Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Calamari on the Hudson

Good morning blog world! It is almost Friday, and I am happy about that. This week has been so busy for me I’ve hardly had any time to think let alone blog, but I’ve finally got all of my photos organized so I’m going to give it a try!

Breakfast this week has been simple but yummy. I had some tasty strawberry banana oats one morning.

In the bowl:

  • 3/4 cup of oats
  • 1 tbsp of oat bran
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • strawberries
  • 1 tbsp of dark chocolate dreams peanut butter

I could throw DCDPB on anything and it would taste amazing.

This was a huge bowl of oats, and it kept me full until about…9:30AM that day. Oh well. I think I just ate it too early.

I’m pretty sure my dinner on Tuesday was a bowl of Kashi H2H cereal with almond milk and maple pb because I needed something quick and light before taking Body Pump! So good!

The rest of the week is kind of a blur! However, this morning I had one of these:

A Chocolate Cherry Bomb! In the smoothie:

  • 1 cup of almond breeze
  • 1 scoop of chocolate rice protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp of maca powder
  • handful of frozen organic cherries

It tasted pretty good since I’m accustomed to the rice protein. It was actually filling.

Now to the good stuff! Last night I went on an impromptu boat ride on the Hudson with my good friend Brendan, his parents, and my sister!  His parents have a boat that the keep at a local yacht club and they invited us out for a ride and dinner! So exciting! 🙂

After work I headed to Brendan’s where we met up with his parents and drove to the yacht club. It’s so cute inside! It looks like a great place for parties.

Brendan thought ahead and knew my sister and I would be hungry after work, so he made some Sangria and brought some cheese and crackers. What is better than wine and cheese on a boat? Nothing, I don’t think. He said he used peach Chardonnay and threw in some fruit to make the Sangria. Yum.

Thankfully the cheese and crackers held me over until dinner. 🙂 We took the boat down the Hudson River south to Coxsackie and enjoyed the ride.

For dinner we pulled the boat up and docked at Yanni’s Too located at Coeyman’s Landing.

Yanni’s is a great local riverside restaurant that is only about 25 minutes south of Albany (and only about 15 minutes from me.) I love it there. They are famous for their fried Calamari. So obviously, we had to order some for an appetizer. We got the Calamari Four Way Sampler, which included the Original: lightly fried and tossed in a lemon garlic wine sauce; Rhode Island style with banana peppers; Calamari Red with a light marinara sauce; or Chipotle style with a smokey jalapeno sauce. I’d have to say my favorite was either the Rhode Island or the Chipotle style calamari. The banana peppers on the Rhode Island calamari were slightly tangy with a bite, almost kind of lemony, and the Chipotle style wasn’t too spicy, just had a bit of a smoky flavor. So good. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

So, after filling up on fried squid, I ordered my main meal: the Portabella Sandwich: Marinated and grilled portabella mushroom cap with balsamic glazed red onions, goat cheese and roasted red pepper aioli.

One word: incredible. I’ve had this sandwich before so I knew I would love it. But, since I wasn’t too hungry any more after eating the Calamari for an appetizer, when my sandwich came I only ate the mushroom, onions and goat cheese. I took the bun off to try to save myself some calories. (Probably around 300? The bun was huge and probably grilled in butter.) And it would have been difficult to eat anyway since the mushroom usually make the bun sopping wet with juices and then it just becomes a huge mess. 🙂 I loved the creamy goat cheese though, so tasty. I ate probably half of the chips too.

After dinner we headed back to the boat for the ride back to the yacht club. It was getting pretty late and I was exhausted! But riding on a boat in the dark was kind of creepy but fun. We were kind of reminded of the Jaws ride at Universal Studios! Ahhh! 🙂

Anyway, I had a great time with Brendan and his lovely parents. (His parents are like our second family since we have been friends with Brendan for over ten years!) They were so awesome to take my sister and I out on their boat for dinner! 🙂 Can’t wait to do it again!

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Filed under Events, Food, Restaurant Reviews, Travel

Fourth of July 2010 – Part 2: Firecracker 4

After Saturday’s pig roast, Sunday Chris and I were all set to run in the Firecracker 4, a four mile race in Saratoga Springs. So far, this race has been my longest! I ran the Workforce Team Challenge back in May, which was 3.5 miles. I was thinking that four miles would be a breeze. 🙂

After picking up our packets and bringing them back to the car, we headed to where the start line was, right on one of the main roads in Saratoga. There were so many people running this race!

I thought it was kind of funny that there were even mascots running this race! It was really hot out too, so they must have been dying in those costumes! There was a gorilla, a deer, a bear, and a dog.

At 8:00AM the race was set to start! My goal for this race: to have fun! There were also supposed to be bands set up throughout the course, which is always awesome. I wasn’t too worried about being fast for this race, I just wanted to have a good time. I even got out my camera and tried to take some photos of the course.

It’s a bit blurry, but it’s rather hard to take decent pictures while running. 😉 This was at the very beginning, right before the first hill.

Eventually I caught up to the bear! I can’t believe he was running faster than me in that costume! It must have been wicked.

The course ran through a residential area of Saratoga, and there were lots of people cheering on the side of the streets. One guy even had his hose out for a misting station!

I felt really good throughout the entire run. I didn’t really push myself until about the last mile. Right before the end there was another hill, and I just forced myself to run up it really fast. Chris went ahead of me after mile three.

Soon the finish line was upon me! It came up really quick! According to my Garmin, I finished in 37 minutes and 59 seconds!

Chris came in ahead of me in 36 minutes! 🙂

My official race time: 38 minutes and 17 seconds
Place: 808 out of 1,344

Garmin Stats:
Total distance: 4.09 miles
Total Elapsed Time: 37 minutes and 59 seconds
Average Pace: 9:17
Average Speed: 6.5 mph
Calories Burned: 483

Negative Splits!
Mile 1: 9:58
Mile 2: 9:29
Mile 3: 8:58
Mile 4: 8:54
Mile .09: 39 seconds

After cooling down and drinking about two bottles of ice cold water, I re-fueled with an orange slice and half of a bagel smeared with peanut butter! Mmm.

Chris and I changed out of our sweaty shirts back at the car and then walked around Saratoga for a little bit! I love Saratoga, it’s such a nice place with so many nice restaurants and shops.

We stopped to check out Four Seasons Natural Foods to see what they had. It was pretty much just like a mini co-op. I ended up getting some more coconut water and a frozen fruit bar to snack on while we walked around!

Before we left Saratoga, we stopped at the Putnam Market so I could get a salad for lunch to go.

I ordered the Chevre, Roasted Red Peppers, & Pine Nuts on Mixed Greens , but they didn’t have pine nuts, so I had them put on walnuts instead.

When we got back to Albany, we stopped at Moe’s so Chris could get a burrito for lunch. He ate his burrito and I had my salad!

The salad was really good, but definitely not worth the $9.00 price tag. There should have been way more veggies in it for that price!

Anyway, right next door to Moe’s is my favorite ice cream place, Emack & Bolios. Since it was the Fourth of July after all, I had to go in and get some frozen yogurt! I ordered the low fat black raspberry chip! Yum! You really cannot go wrong with Emack & Bolios.

After lunch we headed back to Chris’ place and just had a relaxing day, watching movies and hanging out. For dinner, we were both craving pizza! Chris had been wanting to try Pizzeria Inferno, so we decided to order the California Classic. It had tons of veggies, including: tomatoes, spinach, red peppers, artichokes, red onions, and basil.

This was the best pizza I’ve had in a while! It was so flavorful and had tons of delicious veggies on it. I’m craving it right now!

But the Fourth of July isn’t complete without fireworks. Since we were in Albany we had the perfect view of the Empire State Plaza fireworks show!

The fireworks were an awesome ending to a fantastic Fourth of July Weekend. I couldn’t ask for more! 😀

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Filed under Events, Firecracker 4, Race Re-Cap, Races, Restaurant Reviews, Running

A Picnic and some Chipotle

Well, today was my work picnic! I’ve only gone to one picnic since I began working at my Department, and that was two years ago. I missed last year because it was the same day as the DMB concert, so I decided to go to this year’s picnic.

I knew not to expect much from the food at this place because it didn’t have that great of a reputation, and as suspected, it wasn’t great. They had hot dogs, hamburgers, raw clams, wings and ribs, all of which I don’t eat. However, a veggie burger saved my day!

Although I wish I knew what was in it. I could see rice, and possibly beans. Who knows?! I threw on some ketchup, mustard and relish and it was somewhat tolerable. I also had a few small bites of some nasty pasta salad, and some okay tossed salad. But overall, the meal was pretty depressing.

One thing that was cool about the picnic was that it was supposed to be a zer0-waste event, meaning we were told to bring our own plates and silverware! And we composted the leftovers, including paper plates and napkins.

There was also a dish washing station where we could wash our dishes!

After my picnic, I promised Chris I would pick up him his favorite burrito at Chipotle!

I have never had Chipotle before, so I was interested in trying it to see what the big deal was. I got Chris a carnitas burrito and myself a fajita bowl! I got the bowl because I was trying to pick a healthier choice, and I knew it would probably be less calories than a burrito or tacos. In my bowl: cilantro-lime rice, fajita vegetables, vegetarian black beans, mild tomato salsa, a small bit of cheese, lettuce, and some guacamole.


Overall opinion: tasty! It would make an incredible burrito!! No wonder Chris likes them so much! :-D. I only ate a little more than half the bowl and Chris ate my leftovers. It was so good, and they give you so much food! The thing I like about this restaurant is it seems to care about the food they put in their menu items. They use simple and fresh ingredients. I like that.

Well, I should get to bed early tonight since I’m planning on doing my long run tomorrow, since I have a crazy weekend planned. Good night!

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Salute the Sky with the Breathing Room

This morning I took my very first yoga class! And it was incredible.

My friend and co-worker, Sarah, and I headed bright and early to Indian Ladder Farms, where the class was going to be held. It was outside in one of their fields, with a view of the Heldeberg Escarpment. Indian Ladder is a place I’ve been going to since I was a young kid, when my grandparents would take my sister and I there for apples and nature hikes. 🙂 I have a connection with this place.

Our yoga class started at 9am and we walked a short ways up a small hill in the back next where some of animals live. It was a gorgeous view! I couldn’t believe I was doing yoga in such a natural and calm environment. It was so relaxing and I got very in touch with the Earth and nature. I loved it!

There were only a couple other people in the class, which was led by Kristin and Mikko from The Breathing Room. I would highly recommend The Breathing Room if anyone is looking a place to take Yoga classes. They are located in Delmar but had this special “Salute the Sky” class for those wanting to be outside and connect with nature. And Indian Ladder Farms was the perfect venue for that!

The yoga wasn’t too hard either, and I would call myself inexperienced, since I’ve only done it along with my DVR. 😉 It was good for all levels. We did a lot of sun salutations.

We did about an hour and a half of yoga, and then headed back down for brunch at the Yellow Rock Cafe.


Since a meal was included with the price of our yoga class, we got to order from the brunch menu.

I started with a cup of tea.

For my meal I got “Donato’s Wrap”, which was “Scrambled eggs topped with your choice of cheese, stuffed inside our herb wrap, then grilled and served with our own apple salsa and sour cream on the side.” It was pretty tasty, I must say! The apple salsa was delicious, so I didn’t even need to put on the sour cream. Yum.

The watermelon was a plus, but I wish there were more fruit on the side!!

One of the Yoga instructors ordered the Donut Bake. Indian Ladder is famous for their fresh cider donuts. I can imagine how heavenly this must have tasted. I had to get a picture of it!

It was such an amazing morning. I wish I could start every morning doing yoga on a mountain. I loved it. I will definitely be going back to take another Yoga class with The Breathing Room!

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Filed under Events, Food, Restaurant Reviews, Yoga

The Jimbo

Surprise! A Friday Post!! I didn’t think I’d have enough time/anything interesting to write about today but I do! Lets start with last night.   

I spent the evening gallivanting around Lark Street after work. I was supposed to meet up with a bunch of friends for my friend’s 25th birthday celebration at 9pm, but I was super super hungry after work. At around 8 I met my sister for some pre-celebratory dinner at Bombers. We ordered downstairs since there is usually a wait upstairs.   

 

(Photo from google images.) I took a photo exactly like this back in the day! 

Lets discuss Bombers for a minute. I have a love/hate relationship with this restaurant. I went to college in Albany a few blocks away from Lark Street. And I believe I went to Bombers to celebrate every one of my friends’ birthdays for the last 8-ish years. That’s a lot of Burritos and Margaritas. When I’m old and grey I will look back on my “good old days” spent in Albany and seeing Bomber’s will bring bag tons of great memories. Their food on another hand, is a different story. After I got out of college I kind of got really sick of the place, so I tried to avoid it. (Unhealthy  food + really long waits = major pain in the butt.) But my friends would end up going back again and again to get their Birthday Margarita. So, I kind of learned to enjoy it again. Plus the margaritas are really good. And I fell in love with their BBQ Tofu Tacos. (It is the only thing I will order off of the menu.) So last night, I ordered two BBQ Tofu Tacos and ate them both. They were delicious. 

Anyway, after Bombers, my sister and I were in the mood for some type of dessert. So to Crisan we went. Crisan is my favorite place on Lark Street, by far. I’m in love with their gelato. Especially the chocolate-coconut combination. Heaven. It was like eating a Mounds candy bar. But better. 

After Crisan, we headed back to Bombers to meet up with the group and we got a table really quick! (Shocker!!) I didn’t order food, obviously, but I may have tried a Jimbo. In all my years of going to Bombers I had never tried one. My sister ordered the drink, which is a half margarita-half beer concoction. It wasn’t very tasty in my opinion. Maybe I just prefer a straight up margarita.  

The Jimbo

So, my friends ordered food while my sister and I just hung out and had tons of fun! Hope my friend Kathy had a great 25th Birthday celebration. It sure looked like she did! 😀 

   


So, last night was fun, but today I had to go back to the healthy living grind. Today’s breakfast: Kashi H2H with light almond breeze and blueberries! It was my first time trying almond milk. My overall opinion: yummy! I liked it better than soy milk, but the downside is that there isn’t as much protein. The upside is that it is only 40 calories for one whole cup! I think I may swap it out for a while and see how I like it.

 

I went on a four mile lunch time run today also. I love running at lunch because I can squeeze in a really good workout and it also breaks up the work day a little bit. I finished four miles in 38 minutes and 10 seconds. I also came back and did some crunches and five measly push ups in the hallway before changing and going back to work. Oh well. I feel like this week wasn’t a great running week for me. I just felt tired and out of sorts for some reason. And I think my long run on Sunday totally screwed up my eating habits. Either that or I’m lacking something in my diet this week. I think it might have been veggies.

I solved that problem. After my run I ate a huge salad with grape tomatoes, green peppers, craisins and my favorite dressing, Annie’s light raspberry vinaigrette. It was filling. It doesn’t look big in the picture, but trust me, it was!

 

I also had a Nature Valley granola bar and an apple.

Tonight I’m going out to an Indian buffet with Chris! It should be interesting, as I’ve only had Indian food once in my life and I wasn’t too impressed. I decided to give it a second chance. 😉

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’m super excited for a Yoga class I’m taking tomorrow morning!

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Veggie Wraps and Apple Pie a la Mode

After running 8 miles on Sunday, all day Monday I was starving. Literally. And I didn’t pack that much for lunch and I was hungry all day. I need to re-think my eating habits after long runs like that, because I’m so used to cutting back calories, I don’t think about the calories I need to eat in order to run long distances. I had to make up for the estimated 900+ (woah) calories that I burned. Needless to say…I was hungry yesterday.

I quickly made up for that when I went out to dinner at Swifty’s Pub. I was meeting a friend for dinner in Delmar and we decided a pub would be kind of fun, and there aren’t very many dining options in Delmar. Two of the places we wanted to go were closed. 😦 I started with a house glass of Pinot Grigio while I waited for my friend to arrive. I sipped my wine out on their tent-covered patio, which was perfect, since the weather was kind of iffy. Have I mentioned I love eating outside? 🙂

Swifty’s isn’t known for their health food (they have mostly pub fare) but when I saw the grilled veggie wrap with goat cheese on the menu and quickly made up my mind about what to order. Sadly, they don’t have much of a vegetarian selection. I think the veggie wrap and the eggplant parm were about all they had that were veggie-friendly, not incuding the salad selection. I ordered it on a sun-dried tomato wrap and Irish chips! These chips are my favorite!

The wrap was delicious. I love veggies. Someone at work today told me that I make a great vegetarian. Ha! Anyway, I cleaned my plate, and even ate all my chips! 🙂

I wanted cheesecake dessert, so when I asked the waitress for a dessert menu she told me they only had apple pie! Which was okay, since I love apple pie too. I ordered it a la mode. The slice was huge!!! The pie was cold (sad) but still tasted yummy. Not the best pie I’ve ever tasted, but I’m not too picky when it comes to dessert. 😉 And yes, I ate the whole thing.

That was probably not the healthiest decision. But what’s done is done.

Anyway, I needed to run off that pie today so I went for a short 3.25 mile run around Washington Park after work. It was gorgeous outside! It was a bit hot though!! I was supposed to run 5 tonight but wasn’t feeling it, so I think I’ll run 5 tomorrow since I don’t think I’ll be able to run on Thursday night. So far I haven’t really followed my schedule exactly…just kind of re-arranged it to fit my life and so far it’s worked pretty well!

Okay kids, I’m off! Have a nice night!

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Filed under Food, Restaurant Reviews, Running, Wine

Adventures in the Kitchen

Happy Memorial Day!!! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!

My friend Melissa and I were in need of some gelato last night so we took a trip to Crisan. I got one scoop of oreo gelato and one mini chocolate covered strawberry. Yum.

I had a very low key day today. I started out with about 20 minutes of yoga. And since it was so nice out,  I had really wanted to go for a nice bike ride, but my bike was locked in the shed and I didn’t have the key, so I could not go. 😦 I opted for a short 2 mile run instead. It was pretty pathetic. I was tired and it was hot. Oh well. I spent the rest of the day reading in the sun and in the kitchen making fun things!

I had bought some quinoa a while ago and finally made something out of it today! I decided dinner should be cranberry walnut quinoa salad. I sort of went off of this recipe, but I didn’t have much of the ingredients, so I kind of just made it up as I went along.

I boiled 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of vegetable broth, according to the directions on the bag. Instead of using water I used organic vegetable broth from Hannaford.

I tweaked the recipe a bit and threw in some olive oil, salad spice, craisins, crushed walnuts and four minced cloves of garlic and let it set in the fridge for a couple hours.

I wanted something else interesting to go along with it for dinner so, since I bought some organic vegetable tempeh the other day I decided to make Caitlin’s Tempting Tempeh! And it was a new and interesting dinner! The tempeh was really good! I love maple and cinnamon together and the coconut made it really sweet! It added a nice crunch to the outside. Instead of using actual maple syrup I used a maple praline syrup that had less calories. I’ve never had tempeh before so I don’t really know what it tastes like on its own but I liked it. This was a really quick and easy recipe, I would definitely make it again, so thanks Caitlin! And the quinoa salad was tasty too. I have tons left over!

Dessert was a cup of soy ice cream that was really refreshing since it was so hot out! I also had a glass of the Naked Wine with my dinner! And now the bottle is gone.

I was in the mood to keep baking so I researched some recipes for home made energy bars. I finally found one that had ingredients that I have in my kitchen, so I used this one. I actually ran out of oats (I only used 2 cup instead of 3), so I added in some flax meal and whole wheat flour so it wasn’t so sticky! I baked them for 20 minutes and they came out really mushy (the recipe says that’s okay), so I put them in the fridge to cool them down so I could cut them. They were still pretty soft, so I’m going to keep them in the fridge until I want to eat them. It might be because I didn’t use the right amount of oats.

I tasted part of one and they kind of taste like a cookie bar, which is alright with me! The only thing I would change next time would be to use natural peanut butter instead of regular, and honey instead of the corn syrup (I actually used light karo syrup.) I am not sure how many calories are in them, but I assume probably about 200-250, since there is peanut butter in it, which is okay by me, since I’ll only be eating them before I run. If I can control myself! 🙂  Hopefully they give me energy!

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Filed under Baking, Food, Restaurant Reviews, Wine, Yoga