Capri Pizza Pasta, Tarrytown NY

Restaurant review

So one night after meeting some friends for a free jazz concert, we (my family and I) found the only food game in town-Capri Pizza.  It was well lit, had a huge staff and some added character, considering it was in a strip mall with a small grocery and CVS.

The place had two sections, one for fast eating and the other for maybe the knife and fork set and lingering.  They had a very healthy business.  People were in and out and the delivery guys were working up a sweat.  I was taken aback how lit the place was.  It was like an examination room in an older hospital where mood lighting had not been invented. It was not off putting however.

The tables were exposed wood and there was a barn door separating the two sections.     (Can we say borrow that idea for future DIY home)).) I was hungry so I hoped that the pizza was good.  (you know when you are hungry and shovel the food, and you cannot even remember what you ate)  It came out quick and hot.  We knife and forked it as well, because we are civilized.  So I can safely say that I will return when in that area.  It is about one block away from the entrance to 287 and across from a hotel.  Great placement!!

Famous words–I shall return.  I give it a 7.  Next time we will explore the menu.

Capri Pizza Pasta

 

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 Ginger & Lemon Grass Restaurant (Queens ny)

So our day started out with music class for my toddler and then we were supposed to go to the Japanese Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.  Well we got through the music class, then my husband decided to do some detours.  After that and an hour plus time passage, we decided to head to Brooklyn.  Yeah, because we can and well right before we crossed the bridge, we started to examine our plan.  There was already traffic, it was warm outside (oh late April weather), we were starting to get hungry and also, we knew that it would be at least an hours drive from that point.

What to do, what to do!!  So we racked our brains and decided that going to the festival at that late time would not be that great as all the cool stuff always happens early on as well as we would only get to enjoy a few hours.  Also, it was 30 dollars per person.  That would be 90 dollars just to enter and then if we wanted to buy food, who knows, and parking if we could not immediately find a spot.  It was looking like an expensive day.

So because of the traffic, we had a few moments to think. We turned to Yelp and Trip Advisor.  We found ourselves in Whitestone, NY.  It is in Queens, off the Whitestone Bridge.

When we arrived we were excited, as there were people waiting outside, which was a good sign.

We sat close to the corner and just smelled all the wonderful odors. We wasted no time in ordering. The taste of the curry dish we ordered reminded me of the ones I had while travelling. The chicken curry included bamboo shoots as well as sweet potato–that was great on day 2. I had a stuffy nose so only randomly did I taste the food but the following day, post stuffy head, the food was better. We had one of the spicy short rib sandwiches, which was large and had a strong 5 spice taste. That we liked. We also had the seafood and chicken pancake as well as spring rolls.

I noticed the cool herb garden on the wall. It actually inspired my husband. The restaurant also makes this refreshing drink that includes water, cucumber, ginger and possibly one other ingredient I forgot. (nice differentiating feature)

What everyone seemed to be eating was the broth with a large bone in it. Not my thing but I am sure it was great as that many people cannot be wrong.

The service was decent and the place was nice in terms of decoration. It is a small place, so not much wiggle room and large groups need not apply. Parking can be a challenge but that just means a longer walk from your transportation. The bus does pass by it though. It is in a partly residential area so only if you search (internet) for it or drive by it accidentally, will you see it. Its not on a main street.

The small menu works well. When I am hungry I am easily frustrated if I have to turn through a book.

I would return.  I give it a 7.  Small place, good food.
HAPPY EATING!!

Slum Tourism

Yes it sounds sounds a little off right.  I heard it on the radio this past week (last week of July 2017).  My husband and I did a double take and we immediately turned to youtube and google to investigate.  We watched one documentary where the people were in Brazil touring one of the “slums/favelas.”  I have mixed feelings on this.  People smiling and gawking might be weird.  On the other side, people are venturing into the unseen/unpopular/untouched which means , as the program we watched put it, there is the recognition that these places and problems exist.  There is so much to say about this.   There is one concern and real at that, that with these tours, people do not give any money to the community.  So essentially they visit, take some selfies, peer into some doorways (not even sure if they shop) and then they bounce.

My husband, who always presents the other view said that it is the same as driving/touring in beverly hills, etc and taking pictures.  I pointed out that, we are gawking but no one is dealing with starvation, malnutrition, disease or being disadvantaged with no/lack of education or opportunity.  Also they do not need our patronage.

So this is happening all over the globe.  For me, I think this is the backpackers way.  I mean they mesh into the area and stay where they can, slum, or not and usually see the real deal. I jumped around here a bit while writing but you get the gist.

If you have any thoughts or comments,  please feel free to share.  
Till then, safe travels!

Macadamia Nuts

I am about to hit you with some macadamia knowledge and fun facts.

So I just made a batch of macadamia white chocolate cranberry cookies.  I used one of the first recipes I found (a little cake-ish) .  Note to self, try another recipe. Its great when toasted though.

So why are macadamia nuts so expensive and it is like the other nut that no one uses.

Well here are some things to know about the nut–

Not native to Hawaii. It is really from Australia.

where are macadamia nuts from

 

Health Benefits

health benefits

 

recipes

cookies white chocolate  

oatmeal white chocolate

white chocolate 2

hummus hummus

savory dishes

 2 savory recipes

Helpful website with more savory dishes.

https://www.australian-macadamias.org/consumer/taste

NUTS ABOUT NUTS!!!

If you habe a favorite nut, let others know and also your favorite dish.

June(Tri)Borough Tripping with Toddler

what did we see this past month (June 2017)

  1. Coptic Christian Church in Queens- (Whitestone area)-cool building
  2. Jefferson Market Library- ( lower Manhattan) formerly a courthouse
  3. Fort Totten-(right by Throggsneck Bridge)-Old Buildings

What we did recently

Museum of the City of NY (July 2017)  They have special craft days–on this particular day, they gave us a free pass for next visit.  Yippie.  Also the exhibits are loud and eye catching so 3 year olds can enjoy it for a little.

My toddler likes trains and buses.  She almost cried because we were not taking the bus a few times. It was pure madness.  I guess it is exciting–seeing all the people, the movement, listening to the bell, waiting, whatever it is, she really digs it.  I call it, life’s simple pleasures.

In August, we hit Guilford CT beach.  Different kind of beach–no public facilities and not really soft sand (shells and rocks) but when tide goes out, its nice).  Its not a real day trippers beach as there are no amenities. (bath house, public toilets, places to by food and beach paraphernalia- but its FREE)

We also had a picnic, according to my toddler. We ate on the park benches and watched the day go by.

We recently did a portion of the OCA–Old Croton Aqueduct.  That was fun.  If I had running gear, I would have jogged alongside my toddler. Its a runner’s, walker’s, and biker’s paradise.

Our most recent was taking the bus to Lyndhurst  Mansion in Tarrytown NY for free jazz concert. The bus drops you right at the gates.

We have not done any  real NJ, unless you count the birthday parties we have been to.  We also did a guest visit at a friend’s home only to have him not be home.   (NJ is great if you know what you are looking for, AKA-go with a plan. I wonder if the malls are still closed on Sundays! Google where are you?)

Local travel is great for discovery and culture!!  More to come–lets use the phrase “Winter is Coming!!”

More adventures to come in late September and October.  

 

Tales of Triple T

Toddler tantrums and travel (Spring 2017)

So my toddler is into this tantrum phrase: laying down on the floor and self-flagellation by way of tapping head on anything she can find-ankles, knees, doors, floors, toys.  For a germaphobe mommy this is the anathema of all behaviors.  Case in point laying on floor in the plane isles, laying on the floor in the mall and laying on the floor in the restaurant crossroads.   Sometimes it is sidewalks.   We were in the museum and well that place saw several lay downs.  People were even concerned.  Of course I am embarrassed but cannot show it.  I just kept encouraging her to get up.

So we were in several countries a few weeks ago for about 2 plus weeks.  My toddler would cry at all hours of the night and the morning.  I chased my toddler in bus depots, malls, down streets, in parks–all to avoid diaper and bathroom breaks.  What saved me sometimes was having her harness.  Yes 24.5 lb toddler still fits in the harness which has a weight limit of 32lbs.

There is another wild behavior that makes me crazy. Its the quick swipe. See something, grab it and run fast, or grab a glass and try to pour out the liquid before one of us (hubby or I) can get there. Or throw something into a glass of water, milk, juice or what have you.

Oh the best in our travels is my toddler pressing all the buttons she can reach in the elevator.  That is always fun when the building has 27 floors.

More to come.

Royal Siam: NY, NY

This was a fun place.  (Compared to my previous post on Siam Thai) Here is why. So the address is (see below)……  when you get there you notice that there is a sushi place.  It was funny to us because first the sign was there but a little arrow thing looked like it was pointing upstairs.  We looked at the legend  for the building and could not see it.  Then I called the restaurant and the person said that both restaurants were in the same space, which was right in front of us.  We had also worried about it being a cash only establishment and noted the two banks on either side.  How did they get so lucky!  They took cards as well.

We walked in and there was spot lighting on the tables.  Immediately they came over and asked us what we wanted.  I ordered some mango sushi to start.  It was actually a nice refreshing start to what could have been a hot experience.  I got eggplant and beef.  My friend got scallops and shrimp. She gave the eye to the dish trying to count the shrimp and scallops to see if it was worth 18 dollars.  It was, I guess, as there was no complaining.  We also had some edamame beans.

The guests were spread out so that no one was immediately next to anyone.  That allowed for intense conversations.  I can say that with my high school gal pal, it was like therapy.  The food, the lights, the quiet atmosphere, it all made for good speaking theater.

Royal Siam: 240 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Pepper Lunch, Makati (Manila, Philippines)

What can I say about this food place!

-found in the high profile mall

-forms a line out front–yeah its that popular and there is no where to wait inside

-you have to decide what you what from the menus outside on the walls and pre-order

-the food arrives in a hot cast iron pot and the meat is raw

-you are supposed to use the heat to cook the food while at the table

great idea but it can be annoying to listen to the noise around you and perhaps watch others toil away

not a great idea if you have small kids in the exploratory phase–the sound of the food cooking, the smell, and the steam rising are enough to attract a toddler to touching the pan which would be bad

they have dessert as well

the one we visited was in the fancy mall, with a view of the outside greenery along one wall

Pepper Lunch

I would visit again.  It was good enough and the food was hot for a while.

I would give a 6.5.  .5 off is the fact that you can burn yourself if you are not careful and you are forced to make up your mind while waiting–not the worst but sometimes you can be inspired when you see someone else’s dish prior to ordering.

Pepper Lunch–you will be remembered!!

 

As a follow up-we saw this chain or a similar in Singapore and it was pretty popular as well.

 

 

First Chinese Eggplant

Fun times in the kitchen.

–no red pepper (that would have made a big difference)

-no scallions

-still awesome, daughter ate it, yay

Next time I will get my act together

THAI-STYLE FUSILLI WITH EGGPLANT AND SHIITAKE

Epicurious.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 ounces fusilli (long spiral spaghetti) (**made rice)
  • 1 small eggplant (about 1/2 pound) (**used chinese eggplant)
  • 1/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms (***used portabello)
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 6 vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
  • (***used regular tomatoes)
  • 1/4 fresh jalapeño chili
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh gingerroot
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves (***used thai basil)
  • PREPARATION

    1. Fill a 4-quart kettle three-fourths full with salted water and bring to a boil for cooking fusilli.
    2. Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes and transfer to a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle eggplant lightly with salt and let drain 10 minutes. While eggplant is draining, discard stems from mushrooms and cut caps into 3/4-inch pieces. Cut scallions diagonally into thin slices. Quarter tomatoes and chop jalapeño including seeds (wear rubber gloves). Rinse eggplant and squeeze dry, discarding any liquid in bowl.
    3. Boil fusilli until al dente.
    4. While fusilli is boiling, in a large non-stick skillet cook gingerroot and garlic in oil over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add eggplant and mushrooms and sauté, stirring constantly, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add scallions and sauté, stirring, until eggplant is tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, tomatoes, jalapeño, basil, and salt and pepper to taste and cook just until heated through, about 30 seconds.
    5. Drain fusilli in a colander and in a bowl toss with sauce.

  • UPDATE,  I GOT NY ACT TOGETHER AND DID THE BASIC DISH OF EGGPLANT, PEPPERS, ONIONS, THAI BASIL AND GROUND BEEF. FAMILY ATE IT.  SMILED FROM EAR TO EAR.

    Siam Thai–Scarsdale NY

    So on our way home one day we wanted non normal food–we had exhausted the fast food lot and we were out so we looked in the area for some noodles as well as other Asian foods.  On a strip we pass occasionally, there was a place with a decent yelp rating as well as the price point we were okay with.  So with that said, we came upon Siam Thai.

    It had windows on the sidewalk so we could see straight in.  There were about 4 sets of people.  We walked in and were waiting to be seated and you know when they acknowledge you and you kind of wait or they indicate where you can go, that did not happen.  We have a toddler so we thought they might have had a better table for us to use but since there was no action on their part we just grabbed a 4 top in the main walkway so that we could fit the high chair that they had.

    So the place is simply decorated and it is rather white all around, which is a change. Most restaurant are dark. This place felt like it was a country store selling linens. What also got me was the muffled speaking of everyone.  In a restaurant usually there is music to drown out the speaking and to create a white noise as well as mood.  Well I heard everyone speaking.   I was kind of quiet at first since I felt like everyone was listening, but then I forgot and joined right in.

    We ordered some of our favorites and I believe that my husband did not get what he ordered.  He took it in strides and did not complain.  The food was okay.  It can be a pass next time.  Also the weird atmosphere was just that, weird.

    Was it worth the money, as compared to some of our other favorite places, I would say only half half.  I say that because we will try to find another place so we will not have to go there again. It can be the place of last resort.

    It is not bad- so I would say a 5.

    Be weary of places that are a cross of zen and the Hamptons.

    Thai Food is great!!