napaJapan, a few of my favorite things

My post about my first order from napaJapan is my most consistently “popular”. Week in and week out, it is the post that continually gets hits. Maybe people want to see what I ordered, maybe they want to know if they can trust ordering from Jason at napaJapan. Well, let me set your mind at ease if that’s the case, they are incredibly reliable and 100% on the level. I just checked my account (they conveniently save your old orders so you can remember what you’ve ordered!), and I’ve placed over 40 orders from there over the past couple of years. I was going to post how much I’ve spent, but after doing the math…uh…I’d rather not. 🙂

Anyway, given the obvious interest out there, and the number of items I’ve purchased, I thought maybe I would put together a list of some of my favorite things from past napaJapan orders – things I buy over and over again and some of the limited edition stuff. So if you’re thinking of placing an order but aren’t sure about spending the money on stuff you might not like, maybe this will help you go for it and at least have some security that you can get some recommended items! A while back I did start to keep a spreadsheet of things I’d ordered and how they were…Jason carries so many items, and so many come in and out of stock due to seasonal manufacturing or whatever, that I had trouble keeping track of what I’d tried and what I want to keep ordering.

Also, in these less than comfortable financial times, I hope everyone keeps supporting small businesses if they can, even ones on the other side of the world that sell candy and snacks. Import and postal restrictions have started to have an impact on napaJapan. The slow (and least expensive) shipping option that I always pick is not currently available as the Japanese post office won’t accept these packages due to flight shortages. And some countries will not accept shipments. Plus deliveries are slower. For now the USA is OK, but depending on what country you live in, check with the site to be sure they can ship to you for the immediate future.

One more quick note – sign up for their mailing list at the bottom of the page. About once a month you’ll get an email with some new items and whatever deal Jason is running – a percentage off with a certain $ purchase and/or some free stuff, etc. If you have any interest, sign up. So let’s get to it!
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New Celadon Thai, Same as the old Celadon Thai

And that’s a GOOD thing!

I was pretty excited when I saw Steve Barnes twittering that Celadon Thai’s new location, in the space that used to be Cella Bistro on Rosa Rd in Schenectady, was opening as this location is much more accessible for us than Latham. We were looking for something quick on Saturday and that never would have been Celedon before, but this time it was a good choice.

Please be aware that there are definitely some opening kinks to be worked out. Among them, they’re looking for more servers, so if you’re looking, stop by and see them! We’ve been to the Latham location maybe a dozen times and had chatted with the owner a few times, very casually and briefly. Nevertheless, she recognized us when she brought out our fried dumpling appetizer. Trust me, restaurateurs, this goes a long way to bringing back customers. She was so sweet and appreciative of our congratulations on the new location.

As for the food, it seemed pretty much the same. I didn’t recognize any of the servers I saw, but don’t know who is doing the cooking. My only qualm was that my ‘2’ spice level Duck Basil stir fry wasn’t spicy at all, but I’m going to chalk that up to harried server error. Otherwise it tasted like the dish I usually got in Latham.

We never went to Cella Bistro (menu not our thing), but the space is nice enough, although parking isn’t abundant. There were too many people put off by a short wait for their online order, which is ridiculous. They JUST OPENED and you’re ticked about an extra 5 to 10 minute wait for an order you conveniently placed from your computer or phone?

Please support these great people and their delicious food.

Tried the revamped City Squire Pub

The wife and I finally decided to give the new incarnation of the City Squire Pub a try. We went to the City Squire pretty regularly before it closed, despite not being drinkers (at all in one case and barely in the other). We went for the food, which was generally pretty reliable (with absolutely fantastic wings). That, coupled with the super convenient location, was a big draw considering the dearth of restaurants of the type in the immediate vicinity. The menu for the revamped pub isn’t exactly chock full of things my wife would eat, so we hadn’t gotten around to trying it earlier. Continue reading

More Mazadar

Hopefully you already saw my post raving about the still newish Mazadar Mediterranean Kitchen. Well, let’s just say that they remain a must visit. We probably go there every two weeks or so. I wanted to update locals on some other items we’ve tried.

The falafel is really good. Crispy on the outside, tender and not dried out inside. I’m not convinced it’s housemade, but it’s good.

I also tried the Mazburger. Not going to lie, I felt a bit funny getting a burger at a spot like this, but I just didn’t feel like Mary*. Well, I’m happy to report that this is not an incongruous choice. While the menu description reads like a standard get-one-anywhere burger, that is NOT the case. Everything that cradles the burger patty is fairly standard – melty American cheese, shredded lettuce, ketchup, mayo, delicious pickles, sesame seed bun…but, oh, that patty. This hand-formed patty is not just grass fed beef, it’s richly seasoned and seems to be the same meat you would get if you ordered a kofta skewer, just in patty form as a burger. Delicious. The fries that come with it as a “meal” are standard crispy hospitality battered fries, but cooked perfectly.

Mazadar is nailing it and has expanded their menu. Please check them out. Oh, and service is efficient and friendly, too!

Beerless at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

We recently ate at the BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse on Wolf Road as a dining companion wanted to try it out. Right off the bat I want to point out that 3 of us don’t drink beer and the 4th didn’t order beer, so I guess you know I can only report on the food. With that out of the way, let’s carry on. Continue reading

Universal Orlando Resort trip report early 2019

It’s that time again, off-topic lovers! More food and fun from Universal Orlando Resort during our February/March Florida trip this year. This time, after pricing up the options, we got annual passes for just a bit more than the 2-park, park-to-park passes for our trip. SOLD! 🙂 That means we just have to go back for a single day in the next 15 months to come out ahead and admission is free every day after that. Pretty cool. And with the new Hagrid coaster opening in June, well, it’s pretty much guaranteed. Anyway, below you’ll find a report on the rides and sights and stay and, especially, the food. Here’s the Islands of Adventure lighthouse from our first night for your enjoyment!

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