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twisted soul - poughkeepsie - yum (asian/argentinian)

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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...

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  1. 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...

    1. 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
      tel: 845-705-5381

      1. 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.)

        1. 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.

          1. 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
            shrimp/crawfish/? dumplings
            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.

            1. 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
              shrimp/crawfish/? dumplings
              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.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bob gaj

                i'm actually eating one of their beef empanadas right now...delicious...=) apparently, they will be introducing tapas sometime next week. they are also planning to have a sit-down dinner service on fridays and saturdays. i'm very curious to see the new concepts twisted soul is coming up with...

              2. good news - tapas are here @twisted soul! i have NOT gone yet (couldn't last night or tonight), but will be going either next friday or saturday. here's the deal:

                it's from 7 - 10 pm, friday and saturday night. they're apparently rearranging the way the place looks internally...it will be byo(wine) until they get their liquor license. some of the tapas include lamb burger sliders, pork belly, tuna tartare. i can't remember the others i was told...

                oh, the pork buns are "18 hour slow cooked bbq pork sticky buns".

                i've tried a few things there, the only one which wasn't a hit with me was the noodle concept. had the arepas again yesterday, and loved 'em.

                btw, sunday is closed.

                i'll report back after next weekend - i'm just hoping it's good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bob gaj

                  So glad to hear that they're still there. I haven't been for a while and am so afraid that they'd be close by the time I get around to go.

                  Do they still have the milk ball tea and the dumplings??

                2. My bestfriend and I went to lunch at the Twisted soul on thursday 9 (sept.4). Let me just say that i was definetley impressed. I was new to everything. We had so many questions, and they were so patiend with us and answered all of them. I had a green apple bubble tea. something new, but def. delicious. i had 3 chicken empanadas and my friend had a pulled pork arepa.DELICIOUS! Twisted Soul is going to be big, i just know it!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ms_jasmin555

                    So glad to hear that it's still open!! I really should go there more often!! Their dumplings are also good with the thin wrapper. I always ask to substitute a scoop of rice with veggies, as dumplings are starchy enough for me. I may need to go there today to just get a bubble tea!

                  2. i went to twisted soul on friday and lee mentioned that they will most likely be moving to raymond avenue, near julie's restaurant, by april 1. i think it'll be a good move for them...the college kids will love the bubble tea. i'm happy that the drive to get good empanadas and tasty dumplings will be a little shorter for me.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: applesauce23

                      sweet! i wasn't going to comment publicly on this, but i'm way psyched. a little closer to me as well, applesauce (i'm in p.v.)

                      it's hard for them; the area hasn't built up as it should have, and i know people who work in the area who will gladly go to lunch on main st, but not walk the several blocks down from the civic center because of the stigma.

                      they've periodically been in the vassar's farmer's mkt; i'm guessing they'll do a bang-up business over there soon. and i can't wait to see what happens with the evening menu; i'm already excited about it.

                    2. Finally went here about a week ago with my roommate. We enjoyed it! I'm glad to hear they are moving, they will do *much* better business on Raymond I'm sure. I had the noodle bowl with shrimp and I forget which sauce. The noodles tasted prepackaged and didn't have the flavor I'd really like. Other than that everything was great. My roommate had dumplings with crab and we each had a smoothie...delicious! We each also had an empanada to start and we enjoyed it. We liked the atmosphere of the place (once you get inside the front door anyway)!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Solstice444

                        the news as of a couple weeks ago...

                        twisted soul will be moving to raymond ave, i believe it's next to mike's laundromat? if you drive by there, you can see a small vacant store on the west side of the street, across from the pizza/pool hall. that's where they will be going.

                        the anticipated opening is april, i think there's only going to be a very minimal downtime. the GREAT news is that they will be serving a slightly different dinner menu on the weekend evenings, which will include the normal things, but also other dishes, more similar to the small-plates menu they were serving earlier last year.

                        if you stuck that idea (small plates of things such as foie gras, etc.) next to marist, i don't think it would work so well. but near vassar, and in a new location? i think (and hope) it will be a smashing success.

                        as an aside...the noodle dish is one of the few things i *don't* like on their menu. the chicken wings are hit or miss, usually hit. arepas are incredible. and i unfortunately never got their "to go" meals for holidays, should check and see if they have any offered for easter time.

                        1. re: bob gaj

                          I *finally* went this afternoon on my day off, and I'm kicking myself that it took me so long to visit!

                          Had the pulled pork arepa, sweet potato empanada, and ginger lemonade with basil seeds.I was completely indecisive about what to order and they were so patient with me offering up recommendations and telling me a bit about each dish (I wanted it all!). Everything as delicious - the arepa was incredible!

                          I will definitely be going back, and frequently. Delicious, filling & affordable. Looking forward to some dumplings next time around.

                          Oh, They also confirmed that they will be in the new space by April 1st.

                      2. I forgot to mention that I was amused by the music selection... a tv playing old David Bowie music videos! And I liked how they had a selection of books, mostly cookbooks, displayed in a bookcase for customers to browse.

                        1. Went there last night for dinner...had a chicken empanada, beef dumplings, and a passion fruit smoothie. I enjoyed it. For a Tuesday night, the business didn't seem all that bad, considering people are probably still discovering it...there was a family in there, as well as two twenty-something girls, and someone came in and got take out while I was eating as well. I liked the atmosphere of their new space. I was again delighted by the music, this time it was Police music videos playing on the tv, I wonder if it's some special channel or if they just have DVDs of 70's and 80's music videos that they play. They have a "specials" menu, the chickpea fries with pea puree were on there, and I almost got them since I remember them getting a good review on here! But I did not. A couple of specialty noodle dishes, dumplings, and smoothies were on the specials menu as well.

                          1. latest update to twisted soul...bahn mi and noodle selections!

                            first, they've got a new noodle offering. served in a large bowl, it's a broth with noodles and the selection, in my friend's case, he got chicken and ginger. the positive kicker is you have your own choice of noodles: pho/rice noodles, udon, soba, korean sweet potato, thin wonton, or lo mein. he said it was really good.

                            the bahn mi...it's not "authentic" because it doesn't have pate on it, but mine tasted great. it was bbq pork with cilantro and a few other veggies/condiments on a baguette, and was absolutely delicious.

                            i talked with them and found out they will be varying the meats inside the bahn mi, other possibilities will include a southern influenced one (with chao chao), an indian one, and one other one.

                            and it appears chickea fries are now on the "regular" menu.

                            i couldn't get back this week, but know i'll be stopping in again next week...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: bob gaj

                              this is great! i just tried bahn mi for the first time last week and i was wondering if i had to go to the city to get my next one. i am definitely checking it out tomorrow. thanks for the heads up, bob!

                              1. re: applesauce23

                                i really, really enjoyed the bbq pulled pork bahn mi. definitely a twist on the original, but delicious. my daughter loved her udon noodles in miso soup. they have a whole slew of new offerings on their menu:
                                drinks: bubble milk mate cocido, yuzu lemonade, soy milk bubble teas (mango, green apple, peach, kumquat, litchi, strawberry), hot mexican chocolate, chai...
                                smoked tofu steamed buns, chocolate chicken (w/feta cheese, red onions and cilantro), soup noodle bowls and fried noodle bowls...

                                i really love how they add such diverse offerings to their menu. it's great that i don't have to trek into the city to get my bubble tea too. lol.

                            2. well, latest twisted soul update...

                              the bahn mis are yummy, though some are just called "twisted baguettes".

                              i really like the pies they're sometimes serving as specials! one was a braised spare rib pie with goat cheese, arugula? and something else. very flaky and good. the one that took the cake, however, was an apple pie with pork belly and something else...i wasn't sure if it would go together well, but oh boy, did i love it...

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: bob gaj

                                bob, have you tried the braised short rib bahn mi? it's delicious! the last time i went there, my friend tried the short rib pie w/goat cheese and arugala. she loved it. i'll definitely check out the pork belly apple pie. their cupcakes are quite yummy as well.

                                1. re: applesauce23

                                  apple - i've had the braised bahn mi, loved it. my pie that i mentioend above might have been short rib rather than spare, i was doing it from memory.

                                  i feel like i could go there several times a week...not sure if i mentioned it above, but my wife loves the chickpea baguette...

                              2. brenda let me know that they have a website (some links under construction) up...the great thing is that they have their menu online. it's so extensive that it's a little difficult for me to explain to my friends what exactly they serve.

                                love their bbq pulled pork bahn mi, btw...and just tried this delicious chocolate cupcake with dulce de leche frosting yesterday.

                                i really wish they delivered to my house...lol.

                                http://www.twistedsoulconcepts.com/home

                                1. couple new dishes @ twisted soul that deserve mention..

                                  first, they have some chicken lumpias, which are filipino spring rolls. they only give you 4 (for $6), but they're incredibly tasty. my wife said they were deceptively filling for small spring rolls (which they are), but the flavor jumps out of the chicken.

                                  they also have a chick pea cake dish. wife had that, thought there was some spice in the cake (don't know if it's true). also came with a tomato raita (a middle eastern style yogurt supplement) and some banana 'relish', which was bananas and maybe something like tomatoes/onions/cilantro cut up into a small side. she thought that was great flavor combos.

                                  took some friends here from hoboken and nyc, and they thought it was great. if you live near POK and haven't come here, it's a must-do in poughkeepsie for lunch.

                                  1. twisted soul is now putting some more soul in their food...

                                    they're now offering "soul fridays" - 2 pieces of chicken (leg/thigh), collared greens, choice of sweet potatoes or fried plaintains, biscuit, mac/cheese for $10. they've had it for a couple weeks now, i just happened to stumble in their earlier in the day on friday.

                                    the chicken is either traditional fried, or 'twisted' - what that means is, each week, they are putting some different kinds of spices on the fried chicken. i think this week's was indian? not sure...was having it with my kids, and this was their first time having fried chicken.

                                    chicken was very juicy, cooked nicely. kids loved it, and now want to know when we're next having fried chicken. collared greens - i'm not a fan, but ate all of this (and i had extra; i now know my kids don't like greens or yams). mac and cheese has been on twisted soul's menu for a while, so that's the norm. biscuits weren't as fluffy as i'd like, but i suspect southern biscuits are supposed to taste as these did.

                                    oh! almost forgot the gravy. if you get the chicken, *please* put the gravy on it. the chicken tasted good, the gravy made it exquisite.

                                    they've pruned down the menu a bit at twisted soul as well. they are no longer having so many specials during the week, but are having friday and saturday for lots of specials. so this week had the normal things + some stuff like the lumpia, and yuca fries (and moong bean fries, i believe?) , but apple pie + pork belly, and i think a short rib pie as well? and some other stuff on there that i forget, plus they had a couple of special empanadas. i haven't seen bahn mis on the menu in a while, so if it's there, they'll only appear on the weekend special menu.

                                    and they've added a bunch of desserts on their menu as well! unfortunately, we have apple pie at home or i'd have tried some. applesauce likes their cakes, so i'm guessing that the mini pies are good as well.

                                    oh, applesauce, since i don't have a way to email you directly, thanks for responding on that rhinebeck post where someone asked if i was the owner of a shop. right...it takes allof 30 seconds to click on my name and see my posts to figure out that's not the case. as a side note, if i see a new person posting about something, i'll click on their name to see their posting history at chowhound. if they're new, i help; if they have 20 posts, and 18 of them are where they originate the thread and never followup, i won't respond to their new inquiries.

                                    anyhow, there's your twisted soul update.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bob gaj

                                      no problem, bob! =)

                                      i went to twisted soul on monday and i just wanted to add that there are more desserts (twisted sweets). i haven't tried any of the new offerings, but there is a brownie cake with dulce de leche, a cupcake with caramel frosting and popcorn, and a new cookie (it's similar to the alfajores, but the cookie part is different). i alse tried a new dish....ramen with grilled chicken (made with vegetable stock)...perfect for a chilly day.

                                    2. had some of their indian flavored buttermilk thighs (special) last night, yummy. also, they had a 'fettucini alfredo" special - it was king oyster mushrooms cut like noodles, with tofu and chives. i could swear i've had it before there a long time ago, but it was really amazing.

                                      they've also added a "bad ass" rice special which appears more frequently - rice with thai chiles? i think, cashews, 2 types of dried mangos, and choice of either smooth pork cracklins (not the ones i was used to) or smoked tofu, both of which go great with it.

                                      i'm constantly amazed at what is served there for a very affordable price.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: bob gaj

                                        from all of your reviews & menu items I wish this place was closer to white plains...now I'll have to jump in the car. are they open sundays?

                                        1. re: cubanat

                                          not open on sundays, but open the rest of the week from noon - 8.

                                          they have a much greater variety of food during friday/saturday than the rest of the week. however, they tend to get busy quickly during dinner time on those two days, so you might want to get there either just before, or after 7 (they're open til 8). the dishes i mentioned, the 2 thighs / indian dish was i think 7.95, alfredo dish 5 (but very small), bad ass rice 4.95 or 5.95? lumpias are 5.95/6.95 depending on filling (there are 4 / order), chickpea fries / yuca fries are about 4.75 or so.

                                          although i *really* love this place (and it's quite obvious), it's hard to say come up here from white plains just for it. however, if you're doing other things in the area (ie. walkway over the hudson, the cia, various wine trails / cheese places), i can highly recommend it. some friends of mine from nyc came up last summer and we had lunch there, a bunch of different dishes that we were splitting, and they were quite impressed and satisfied.

                                          1. re: bob gaj

                                            thanks for reply bob gaj. The drive would kill me but we'll see...

                                      2. Quick report of a new treat at Twisted Soul: macaroons!

                                        I tried Brenda's pistachio dulce de leche macaroons today and quickly ordered three dozen more for a party I'm attending this weekend. They are absolutely delicious. The delicate crunchy texture of the macaroons work perfectly with the flavor of the pistachios and the dulce de leche filling was amazing as usual.

                                        I'm not sure if they're going to have them all the time, but look for these treats if you stop by. If they happen to have their Argentinean bread pudding, get that too. There goes my summer diet. LOL.

                                        1. they've now opened a cupcakes branch in the galleria mall. the store has cupcakes as well, but they are also at the mall.

                                          they are 2.50 each , and have 20 (!) varieties. i'm not a cupcakes person, but the strawberry cheesecake one (vanilla cake + strawberry filling + creme cheese + dried strawberries) sounded interesting.

                                          1. update to things.

                                            twisted soul is still doing their stuff, with more cupcakes and desserts in the main location, but they've opened two new locations.

                                            one is vegan/vegetarian-centric, near marist college, and is called naked food concepts. haven't tried it, but i'm not their target audience.

                                            the other is across the street from twisted soul, called intro. the basic idea is the food is already prepared and waiting in some keep-warm device, and is like a higher end dinner to-go. they change the menu weekly; i've been and had a delicious pork dish with brussel sprouts? and a couple sides. there are usually 2 or 3 options for the 'main', i think each week the sides change but are the same across each main dish. i've also seen vegetarian options (one was king oyster mushroom). it's $12, and the interesting part is it tastes fresh (even though it was prepared earlier), and takes less than 5 minutes to order your food and leave the store.