Taiwan Noodle – Winter Steamed Rice Dishes!

 

Met up with one of my good ol’ Albany friends, her son, and her beau, Farmer Jon, for dinner at Taiwan Noodle recently. ‘Scuse the yellow-y and/or out of focus pictures. My white balance was slacking during this meal, and I don’t get to see my girly all that often so I was more focused on her.

We chose Taiwan Noodle because it was a good middle meeting point for us, and because they have seriously cheap eats. And we like to eat. Scallion pancakes to start!

 

Ground pork noodle soup for my friend & her kiddo.

 

Stuffed pork steamed buns. I think we also got some Xiao Long Baos as well.

I can’t not order the pork foot noodle soup. Or some iteration of pork trotter when I’m at Taiwan Noodle. So tender! Farmer Jon said he’s seen where pigs walk, and he’d rather not nibble on that, tyvm. Lol, love that Farmer Jon.

 

Oh, more snacks! Spicy chicken wings. These had a good amount of kick but weren’t overwhelming. It was a dry-spice heat, not saucy. Reminded me of togarashi spice like you can put on Japanese ramen soups.

And some wood ear & celery in the background. Albany John can’t get enough of these. I think he orders these every time we go to Taiwan Noodle. He likes how soft and tender they make them.

 

I am bummed this came out so yellow & blurry! Okay, so Taiwan Noodle now has steamed rice in bamboo baskets for the winter months.  They’re all $7.95, and they are GIGANTIC! Albany John got a pork & black bean steamer above. I don’t know why I was surprised by the size, since at $7.95 they are the most expensive dish on the menu, but seriously… it’s enormous. It’s an entire large bamboo steamer – like 9-10″ in diameter, and filled with rice and pork. They come with a dark soy sauce on the side.

Farmer Jon got chicken & lop cheong (chinese sausage). He wasn’t too crazy about the chicken having bones in it (it’s rustically chopped and hacked pieces of chicken on the bone), but thought the flavors weren’t too shabby at all.

One of the best things is that an extra lop cheong is just $1, so  you can add it to any of the steamed rice dishes. Yeesssssss.

 

Flores Family Restaurant


I went to Flores Family Restaurant in Schenectady for a super-late lunch one day. They only open at 3 PM on weekdays, hence the late lunch. Traffic was not on our side that day, sadly, but we were rewarded with pupusas. Bean & cheese for me, and a cheese & loroco pupusa for my pal. He wasn’t a huge fan of the pupusa because he thought it was a lot of cheese. I know. I had that same look on my face as you do now. Srsly, guy. Who does not like lots of cheese? How are we friends? Sigh. Okay, fine, whatever. I will eat my pupusa, and I am such a good friend that I will eat your pupusa too. Oh, it’s good enough to finish? Okay then.


He got pork chops ($10.50). Holy moly, what a gigantic platter. A little overcooked, but overall fairly satisfying on his account.I took a bite, I’d probably opt for something else the next time I go there because they have tastier things on their menu.


Since the temperatures are dropping I figured I’d give the shrimp soup ($9.99) a go. The broth was very flavorful & rich tasting. Also salty (which I like, you might find it a bit much). The shrimp themselves were a little gummy. There were some potatoes, carrots, onions, and a whole egg in there as well. The egg was well done, so I picked most of it out since it reminded me of a hard boiled egg and I’m not a huge fan of hard boiled eggs and hard yolks especially. The interesting part of this simple soup was that it retained its heat for the entirety of consumption. It was always crazy hot.

I usually park on the street, but they also have parking in the back of Flores Family Restaurant, which they share with a dentist. My buddy parked in the back and this is the sign by the dentist’s office, which makes it seem like the dentist is also moonlighting as a pub. Lol. I am guessing that Flores Family Restaurant used to be Brother Dominick’s Pub at some point? Any Schenectady folk know?

All Good Bakers Grilled Cheese


Tis the season for grilled cheese from All Good Bakers. It’s really a year-round treat, but the $5 Truffle Shuffle is especially comforting when there’s a chill in the air.

Cheese, jam, crispy toast. Yum. Chase it with one of Britin’s fruit waters and you have a nice light lunch or hearty snack.

All Good Bakers is also now taking credit cards! A big hooray from those of us who never seem to have cash in their wallets, and an especially big hooray for how they’ve been promoting it and encouraging their customers to use it.

City Dining Cards Giveaway

City Dining Cards would like to give one AlbanyEats! reader a deck of discount dining cards for the Capitol Region area!

5% of the sales for the region will go to benefit the Regional Food Bank. Each card is good for $10 off of a bill of $30 or more. Check out my earlier post for more details.

You can enter up to 2 times, here’s how:
Leave a comment = 1 entry
Tweet this post, then post it in the comments = 1 entry
Make sure you leave your email contact info in the comment, otherwise there’s no way for me to contact you.

Contest will close Friday November 16th at night.

The Tuna of Chianti

Friends, I ask that you help my Fussy comrade win a chance to nab $3000 and continued fame and such in the area.

Daniel B. has a dish in the running for Bellini’s Calling All Cooks 2012 competition. I can vouch for the tastiness of His Tuscan braised pork with white beans and Shaved red cabbage, as he had me over last weekend to taste test it for competition worthiness. It is worthy. Vote here.

It’s a pork shoulder that was slowly cooked while submerged in olive oil. It is a dreamy dish that is full of savory flavor and comes out so tender. The beans he cooked in some kind of concoction with a parm rind & the cabbage is a nice crunchy and vegetal contrast.

City Dining Cards

City Dining Cards has arrived in the Capitol Region! For $20 you get a fat stack of cards worth $10 off of $30 or more of food purchases at a bunch of local restaurants. 5% of all sales of the decks of cards in the Albany region will benefit the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY.

City Dining Cards sent me a stack of cards to try out. They have a nice design to them, and I figure I’ll buy at least one or two more packs to give to my family and friends in the area since gift-giving season is upon us. There’s a nice variety of restaurants, with prices that range from cheap eats to upscale.

There are a few restaurants in the area I’ve been meaning to try (like Athos) and City Dining Cards are a nice little push to get me in the door. If you’ve got a few restaurants on your to-eat list in the somewhat near future, it’s not a bad little discount to add to your tab (well, if you eat like I do) and you’ll pretty much break even on two restaurants if you’d planned on going there anyway.

Their press release is below:

 

CITY DINING CARDS BRINGS SAVINGS TO ALBANY’S RESTAURANT SCENE

Deck of cards offers 50 $10 discount cards to locally owned restaurants.

Proceeds to benefit Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York

 

ALBANY, NY — Grab some local grub, help fight hunger, and save a few bucks—all with a deck of cards. City Dining Cards has arrived in Albany and its hyper-local focus is encouraging people to support their community by eating locally.

The concept is simple. Each deck of City Dining Cards contains 50 $10 discount cards with savings to locally owned restaurants —each worth $10 off a food bill of $30 or more (tax, tip, and alcohol not included). Restaurants include Albany favorites such as DeJohn’s, Albany Pump Station, Creo’, The Point, and Bombers Burrito Bar. Two wildcards hidden in the deck offer freebies at Bountiful Bread and Honest Weight Food Co-op.

“We wanted to create an easy and affordable way for people to discover new restaurants while helping to support and build their community,” says Patrick Finan, founder of City Dining Cards. “City Dining Cards provides a great opportunity for food lovers to discover those flavors and experiences you can only find in locally owned restaurants.”

Demonstrating their pro-community mantra, City Dining Cards will donate five percent of all sales of the Albany edition to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, which distributed 25.6 million pounds of food to 1,000 feeding programs in 2011.

A deck of City Dining Cards costs $20 and can be purchased online at www.citydiningcards.com  and Albany-area retailers including Honest Weight Food Co-op, Mary Jane Books, and Bountiful Bread. Cards are valid now through December 31, 2013.

City Dining Cards is a pro-local marketing company that’s passionate about building relationships between small businesses and locally minded customers. Started in Buffalo, New York in 2010, they have grown into eight cities across the Northeast. Find out more at www.citydiningcards.com, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York alleviates hunger and prevents food waste by collecting donated food from the food industry and distributing it to charitable agencies in 23 upstate counties. In 2011, the Food Bank distributed 25.6 million pounds of food to 1,000 feeding programs. Learn more at www.regionalfoodbank.net.