twisted soul - poughkeepsie - yum (asian/argentinian)
just got back from lunch at twisted soul in poughkeepsie. it's been open since july or august; owner, lee, is a cia grad at some point. he has a mini-library of cooking books - yeah, there's a martha stewart in there, but he's got marcus samuelsson, daniel boulud, i think eric ripert?, el bulli, french laundry, trotter and a bunch of others.
the restaurant itself is very basic. choices are dumplings, empanadas, noodle bowl and rice bowl to eat, and drinks - smoothies and bubble teas.
we had 3 orders of dumplings (each had 6 dumplings, + some rice / carrots / scallions and sauces, for $6) - one was crab/corn/lemongrass, one was a sausage, and i think the third was a pork. they also had a few other varieties. all were incredibly light, fresh food, and tasted delicious.
we also had 3 empanadas (1.75 each, 3 for $5). one beef, one chicken, one caramlized onion / portobello mushroom / potato. some of the lightest, flakiest empanadas i've had.
the rice bowl and noodle bowl sections were: choose one of them (rice or noodle). choose what type of sauce you want on it (a couple kinds of thai and some others). that costs 5.95. add some chicken, shrimp, tofu? for an additional $2. we didn't have any.
drinks: i had a honeydew smoothie. my friends had a green apple green bubble tea and some other kind, we were all real impressed with them.
came out of here with my friends, and said this (which i think sums it up well): fresh food. lightly cooked. NO GREASE. wonderfully filling.
it's at 44-something (four forty something) main st, poughkeepsie. they're open from 12-8, but lee said he's changing it soon (maybe 11-6?) because no one's showing up after 6. unfortunate, it's about 1 block east of the latest revitalized block...and i just hope they survive, because it's some real nice stuff they're cooking there. i'd heartily recommend it to people who are close to poughkeepsie...
i stopped by there today at 2:30, but it was closed. there was a sign that mentioned that they were taking their baby to the doctor's. hopefully, everything is ok...
update...i went back to twisted soul today. i ordered six dumplings--three pork and three beef. the pork dumplings were excellent, especially with the sweet and sour dipping sauce. they also gave me sriracha sauce, but i'm not a big fan of spice. they tasted really fresh and contained a chinese sausage similar to what you would find in pork shumai. the beef ones were good as well, but they were a little too heavy for my taste. i also ordered a lychee bubble tea. it is SO nice to find boba right in poughkeepsie. the bubble tea was just sweet enough and i thought the texture of the tapioca went perfectly with the lychee taste. the tapioca was a little too tough, but overall, it was really refreshing. on my way out, i ordered more pork dumplings, three beef empanadas, and two 18 hour slow cooked bbq pork butt buns to bring home to my husband. the empanadas were excellent. one of the owners is argentinian, so the taste is authentic. they have light and flaky crusts, with a flavorful beef filling. the pork buns were great! a mound of delicious pulled pork, garnished with some soybean sprouts, sandwiched between two soft pieces of bread, an americanized version of a steamed pork bun (xiao su ba). my husband and i were both very impressed with the fresh quality and the price--less than $30 for everything (this includes twelve dumplings, two pork buns, a bubble tea, and three empanadas).
the space was well-lit, with three or four tables for four. there's a high counter where you can watch the chefs work. both of the owners are really nice and very helpful. it's pretty basic, but the food is great. i am definitely planning to go back and try the rice bowls and the noodle (udon) bowls.
address: 442 main street, poughkeepsie
Thanks, bob gaj, for reporting back. I saw your post Tuesday and decided to take a half day off this afternoon to check this place out - couldn't wait any longer.
I had an order of the sausage dumplings, a sweet potato empanada, and then had two more corn & goat cheese empanadas and a green bubble tea with milk to go. The dumplings were good and fairly authentic, though the dipping sauce is quite different than what I am used to. There was a scoop of jasmine rice comes with the dumplings, which I think is not necessary. The empanada's filling was good, but it was heated in microwave so the crust was not flaky. I'll heat the two that I took home in the oven and see if they come out better crust-wise. The bubble tea was good as well - not the best that I've had in US, but comparable to a lot that I've had in Chinatown or Flushing.
All in all, this is a good place to grab a bit, especially considering it's the ONLY place in Dutchess county that has bubble tea. I'll definitely go back!! (The owner asked me how I ventured into there. I told him that I saw the Chowhound post. He said that many people who went there today also got the store information from Chowhound.)
my daughter and i stopped in at about 11:30 am on Thursday (Dec 20) as Twisted Soul was opening, so we were the first customers of the day. although several specials were listed on a board outside, we decided to sample some of the standard items on the menu. Daughter had a udon noodle bowl with tofu and the malaysian curried coconut sauce. I ordered 6 dumplings (2 each of the pork-cured sausage-ginger; beef-green onion-garlic; and crab-corn-lemongrass) and a sweet potato-caramelized onion-portobello mushroom empanada. It took the owner-chef about 15-20 minutes to prepare our lunches, which were served steaming hot on trays with chopsticks. We liked all the items, which were served with fresh scallion slices and bean sprouts (and chopped peanuts on the noodles). Everything was very fresh tasting, despite the fact that the dumplings are made in large batches and frozen until needed. The noodle bowl was not overwhelmingly spicy but had great curry flavor. of the dumplings, I liked the pork best, followed by the beef, then the crab. the thin translucent wrapping of the latter were falling apart . . . which should not have affected their flavor but somehow it did. What I liked about all the dumplings as well as the empanada was that I could detect each of the ingredients without the main ingredient overwhelming the secondary items (i.e., well balanced fusion of flavors). the cured sausage really enhanced the pork dumplings. the sweet potato component of th empanada was not too sweet which helped bring out the onion and mushroom flavors. unlike the other poster who was there on the same date, I found the empanada to be sufficiently flaky.
The owner plans to continue to experiment with different 'concepts' that he hopes will be unique to Dutchess county, including (possibly) tapas on fri and Sat evenings once spring hits. he is not doing too much advertising and is a bit of a walk from both Vassar and Marist Colleges. I hope he can continue to attract business and stay open as I plan to continue to grab the tasty but light lunches.
it's been a while since i've been back here, but just reporting on their specials.
in addition to the normal stuff above, they had:
asparagus and gorgonzola cheese soup
mushroom and ? dumplings
bbq duck confit / brie cheese arepa
another type of bbq (something) arepa.
and a couple other things. only bad part - i was the only one in there while waiting for my order to go.