Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flowermart in Mt Vernon

Looking forward to Flowermart this weekend.
May 1-3
Mt Vernon Parks

Monday, April 27, 2009

TTWSS/Falls Rd at Port to Fort 6k

Falls Road Running/TTWSS runners swept the Port to Fort 6K top positions! Results here


After practice on Friday, I made my way out with the fam to Clementine in Hamilton on Harford Road. I had been there one time before within their first month of opening and had been underwhelmed. With all the glowing endorsements as of late, I thought I would give it another shot. We got there on the earlier side for dinner, so there was no wait, plus we had made reservations. My sister had the toughest time making a decision, mostly because every entree was a bit out of her comfort zone; each dish containing some sort of obscure ingredient and/or technique that confused instead of intrigued. I paid no mind to the foreign words and just ordered with my gut.

First course for my dad and I was a mixed green salad with artichoke hearts, anchovies and "jamon" (just say ham in the menu- jeez!) The dressing was refreshing and the meaty ingredients really complimented eachother well. Clementine boasts their own Charchuterie where the cure their own meat; hence the delicate and quite flavorful ham.

My sis went for the traditional mac n cheese. She was not enthused with the tomato chunks and scallion accents. I thought it looked pretty but didn't add much in terms of flavor. Wish the cheese would make its way all the way through the layers of noodles... seems to be a perpetual problem as I encountered this last time. Still good but more cheese is always a plus.

I was very happy with my stuffed peppers entree. I honestly could have just had one pepper but I am not one to take home left overs so I ate both anyway. Peppers were stuffed with hearty rice and beans and smothered with cheese. Yum! The sauces added some moisture and tangy flavors. Really well balanced veggie dish.
My dad got a fish dish that sounded really good in the detailed menu description. It must have been good because he barely stopped to speak during consumption :) I didn't snag a bite but trust his word.

We had to rush but made time for a quick dessert, sorry no picture. All desserts are made in house; we decided on the coconut cake with some sort of 7 minute icing or something? The waitstaff kept emphasizing this one baking point but I don't remember the significance. Either way, the cake was fluffy and icing with coconut shavings was pure decadence. Will go for the brownie with bourbon creme next time. J'adore FOOOOOD!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cheesesteaks and Penn Relays

Alright, so running track and highly caloric cheesesteaks with cheese whiz don't usually coexist but at Penn Relays anything can happen.
So, I made the trip out with the Towson 4x100 and 4x400 to Philadelphia on Thursday for Penn Relays! Always something to look forward to; not only because of the phenomenal relay performances but the worldly cuisine attributed to the Jamaican street vendors that set up shop on Walnut and South street...every other year but this year. No jerk chicken, no goat curry, no plantains. It was heartwrenching, I have no idea why they weren't there this year, but it completely blew my lunch plans.

Between Relays I settled on an organic and vegan-friendly tomatu ragu, rice, tofu and veggie wrap from Magic Carpet Foods- a cart I found right outside the park by UPenn on Walnut? Pretty good stuff, definitely need to remember that place. Wrap was followed by a ginormous fruit salad from a fruit stand just next door.

I am obsessed with the food carts in Philly. Why can't Baltimore jump on the bandwagon? They are convenient, quick and most importantly ridiculously good!
This cart is right outside UPenn's stadium on Walnut. I made 3 trips there...one for breakfast (bagel with egg and cheese), one for Roger's cheesesteak, and one more for Ross' cheesesteak to-go. GREAT cart; they've been right in that spot for about 50 years?
Our 4x100 was a little lackluster with some shaky handoffs but we came back and won our heat in the 4x400, so that was a nice end to the day. Links to the videos on Flotrack are above.

Of course we had to stop for dinner and what better a meal then more cheesesteaks! This one was a bit off the radar, outside of the city and off the interstate. I can't remember the name but will fill that in later...

From Left to Right: Chicken Cheesesteak, Cheesesteak with lettuce and tomatoes, Cheesesteak BBQ style...yeah

Friday @ Penn Relays- I didn't make the trip out with the team because I gotta make that money, but I did want to mention our Shuttle Hurdle Relay team won their heat in a blistering 59.32, placing 7th overall. Great Job Towson!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Morning Temptations...

This is the sole reason mornings at work are so hard!!!!

Fenwick Bakery goodies baked fresh this morning- still warm!
So far I've only sampled the strawberry danish...may have to go for a cheese :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

30 Day Challenge

Mr Yogato is OPEN for business.

Ross and I are attempting the 30 day challenge...after 30 consecutive days of froyo goodness, they will name a flavor/toppings combination after you!

If I can make it through, I will do something like...tangy froyo, mango, mochi, and granola. What should I call it? Ross is definitely all over the tangy froyo, cookie crisps, fruity pebbles and banana toppings. I have to admit, 3 days in I am already getting a little over-yogurtfied.

The layout is adorable; there is a back lounge area with lots of funky seating, vibrant colors and lots of character. The front of house boasts table top games like Connect 4, Guess Who and Operation!!! There's a nintendo and TV set up in the corner for anyone inclined to regress back to grade school gaming days :) It's super cute and VERY inviting...I just hope the novelty of it doesn't wear off.

Ross and Jenn diving into their sweet treats during our first visit.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yay for Puppy Parties! The MD SPCA threw a stellar event this past Sunday at Druid Hill Park to raise funds for their facility and their pups. Cici, Ross and I, along with our pack Tailwaggers & Co. galavanted around the reservoir and stopped at a couple vendor booths for doggie treats along the way. Our pack raised nearly $1,000 for the Maryland SPCA! Back in 2005, I adopted Cecilia from the SPCA; we've been best buds ever since.

Here are a couple highlights from the March...

We spent the majority of our time at the BROOD booth sun bathing with some other fellow bassets. Here is Cici with 9 month old Sam who is up for adoption and Milton's butt all the way to the left.

Umm...here's the turtle pet. He walked/crawled faster than Cici and didn't even need a leash.

Corgi Puppy=LOVE! So cute...Her name was Elfi! Only 9 and a half weeks old. I must have one!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fine Dining on Eastern Ave

First time at Matthew's Pizza last night. Made a quick stop after getting off 95 at the Eastern exit. I am way less familiar with this side of 95 but invite any breaks from monotony. So I know this place has been around for like EVER (50 years +?) but like I said, I tend to stick to my terriroty...Midtown. Well I shouldn't have been surprised by the quaint arrangements inside; I did expect more of a take-out vibe with a counter and waiting area but instead, I was pleased to find several occupied tables. A family sang Happy Birthday to a beaming 5 year old, an older couple relaxed with a bottle of wine and anchovie pizza...very homey and inviting :)

Great Art on the walls, even though it's kinda kitchy. They may have had the majority of their success in the 80s and 90s when it comes to regional recognition and awards, but they still have the charm. AND damn good pizza. Fresh ingredients, homemade pizza dough, imported cheese and ridiculously good bruschetta...which is what I got. Ross went for the crab pizza which was very good- unique interpretation with no sauce, red or white; just cheese and crab! Dough came out lightly crisped but still chewy enough. Will totally go back for what I like to call- "date night in sweatpants". Label reserved for dining environments that are conducive to sweatpants :)

Check out this ancient soda fridge. LOVE IT.

Matthew's Pizza
3131 Eastern Ave
(410) 276-8755

Friday, April 10, 2009

A year older...

Here I am the day after my birthday, a year older, a year wiser....eh, who am I kidding I'm the same. Nothing has changed.

BUT! I had a stupendous birthday! It's so fun being overwhelmed with birthday wishes via phone, text, ecards, and through actual human interaction. There's so many ways to wish someone happy birthday these days! A superb friend, Sarah visited at work over lunch and brought me a schmorgasboard of goodies from Chocolatea. I have blogged about this Charles Village dessert cafe before, but have yet to go. The hot chocolate was phenomenal with a touch of chipotle pepper adding some heat on the way down, several truffles that were immediately devoured AND the proverbial "icing on the cake" was a pastry and baking cook book from San Fransisco Bakery, Tartine. SOOOO excited to start baking! Brioches, galletes, and tarts galore! And I love the Sarah's personal touch on the inside cover- " Life is Short, Eat Dessert First!" This was certainly the anecdote of the day...

I had a lovely visit with some long lost childhood friends...once they found their way and got un-lost... here's Elana molesting my basset. tee hee.

For dinner, Ross and I waffled between a sundry of fancy restaurant options but sprung for Tapas at Tapas Teatro in Mt Vernon. Haven't been there in quite some time and the charm was certainly still there. Portions seemed to have evolved from the "small plate" tapas mentality to legit courses. Where normally Ross and I can split a total of 6 different tapas, I could barely get past two! Everything was lovely and very salty! I like salt so a little extra sea salt is right up my alley. Specials we sampled included asparagus soup, cod fritters, and a lamb shoulder with a tangy sauce adding some extra spunk served on rice. Dessert came later...

A quick trip across town and we made it just before closing to Vaccaro's in Little Italy. We figured we would just get our sugar fest to go which was a good idea because I would have been way embarassed to eat as much as I did in public. Cappucino, a collection of italian biscotti and baked goods, and a hefty portion of tiramisu. Oh and of course we had to try the gelato, Ross settled on a pint of mint chocolate chip. Wow, I'm getting nauseous just typing about it.

Needless to say, this morning was rough...Birthday success.

Monday, April 06, 2009

I Spy...

a kitty!
I just had to share this with the 1 or 2 people who read this blog- yeah, my cat enjoys cuddling in our dirty laundry...

Picturesque Baltimore?

Caught this rainbow at the end of practice on Friday in Unitas Stadium...short lived but beautiful.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Artwork at Evergreen

** Update: Found out the name of this artist-Eli Halpin** LOVE IT!

During a morning coffee run to Evergreen, stumbled upon these little lovelies...

I need to go back and look at the artist's name. I wonder if they are for sale!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Elated by Elevation Burger?

BF and I made it to Elevation Burger in Harbor East on Monday for there Grand Opening. Dinner rush was not off putting at all, the line was short and the menu even shorter, making quick selections that much easier. The whole appeal is "healthy alternatives"... cooking fries in olive oil, grass-fed happy cows and fresh ingredients and toppings.

I tried the "Half the Guilt" burger, comprised of one beef patty and one veggie patty with cheeeeeese. There were two veggie options available to choose from. One that is vegan and one is more veggie-esque? I didn't quite get the difference but opted for the veggie-tasting one anyway. The selection of toppings were stellar; ranging from the norm lettuce, tomato, to the more obscure balsamic mustard and hot pepper relish. The caramalized onions were on point. It was nice to have ripe tomatoes too. Those pale, almost white variety at the other burger joints don't really add much...Overall I dug the burger. Nice to be able to have the best of both worlds- meat and veggie patties unite! Next time I might shoot for the "Vertigo Burger", a build your own burger with stacks ranging from 3-10 patties. Reminiscent of the stackable patties at In N Out Burger.

Fries were ok, not really worth the extra calories. Couldn't taste much of a difference with the use of olive oil. They were those skinny cut kinds, I feel like thicker cut potato wedges would be more in line with their health conscious schtick.

Side note: there are side salad options available on the menu. I was all about ordering one and then I looked to my left and saw them in plastic to-go bowls in the fridge. Yeah...fries instead please.

Will go back to try the shakes. Would have gotten back in line for dessert but only had plastic and there machines were down so I would have had to gone through another manual credit charge.

There are definitely some kinks to work out; slow service (attributed to grill breaking down earlier in the day and general learning curve), but most importantly NO VIBE. Other new sprouting burger joints have character and pizazz! Like The Counter. Don't get me started on the Counter, I so badly wanted Elevation Burger to be like this place. But I'm sure EB will develop its own unique charm over time...

PS-Big turn off- No Music! Get XM or something. It made the place seem very sterile.