Monday, January 19, 2015

Sadudee Thai Food

Don't judge a book by its cover. You've probably driven on 787 and seen the bright, colorful lights of Sadudee and pondered Thai food in Watervliet? It's an unlikely location for such bold flavors but curiosity drew us in for an overdue visit. Under The Copper Tree has long been a fan of Sadudee Thai Food and recommended the "pasta" dishes. Wait, what? There's Thai food in Watervliet and now we're telling you to get the pasta dishes? Don't knock it 'til you try it! 


Khao Soi: Deviating from my usual go to pad thai and drunken noodles, I opted for this coconut curry dish described as a popular Northern Thai noodle dish. Made with linguine pasta, the same Italian-American version from your supermarket, it's a headscratcher of an ingredient that surprisingly works very well. I'm assuming it's a substitute for the typical Asian egg noodles but here the al dente texture of the pasta holds up to the mildly spiced curry broth. A squeeze of lime brightens up the fragrant flavors, balancing the aromatics with the creaminess of the coconut. The added topping of crispy noodles not only added a wow factor to presentation but a satisfying element of textural contrast akin to extra wonton strips in your hot and sour soup.

Basil Noodles: Another stellar linguine dish was the basil noodles chockull of seafood and vegetables. The sauce here was slightly spicier than the khao soi but just as enjoyable. J's not as fond of Thai food as I am but this dish won him over. I personally love drunken noodle for its basil flavor but this might very well rival pad khee mao.













Duck Salad: The only disappointment was perhaps this salad. It had a lot of promise with enticing ingredients like crispy duck, tart apples, cashews (substituted with peanuts in this case), chili, and red onions. Unfortunately the tamarind vinaigrette was so pungent and salty that it overwhelmed the entire dish. A finer balance of lime juice and fish sauce and this appetizer would have been a hit. 

For what it's worth, Sadudee is not shy with bold and authentic flavors and it might very well give its Albany counterparts a run for its money. Next time you're in Watervliet, don't just come for Gus's mini hot dogs but stop by for a delicious taste of Thailand in one of the most unassuming locations.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

currently snacking on...

...Trader Joe's Sweet Sriracha bacon jerky.
An unhealthy decision with absolutely no regrets.
Salty, sweet, spicy, bacon-y. Enough said!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top Bites of 2014

Happy 2015! We're a bit late jumping on this bandwagon but looking over this past year's food shots made us drool all over again. We named Tara Kitchen's Lamb Tagine our favorite local food of 2014 on All Over Albany but couldn't resist reminiscing over these wonderful bites too: 





Sweet Sue's Breakfast Pasta: As if breakfast pizza wasn't amazing enough, we've found a new brunch favorite in this wonderful carb-filled bowl of fresh pappardelle with smoky bacon, earthy portabella mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes all topped with cheese and a perfectly poached egg. The moment that velvety egg yolk breaks and coats those beautiful strands of pasta is magical.  Once you twirl a forkful into your mouth, you'll want to shovel the rest. 



DeFazio's Linguini with Clam Sauce: 2014 was the year of tasty carbs. DeFazio's is well-known for its pizza, winning the 2014 All Over Albany Tournament of Pizza Championship. But it was the pasta that left a memorable impression. Made in-house and from scratch, this pasta doesn't get any fresher or better, except maybe with some tomato sauce and a few shakes of freshly-grated parmesan cheese. 




Cider Belly Doughnuts: The classic cinnamon sugar doughnut topped FUSSYlittleBLOG's 2014 Tour de Donuts but it's the glazed ones that we can't get enough of. With rotating flavors like butter rum, apple cider glazed, and German chocolate among a slew of other unique flavors, you'll quickly find yourself filling up an order for a dozen or two. It's not easy picking a favorite but the coffee-flavored ones are stellar. The Stacks Caffeinator Belly was an extra special pick-me-up treat; made with Stacks espresso and glazed with coffee, it was the ultimate jolt of flavor.



Casa Dominica Cuban Sandwich: J's been obsessed with cubanos ever since watching Chef The Movie. Casa Dominica makes a mean pernil, translating to a juicy and flavorful Cuban sandwich. Yes it's a Dominican restaurant but the roast pork is key to this dish. One bite of this sandwich is an explosion of flavors. It's pork on pork action with shredded pernil and slices of salty ham; the combination of meat with melted swiss cheese, zip of mustard, and briny pickles blows any other ham and cheese sandwich out of the water. As an added bonus, you'll even find bits of crispy pork rind throughout each bite adding extra texture and flavor. 





Council Rock Brewery Burger: More 607 than 518 but Council Rock Brewery in Cooperstown churns out good beer and good food. This hands down was the best burger of 2014: maple-glazed angus, topped with brie, pickled green tomatoes, on a pretzel bun. It's a lot of unorthodox ingredients but they all complement each other very well creating a satisfying salty and sweet flavor combo. Sadly it's not on the regular menu. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

currently snacking on...













... Chinese Turkey on Christmas Day. We had a little Christmas Story moment at
Ala Shanghai with some delicious Peking duck, cut to order. It wasn't smiling at us though.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

2014 was another tasty year. Sadly, a handful of our favorite eateries won't be making it past the New Year, some have already shuttered their doors and others closing its storefront soon.

Here's a recap of some 2014 bites that we'll miss dearly:



Good Night Noodle: This short-lived alter ego of Good Morning Cafe offered the Capital Region a unique take on Vietnamese food. For the first time in my life, pho went organic, healthy, and locally sourced. It was a welcomed alternative to our rotation and we'll miss its concept. (Closed November 2014; Good Morning Cafe still open for delicious breakfast!)
Shwe Mandalay:  Even more short-lived was this quaint Burmese joint. Global flavors like this type of cuisine is what I crave. It wasn't mainstream but packed so much flavor. This particular soup, moh hnn kahr, was pungeant and aromatic and just so different. What I'll miss the most is the fried, salted fish. (Closed October 2014)



Crisan: I'm kicking myself for not stopping here more often. Desserts were pieces of edible art with the kind of unique flavor combinations right up my alley. Summers won't be the same without the $2 scoop of gelato in flavors like honey bergamot and lavender. (Storefront closing Jan. 1; open for custom orders.)
The Crisp Cannoli: We said ciao to the only place that made cronuts aka crodos. The Dunkin Donuts monstrosity doesn't count. Sadly they were all sold out of the croissant doughnut hybrid but we indulged in one last sweet bite of hot, fresh-out-of-the-fryer crodoli--a cannoli croissant concoction filled with cannoli cream. (Storefront closing December 24; wholesale and mobile catering to continue.)
Tavern Noodle: Honorable mention goes to this pop-up ramen shop. The flavors didn't quite live up to our expectations (we've been spoiled by Pai Men Miyake) but kudos to Lucas Confectionary for bringing a taste of ramen to the area, even for a couple of nights.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Parish Public House


Let's preface this post with the fact that neither J nor I have had the chance to visit Louisiana nor New Orleans but what we can attest to is some tasty bites from Parish Public House. This Louisiana Eatery & Drinkery is off the beaten path from the busy Downtown Albany scene but worthwhile for a taste of the bayou. You'll find many Cajun specialities including an array of comforting classics like gumbo, alligator bites, and the beloved Louisiana staple--po boys fully loaded and chockfull of tasty fillings. Sadly my only other encounter with a po boy was a forgettable one many moons ago from The Bayou Cafe so I was excited to try it at Parish.

For a full Cajun experience, we chose a whole crawfish sandwich and fell in love at first bite. The nuggets of crawfish were artfully fried to a golden crispy perfection; not too greasy while retaining a great crunch throughout each bite. It was a fantastic contrast of flavors and textures as each bite delivered crispy crawfish sandwiched between a toasted, fluffy baguette lightly dressed with creamy mayo and fresh shreds of lettuce and slices of tomatoes. Last I heard, Bread and Honey were supplying Parish Public House with homemade po boy bread and if that's still the case (it is! confirmed via Twitter), it was the perfect vehicle for the quality ingredients being used. The bread had a light tender interior to it while toasting brought out a crackly crispy crust much like banh mi bread. 


We started off with boudain balls and the fry job behind these bites were signs of good things to come, as evident from the po boys. These sausage and rice balls are fried with a cracker crust adding a different texture than the arancinis rice balls from our visit to Marisa's. I didn't expect the sausage to have the texture akin to for lack of better description, canned tuna, but as different as it was, the flavors were good. I suppose it could have used more rice too as it was a tad dry. A tangy Cajun whole grain mustard and a few dashes of Tabasco added just the right amount of zing. 




For good measure we added the Catfish Acadiana dish to round out our Cajun experience. The same fry job was well executed with the catfish. Whoever is behind the fryer knows his or her way around it. Our only suggestions is a heavier hand with some salt. Here, the catfish was smothered with shrimp etouffee, a rich seafood stew/gravy. The etouffee was buttery and stick to your ribs thick from the roux. It could have used a bit more seasoning, but as with other dishes, some hot sauce did the trick. I could see this pairing better over rice but the star of this dish was the collard greens. Stewed with chunks of smoked ham hocks, this Southern staple was not only some much needed added veggies to our fried feast but overall a memorable bite.

A meal of fried things wasn't exactly a healthy choice but it certainly was a very comforting one that pairs very well with a tall pint of beer. 
We left with full, happy bellies especially after a slice of Cheesecake Machismo. Hopefully we'll be seeing beignets on the dessert menu in the near future (hint, hint). One of these days we'll get to New Orleans but until then, we'll get our fill at Parish Public House.