Entries from CelinaBean tagged with 'albany'

Real Ramen at Sushi Tei

It snowed. In October. Which meant the weekend found me doing the following things in no particular order. Cussing. Looking for cheap tickets to California. Cussing. Staring out the window and hoping a tree wasn't going to crash on my roof. Cussing. Admiring the snow, which really was pretty. Buying... (read the rest)

Mr. Pio Pio and the short list, Albany, NY

People often ask me to name my favorite restaurant in the Albany area. Questions like this make me stumble, and fumble, and want to talk about baseball, a subject I don't care about, but one which always strikes me as safe and diverting. I wonder if George Clooney feels something... (read the rest)

Review: Mogombo's International BBQ, Albany, NY

Here is a link to my review of Mogombo's International BBQ in the Albany Times Union.... (read the rest)

Barbara Jean's Round Two: Collard Greens

I stopped back into Barbara Jean's on Hurlbut Street in Albany to sample lunch this time. I am going hold off on a lot of comments so that I can officially review them when they've been open a little longer. But let me just say this: Best collard greens in... (read the rest)

Casa Dominicana

Here is a link to my review of Casa Dominicana in the Albany Times Union.... (read the rest)

Soul food breakfast at Barbara Jean's, Albany, NY

Yesterday, I was telling a friend how I was so lost in my current writing project that I was forgetting to eat because I’d completely lost my appetite. OK, I’m over that. This morning, I was out running errands, wandering in my perpetual fog, and thinking about everything except breakfast.... (read the rest)

Casablanca Moroccan Restaurant, Albany, NY

Thanks to Albany Jane and Third Auntie for the heads up on Casablanca. The girls and I stopped in for lunch on Saturday. My camera batteries died before I could even get the first shot set up, so I had to take pictures with my iPhone. No macro, bad lighting,... (read the rest)

Katrinella's Bistro, Albany, NY

Here is a link to my review of Katrinella's Bistro in the Albany Times Union.... (read the rest)

Mystery #4 solved: EJ's wrap at Anton's, Albany, NY

Boy, I'm going to have to try harder with these mysteries. This is the first time that no one even had to think about it. I guess with something as good as the EJ wrap, I shouldn't have assumed it could stay a secret for long. I’ve wandered into Anton's... (read the rest)

Vietnamese-style shrimp with rice noodles with My Linh's nuoc mam

Sometimes I cook just to watch my son’s face. This is one of his new favorite meals. He will take a bite, shut his eyes and smile. As a cook, it doesn’t get any better than that. I made this dish to try out the new line of Vietnamese sauces... (read the rest)

Questions? Looking for an ingredient in the Albany area? Ask Celinabean.

Are you looking for a place to buy a freezer lamb? Do you wish you could find fresh chrysanthemum leaves? Or maybe you've got answers. Are you holding out on the best fresh pasta or the yummiest takeout sushi. Come on now, give it up. Pleeeeeaaaasssse. This is a place... (read the rest)

QE2, Albany, NY

``How can you possibly like '80s music better than '70s,'' my friend Mark challenged me in one of those fourth-pitcher bar conversations. It was the time of night when local pubs buzz with such inanity, somewhere in between the hum of post work chit-chat and the sloppy squeals of last-drink... (read the rest)

Making our way through the freezer sections of the Asian grocery stores: Gyoza, Chinese dumplings, and more (part 1)

A couple of years ago, a colleague mentioned to me that he loved Asian dumplings, but Asian-store freezers sections – with shelves and shelves of dumpling bags – kind of freaked him out. He couldn’t read the instructions or, in many cases, even the name of the dumplings. The pictures... (read the rest)

Ten Things to Love: #10 Peking Duck at CCK, Albany, NY

If I had some very important person coming to town, someone from a superduper foodie place, say, who was going to give me a load of that big-city ruggamaro about all the things we don’t have here (great sushi, Ethiopian restaurants, Vietnamese sandwich shops and on and on), I would... (read the rest)

Aashiana, Albany, NY

Here is the link to my review of Aashiana for the Albany Times Union.... (read the rest)

Talk of pizza and homemade pizza dough

So a sad, Jewish lady walks in to a bar…. Yeah, that was me. And the bar was in, of all places, Albany, California. Like there is something about places called Albany, and how I have to find them when all else goes to hell. Yes, I am here in... (read the rest)

Townsend Park Bakery, Albany NY

Ah, the memories. I walked into the new Townsend Park Bakery on Washington Ave. wearing sensible tennis shoes and a baggy sweatshirt, but a few steps in to the back room and I could almost feel myself teetering in a pair black heels, three martinis to the wind and doing... (read the rest)

Pho Bo at Van's in Albany: A medicinal soup run

My son’s been sick the past few days. It makes me cringe every time he coughs, a deep, dying seal kind of thing that rattles his whole body. Today was the first day that he had any energy, but, even though he looked a lot better, it seemed like he... (read the rest)

Capital Q Smokehouse, Albany, NY

Here is a link to my review of Capital Q in the Albany Times Union.... (read the rest)

Al-Baraki II, Albany, NY

I've starting writing "Chow" reviews for the Albany Times Union. Here is a link to my first one. The photo above is from the Al-Baraki in Troy. Their moujadarah is one of my favorite lunches. I hope they add it to the Albany menu soon.... (read the rest)

10 Things to Love # 9: Crisan Bakery, Albany, NY

It usually takes more than a single encounter to make me declare my love, but give a girl a hearkens-back-to-walks-on-the-Italian-Rivera cup of strawberry gelato for $1 and there is no telling what she'll do. I try to be patient here on Celinabean. If I like a place, I go back.... (read the rest)

The first handful of herbs

Last night my backyard smelled like mint and lilacs. I walked barefoot to the garden and plucked the year's first handful of herbs. Mint, oregano, and parsley. My old friends. How I've missed you. Time was I wouldn't have listed any of these three on my list of favorite herbs.... (read the rest)

A mystery solved: Capital Thai, Albany, NY

So I was driving down Central Ave., listening to Josh Ritter and perfecting my pothole weave, when there on the right, hiding behind a gritty telephone pole, was a small, white sandwich-board sign: Thai food. If you work for my car insurance company, please click here. I will say that... (read the rest)

Sean O'Connor's cheese making class

OK, OK, it took me a little longer than I promised, but here is the info on cheese making classes. Sean O'Connor offers cheese making classes at At The Warehouse (Why, oh why do they need the "At" in the front of the name, but I guess that is another... (read the rest)

No Trader Joe's, no peace: What's up with Bruce Roter's supermarket activism

I didn't think it was possible, but I finally met a guy who is more obsessed with supermarkets than I am. Well, not any supermarket. Bruce Roter loves Trader Joe's. And not in an abstract, wistful, I-used-to-live-in-Oregon-and-wasn't-it-nice-to-buy-cheap-seasalt-preztel-chips kind of a way. Roter wants Trader Joe's here. Bad. In the last... (read the rest)

Celinabean's first taste-off: Pesto, part 1

OK, I admit it. The pesto was just an excuse. Bait, really. I wanted to see the faces behind Albany Eats, Almost Foodies and the other Albany area food blogs that are now on my reading list. So how to get these mysterious people to crawl out from behind their... (read the rest)

Ten things to love # 7: Bloody Marys and pretty much everything else about breakfast at Cafe Madison

As a writer, I look to M.F.K Fisher for inspiration. But today I’m more inclined toward Ernest Hemingway. For one thing, I was up all night and am now in a blurry-eyed fog. Short sentences are about all I can handle. For another, it is 10:38 am, and I am... (read the rest)

Mussels on sale at The Cousins, Albany, NY

I walked in to The Cousins yesterday thinking porgies or maybe bass, something easy to roast ... parsley, lemon, keep it simple. Ahhhh the best laid plans. Mussels were on sale -- 2 lbs for 99 cents. Who am I to fight such signs? OK, well mussels are simple. Toss... (read the rest)

I'll have what she's having: Uncommon Grounds, Albany, NY

Do you ever look over at the stranger next to you in a coffee shop and wonder… What would it be like to have her life? Or at least her drink. Well, yesterday, I was hunkered down at the window counter in Uncommon Grounds in Albany tapping away at my... (read the rest)

Peaberrys Catering and Cafe: A mystery solved

The drumroll please…… We have a winner of the first Celinabean mystery brownie contest. Elaine, there will be a box of brownies waiting for you at Peaberrys Cafe on Delaware Avenue in Albany. (I will send you an email with the details.) To keep things official and to avoid any... (read the rest)

The things you carry: greens and beans recipe

So I was sitting at the bar in the Midtown Tap and Tea Room a few months ago, sipping a glass of red and trying to figure out what to order, when I found myself deep in conversation with a man down at the other end of the bar. I’m... (read the rest)

Bros. Tacos, Albany, NY

I am fighting nature right now. My natural instinct is to be overbearing and pushy in matters of love, but somewhere along the way I learned that most people don’t find such behavior endearing. So on Sunday this was me trying to act casual. Best friend: Ok, don’t freak out,... (read the rest)

Whole belly clams and coffee milk: A taste of Rhode Island in Albany

I grew up near the Oregon coast, but as much as I am loath to say it, the best fried clams I’ve ever tasted were in Rhode Island. Long, long ago in a far away galaxy of two incomes and no children, my husband and I used to do things... (read the rest)

Ten jars (and other jar-like containers) to stock: #2 Whole in the Wall Chipotle Pesto

You know the kind of people who stalk sampling tables, circling and circling again, or, in the most brazen cases, just standing there shoving bread bite after cracker after cupcake quarter in their mouths. I had just such a visitor at a recent tasting table I hosted. Judging by the... (read the rest)

CCK Restaurant, Albany, NY

There are moments for delicacy and eating a piece of roast pork that has just been sliced from a hanging mass of golden crispness in the CCK Restaurant kitchen is not one of them. My first bite closed in around the crunchy skin and soft layer of half-melted fat beneath... (read the rest)

Ten jars (and other jar-like containers) to stock: #1 Walkerswood Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

So what is it with the bad boys? The ones who tease and make you tingle only to burn you again and again. You know what’s coming and you go back for more. And even when you don’t, you think about it. In the case of both chicken wings and... (read the rest)

Chocolate Expo at the New York State Museum, Albany, NY

Anyone going to the New York State Museum's Chocolate Expo on Sunday? Here are a few pictures I took of yummies from the Chocolate Gecko in Albany to get you in the mood. I went there purely for artistic purposes, you see. The white chocolate pictured above is the first... (read the rest)

Indian Ladder Farms' late fall bounty

I'm looking for a word. It isn't quite sad, although if you pin me down, I suppose it could be. Melancholy has too many syllables and, anyway, the dictionary links it to depression. And the word I'm looking for doesn't go down that road. The blues won't do either. The... (read the rest)


If you asked me to list my favorite meals, they would really all be the same meal as interpreted by different cultures. Yosenabe, paella, bouillabaisse, ceebu jen. OK, a huge basket of steamed clams with melted butter and lemon would be up there, too. But for the most part I... (read the rest)

Neighborhood Jam, Albany, NY

I want to introduce you to someone. Her name is Deloria Ballard-Hubbell. She lives in my old neighborhood, just off Delaware near the Spectrum. After her long days of chasing after two little ones, she tucks them into bed and heads to the kitchen. And there, in the quiet of... (read the rest)

Angel's Cafe, Albany,NY

The women in my United Sisters group have the kind of schedules that require appointment books and negotiating to find an hour of their time. So I figured it would be a hard sell when I casually asked if anyone would like to meet me for brunch at Angel's on... (read the rest)

The Warehouse, 20 Learned St., Albany, NY

So here's the thing about visions. They have to be able to see things that aren't there yet. And that takes some doing. Take a small corner of Albany for example. You drive past weedy lots with the occasional brownstone or two sticking up like the last teeth in an... (read the rest)

Dines Farms' natural meat store in Albany = Really good hot dogs

There is a retail store for natural meats in Albany. You can find it in the left corner entrance of The Warehouse on Learned St. That is easier said that done. The Warehouse is the small but growing indoor farmers market/architectual salvage/arts and crafts venture that has sprung up off... (read the rest)

Cafe 217, Albany, NY

It's funny -- and some what Albany like -- that my favorite place to take my 4-year-old daughters to breakfast is also the place I would go if I were finishing an all night bar crawl and looking for 4-am pancakes to soak up the evening's martinis. (Not that I... (read the rest)

Ten things to love: #4 Afternoons at Mezzo, Albany, NY

There are some cities, like some women, where their beauty is out front, in your face, undeniable. It's the first thing you notice about them. Paris. San Francisco. Rome. But there's another kind of beauty. The kind that waits to be discovered, just around a turn, when the sunlight falls... (read the rest)

Last days of summer vacation

It wouldn't be summer in Albany without Ross'. Soft serve with a twist. A big grassy back hill to run down, a couple of swings, and play horses. This is Bean's adventure in fairyland. She is riding off to rescue baby Roberto from the terrible witch with the fierce dragon.... (read the rest)