I wish I could still go to Mino…

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I just recently took my little brother to see a few of the Universities in New York and it brought back a bunch of memories. As we walked around the campuses, our tour guides gave us the historical and quirky information they were trained to give and I found myself wondering, what about the important questions? Like, How’s the food? Okay, don’t worry. I haven’t been making my little brother make his decision on what he’ll be eating but lets be honest. What you eat, and where you eat it are integral components of the memories made in college…

Skidmore had mediocre food. A decent assortment and a few daily specials but certainly not enough variety and quality to keep me satisifed. Yet, a half a mile from campus, the town of Saratoga Springs was filled with restaurants and specialty shops of all sorts that certainly made up for what the campus lacked. I could write for days about all the places and memories associated with them. From the mexican restaurant (Leon’s) that stayed opened when the entire town lost power for three days, to the pizza place (Caputos) a small drive from town that to date is still the best I have ever had. Or the late night bike rides to Uncommon Grounds, a unique coffee shop in the middle of town. Or what about the gourmet sandwiches at Putnam Market. All of these places were great and all are ingrained in my head, but there is no question the restaurant I frequented the most, was Mino.

Mino was an unbelievable Japanese restaurant. I say “was” because it unfortunately closed during my senior year (although there was stirring it was going to re-open). The menu was simple but everything was delicious. We always wondered how they served such fresh fish and at such a great price. Most Skidmore students went to Sushi Thai, an Asian Fusion restuarant that made everything mediocre at best (I’ve never liked Asian Fusion). But not us. We went to Mino. I would put it up against any of the sushi restaurants in the city. One of the best dishes at Mino was their Yaki Udon. As much as I love sushi, it was always hard to pass up on udon noodles sauteed with vegetables and meat with a light and savory sauce. It is a dish I have always attempted to replicate without much sucess. When I’ve gotten close on the flavor, I was lacking in the lightness of the dish. When I tried to make the sauce lighter, I was missing the flavor. But not this time. Using a tip I found online, this Yaki Udon finally lived up to these old standards. Nori and Bonito added the savory component to the sauce and the napa cabbage and ribeye steak were perfect compliments to the udon noodles. Although my old roomates and I won’t have new memories of Mino to enjoy, I’m excited to have them come visit soon so I can share with them my Yaki Udon.

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