Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
222 Albemarle Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
With my big move looming, it was imperative that I make it to Vaccaro's for their Monday night All You Can Eat dessert and coffee special. I have seen this advertised for the last four years I have been in Baltimore and have been aching to experience the sheer gluttony first hand. I finally made the effort yesterday, and met up with Britta for an after dinner binge fest.
The special is only available Monday's from 6-9. It can sometimes be extremely busy so opt to get there early. I had planned on doing my weekly Monday run with the Fed Hill group at 6:30 so I cut the run slightly short and made it to Vaccaro's by 7:15 or so. Nothing like a decent run before a gorge fest. The website features the special at $12.95 but pricing has gone up to $15.50 which seems like a lot but ends up being worth it if you make sure to drink and eat enough, which I certainly did.
I started with a decent portion of traditional Tiramisu (as opposed to the amaretto option) and a double espresso. So yummy. The lady fingers were moist and flavorful.
Tiramisu dish COMPLETE.
Round 2 consisted of the Vaccaro's Sampler; vanilla and chocolate cannolis, almond cookie, pignoli cookie, butter ball, and cream puffs. I wasn't as impressed with this assortment as I was with the Tiramisu. Maybe that's because I was sickly full after the Tiramisu but still pressed on.
Sampler attempt fell short as I left a decent portion of the cream puffs and cookies. I tried my best though :)
Britta also went for the All You Can Eat but was a little more conservative with her selections. She definitely got her moneys worth by ordering to Vaccaro's style cappucinos and the Death by Chocolate cannoli cake with chocolate gelato. It was absolutely enormous and unfortunately, even with the two of us chipping away, we could not conquer this behometh dish.
All in all, definitely worth it for a special occasion. Make sure to skip dinner so you have more room but keep in mind you will be staying up pretty late due to sugar and caffiene overload. Yikes!
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Downtown Takoma Park and the landmarks of my youth...
Farmer's Market Butternut Squash Soup with yellow zucchini, caramelized onions, and a garnish of toasted pine nuts, sour cream, and turkey bacon.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
After sticking around at the finish line area for a bit, my fellow relay mate and some friends needed some post-race nourishment. To my surprise and excitement, it was settled we would rendez-vous after showering, at Abbey Burger Bistro in Fed Hill. I had been craving a beer and a burger The Abbey seemed to be a solid choice...seeing as they specialized in burgers...and beer.
They were packed, lots of other race participants, most of which didn't have the luxury of going home and showering. The staff was very accomodating and even tolerated us huddling by a smaller table near their entry way until a larger table opened up. Drink specials were available; a couple lagers at $2 and $3, not bad.
What enticed me most on the menu was the Build a Burger option available. Similar to my experiences at the Counter in California; a form is provided on a clipboard (part of the kitsch factor) and categories are broken out with check boxes next to the available options for your sandwich concoction. You can customize your burger all the way down to the type of aioli sauce! The options weren't too overwhelming and my eyes went straight to the desired items. Pretzel bun, turkey burger, avocado, homemade mustard with whole mustard seeds, fresh lettuce and tomato and my favorite-the dill yogurt sauce (sounds weird but super yummy for homemade chip dipping- served on the side as requested). The burger was tender and just the right size. I really liked it. The presentation was cute with the traditional toothpick and olive, and the accompanying chips were prepared nice and crispy even amongst the burger juice.
A friend had ordered the "Waffle nachos" from the appetizer menu and didn't realize that it was going to be served with waffle fries instead of nachos. Uhhh...duh. Her bad. None of us got to try this loveliness but I figured I'd still snap a shot before it was sent back. I definitely would have housed it.
Abbey Burger Bistro
1041 Marshall Street, Fed Hill
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Who knew you could find traditional Indian food ingredients at your local food mart?
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The Crafty season is upon us. What does that mean exactly? When I think of Fall, I think of making crafts in my living room with my mom. Carving pumpkins? Glitter, glue sticks and pipe cleaners? Maybe that's just me...
Comment on this post if you would like free tix :)
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006
Finally made it out to the District for brunch with Saki prior to her departure :(
She had been raving about the flavorful cuisine at Founding Farmers since our trip to Woodberry Kitchen for dinner together a couple weeks earlier. Both restaurants boast locally sourced vendors for just about everything; just check the menus for farm locations. Founding Farmer's takes environmental stewardship a step further in gaining LEED gold certification for their restaurant space. And what a lovely space it is! Situated right downtown at the bottom of what appears to be an office building, is an open dining room and bar full of crafty wood tables and wrought iron light fixtures, large windows from floor to ceiling let in more than enough light. We were initially seated in a corner two-top but opted to be swapped to the family style table next to the bar. Much better vantage point for people watching.
So the menu was gargantuous and slightly overwhelming, especially when our waiter brought out the lunch menu too. I dived right into the brunch cocktails. Saki had a spicy bloody mary and I went for some sort of libation with Absinthe... Yikes! Well they brought me the wrong drink which ended up being okay cause he let us sample it regardless. Oh and it was goooood. If only I had taken notes so I could tell you what it was! Nava? Something sweet with a warm brandy after bite.
Moving on. Saki new off the bat that we had to start with the skillet corn bread; an item found on the lunch menu but worked perfectly with our brunch. Ugh...so good. We cut it into slices after smothering the crispy top with butter and honey. Bread was light and moist and ridiculously addictive.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Anyone that ever said they hate grocery shopping obviously have never been to a Wegmans. I finally made time for my first Wegmans adventure this past weekend out in Hunt Valley as I happened to be in the area for a 5K race in the McCormick business district.
This place is indescribable. I have had plenty of conversations about how awe inspiring the Wegmans experience can be but I couldn't grasp the magnitude until this first shopping trip. I plan on making an extra effort to travel the 20 minutes out to Hunt Valley at least once a month to explore the awesomeness of Wegmans. Be sure to give yourself at least 2 solid hours of shopping. Make sure you bring recipes for ridiculously exotic dishes you never thought you would be able to find the ingredients for; especially all at one location because you will find them here.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
SICK Monkey bread. This "appetizer" or ridiculous dessert was unreal. Pecans, cinnamon, bananas, even a decadent chocolate sauce for dipping seated within the monkey bread itself.
The indulgence continued with the "Get Your Grits On" dish; jerk shrimp, fried green tomatoes- a Miss Shirley's specialty- and savory grits with a bacon and roasted corn emulsion. The shrimp were enormous and well seasoned. I could have gone for more grits and less fried green tomatoes; although the texture of the fried tomatoes were a welcome addition.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Chicken Kielbasa sausage with sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms with an avocado spread.
Side of creole flavored rice and beans.
Side of wilted garlic spinach, cabbage and beets.
Old bay pickle garnish.
I am still full.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Here is a run down of the Restaurant Week options I am considering... my course selections are in l'orange :)
*Worth noting- three of my potential selections are Charleston Group Restaurants. They must be doing something right!*
Option 1: Cinghiale (Italian)
Located in Harbor East, has both Enoteca for more casual wine bar feel; Osteria for a white tablecloth, elegant dinner. Been there before, Osteria is a little too fancy for me. Restaurant week course options are minimal...
First Course Options:
Squash Soup- Caprino "Crostini", Basil, Lemon
Local Heirloom Tomato Salad-Fresh Basil, Sportoletti Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Second Course Options:
Garganelli All'Uovo Pasta- Gulf Shrimp, Local Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes
Braised Lamb Leg- Roasted Local Sweet Peppers, Smoked Garlic Sauce
Third Course Options:
Vanilla Panna Cotta- Local Peaches, Amaretti
Local Stone Fruits- Zabaglione, Pound Cake
Option 2: Pazo (Tapas)
Right on outskirts of Harbor East, elaborate Tapas Restaurant with Italian/Spanish/Meditteranian influence-lavish interior, normally very busy.
Pa Amb Tomaquet-toasted country bread, tomato & jamon
Ceviche-tuna, scallops, & shrimp marinated in citrus juices with crispy tortillas
Mixed Olives-five varieties with herbs
Arugula Salad with local summer fruit & sherry vinaigrette
Empanadas with salsa verde
Samfaina-traditional Catalan braise of summer vegetables
Grilled Shrimp with salmoriglio sauce
*I guess you get ALL of these (to share)
Choice of one per guest:
Wood Grilled Strip Steak Smoked potatoes & romescu
Grilled Tuna Summer vegetables & lemon oil
Malloreddus alla Norma house made pasta with eggplant, tomato, garlic & pecorino
Choice of one per guest:
Pazo Chocolate Cupcakes white chocolate mousse & salted caramel
Crema Catalana traditional custard scented with lemon & cinnamon
At least there is a lot of diversity? I like the spectrum of tapas and simple "entree" tapas options. Ambience will always make up for any menu shortcomings; almost.
Option 3: Salt Tavern (New American)
Patterson Park/Butchers Hill area. "Innovative renditions of classic American dishes"- reminds me of Bicycle for some reason...
First Course Options:
House Salad-Fresh mixed greens, marinated tomatoes, kalamata olives, red wine vinaigrette and shaved parmesan regginano
Boston Bibb Lettuce and Watermelon Salad-Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, balsamic reduction
Eastern Shore Corn and Shrimp Chowder-Applewood bacon, fresh thyme
Corvina Ceviche-Ginger, lime, cilantro, aji amarillo, red onion, cusco corn, sweet potatoes
Crispy Hoisin DuckSpring Roll-Spicy chinese, mustard dipping sauce
Steamed Prince Edward Island Mussels-Tomato, basil, roasted garlicSpicy Pork
Manchego Cheese Empanada-Jalapeno jelly, black bean sauce
Second Course Options:
Oven Roasted Salmon-Wilted baby spinach, crab and tomato butter
Grilled Giant Prawns-Roasted chickpeas, lemon, olive oil, garlic brioche
Grilled White Fish Tostados-Cabbage, red onion, avocado, grilled orange, cilantro, queso fresco
Spicy Peanut Braised Pork Shank-Udon noodle stir-fry
Grilled Lamb Sirloin-Curried carrot fritter, watercress and bean salad, feta vinaigrette
Fresh Pasta with Corn, Asparagus and Chiles-Sweet corn butter, fresh thyme, shaved pecorino romano
Grilled Skirt Steak-Plantain, grilled red onions, chimichurri sauce
Third Course Options:
Goat Cheese Donuts-Lavendar honey, vanilla sea salt, coffee ice cream
Fresh Berries-Lemoncello whipped cream on a sweet croissantChocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich-Fresh Meyer Lemon Sorbet with Cookie
Option 4: Louisana Restaurant (French/Creole)
Fells Point. Upscale southern, creole style french cuisine.
First Course Options:
Mixed Field Greens Salad-tossed in a light lemon basil vinaigrette with hearts of palm, roasted Holland red peppers, and crisp parmesan
Red Wine Poached Pears and Candy Walnuts-tossed with mixed field greens, crumble blue cheese and blue cheese vinaigrette
Louisiana crab bisque-garnisheed with jumbo lump crab
Fried Green Tomato's-layered with jumbo lump crab and topped with a citrus chive buerre blanc
Second Course Options:
Blackened Salmon with potato croquette, house vegetable and crayfish buerre blanc
Blackened Jumbo Shrimp and Grits with corn emulsion and vegetables
Slow Cooked Duck Confit with sweet potato, house vegetable and a dried cherry sauce
Grilled Black Angus New York Strip Steak Accompanied with herb potato puree, house vegetables and red wine demiglace
Pan Seared Sea Bass With potato croquette, house vegetable and crayfish buerre blanc (Additional $5.00)
Grilled Black Angus Filet Mignon with herb potato puree, house vegetable and red wine demiglace (Additional $5.00)
Third Course Options:
Bread Pudding Chocolate Mousse
Their special prix fixe menus can be found here.
I need insight people! Reservations must be made tonight for tomorrow's din din.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Jen made mimosas; thanks Jen!
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Bonnaroo performer, Evan Watson headlines alongside local group, Ms. Sarah and the Help.
I have concocted a Baltimore brunch themed menu for the big evening...don't worry, photos will be taken to document food and festivities.
The Lower School has organized a community garden right here on campus! How coooool.
All the hard work this spring looks like it will certainly pay off. Can't wait to see those tomato plants reach the tops of those trellis'. I think there was talk of the produce from this garden supplying some of the needs of the new dining hall? How very sustainable of them.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Owls make great beer spokesmen.
After some interweb perusal, I found that Gracie at Design Sponge - one of my top 5 favorite blogs - scooped me on these darling beers a mere 3 years ago. So what? I'm a little late to the party; but that's cause I'm in Baltimore...what are you gonna do :)
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Ugh. This place is HEAVEN. I have been in Baltimore for nearly 7 years now and never have I ever set foot in the Market side of Belvedere Square. Why did no one spend more time raving about this place?! Belvedere Square is a collection of restaurants and boutiques, tucked away near the corner of Northern Pkwy and York Rd. So I have spend multiple Sunday mornings "in the square" at Ryan's Daughter for their brunch; but never in the actual Market. Little did I know what I was missing :)
Look at this lunch. This is why I eat. Neopol Smoked Salmon Salad with Ceriello Grilled Vegetables on a bed of greens for lunch! I couldn't decide on a single dish from just one seller so I chose some sauteed veggies from the prepared foods case at Ceriello (sorta expensive- $9/lb) and then opted for a half portion smoked salmon salad from Neopol. A harmonious blend of flavors and was actually very filling. I can't even fathom finishing the full portion of this. The smoked salmon salad may seem like a foreign concept but it works, seriously. The salmon is smoked on premise and then mixed with a light amount of mayo, herbs and some standard seasonings to make for a delicious salad. The texture was not off putting as one might find mushy fish to be.
Looking forward to my next lunch break at the Market. But next time, I will be sure to leave room for dessert from one of the other neighborly vendors.
Here's a short list of the Market sellers in case anyone's interested. I hope to sample something from each at some point before...I leave Baltimore?
Excellent artisan baked goods, soups and sandwiches...expensive but worth it.
Ice cream and sweet treats.
Ceriello Fine Foods
Italian grocery with a fabulous prepared foods selection...fresh mozz and homemade bottled sauces for sale!
Don't know...didn't stop by but I'm sure it's good.
Fromagerie, associated with Atwater's. J'adore fromage!
Darling wine bar. Very low key and unpretentious looking.
Ikan Seafood & Sushi
Everybody needs a sushi joint.
More Atwater's affiliates...specialty bakery with gourmet tea & coffee.
Fresh produce I presume.
Neopol Savory Smokery
I dream about their cheese spreads; the presentation is beyond adorable. (see below)