Birthday Weekday Evening @ NWBB

I hope you had a lovely Memorial Day weekend!  Even more so, I hope you extended it (like we did). 

Speaking of celebrating, we at Cap2Cap celebrated BOTH of our birthdays this spring (early and late) at New World.  We love N. Dubz.--it's not that there are never any misses, but I'd argue that the clear majority of dishes hit the mark and some are simply divine.  Plus all the local, seasonal, organic, etc stuff that I like AND servers who are knowledgeable and seemingly excited about aforementioned zazz.  I learned a bit about how they source their salmon!  [Also: we can walk there.  Let's be honest for a second about how big of a factor this is.]

We started with an okay, probably-not-worth-$10 appetizer: the duck prosciutto bruschette.  I easily peeled the fat off mine, since I didn't really understand why it was there.  I'd prefer just the crispy duck part!  The duck prosciutto itself was dark and salty and had a good bite, and the fig jam was fun, but I felt like it all could have been put together differently.  The bruschette situation wasn't best.  Let's be honest, I just want to crunch that duck all over a giant salad and dollop the fig jam on it.  J wished we had gotten the blackened green beans instead; they are famed.

Now on to DELICIOUS, totally on the mark: Thai Italian Love - Panang curry bolognese.  Look at that papardelle!  A little spicy, but the heat kept me on my toes.  It wasn't overwhelming, and it didn't last very long on my tongue.  I could move on and enjoy myself.  I want this again today right now.

J had a special, the South Indian Fish Fry, which was light (I know, for fried fish!) and tasty, with some friendly veggies and a bright sauce of mild yellow curry.  
New World Bistro Bar
300 Delaware Avenue
Albany, NY

We skipped dessert because I hustled my booty over to Cheesecake Machismo after work before carpooling home with the birthday gentleman.  I proceeded to take the menu I nabbed out of my pocket right in front of him once we got home...I'm smooth.

Cookies and Cream and Smoked 'Smore.I reallllly liked the 'smore situation, but J felt like one bite was enough.  He didn't dig the char flavor, he said "I don't want to feel like I'm eating a fire."  To me it was like eating a super toasted marshmallow, one that has been charred.  AND I LIKED IT.  Different strokes, etc.

They have no web site. I usually am against this, but meh Facebook, they are a dessert place, I'll let it slide this time.  Also, their name is basically amazing. 

Cheesecake Machismo
 293 Hamilton St
 Albany, NY

Cheesecake Machismo on Urbanspoon


Fewer Words Friday

I want to wish you a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. In most parts of the east coast it looks like it'll be gooorgeous.  Beach! Beach! Beach!

Today I bring you photos of a brunch from the past that escaped publication.  In short: I liked it, I'd go back, I'd recommend it.  Look at that popover (with strawberry butter).

Blurry CBH with scrambled eggs.  L was obviously my dining companion.  Not quite Good Enough to Eat, but a solid, adorable brunch. 
Popover Cafe on Urbanspoon


Postcard from St. Louis

I asked you all a while back about St. Louis, remember?  We visited my dear baby cousin (who beeteedubs is almost 20), watched some baseball, checked out some Arch, and ate a ton of delicious food.

First up: Breakfast.  Always. Boosters on the Delmar Loop (hehe, Delmar is near where we live now!) had the quick, inexpensive breakfast we needed before heading to campus. 

Egg sandwich with big fat juicy grape trio?  Pumpkin pancakes?  Check and check.  Delicious, simple, friendly, and inexpensive.  Serve your own coffee and make your own milk and sweetening experience.

Boosters cafe on Urbanspoon

So there's actually a block or two (or three?) that has Thai this and Thai that, all owned by the same people.  We stopped at Thai Pizza for a quick lunch, and I was pleasantly surprised.  It was kind of cool and misty out, and pizza fell out of favor with me while giant plate of pad see ew was definitely in

 Yum.  Easy, fast, convenient, and exactly what I needed on this day.  If I were a student I'd go back often, and on days where I wasn't totally famished (as I was on this day) I'd eat 1/3 of it cold late at night.

Thai Pizza Co. on Urbanspoon

You MUST use Facebook for all it is worth.  And by that I mean staying in touch with old friends and knowing where they live.  That way you can visit with them (and eat with them).  We did just that at Pappy's Smokehouse.  If it's a weekend (or any day, really), remember that they close at 8pm or when they run out of food--whichever happens first.  Apparently on a Saturday this can be mid-afternoon.  You're warned!

Delicious corn, sweet potato fries with cinnamon and sugar, ribs, sweet n' saucy pulled pork, and bare as a baby's bottom sliced brisket.  They were out of chicken and turkey when we got there; you know we'd have preferred to try everything they have.  Peppery green beans and refreshing crunchy slaw round out our haul.  Pappy's is a blast.  It's the kind of place you want to go to with good friends, and you want to laugh, eat, wipe your hands (a lot), and leave in a drunken state of food coma happiness.  I'd say the ribs were the biggest hit at our table.  The corn and sweet potato fries were also somewhat ridiculous. 

Pappy's Smokehouse on Urbanspoon 

We visited two frozen custard establishments, and one was the famous (maybe?) Ted Drewes, home of the concrete--it's like a Blizzard, a Blend-In, you know the drill.  But here they turn your cup upside down with the spoon in it to prove how stuck in there your custard is.  This made me nervous, obviously.  It's delicious, it's frozen, it's happy, and I'd have it again 7x per week, whether once per day or twice some days and others off.  J enjoyed the classic chocolate/vanilla twist, while I got crazy with the concrete with raspberries, hot fudge, and macadamia nuts.  Next time I'd get a concrete without hot fudge (which obviously changes the consistency), and I'd remember that macs are perhaps my least favorite nut.  Sidenote, a few of their locations are kosher. 

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard (St. Louis Hills) on Urbanspoon

Last breakfast time....

We rose early to get to the Arch, walk around a downtown garden, and take some pictures.  What a gorgeous day. 

Rooster was plum adorable, from the freshly cut flowers in the mason jar vases to the clear hot bevvie mugs.

My plate isn't colorful (and the globs are unfortunate), but the taste was delicious.  Goat cheese, mushrooms, oven-dried tomatoes in a crepe.  Word.

J had the Rooster Slinger--andouille sausage, potatoes, eggs, and sausage gravy over maybe the thickest toast I've seen ever.  This thing is not joking.  This is not a test.

Beyond the friendly and helpful service, delicious food, and sweet overall vibe, one of my favorite things about Rooster is that it is open 7 (seven) days a week and serves breakfast all day (all day. ALL DAY).  Breakfast All Day.  Also seen in other places as Breakfast: Served All Day.  Music to my ears.

Rooster on Urbanspoon

Fly, do not walk or drive (at least not from ALB or DC) to St. Louis.  You can get there on Southwest and get sassed on your way.  Catch a ballgame, take a tour of the Budweiser factory (it's a lot like Wonka), and walk around some of the beautiful tree-lined streets with unbelievable homes.  And eat breakfast (all day).


Things That Make Ya Go Mmmm

SIL (NYC) sent me a picture of her lunch today, from the Korilla truck - Korean BBQ burritos!!  She said it was delicious, but the line was long.  The burrito wasn't too big, so no food coma.  $7.

me: what's in it?
her:  braised short ribs, kimchi, rice, and some awesome sauce
 me:  haha awesome sauce

J & I met for outdoor lunch at Victory Cafe.  I like Victory (particularly the rotating lunch specials), but our food took FOREVER.  25 minutes.  Which is a long time for weekday lunch.  I made a few jokes about the possible origin of the protein in my wrap causing the delay.


Addictive Enchiladas, Etc

Don't let this week's weather get you down.  If we have to stay inside, we might as well do something.  Cook something.  Watch bread rise.

I was reminded recently by this post about the stages of learning to cook.  I'm in a place where for new things that I'm scared of (especially meat-related) I slavishly follow the recipe, at least with the cooking technique (time, temperature, vessel).  But when it comes to just about everything else I tend to experiment.  I'm not saying it always turns out well--we've had a few dinners where instead of dessert, we end up pouring massive bowls of cereal to make up for the rest of the food we don't want to eat.  Still, the majority of our dinners include tossing in whatever is around to make a meaty, vegetable-y, saucy bowl of yum.  J has been overheard to say "Why do you always want to put fruit in anything?"  You could also replace the word "fruit" with "frozen spinach."

This week's example is enchiladas.  I'd only made enchiladas twice before, and both times I followed this recipe from CSK--the second time I took some liberty and replaced the squash with sweet potatoes. 

This week we used what we had - whole wheat tortillas, ground turkey, one jar of TJ salsa verde, one jar of TJ regular red salsa, lots of shredded cheese, black beans, and tomatoes (canned diced, drained).  We laid down some salsa verde in a 9 x 13, made little burrito-like tortillas of the turkey (browned), cheese, beans, and tomatoes, got them all snug as a bug in a rug together, then covered in the rest of both salsas and cheese.  It was gooey and delicious.  I probably could have pulled a CSK and added some beer to the salsa to give it the liquid it needed without all the zazz of salsa, but I didn't have any beer I wanted to see in the oven. 

Next up: pancakes.  I probably haven't made pancakes in 5 years, at least.  You know I prefer eggs any day, with the occasional pancake or French toast slice on the side.  But this week was J's birthday, and I thought it would be nice if after he got back from his 34 mile bike ride the man could have some homemade pancakes.

[Yeah, that's real maple syrup.  Local, too!  Eat your heart out, people from places other than here.  Other items pictured include Jake Moon apple butter, hummus (served with cucumber, not pancakes, gross!) and strawberry jam that got ignored in favor for the aforementioned apple butter.]

I used this recipe from Martha Stewart.  I used skim milk, white whole wheat flour, and I sprayed Pam on the pan between pancake batches instead of butter (really, Martha!).  Also, the batter wasn't wowing me, so I mixed in a spoonful of Nutella.  I tend to do that.  It always works.  These pancakes were super easy and quick, and they made the house smell delicious for the whole day.

This weekend was our first one at home without visitors in quite a while. We've been and will continue to travel or host almost every weekend--no complaints here, though.  I am so grateful for our friends and family descending upon Albany, and I loooove heading out of town to see them and eat eggs in other states.  We'll tell you all about it soon.  I hope you had a great weekend!