“I know 100 percent I can do it,” Ali says. “I know my parents will be proud one day. Even if they aren’t, I owe it to myself to do what I want to do in this life—finally.” 

Broadview retirement ad

Latest articles


Related articles