> New York Hudson Valley Eats & Treats!: June 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sauza Blue Tequila Silver - Tequila Review

Time to write about yet another delicious Tequila - Sauza Blue Tequila Silver 100% Agave.  Now back in the day, Sauza made a number of Tequilas but they were mixto Tequilas - meaning that they were only 51% actual agave.  The rest of the product could be made up of any number of ingredients, but probably the cheapest thing they could find that would ferment.  The result was a beverage that had  some agave flavor to it - but mostly was just a cheap, hard-hitting alcohol that left you with a nasty hangover in the morning, while bringing down the reputation of Tequila for everyone involved.  A lot of people have "Tequila stories" and the poor quality of Tequila that used to be available is probably a major contributing factor.
sauza tequila
Sauza Blue is made from 100% Blue Agave - there is nothing but
the essence of fermented cactus contained in this bottle :)

Espolon Tequila Reposado - Tequila Review

Skeletons of a bottle of Espolon Tequila Reposado
Espolon Tequila Reposado keeps with the skeleton
Theme of the Blanco bottle.  Really nice artwork!
A few posts ago I was writing about a tasty liquor that I had re-discovered - Espolon Tequila Blanco.  Espolon is a brand I used to enjoy many years ago, but it is now back with a new label, new packaging, and for some reason a much lower price.  Back in the day, Espolon used to cost around $30-40$ a bottle; these days, you can get a bottle of it for around $23 and change.  I'm not sure why anything would ever go down in price, but it just goes to show that price does not always correlate with quality - one can still find amazing deals if one looks hard enough.

Nice cold Espolon Blue Agave Tequila
Cold and refreshing
Espolon Reposado Tequila

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Old Grand Dad Whiskey - Bottled in Bond

Old Grand Dad Whiskey bottled in bond
Old Grand-dad Whiskey -
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Greetings my fellow Gourmands!  Today I wish to share with you a delicious whiskey that I have found which is also and incredible value.  This whiskey is Old Grand Dad whiskey, Bottled in bond.  There are a few iterations of Old Grand-Dad Whiskey - a regular 86 proof one (whiskey is usually bottled at 80 proof, which also means 40% alcohol by volume - this one is 43% alcohol), the "Bonded" version you see on this page which is 100 proof (50% alcohol by volume), and a 114 "Barrel Proof" one that you see every so often, containing 57% alcohol.

Newcastle Brown Ale Mini Keg

Draught mini keg of Newcastle Brown Ale
The Newcastle Brown Ale Mini Keg.  Draught beer at home!
As you must have already figured out, I am a beer drinker.  While I generally enjoy craft beers am not really a fan of mass-market products, I do enjoy a Newcastle Brown Ale when out at the bar on occasion.  I would purchase it for easy drinking at home, except there is one critical issue with the packaging - Newcastle Brown Ale comes in clear bottles.  

Now, you may ask yourself, what is the problem with this?  The clear glass bottle showcases the beautiful color of the brown ale!  The issue is one of "skunking", which is a potential problem with any beer, but really rears it's ugly head when it comes to Newcastle.

Without getting into the chemistry of skunking (although it IS interesting), I will merely explain the phenomenon.  A key part of beer is the hops.  Hops adds both aroma and a bitter taste to the beer, which counteracts and balances the sweet malt.  Without hops, a beer is sweet and lacks depth.  The downside to hops is that they are very sensitive to ultraviolet light (aren't most of us?) and when exposed to UV, they form compounds that have a "skunky" smell and taste.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Espolon Tequila Blanco - Tequila Review

Espolon Tequila Blanco, we meet again! I used to drink you many years ago when you were $35 to $40 a bottle - now you're $22. What has happened? What has changed? Apparently, very little!
Big smile and Espolon Tequila
It's been years since we've met Espolon - Welcome back home :)
Good day everyone. Today I am writing about a very tasty tequila that I enjoy - Espolon. Specifically, this is Espolon Blanco, which means white and unaged tequila.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hudson Buffet in Fishkill, NY

If there's one thing I like, it's a good Chinese buffet.  As you know, I love Chinese food.  While what we in America call "Chinese Food" is often nothing like what the Chinese eat themselves - as I understand it, many of them subside on far simpler dishes and even the classic ones made for emperors are different based on American tastes - Chinese food still proves to be delicious, exciting, and for me personally, always a treat.  I could nearly always go for some Chinese, and this brings us to Hudson Buffet.
General Tso's chicken, sweet and sour, teriyaki, green beans and lo mein
General Tso's chicken, Sweet and Sour chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, Green beans and Lo mein!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Eagle Crest Vineyards Concord

Today we're going to talk about an interesting wine from one of my favorite wineries - Eagle Crest Vineyards in Conesus, NY.  Many of you know the name "Concord" - the standard purple grape juice that we see in America is that of the concord grape, one of the native grape varieties that we have in America.
Eagle Crest Vineyards Concord Wine
Eagle Crest Vineyards' Concord.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Maya Cafe in Fishkill, NY Restaurant Review

I'm sure most of you who live in the Putnam / Dutchess county areas have been to Maya Cafe - it's been there for years and indeed is a staple of the area. Well, we were trying to think of somewhere yummy to go the other night, and it occurred to us that we hadn't been to Maya Cafe in quite some time. So, off we went! Come read about our delicious meal, view the pics, and work up a nice appetite for some delicious Mexican food!

The sign outside of Maya cafe and Cantina
The sign by the road welcomes you inside!