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Favorite Big Breakfast: Brio’s in Phoenicia

Favorite Big Breakfast: Brio’s in Phoenicia

Big Breakfast: A Perfect Omelette, Home Fries and Toast Quantity is far from my number one criteria for a good meal, but sometimes there’s nothing like a big breakfast. My favorite big breakfast of all is a spinach and feta cheese omelette with home fries […]

The Phoenicia Diner

The Phoenicia Diner

Classic Diner Fare Prepared with Fresh, Local Ingredients If you appreciate simple American diner fare made with high-quality, local ingredients, then put the Phoenicia Diner on your To Do list. It is a dream. The Phoenicia Diner is exceptional in many ways. The view. Every window, every […]

Tanpopo – Ramen and Sake Bar

Tanpopo – Ramen and Sake Bar

Tanpopo in Albany, NY

Tanpopo is a tiny Asian noodle restaurant in downtown Albany, on the North Side. The wide, treeless city block is home to large charmless buildings on huge asphalt lots. It’s a typical warehouse district.

Unlike its surroundings, Tanpopo itself is steeped in charm. Housed in a 1941 Silk City railroad diner, between Wolff’s Biergarten and an office building, it seats just 46 patrons. The Art-Deco interior is cherry wood with porcelain enameled steel, and the geometric-tiled floor is stunning and rich with color.

Inside, diner booths run the length of the building. A tall pub-style table has replaced the original counter, and the retro menu boards above are holdovers from the previous tenant – the Miss Albany Diner (1941-2012). There is so much to love here, and we haven’t even mentioned the food yet.

Like the restaurant itself, the menu is small. Eight apps, four salads, six types of ramen, and six rice dishes. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, carnivore: there’s something for everyone. Tanpopo isn’t fancy, but the meals are satisfying and nicely-priced. The most expensive thing on the menu is $13.

For the soup, the choice is ramen or rice noodles. Then it’s pork, miso, vegetable, chicken or seafood. The broth itself is wonderful, and the ingredients are unusual: flammulina velutipes, kikurage mushroom, and bamboo, along with scallions, cabbage and corn.

Each visit feels like I’ve stepped out of my cushioned comfort zone to something just a little bit exotic. From the post-war setting, to the Asian aromas, down to the beautiful, oversized ceramic soup bowls. It’s the kind of place that gives me the sense that I’ve just discovered something really special.

Tanpopo Ramen and Saki Bar. 893 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207
Visit the website.

Ginger Curry Cauliflower

Ginger Curry Cauliflower

Most of the ingredients for this Ginger Curry Cauliflower recipe can be prepared ahead. Cook the cauliflower and measure out the oil butter and spices and set aside. Then, about five minutes before you want to eat, you’ll complete the last couple of steps in […]

Celery Salad with Parmesan Cheese

Celery Salad with Parmesan Cheese

Simple Celery Salad with Parmesan Cheese I discovered this celery salad recipe in a pinch one afternoon, when the only fresh vegetable on hand was a bag of celery. The recipe didn’t sound very impressive, but I decided to give it a go anyway. Now […]

Coconut Curry Cauliflower

Coconut Curry Cauliflower

Coconut Curry Cauliflower

This low calorie dish is simple to make and is the perfect bag lunch. You can warm it up or eat it at room temperature. This Coconut Cauliflower Curry recipe was adapted from the one on the SkinnyMs website.

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
8 cups cauliflower florets
1/4 cup coconut milk
1.5 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Sauté garlic in oil over medium-low heat for 1 minute.
  3. Transfer to a medium casserole dish and add coconut milk, vegetable broth and spices.
  4. Toss until thoroughly combined.
  5. Bake cauliflower until tender, about 30 minutes.

Makes three hearty servings of Coconut Cauliflower Curry.
Approximately 194 calories per serving.


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