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DP An American Brasserie – Albany

Due to my giant flight delay, I only had one chance to actually eat in Albany. So on my second night there, I headed downtown to DP. This is actually in the Hampton Inn. That might make you think twice about eating here, but please, do not let that stop you. This place is good in my book. I dined at the bar and it happened to be happy hour. This is an impressive bar. The bartenders here definitely know their stuff. And it looks like they’ve won a bunch of local awards, which is quite deserved.
I had this cucumber martini which totally kicked my lame ass. It was super duper strong and whew, did this thing pack a punch. But it seemed healthy to me because I could taste cucumbers. That’s healthy, right?
Instead of bread and butter, DP does it right. They serve sourdough pretzel ball rolls with homemade whole grain mustard. First off, how cute are these things? And second off, they’re freakin delicious and warm! Please, someone tell me how to make these!
I got the soup of the day which was a potato and leek soup. This is one of my favorite flavors of soup, ever, and they definitely do it right here. It also had bacon in it. How can you go wrong with that?
The lobster ravioli. These kind of look a mess, but they tasted just fine. I actually found it cool that it was black pasta.
These were the pork dumplings, served in a chinese to-go box. Meh, on that presentation choice. There were two dipping sauces, the first brown one was just kind of gross, and the second one was a sweet chili sauce type which I greatly preferred. The dumplings themselves were just meh too.
The banana bread bread pudding! Yes folks, bread pudding made from banana bread. It was super good. If you like banana, I highly recommend it! The two bartenders that waited on me were awesome. They were friendly and helpful and gave me recommendations and were quite attentive. They also kept calling me young lady, which was hilarious. If I’m ever back, I’m going to jump in and try some entrees!

dp An American Brasserie on Urbanspoon

Tibet Kitchen – Boulder

We spent a little bit of time wandering around Pearl st and then got hungry. Through random searching, we ended up going on a decent walk to dine at Tibet Kitchen. The place seems mostly to be a take-out place, but there is a teeny area of indoor seating and also an outside patio area. Don’t go there for ambiance.
Every cuisine seems to have their own version of dumpling, and in Tibet, they’re called momo. These suckers are made from scratch and filled with chicken, cilantro, onion, scallion, garlic, and ginger. They’re served with a homemade hot sauce, that I might say is slightly on the mexican-ish side. These are hearty, tasty, and big! But they are generous with their ginger, so watch out.
Neither of us had ever tried tibetan food before, so we asked for recommendations. Our server recommended the thenthuk, which is a noodle soup with hand-pulled pasta. The pasta is a hand-pulled flat pasta, as in it’s a flat sheet and pieces are hand pulled from it, not pulled as in long skinny noodles. It is cooked in a choice of chicken, beef, or veggie based broth and served with baby bok choy, daikon, and spinach. The broth is barely spicy. S got the veggie version.
I got the beef version so mine also came with slices of beef. This was a nice and hearty soup. The broth is light but flavorful, and the noodles are a nice diversion from a typical long noodle. The fresh veggies were very welcomed ingredients. This was a great introduction to tibetan cuisine. Now I’m interested in trying more!

Tibet Kitchen on Urbanspoon

I Finally Try Soup Dumplings

Ladies and gentlemen, I hang my head in shame. I don’t know how long Dim Sum Garden has been around, but I know I’ve passed the place dozens of times without giving it a second thought. And can you blame me? It’s literally in an underpass and next to the scary chinatown bus station. It’s not exactly what I consider location, location, location. As far as locations go, it’s positively unsavory. And the place itself also is partially to blame. It’s completely uninviting and has tons of neon signs. And they have pictures of their supposed dishes on the walls at the counter, you know, like the ones you see at your neighborhood shady chinese takeout joint. But I finally saw the light and am now a believer. I found out that this place had soup dumplings, so I had to go and try it. Damn, we went gaga over these. I can’t believe I’ve gone this long without ever having had a soup dumpling. There’s meat and stuffing inside, but there’s also some soupy liquid too, and that’s the beauty of it. You’re supposed to put a little hole in it with your teeth so the inside can cool off a bit. Then you’re supposed to sip the soup from it a little at a time. Oh who cares what you’re supposed to do. You’ll figure out how to eat it, and you won’t want to stop.
There are a few options of sauce that come on every table. The one that is crudely labeled as “Dumpling Sauce”, that’s the one to go for. I think I could drink this plain if I had to. But it’s absolutely divine with any of the dumplings. It’s sweet and savory. The other one tasted like it had turned. And there’s also some hot chili oil if you like things a bit spicier.
The scallion pancakes. These are pretty good, but they are a little bit greasy.
The shrimp dumplings. So simple, so pretty, so delicious. And these are  probably somewhat healthy too.
These are the pan fried pork and chive dumplings. You know, because sometimes, steamed is simply not enough. You want a bit of the extra grease and the crunchy char of a pan fry. These little puppies were good too.
But one of our favorite dishes of the night was the beef brisket noodles. There are thick egg noodles and a healthy helping of baby bok choy. And then there’s a heap of beef brisket. Ooh yeah baby. And everything was drenched in a chinese five spice laden sauce. I’m not the biggest chinese five spice fan, but it totally worked here. It worked so well that I wanted to eat all of this but on top of the dumplings, my belly just was not having it. But I did enjoy the little leftovers the next day. I heard that Dim Sum Garden had good noodles too, and darn it, I heard right. In fact, they have good everything. So please, pretty please, don’t let the sketchy location or the uninviting flourescent lighting ambiance deter you. Go! And eat! And enjoy! And be amused by the strangely androgynous server. You’ll be scratching your head too!
Dim Sum Garden on Urbanspoon

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