Hi fellow food lovers! I am finally back contributing to PPR after having recently moved 3,000 miles to the left coast with my husband. We are making a new home in Santa Barbara, Ca. after living in Putnam County for almost 37 years. I have unfortunately just broken my left arm in the transition, but my dominant right one still works, so here goes.
Just as it is important to change one’s diet with new health issues, sometimes a big change is necessary for growth and progress on many levels. I plan to continue to increase my awareness of tasty and nutritious vegan dishes to entice your taste buds and feed your compassionate heart. As promised, I wanted to conclude the exploration of the restaurants of the Hudson Valley as there are many delightful culinary establishments that are worthy of your patronage in and around Pawling, NY. If you explain your preferences clearly we found that the restaurateurs and the servers do aim to please!
Carmel’s THAI GOLDEN, as featured in the lead picture, has new ownership and management. Its stunning lakefront view is augmented by fine authentic Thai food that is expertly prepared with great style and skill. We like to begin our meal with the Thai salad complete with fried tofu and peanut dressing as well as a “Roti” described as fresh “Muslim” bread with potatoes in a curry sauce. My favorite entrée is a dish with thin rice noodles and vegetables with “mock” vegetarian duck added for protein and texture. The brown rice here is superior as they add small beans to enhance the flavor and protein value. The prices are reasonable and they are gracious servers, offering a complimentary fried noodle appetizer as you sit down as well as succulent fresh pineapple for desert. This leaves you with a sweet taste and feeling for this warm local choice. Please visit THAI GOLDEN soon!
Close by on Route 6 is IZUMI, which is currently closed for renovations, but expected to reopen in December. They serve above standard Japanese meals with quick service and consistently delicious choices. “MISO hungry” when I arrive, and the warm broth with tofu and seaweed is the perfect start up choice. Miso is a fermented soybean puree that has tremendous health benefits for clearing the body and chest of toxins and was a remedy used to heal the afflicted after the nuclear attacks of WW2. Next, the seaweed salad packs a lot of trace minerals in a tasty marinade. Isn’t that what the fish eat to get big and strong, so why not sample it firsthand? Edamame, hot (without salt) is a good source of the protein rich soybean with all the eight essential amino acids and is a fun finger food. Complimenting that is a vegetable roll with the rice on the outside – perfectly prepared and abounds in yummy pickled products. Remember to use the green capped tamari on the table as it has much less salt content but it is still quite a potent source of sodium. Veggie dumplings are also delightful with its special dipping sauce. Overall, a filling yet light fare that is sure to please.
Expanding our horizons and venturing to rather exotic restaurants a little farther from home base has its rewards. In the Triangle shopping center of Yorktown Heights, JEWEL OF THE HIMALAYA serves exquisite Nepalese type creations slightly similar to Indian fare but with more subtle spices unique to that region. Succulent beans and vegetables compliment exotic sauces made to your taste. My favorite is a combination platter called a Veg Thali, which gives you a perfect variety of all their well flavored dishes complete with bread and dessert. An added bonus is watching the big screen TV as the trekkers climb the sacred mountains of that region. The owner himself plans to venture up the rooftop of our planet next year, being as serious about his training goals as he is about providing personal and friendly greeting to each customer. Be sure to greet him with the traditional “Namaste” gesture and bow that he will return to you!
Another outstanding rather exotic choice is the Ethiopian restaurant called LALIBELA in Mt. Kisco. The mainstay grain of choice here is TEFF, a tiny ancient cereal grain native to that region. Teff also known as “lovegrass,” is gluten free and loaded with protein, iron, and calcium. It is fashioned into fermented, spongy textured bread prepared fresh daily and served with a variety of pluses, beans and veggies that compliment it. The bread arrives in a soft, round pizza shape and traditionally you tear off a piece by hand and wrap it around some delightful filling and enjoy! You can request forks and knives if needed. The avocado salad mixture as an appetizer is rich and tasty, and the lentil triangle pockets with the special hot sauce is sure to delight you. The décor as well as the staff exude a gentle elegance.
Traveling further north, we found a fine KOREAN/ JAPANESE restaurant called TORO in the Fishkill area. We begin with an excellent green salad with avocado and ginger dressing, which is always good to get on the side. They feature a delicious tempura appetizer with a composite blend of veggies and delectable dipping sauce. My favorite side dish is the Oshinko Pickle Platter. It comes with five different varieties of fermented delicacies along with fresh bamboo sprouts. Each have their own texture, color, and flavor. All fermented foods have a pleasing effect on the digestion system. These pickled treats are tartly sweet, a perfect complement to a fine, filling meal.
The chain restaurant PANERA is a favorite for its many convenient locations and consistently prepared dishes. The two branches we visited are in Danbury next to the new Whole Foods Market, and the other is in Fishkill on Rt. 9. We aim for the delicious tomato vegetable soup served every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Just ask them to leave out the pesto (which is not vegan) and order the sesame semolina bread toasted which is vegan, as many are not. Their salads are fresh and quite generous. Their “everything” bagel is a treat food which should be savored, since weight watchers claims it is equivalent to 6 pieces of bread…but if you can afford it, enjoy it!
Friends…Explore and enjoy your dining-out experience, we certainly are!
AND…HAPPY THANKSLIVING! (Pun intended.) Remember, even American traditions can be updated to ease our carbon footprint as we respect and honor our planet and the animals that dwell among us and have no voice!