Thursday, June 26, 2008

Chow Down at CCK

299 Central Avenue, Albany

M-Th 11-10:30 pm
Friday 11-11:30 pm
Sat. 11:30am -11:30pm
Sunday 11:30am -10 pm

CCK is a Chinese food-lover's dream come true. It is run by the same people who brought us Ocean Palace, which closed this year because of something having to do with the ownership of the building. Bring a big appetite with you: you will want to order everything.

CCK is much smaller than Ocean Palace, but the menu is just as dazzling with variety and the food just as authentic. If anything, there is a cozier vibe at CCK.

I went with my friend who also loves Chinese food and we had a feast:

This was the flounder in black bean sauce (a special, similar to the sea bass I used to get at Ocean Palace). You can get the dim sum all day, which my friend did, as they didn't have the crispy chicken he wanted (they said this particular dish would be available on Saturdays). We also tried their congee, something I had never had. This one had chicken and peanut in it. It is very simple (just a mushy rice soup basically) but delicious, something that I imagine would be supergood in the depths of winter:

The menu is mind-bogglingly huge and includes everything from your typical dishes loved by Americans (spring rolls, beef with broccoli, Lo Mein) to the more exotic: Conch with Brown Mushrooms, Jelly Fish (part of their dim sum menu), Fried Fish Head in Casserole. I will have to go back and see if their in-house menu is different from what I remember at Ocean Palace. It seemed pretty similar to me. Thank God. I was so worried when Ocean Palace closed. I know now that I will be able to make it through another winter, thanks to CCK.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

3 Great Things in Troy Right Now

This was a cup of hazelnut and blackberry cabernet gelato from Le Marche Vert. It didn't last very long after this photo was taken.

Lots of yummy things to report on in Troy.
In no particular order:

1. Ciao Bella gelato at Le Marche Vert! I'm growing quite fond of this little market; it is like a food boutique,a small shop offering gourmet foods, and you can always find something worth getting here (cheeses, some takeout prepared foods, chocolate). The Ciao Bella gelato, served in cups to go, is not to be missed. Favorite flavors: Hazelnut; Blackberry Cabernet; and Chocolate Orange.

2. Parmesan cookies at Spillin' the Beans. I bought 6 of these for just $1.25 the other day. They are so good-- great with wine, salad, or just as a snack. They are basically like a shortbread cookie but flavored with parmesan-- savory. I am addicted.

3. Oliver's Naturals rocks! I can't say this enough. I went in there the other day and got, get this: a shiitake grilled cheese sandwhich, on Ezekiel bread with some kind of wonderful pesto or garlic mayonnaise. And I got a cup of joe that had been *hand ground.* (Baby Oliver likes to crank the grinder-- he's so cute). You will feel totally nourished-- physically, spiritually, mentally-- by the food, and Diana, Adam, and Lauren make everyone feel right at home.