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

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Full Moon Restaurant Review - White Plains. NY

The place?  East Post road in White Plains, NY.  The music?  Modern Jazz.  The decor?  Entirely authentic and gorgeously appointed.  The food?  Pretty good.

Full Moon Restaurant menu with an elephant on it
This is the Menu at Full Moon Restaurant.  In two dimensions, you can't see that elephant is actually there!
Today we review a Thai restaurant.  Joy! :)  As you must know by now, the lady and I just love Thai food - see our reviews of Mana Thai in Mount Kisco, NY and Golden Buddha in Fishkill, NY for just a small taste of what we enjoy.  Today we were cruising around White Plains, NY and decided to stop by Full Moon Asian Thai to see what was what.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Delirium Tremens Beer Review

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing an amazing piece of brewing achievement - Delirium Tremens Beer by Huyghe brewery of Belgium.  I'd heard amazing things about this beer but had always been put off in the past by the price, not to mention the sheer selection of other excellent craft beers that cost a fraction of what a bottle of Delirium Tremens cost.  Well a week or two ago, we were up at Half Time in Poughkeepsie, NY (an incredible beer distributor - they claim to the biggest one in the world!) and I saw old Delirium Tremens sitting on the shelf.  And you know what?  I took the plunge.

Pouring a bottle of Delirium Tremens Beer
Pouring the 2011 Delirium Tremens.  I didn't have a suitable glass, so we used a wine glass.

Delirium Tremens is named after that lovely affliction that befalls alcoholics when they stop drinking.  An
uncontrolled arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, the brain of an alcoholic starts to hallucinate and provoke a very unpleasant affect to the organism once a steady stream of alcohol has been withdrawn from the diet.  These "Delirium Tremens" as they are called are a potentially deadly affliction.  And so of course, that's what they name the beer after.  Cute right?  Those guys clearly have a sense of humor.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Great Cointreau Substitute - Mathilde Liqueur

A bottle of Mathilde Orange Liqueur
Mathilde Liqueur - Orange XO Liqueur
Ahh, orange liqueur, you are a wonderful thing.  We could not make our Cosmopolitans and Margaritas without you.  And yet, your quintessential iteration - Cointreau orange liqueur - is so very, very expensive.  What to do ?  We all wish to drink tasty cocktails and when they call for a top-shelf orange liqueur, you can't just use any cheap triple sec - to do so ruins the drink.  Good spirits need to be kept in the company of other good spirits and quality ingredients.

Enter Mathilde XO Orange Liqueur.

Me and the lady found this delicious spirit while searching for a Cointreau substitute.  Basically, as you know if you've been reading the blog, we enjoy margaritas among many mixed drinks.  But goodness, Cointreau is so very expensive!  Around here it costs around $21 for the small 375ml product and bit under $40 for the full 750ml size.  Now, Cointreau is a delicious, premium liqueur to be sure, probably the best one of its' type.  But if you're making margaritas for a party, or even just for yourself, you'll find that you go through the stuff like water!

Another consideration was that Cointreau was costing us more than the main spirit (Tequila) that we were mixing it with, and that didn't seem quite fair.  We set out on a quest to find a good, reasonable tasting Cointreau substitute.  

Now, there's many brands of cheap triple sec - you see them over by the schnapps.  These are all well in good I suppose for college students or kids or people trying to make cheap drinks, but really, what are you paying for?  Corn syrup and chunk of D-limonene flavoring?  The price of these things is cheap, but the level of value you get is low.  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tanjore Indian Restaurant in Fishkill, NY - Restaurant Review

Good day everyone :)  As you know, me and the lady both love ourselves some Indian food.  We make it ourselves, but every now and again, really whenever we have the chance, we enjoy going out to eat for some delicious Indian cuisine!  The lady has taken me a number of times to one particular Indian restaurant - Tanjore Indian Cuisine in Fishkill, NY.

Located in the corner of a strip mall right off of Route 52 in Fishkill, Tanjore is easy to drive by, but it would be a shame if you missed your chance to stop into this restaurant.  One of our Indian friends claims that Tanjore is the most "authentic" Indian restaurant in the area, and the lady will tell you that it's by far the best locally.  Let's take a look and see what we have here, shall we ?

The front of Tanjore Cuisine of India
Here it is, don't miss it!
We came in at around 8PM and were promptly seated.  The restaurant seats about 50 people.  There is also a pretty well stocked bar if you wish to procure an adult beverage for yourself.  Speaking of beverages, the lady ordered one of her favorite Indian drinks - the mango lassi.  It was sweet and wonderful and full of mango-y goodness, just as a lassi should be.  I had a small taste - not too shabby :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers in Poughkeepsie, NY - Restaurant Review

Greetings foodies :)  Today we review Red Robin Gourmet Burgers in Poughkeepsie, NY.  Usually known as just "Red Robin", this is a chain of restaurants that offers a variety of burgers, sandwiches and similar fair.  They also have a reasonably stocked bar in their restaurants too.

Red Robin started many years ago as a tavern, and although the restaurants still feature a bar area, the main focus is their gourmet burgers.  They get pretty creative with how they make up the burgers and I have to tell you, they do a pretty damn good job of keeping the things interesting.  Let's take a look :)

Red Robin, like so much else, is located right off of Route 9 in Poughkeepsie, NY.  It's something of a juggle to get into the parking lot, as you have to drive around a few buildings and take a rather circuitous path to get there.  You also happen to pass a Five Guys pulling in - but no, it's not the one in the link, that one is down the road :)  Once you actually make it to the Red Robin parking lot, there is ample parking for all concerned, so that's always nice.

The entrance to Red Robin in Poughkeepsie, NY
The entrance to Red Robin.  Time to go inside and chow down!
As we approached the entrance, one of the staff members held the door open for us.  It didn't hurt that they weren't mobbed, but still, it feels nice to be invited into a place and to be treated so nicely.  As a rule, they are friendly and polite as anything at Red Robin.  They must really stress making the customer happy to the waitstaff, because even if there is the rare issue with service, the interactions with staff are never anything but cordial.

Cointreau - The Classic Orange Liqueur

I've been writing many posts lately about various Tequilas - Espolon BlancoEspolon Reposado, and Sauza Silver.  All of these are delicious 100% agave Tequilas and are suitable for drinking straight.  Many people however, are not the type to drink straight liquor, and I can't blame them - at 40% alcohol by volume, these spirits hit rather hard, have something of a bite to them despite their smoothness - and are what people think of as "straight alcohol" :)  Few people want to be viewed as an alcoholic by drinking straight liquor, even if they enjoy the spirit based purely on it's own merits.

Enter the Margarita.  This classic cocktail is the most popular drink to use Tequila - and why not?  It's delicious.  There are a few different variations on the drink, but the one that I like to use involves the following ratio:

2 parts good Tequila, often a Reposado Tequila.
1.5 parts Orange Liqueur or Triple Sec - in this case, the one and only Cointreau
1 part fresh squeezed lime juice.
(Optional) 1 part of less simple syrup, or to taste.

An ice cold bottle of Cointreau Liqueur
Ice cold Cointreau is just begging to be
added to a top-shelf margarita!
Some recipes call for equal parts Tequila, Triple Sec, and Lime - others call for 2 parts Tequila, 1 part lime juice, and just a splash of Cointreau.  Still others call for a 3:2:1 ratio of Tequila, lime, and orange liqueur.  You should experiment to find that ratio that you find most suitable - for me, the recipe that I listed above seems to serve us well.  Key elements are that the Tequila is front and center - it is the main spirit of the cocktail.  Tequila works wonderfully with citrus flavors, and the lime compliments it well, with the orange liqueur "rounding" out the cocktail and adding depth and occasional sweetness.