Sunday, December 19, 2010

Liquid Assets, Ocean City, MD

I spent the first 22 years of my life in Ocean City, so I get a little disappointed when there are restaurants that I have not tried.  Luckily, my parents still live there and I am slowly checking all of them off of my checklist.  One that I had been wanting to try for years was Liquid Assets.

I guess it was a little bit intimidating to me when I was in high school. It's definitely not a typical Ocean City restaurant.  When my mom and I walked in, it was like being in a completely different city.  It's half restaurant, half bar/store.  The atmosphere in the dining room was a little bit strange; it was really dark and felt empty on the day that we were there.  That probably changes during the summer and at night, but for lunch it was odd.

We both opted for the $8 Lunch Combo.  I got the andouille sausage macaroni and cheese and roasted veggies.  My mom got the veggies and a cauliflower soup.  Everything was fantastic, especially the veggies.  It was a blend of brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, and other fresh local veggies.  The portions were not large, but satisfying.  I think a dinner bill could probably get high very quickly.  But the quality of food here compared with other OC restaurants is worth the price.

Liquid Assets on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Alewife, Downtown

The first night that we tried to go to Alewife, we were turned away at the door because they had no tables and did not expect to have any until 8pm, when the show at the Hippodrome started (silly us, we were going to the show and should have known better).  We made a reservation for 6 the night after that and had much better results.  We got there about 20 minutes early and the same man was at the door.  He tried turning us away, but we explained the reservation and he reluctantly let us go in to the bar area.  It is a beautiful space and has been converted really nicely.  All of the beer selections are written on a chalkboard wall.  It was very crowded and we sort of felt like we were in the way.
The  majority of us ordered the smoke burger:

An 11oz House Ground Ribeye, Brisket, Skirt and Filet of Beef Burger, Smoked Gouda, Gruyere Cheese, Apple Wood Smoked Bacon, Caramelized Cipollini Onion, Chipotle Aioli, Brioche Bun, Duck Fat Fries

It was very good.  A few people said that it was the best burger that they had ever had.  The fries were also good, but they were cold.  The server was not great.  We sort of lost him after he brought our food and we're pretty sure he left.   Overall, it was a great experience with very good food.  They just need to work out a few kinks with their staff.

Alewife on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Olney Ale House, Olney, MD

I was happy to be eating at Olney Ale House for many reasons.  My aunt and my mom were visiting so it was a nice treat to have lunch with them.  I didn't have to pick the place where we were going to eat (I am notoriously bad at this).  My mom used to eat there when she was in high school and that made it seem cute and special.

It was actually very cute.  They had a fireplace and it felt like a cozy log cabin.  It was very busy, but the service was great (this is always a huge plus for me).  We all ordered a salad that they had on their specials which had pears, dried cranberries, pecans, feta cheese and grilled chicken and had a loaf of their famous bread and butter.  The salads were huge and delicious!  I love fall flavors and this was the perfect combination of ingredients.  The chicken was also perfect, which can really make or break a salad.  In fact the salads were so big that we combined them all for me to take home and I ate it for another two days.  The bread was also very yummy, served with whipped butter.

The Olney area seems to have a lot of restaurants popping up, but I recommend trying the Olney Ale House if you're out that way. 

Olney Ale House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Good Stuff Eatery and 2 Amys, DC

I am so backed up on my reviews. I can't wait until I graduate. But that's another tale...

We went into DC for the Rally to Restore Sanity.  It was a mess.  Such a mess that we decided to pass on the mayhem and wander down the street a ways to Good Stuff Eatery, which we had heard very good stuff about.  The line was pretty much what we expected and we did wait for a while before we got our food (at least we could watch the rally on TV).  We each got cheeseburgers, fries, and marshmallow shakes.  We agreed that the burgers were good, but not anything extraordinary.  I'd rather have Five Guys or Abbey

The fries were pretty great, though.  They have a little condiment bar that has different types of dipping mayonaisses to try. I believe we had Old Bay mayo, Chipotle mayo, and pineapple.  They were unique and cooked well.  By far the shake was the best part.  It definitely had marshmallow fluff mixed into the vanilla ice cream and was not as sickeningly sweet as you would expect.  On top were big, toasted marshmallows.  Yum.  I would recommend just going for fries and shakes!

Good Stuff Eatery on Urbanspoon

Later on, we had dinner at 2 Amys in Cleveland Park.  It was a beautiful neighborhood and we were very happy with our choice of restaurant.  They are certified by the Italian government to make authentic Neapolitan pizza.  I've never been to Italy, but I imagine that this is what pizza tastes like there.  The service was incredibly fast and before we knew it, we were tasting some of the freshest and purest pizza you could imagine.  This is no-frills food and it is awesome. 

2 Amys on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brasserie 10 South, Downtown

What happened to this place? You can tell from the interwebs that it must have been pretty darn good at some point, but they lost a chef, succumbed to bad location, and just flat out started failing.

I think it should say a lot that I have momentarily come out of blogging hibernation just to review Brasserie 10 South.  I was really excited to try this place and I had been holding on to the Groupon for a while.  The menu looks fantastic; a plethora of southern dishes jump out from the page.  I decided that I wanted to get the shrimp and grits before we even left.  But we were not met with that menu.  We were met with a lunch menu (at 7pm) that had 3 appetizers, a couple of salads, and about 5 sandwiches.  I asked the server if we got the wrong menu.  Nope.  We could see that some entrees (like the shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles) are offered as specials on some nights. 

So how was the food?  I enjoyed the Doritos that my boyfriend picked up after we left a lot more.  I got a chicken caesar wrap that was dry and bland.  G got a burger that was bloody rare inside, even though he wasn't asked how he wanted it cooked.  This may have been the first time in our relationship that I saw him leave a burger unfinished.  A very sad day.

I'll also note that the atmosphere is weird.  It's pretty big inside, and sort of reminded me of being in my grandparents' basement; a little too glitzy and looked like it could hold a huge party, but there were only 2 other tables there.  Super uncomfortable.

So what's up with this place? Has anyone had a different experience with them?

Brasserie 10 South on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mezze, Fell's Point

I missed out on last year's summer restaurant week because we hadn't moved here yet and then we missed winter's because I just couldn't decide which restaurant to try (and I'm a busy grad student!).  But I was determined to try restaurant week this year.  I read all of the menus and made lists of potential places to go until I finally settled on trying Mezze.  Mezze had never really been on my "need to try" list, but their menu looked really good and it was an awesome value; instead of 3 courses for $35.10, you would get about 20 tapas dishes.  Bargain!  And I knew there would be enough to take home. 

Mezze is located in Fell's Point and it's a really cute little place.  We were seated right away with our reservation and were given the choice between inside and outside.  We chose inside, which meant that we were very close to the tables next to us (this seems to be a trend lately).  Everyone in the row of four tables where we sat was also doing the restaurant week menu.  Our server came over right away and explained everything to us.  We each got a glass of red sangria (on special for $5 each) which was very good and fairly large compared to other restaurants' versions.  Then we waited for the immense amount of food to arrive.  First out was some fresh pita bread, which was hot and very good.  I started to get worried here because the tiny table was already almost full with just glasses and plates and pita.

I decided to copy the menu here and just give you a run down of each item.  First out were the dips:

Mixed Olives
These didn't actually make an appearance.  Not sure why, but no one seemed to get them.
This was a really thin hummus, but had good flavor. 
This was pretty standard, but G loves Tzatziki, so he was happy.
Very good and I had more leftover for lunch the next day.

Next, we got the "vegetable course":
Grape Leaves
I really liked the actual leaves, but the filling seemed a little under seasoned.  Plus for not being too oily.
Spinach Pie
One of my favorites that we had all night.  It was perfectly flaky and the filling was delicious.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Roasted Peppers
I could have taken these or left them.  The filling was mushy and I'm not crazy about roasted peppers.
Then came the main course:
These were some of the worst falafels that I have ever had.  Very dry.
Shrimp Cakes
Interesting.  I liked them, but didn't feel like I would necessarily order them again.
Fried Calamari
Pretty typical calamari.  Good, though.
Chicken Kabob
The chicken was very moist and flavorful.
Beef and Lamb Meatballs
Very moist and tender.  They were good, but again I don't think I would get them again.
Baby Lamb Chops
My first experience with lamb chops.  They were decent, I guess, but I don't feel qualified to judge.
Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes
Good for a place that isn't known for seafood/crab cakes.  A little too much filler, but good flavor.

At this point we were stuffed, but the dessert course was on its way and it looked amazing!
Yummy, yummy, yummy.  Lots of honey and nuts.
Kind of like the other two desserts combined.  Interesting and different and delicious.
Baked Custard
Probably my favorite of the three.  Delicious chilled custard with a yummy philo-type "crust."

The bill, with tip, came up to around $100.  We had a ton of food to take home, but I still do not think that the restaurant week pricing justifies a visit to Mezze.  You could go there, get only the dishes you want, and go home happy and probably spend less than half what we did.  The food was hit or miss, but the dishes that we liked, we liked a lot.  And like I said, the tables are really small and close together, so I felt like I was doing a balancing act the entire time.  A person at the table across from us did knock over his water and sent it flying every where.  My advice: try Mezze, get what you like, and don't go for restaurant week. 

Kali's Mezze on Urbanspoon 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Dogwood, Hampden

The first thing that you will realize when you step into The Dogwood is how amazingly gorgeous the decor and layout are.  This is seriously a beautiful restaurant with amazing lighting and a perfect spot for a romantic evening.  I wasn't actually on a date when I went there, though; I was with roommate from college and we thought that it was fantastic.

I have gotten several recommendations to try The Dogwood since I moved to Baltimore, but had been putting it off for a while.  When my friend came to visit, I knew that a girls' night would be the perfect time to check it out.  It was loud in there, so be sure that you're prepared to talk loudly.  Our server was very friendly and helpful.  To start each table is given some homemade brown bread with a mango chutney butter.  Mmmmm!!!  Seriously, I could have just eaten this and gone home happy.  But of course, I needed to try more.  For dinner, I ordered the seared Cape May sea scallops ($31) with, sweet corn-local mushroom risotto with baby spinach, apple smoked bacon.  My friend ordered the local corn and mushroom risotto ($18), with baby spinach, garlic sauteed greens, sage persillade, local oyster mushrooms.  We were both so happy with our food.  The scallops were cooked perfectly and the smokiness of the bacon played so well with all of the other components.  I even had some to take home and eat for lunch the next day! 

The Dogwood is definitely a beautiful space with fantastic food, and very worthy of taking company!

Dogwood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blue Agave Restaurante Y Tequileria, Federal Hill

I had mixed feelings about Blue Agave.  Some of the things that we tried were outstanding, while others were not favorites.  One thing is for sure: the atmosphere, like a lot of Federal Hill's restaurants, is really nice.  You get a mix of renovated rowhouse feel and Mexican villa.  I wanted to walk around the place and see everything.  I got a glimpse of the bar, which looked really cute.

We started out with complimentary chips and salsa (always a plus).  We were given three types of salsa and fresh chips.  I enjoyed the green salsa and the chipotle a lot.  I was eager to try the  chipotle shrimp corn cake, which luckily came in an appetizer assortment ($14) that we ordered.  I loved the little corn and jalepeno cakes with shrimp on top and they were probably my favorite part of the meal.  With the appetizer, we also got a shrimp quesadilla, chicken flautas, a chile/cheese tamale, a queso stuffed jalapeno, and guacamole.  All of these were very good and I would have been content just eating that.

As my entree, I ordered the Enchiladas de Mole Poblano ($16.50), which came with rice and beans.  I guess I am just not much of a fan of mole, because this did not appeal to me too much.  Plus I already ate so much with the appetizer!  I do think that this was a very well done dish and others would probably love it.  G got the Burrito de Pollo ($13), which also came with rice and beans and he thoroughly enjoyed it. 

This restaurant definitely had great, authentic Mexican food and it's in a great location.

Blue Agave Restaurante Y Tequileria on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 13, 2010

And the winner is...

Sorry about the slight delay, but the gods have spoken!

And shannoncarman is the winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mari Luna Mexican Grill, Pikesville

We've been living in Baltimore for a year now and have yet to find Mexican food that we're really crazy about (or Chinese, for that matter).  One of the restaurants that I had high hopes for was Mari Luna Mexican Grill.

I met a friend from college there recently.  She's not from the area and I don't know Pikesville very well, so we both decided to check Mari Luna out.  One plus for them is that they started us out with free chips and salsa.  I hate it when Mexican restaurants do not serve chips and salsa.  And they were pretty good, too.  The chips were multi-colored, but didn't seem homemade.  The salsa was yummy and fresh.

I ordered the Make Your Own Taco Platter and got one shrimp and one steak taco and it all came with rice and beans ($10).  The shrimp was very good and the toppings on each were good, as well.  The steak was very dry, though.  The rice and beans were pretty standard.  Our service was also extremely friendly (and spoke Spanish to my fluent friend, which I always like).  All in all, this is a good place for Mexican in the area, but I still haven't been wowed.

Mari Luna Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

And don't forget! You have until Friday at 5:00 to enter my giveaway!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chick and Ruth's Delly and Rocco's Pizzeria, Annapolis

Annapolis is a perfect little day trip for those of us living in Baltimore.  It has a ton of charm, places to check out, and most importantly, places to chow down.  Our most recent trip to Annapolis was specifically to try out a restaurant, somewhere that G had been as a child and I had never been: Chick and Ruth's Delly.

Chick and Ruth's seems to be an institution in Annapolis.  Everyone knows  about them and their unique decor and menu.  Plus people around the country have seen the six pound (yes, six pound) milkshake challenge on Man vs. Food.  We were afraid that we would have a long wait for a Saturday afternoon lunch, but we were seated right away.  Diners are seated very close together, so I wouldn't go there if you needed to have any private conversations.  It's all part of the quirkiness. 

I ordered a REGULAR sized vanilla malt ($4.25) and a BLT ($4.25).  G ordered a chocolate chip malt and a 1/2 pound cheeseburger ($5.99).  We also split a side of fries ($2.35).  One of my favorite parts about eating here is that they bring you a tub of pickles to eat while you are waiting for your food.  I love pickles!  I can't help but think about all of the people I encountered during my waitressing days who would hate this, but it was really fun.  The malts were good, but they don't make their own ice cream.  Pretty standard in my opinion.  The food took a while to come out and I think they may have lost our order.  The sandwiches themselves were also pretty standard.  But I don't think people flock here because they are especially known for their food.  It's all about the experience.

Chick & Ruth's Delly on Urbanspoon

After our day out in Annapolis, we stopped on the way home for another of G's childhood favorites, Rocco's Pizzeria.  As I have mentioned before, G loves all pizza and apparently this is his favorite.  I liked their pizza, a lot, too for a standard, delivery quality slice.  We got cheese slices and I didn't have anything to complain about.  It's a standard strip-mall pizza joint, and they are worth checking out if you're in the area.

Rocco's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 9, 2010

Joe Squared and Dominion Ice Cream, Charles Village

Oh, pizza.  I eat so much of you because you are my boyfriend's favorite food and because I am a very awesome girlfriend.  But unlike said boyfriend, who will eat any pizza and never has anything bad to say about it, I have standards and there are some pies that I love more than others.  Luckily, Baltimore has some fantastic pizza and I am always reading great recommendations for different establishments.  I really enjoy a nice thin crust, so I knew that I had to give Joe Squared a try.

I'm not going to lie.  Joe Squared has been on the "must try" list for a while now, but I had been intimidated by it.  Maybe it's the neighborhood or the reviews I read that said that a lot of the diners there are hipsters and it can be off-putting.  Maybe.  But the pizza beckoned, so we took the Circulator as far north as we could and walked the rest of the way to Joe Squared.  And I'm glad that we did.  It really wasn't scary at all.  The service was very attentive and friendly and the food was fantastic.  Yes, there were a lot of hipsters there, but they weren't rude and there were families, as well. 

To start, we got  the hot buffalo wings ($9).  These had a very unique flavor, sort of a sweet heat.  The after taste really got you with the sweetness of the sauce.  I liked them a lot, but I prefer a straightforward hot sauce.  G wasn't crazy about them because of the sweetness.  Then we split a 12" margarita pizza ($16), which was the perfect size for two hungry people.  The pizza here is coal-fired, which is different from anything I'd ever had before.  The crust, which is super thin, gets a really nice smoky taste to it.  The sauce and toppings were also delicious and fresh.  Everyone there seemed like regulars and like they really enjoyed the food.  It was definitely an experience worth repeating.

Joe Squared Pizza and Bar on Urbanspoon

Later in the same day, we also went over to Dominion Ice Cream.  What a treat!  Plus it's guilt-free because the ice cream there is made with vegetables and have a lot less calories than regular ice cream (I think I read that they have less than 90 cals per scoop!).  The owner tinkers with the flavors and adds spices so that some of the veggies' tastes stand out more than others.

I got sweet potato and tomato.  The sweet potato tasted like pumpkin pie and was really yummy!  The tomato tasted more like vanilla and I wished it had more veggie flavor!  G got spinach, which tasted similar to the tomato, and cucumber.  Cucumber was out favorite!  It was so refreshing and really tasted like cucumbers. 

Now if only all of my junk foods were that good for me...

Dominion Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

CSN Stores Giveaway!

I'm not sure if I've ever talked about how many kitchen accessories, gadgets, and appliances that I own, but it's quite a few and I love all of them!  I also love kitchen decor and making my kitchen a fun place to be!  I recently learned about CSN Stores, which has over 200 online stores where you can buy everything from appliances, to aprons, to dining room sets

I admit, I spent a while online at work (shh!) looking through all of the stuff that they have to offer, especially since I have been on the hunt for a good spice rack and other organizational aids.  It really is a one-stop shop over there!  And even better than all that?  I am giving away a one-time-use $50 gift certificate that you can use toward any purchase at any of their online stores! 

How to win!

1. Leave a comment here telling me what your best dining experience has been this summer.
2. For an extra entry, post on your blog about my giveaway with a link and post another comment letting me know that you did it!
3. For a THIRD entry, follow me on Twitter (cookeatread) and tweet about the giveaway with a link and post another comment.

You have until Friday 8/13 to enter!  Winner will be chosen randomly that evening and I will announce the winner then!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Regi's American Bistro, Federal Hill

A while back, I asked everyone for suggestions on where to take my parents for dinner while they were visiting (and thanks, by the way!).  I got so many wonderful suggestions, but I knew that I wanted to try somewhere new to us and fairly close by, so we decided to take the Circulator into Federal Hill and try Regi's American Bistro.

There were so many reasons that I wanted to try Regi's.  It has great reviews.  The chef often does farmers' market reports for Dining@Large because they do so much farm to table cooking.  They have their own garden on their roof.  I pass by it every time that we're in Federal Hill.  Need I go on?  We made reservations, but the restaurant wasn't too busy when we first got there around 6:30.  By the time we left, they were crowded, though!  The restaurant itself is fairly small and very cute.  Typical of Federal Hill, it's in a renovated space that used to be a home, with cute decor and a nice view out onto Light Street.

We started out with AJ's tater tots, which are topped with brie and bacon.  YUM!  They were so delicious and amazingly simple.  The portion was small, and three of us were sharing, but we were glad to have saved room for our entrees.  I got a dinner special that consisted of cashew-crusted tilapia with a fruit topping, mashed potatoes, and veggies.  They really aren't kidding about the farm-to-table!  Everything was so fresh and good.  My mom even said that she normally doesn't like tilapia and she liked this.  G got the Eastern Shore pasta, which was huge and amazing.  It consisted of shrimp, crab, corn, and tomatoes in a delicious butter sauce on top of pasta.  This might have been the best out of all four entrees.  My mom got the Asian salmon, which was sesame encrusted and had a soy-ginger glaze and the same veggies that my entree had.  Also very yummy.  My dad got the meatloaf, which was the most flavorful that I have ever tasted, but a tiny bit grainy. 

I really can't wait to go back and try Regi's again.  They are truly a gem of Federal Hill. 

Regi's American Bistro on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Houlihan's, Inner Harbor

I live within walking distance of the inner harbor, but a lot of the restaurants there I had either tried before we moved here or I haven't been very interested in trying.  I had been to a Houlihan's a long time ago and really didn't remember anything about it, but we decided to give it a try and see if it was a new option for us.  Unfortunately, we were very disappointed.

First off, it was incredibly crowded, but we expected that because of the location.  We were still seated right away, in a back corner next to a large party (always awkward).  Then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  It must have been 20 minutes before a server came over to us and we had long waits for our food and the check.  

I got the Farmhouse Club, "Brown sugar and honey cured ham, mesquite smoked turkey breast, thick sliced bacon, basil pesto aioli and buttery gouda on whole-grain bread. Topped with spring mix and juicy tomatoes."  For such a beautiful description, the product was awful.  The flavors didn't blend well and nothing tasted fresh.  G got a burger, which he said was okay, but not great.  He also got buffalo chicken fingers, which were maybe the best thing that we had. 

The price was okay for the level of restaurant that Houlihan's falls into, but for the quality and the horrible service, it was definitely not worth it.

Houlihan's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mary Mervis, Downtown

I have been noticing that the shrimp have been disappearing from the local grocery stores and restaurants since the Gulf oil disaster began.  Even when you can find shrimp, they're pretty expensive for what you get.  Nonetheless, I really wanted to try the shrimp salad sandwich at Mary Mervis in Lexington Market the other day, so I went for it even though there were signs saying that the prices have been raised.

The line was really long and hard to maneuver.  I think I ended up waiting about half an hour to order because that counter was so busy.  But it was well worth the wait.  I got shrimp salad on a kaiser roll and it was the best shrimp salad that I have ever had.  The shrimp were big and plump.  There was a perfect amount of Old Bay and other seasonings.  And the mayonaisse wasn't overwhelming.  Plus the roll was really perfect for the sandwich.  I ate the whole thing in silence because it was so delicious.  I highly recommend giving them a try, but don't go when you're in a hurry!

Mary Mervis on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

G & A Restaurant, Highlandtown

This has been such a hot, hot summer already.  Especially hot since we're following a ridiculously snowy winter!  Usually I love to be outside and exploring during the spring and summer, but this has been brutal!  During one of the first bad weekends that we had, we headed over to the Greek festival.  The food and entertainment there was amazing!  The sweaty walk from Harbor East to Greektown was not.  The good thing about these little walks that we take is that we always end up passing restaurants that we've been wanting to try.  On this outing, we passed G & A Restaurant.

You might know G & A from seeing it on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.  That's where we first heard about it.  They're known for their Coney Island hot dogs and sliders, as well as for being around for a long, long time (since 1927, to be exact).  So even after filling up on souvlaki, baklava, and loukoumades, we decided to stop in to G & A on the way back just for a little bite.

The restaurant is really more of a diner than anything else.  The owner is really friendly and so is the staff and I noticed that the place was immaculate, which is not always the case with the diner types.  We each got a G & A hot dog and split some fries.  The dogs came in the standard Coney Island fashion; chili, onions, and mustard.  They were really yummy and perfect for a big snack.  Plus they're only $2 each!  The fries were also really good and fresh cut.  Next time I think I'll get gravy on them, because it looked awesome.  And there will be a next time, but we probably won't be walking again.

G & A Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Atwater's and Sugarbaker's, Catonsville

Catonsville is a very cute area and I had no idea that it has so many awesome food options.  I had to head over there recently for some errands and got to walk around and check out the sights afterward.  I was very excited to see that two places that I had been excited to try were right in front of me.

My first stop was to Atwater's.  I was so happy to see the woman there stocking the freshly made soups and people in the back making delicious-smelling breads.  There were so many choices and I was interested in almost everything, but I decided to pick up a container of gazpacho and a loaf of raisin pumpernickel bread.  The gazpacho tasted so fresh and bright.  I loved all of the flavors that stood out in it and the lightness of the overall soup.  I wish I had some more right now!  The bread was also amazing and I had it for breakfast for quite a few days.  It wasn't too sweet, but the raisins gave it a really nice flavor.  I saw some in the Atwater's in Annapolis about a week ago and I was very tempted to buy it again!

Atwater's on Urbanspoon

Then I headed over to Sugarbaker's, which is in a beautiful old building.  The people there were very pleasant and helpful, but I had my eye on the prize: their Smith Island Cake.  I love Smith Island Cake when it's good, but it seems like a lot of bakeries make it too dry.  This is supposed to be one of the best places in Baltimore to get it, plus it's made with peanut butter cups in the icing!  It took serious willpower to wait until after dinner to eat it, but it was well worth the wait.  The cake is not dry at all and is just as spongy and moist as any cake should be, despite the thin layers.  The icing is amazing and surprisingly not too rich with all of the chocolaty peanut butter goodness.  I am eager to try more of their cakes, but I might just keep going for that one.

Sugarbaker's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Conrad's Crabs and Seafood Market, Parkville

I had a Groupon for Conrad's and I was very excited to use it.  Anytime I hear about restaurants that use their own fresh ingredients, I'm excited.  Especially when those ingredients happen to be crabs that the owners catch themselves.

G and I both decided to try jumbo lump crab cake sandwiches and we weren;t disappointed.  The crab cakes are really well made and have a good amount of crab meat and seasonings.  Not very much filler at all.  I was a little bit disappointed in the crab cake to bread ratio (huge roll!), but that's not too much to complain about.  The sandwiches also came with fries, which were seasoned with Old Bay and very tasty.  These crab cakes weren't in the same league as Faidley's or Captain's Galley, but they were still very good and I would recommend checking them out!

Conrad's Crabs & Seafood Market on Urbanspoon

Serpico Pizza and Pasta, Sparks

I don't care that Wegmans is a little bit (okay maybe a half hour at times) out of our way for weekly grocery shopping.  It's Wegmans and I love it.  Plus it's an excuse to explore the Hunt Valley area every week.  A lot of times, we will get dinner before we shop, but the options are starting to get thinner.  One of the restaurants that we decided to try was Serpico Pizza and Pasta, down the road in Sparks.  We eat pizza and subs a lot, so I was willing to see where Serpico fit in with our favorites.

Unfortunately, they just don't fit it.  Upon entering, the restaurant was very uninviting.  The staff was not approachable and seemed hassled.  There were dirty tables throughout.  I don't think they even had the dining area lights turned on.  Very strange.  G got a meatball sub and I got a chicken cheesesteak.  The meatball sub was average.  It wasn't bad, but they weren't amazing meatballs and the sauce was, again, average.  My chicken cheesesteak was bad.  The toppings did not meld together and the meat was dry.  And the taste was just off.

This led us to a conversation about whether we just ordered "the wrong things."  I can see that.  Maybe their pizza is really what they're known for and we would be blown away by it.  But if you can't make something well, then don't put it on your menu.

Serpico Pizza and Pasta on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ruben's Crepes, JFX Farmer's Market (and Federal Hill)

The one thing that I wish I could bring to the JFX Farmer's Market is a little more breakfast food options.  I am the type of person who loves breakfast and I never skip it.  On one of our first trips down there, we decided to hit up the Ruben's Crepes stand, since they seemed to have a long line and a lot of breakfast-y choices.

I loved that you could see the workers making everything right in front of you and that your crepe came to you fresh off the grill.  I got one that was a bacon, egg, and cheese and G got one that had pepperonis and mozzarella.  They were both really tasty.  The crepe serves as a nice alternative to toast or a muffin and everything tasted very fresh.  Everyone there was friendly and the food was somewhat portable for walking around the market.  I can't speak for their location in Federal Hill, but I assume that they have to be equivalent.  All in all, it's a nice place to get your fix at the Farmer's Market!

Ruben's Crepes on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 21, 2010

Check me out in B Free Daily!

I am very excited to announce that I have been featured in today's issue of b free daily!  Excellently enough, it's an article about "foodies" and the new food culture that younger generations have created through blogging and other internet outlets.  If you're in the Baltimore area, you can pick up a copy in the orange "b" newspaper dispensers, or check it out here on pg. 12!

And this of course begs the question: what is your opinion on the new "foodies" that are cropping up all over the internet?  Foodie revolution, or "foodiots"?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Baltimore Foodies Help Needed!

My parents are coming to visit this weekend and I really have no idea where to take them to eat (which is obviously the best part)!  If you had guests coming from out of town, where would you take them for dinner?? 

I'm interested in any and all recommendations!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Taharka Bros.

As a newcomer to the Baltimore area, I am quickly finding out that one of the best things about it are all of the street festivals and fairs that seem to be going on every weekend.  I love it!  Especially because it gives me an excuse to try amazing food and sample a little bit of everything that they have to offer.  Lucky for me, some local restaurants also participate in these festivals, so I've gotten to try some places on my "To Eat" list while strolling around in the gorgeous weather.  At Flowermart this year, Taharka Bros. was set up, and I'm so glad that they were.

They have a pretty awesome list of flavors, but I knew which one I was going to get as soon as I saw it: Key Lime Pie.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It was heavenly.  I worked at an ice cream store that makes its own ice cream for 5 years, so I'm a little bit of a snob about these things, but this ice cream is amazing.  Creamy and surprisingly strong citrus flavors with an amazing graham cracker crust mixed in.  Yum!  G got a chocolate brownie flavor (not sure exactly what it was called) and it was also amazing.  I love desserts that have amazing flavor, but aren't sickeningly sweet and these ice creams fit the bill.

Besides having great ice cream, this business really does amazing things for Baltimore and its citizens.  They employ at-risk youth and train them in business skills.  From their website:
Taharka Brothers is a venture of the Sylvan Beach Foundation, Inc. Sylvan Beach is a non-profit foundation which functions to assist at-risk Baltimore youth and teaches them the intricacies of business strategy and entrepreneurship with the ultimate goal that each of these student-workers will found his own business prior to his graduation from the program.

Amazing.  Go there! Find them on the streets! Just support this awesome venture.

Taharka Bros on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Carmine's, Hunt Valley

Every week, we typically go out to dinner before we go grocery shopping.  A lot of times, we eat at Wegmans.  Don't get me wrong, I love Wegmans, but I get a little bit tired of eating there every week.  Luckily, there are a few other options in the Hunt Valley area, we've been broadening our horizons a little bit.

On one of these occasions, we decided to try Carmine's.  This overlapped with a week that I was trying especially hard to eat healthy, so I tried to order a salad with goat cheese.  They were out of it, so I was content on cheating and getting a delicious eggplant parmesan-type entree.  And delicious is right.  I usually don't love eggplant, but everything about this was very good.  The sauce was great, the pasta was great, and the eggplant was cooked perfectly.  G got pizza, and it was also really yummy.  I'm actually surprised that we haven't been back since.  All in all, this was a cute family-friendly restaurant that is perfect for pre-grocery shopping.

Carmine's on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Zorba's Cafe and Afterwords Cafe; Dupont Circle, DC

I wish that I had been more interested in food when I was in college.  I lived a metro ride away from some amazing restaurants in DC and some of them I didn't even discover while I was there.  During a recent trip into the city, we decided to try Zorba's Cafe and we were not disappointed.

I love Greek food and I love Dupont Circle so this was a  no-brainer.  We started out with spanikopita and tzatziki.  Both were delicious and amazingly fresh.  The spanikopita was well-balanced and wasn't weighed down with cheese.  Delicious.  For our meals, I got the falafel platter and G got the chicken kabob.  Both of these were really good, as well.  They came with a really delicious hummus and olives, which I love.  Their baklava looked amazing, but I knew that I had my heart set on a different venue for dessert.

Zorba's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe has amazing desserts.  I have actually never tried their other foods, but they always look amazing.  The cafe is connected to an awesome book store that you can peruse while you wait for your table (and you will always wait).  This time that we went, I got my favorite: berry crumble with cinnamon ice cream.  It is one of my favorite desserts of all-time, from any restaurant.  The berries are mixed in with nuts and a delicious crumble topping that are all so good.  And the cinnamon ice cream is the best way that you could attempt to make it even better.  Mmmmm.  G got cheesecake this time and it was also very yummy, but I like their pies a lot better.

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Cow, Reisterstown

There's a reason why there are very long lines and swarms of people hanging around the outside of The Cow.  This ice and custard is awesome and comes in a huge range of flavors.  They have more traditional ones, like cherry and egg custard, but they also have some different ones like fudge brownie and s'more. 

We each got gelatis of the latter two.  I loved the fudge brownie.  It had chunks of brownie and swirls of fudge and was more like a really icy ice cream than any "ice" I've ever had.  G wasn't crazy about his s'more, but mostly because he could taste mint from a previous use of the scooper.  The sizes were huge and I couldn't finish mine.  I would love to go back and try more of what they have to offer!

Cow on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pitango Gelato, Fells Point

About 95% of the time that I am in Fells Point, I want to get Mr. Yogato. If you've been there, then you probably understand why. But I have also always been tempted by Pitango Gelato. Gelato has always been a little bit intimidating to me. I feel like it's going to be trying to do too much or certain flavor profiles will be lost on me (whatever that means). But I finally decided to put my foot down and try it.

First off, the people there are really nice and will let you sample as many flavors as you want. And they have a lot of flavors. I ended up sampling the chocolate hazelnut, bourbon vanilla, tangerine, and a dark chocolate one. All of them are so delicious and fresh. I bought a combination of the bourbon vanilla and strawberry. I typically don't go nuts over strawberry ice creams, yogurts, etc. because they don't have enough real fruit flavor, but this one was amazing. And the bourbon vanilla with is was awesome. I am definitely not intimidated any more.

Pitango Gelato on Urbanspoon

Andy Nelson's, Cockeysville

I am not a Baltimore native. I grew up in Maryland, though, so I do know that there are some foods that are traditionally linked to this area. That includes pit beef, which I hadn't even realized was a Baltimore thing until I did a little bit of web searching. According to many, Andy Nelson's has the best pit beef and barbecue around, so we headed over there one day to check it out.

I love the atmosphere of places like Andy Nelson's. We ate in the barn next door and it felt like we were having our own little picnic with amazing food. I had planned on getting pit beef, but got chicken instead because I really wanted to try the sides. The chicken was pretty decent, maybe not the best in the world but still pretty darn good. We also had the fries, cole slaw and corn bread. Mmm the corn bread. I can be a snob about dry, crumbly corn bread, but this was awesome. G got ribs and they were also really yummy. The sauces that they provide were delicious, as well. I was tempted to get a piece of apple cake, but that will have to wait until next time. Along with that pit beef.

Andy Nelson's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mother's Cantina, Ocean City, MD

I am from Ocean City and I have become a snob about some of the food there. Some restaurants have been there for years and years and some only last one summer before they are gone. I have been pleasantly pleased by one restaurant that is fairly new and seems to be doing well.

I was back home visiting my parents and my mom and I decided to eat at Mother's Cantina. I had been there a couple of times before and I have always been happy with what I ordered. This visit was no exception. To start, we got an order of Santa Fe egg rolls. These were really good and the sauce had a nice kick to it. They also seemed really fresh. We got complimentary chips and salsa, as well. I wasn't crazy about the salsa. I think it could have been seasoned better. The margarita that I got was also good!

For dinner, I got 3 chicken tacos in hard shells. They were perfect! The chicken was well-seasoned and there was a good amount of toppings. My mom got the crab quesadilla (a special). It was also really good, I thought it tasted like crab dip. Yum! If you're looking for a good Mexican/American bar (I make the distinction because I'm not sure how authentic it really is) then you should definitely stop in!

Mothers Cantina on Urbanspoon

Matthew's Pizza, Canton

We haven't really gotten too acquainted with Canton yet. Every time we drive through it or read about restaurants, I really want to explore it more. I guess we got a good start the other night by eating at Matthew's.

The restaurant is in a part of town that is dotted with liquor stores and not the most inviting, but once you make it there (and park!) it's a cute little place. You would not go to this place for ambiance, but trust me, that's not what you're looking for anyway. You're looking for some really good pizza. I ordered the popular mozzarella (a small is pretty much a personal size). G got the same but he added pepperoni and jalapenos. We also got an order of the pizza fries.

At first slice, I wasn't so sure about it. This IS supposed to be one of the best pies in Baltimore and I wasn't sure if I wanted to hand over that title so easily. But after eating more, I decided that this is truly a really great pizza. The crust is the best part; thick, but not Chicago-style. It was just right in my opinion. The sauce and cheese were also really yummy. The fries weren't that good, so don't waste your time on them. Just go for the pizza. We both brought home leftovers and made each other promise not to eat each other's pieces. That's a true sign of good food.

Matthew's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ryleigh's Oyster, Federal Hill

I have been all about Groupons since I discovered the site. Even when it's a restaurant that I haven't really had that much interest in, I'm still all about getting the Groupon if it looks decent and worth trying it out. That's pretty much what happened with Ryleigh's Oyster. I mean, who could pass up $50 worth of food for $25?

We went on a Saturday night, so I'm not sure if our experience was typical. It was super crowded and we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. The service was pretty shotty-- the hostesses were rude and the servers were hard to come by. We both got the cream of crab soup to start. It was really good; it had that good sweetness to it. Probably not as much crab as I would have liked, but sometimes that's to be expected. For dinner, I got the chicken pot pie. It was different than any other I have ever had. It was basically comfort food at its finest. Instead of a creamy filling, it was more just mashed potatoes with chicken and veggies with the pastry crust over it. It was really yummy. G got the crab cake sandwich and it was also quite good.

For dessert we got the creme brulee and the chocolate mousse. The mousse was a little rich for me, but it came with a delicious cookie. G was crazy about it. The creme brulee was pretty standard, but that kind of standard is always welcome!

Overall, the food was very good. No, we didn't get oysters, but people seemed to be enjoying theirs. The service could definitely be better, though, and be prepared to wait.

Ryleigh's Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 5, 2010

iBar Baltimore, Charles Village

For some strange reason (ad space? random suggestion?) the elevators in my apartment building have had flyers in them that advertise for iBar Baltimore. Apparently some people have taken notice of them; City Paper says that they have the best wings. iBar is not particularly close to us, being in Charles Village, but we decided to take a chance on it and see if they really do have the best wings in Baltimore.

It's not in the prettiest part of the city. It's actually pretty sketchy. It's close to a Save A Lot strip mall, but other than that, it's pretty dead. When you go in, it is very obviously a renovated rowhouse, but not in a cute way. More in a "I feel like we're hanging out in my friend's basement and we're not supposed to be here" kind of way. We sat downstairs and there was one other table. The service was friendly, but the food was mediocre. I ordered the melted roast beef and swiss sandwich, but the waitress recommended the open-face roast beef special instead. It was decent and the fresh-cut fries were alright, but it's nothing to write home about. G got a burger and he said it was good. We got the "suicidal" hot wings. They had a peppery taste to them. I really liked their texture- kind of crispy, but noy heavy with breading. The sauce was good, but probably not "the best". We also forgot that they automatically add 18% gratuity to every check and accidentally double-tipped the waitress. Being a server myself, I think that there are worst things.

iBar may be the only option for some people in that area of town. I won't be making the trip out there again for it, though.

iBar Baltimore on Urbanspoon

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ledo Pizza, Federal Hill

I have grown up with Ledo Pizza. It actually hasn't been too long that I've realized that it's a pretty big franchise and not just a local, Ocean City thing. I've always loved their crispy crust and the square slices. I ever got to eat at the original Ledo near UMD when I was there. My favorite pizza there has been the buffalo chicken pizza for a while now. We decided to get take-out a few nights ago and decided to get Ledo from Federal Hill. But here was the dilemma: I have been doing the South Beach diet for almost a week now and Phase 1 means no carbs. Which means no pizza.

So while G went ahead and got the delicious buffalo chicken pizza, I decided to get the buffalo chicken salad with grilled chicken and a cup of minestrone (which I picked around to keep SB friendly). Happily, I was very pleased with my huge salad with awesome toppings. It might not have had the awesome crust (I'm drooling thinking about it now), but it still had the components that I love. I'm very happy to say that our new local Ledo Pizza is just as awesome as all of the other ones that we've tried. I just can't wait until I can have the pizza again...

Ledo Pizza and Pasta on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Breakfast Shoppe, Severna Park

My blog is sort of changing, if you haven't noticed. I haven't been too much in the mood to photo journal my eats, but I have been really excited to write about the restaurants that I have been able to try out. Case in point:

Last weekend, I looked for a restaurant where we could all go out to breakfast while my parents were visiting. I saw some pretty awesome reviews for The Breakfast Shoppe in Severna Park, so we loaded in the car and headed down there.

It was a little bit of a trek for breakfast, but the reviews were raving, so why not? The place is in a strip mall (always a good sign for me) and was fairly small. The wait wasn't too bad for a Sunday breakfast, maybe 30 minutes? We could read the daily specials on a TV screen and they all sounded amazing.

One of those specials was the berry and banana belgian waffle, which G and I both ordered. It was piled with fruit and fresh whipped cream and was really delicious. My parents both got omelets. They said that they were good. I tried their potatoes and they were really yummy.

I don't know if it was the best breakfast place (I'd rather take company to somewhere like Blue Moon Cafe), but it was really good quality breakfast. Definitely a go if you're in the Severna Park area!

Breakfast Shoppe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Helmand

My parents came up to visit over the weekend and we wanted to show them a good, fun, Baltimore time while they were here. We're still learning more about the city ourselves, and one of the restaurants that we had been dieing to try was The Helmand.

The Helmand is located on Charles Street in Mount Vernon, right next to the Washington monument. It was a chilly night, and they have a public lot right next door (hooray!). The restaturant itself had a really cozy atmosphere. It felt nice, without being snobby.

I had heard so much about the pumpkin appetizer (kaddo borawni)at this place that I knew I was definitely getting it. I was not disappointed! It was so amazingly delicious; all of the flavors came together so nicely. Who knew that pumpkin, sugar, garlic, and yogurt could be so good together? My mom got bowlawni ("Pan-fried twin pastry shells filled with leeks and spiced potatoes. Garnished with yogurt and mint."). These were also amazing. We also had the bread that was perfectly crispy and definitely toasted in the giant wood burning oven behind the bar.

For dinner, my mom and I split a vegetarian platter ("Combination of fresh vegetables cooked with our special spices and herbs. Served with challow.") and a chicken special that I can't recall and isn't on their website. I liked the chicken better, and from tasting my boyfriend's chicken kabob, I think that it was probably the best dish we had. The chicken was so well cooked and not dried out like some places can do. All of the vegetables and rice were amazing, as well.

All in all, we loved The Helmand. It was moderately priced and had amazing food! I would definitely recommend it!

Helmand on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Woodberry Kitchen

We went to Woodberry Kitchen for pre-Valentine’s Day dinner last Friday.  I was so excited to get to this restaurant because I had read really great things about it.  It was rated as one of the best new restaurants by Bon Appetit!  The building was really cool and gave the whole experience a rustic feel.  The waitresses were all dressed like they stepped out of Anthropologie and were adorable.  We made a 7pm reservation and were seated as soon as we got in (I would definitely recommend making reservations).

To start, we got a flatbread that had cheese and cracked pepper on it (sorry, I’m blanking on what it was called) and deviled eggs.  The eggs weren’t as great as I expected, especially since they were on the Baltimore 100 list.  The flatbread was good and had some interesting textures.

For dinner, I got the Brick Oven Chicken n’ Biscuit, which came with carrots and kale.  The main dish was really good.  I was really impressed with the maple pan sauce and how well those flavors melded together.  I thought that the veggies were a little over-seasoned, but still good.  G got a baked rigatoni and meatballs dish, which I thought was amazing.  The meatballs were so delicious!

For dessert, we split the CMP and the apple pie sundae.  The CMP was one of the things that I was majorly looking forward to because my mom had told me she saw it on The Best Thing I Ever Ate as Chef Duff’s favorite.  It had malt ice cream, chocolate syrup, marshmallow fluff (too much of it) and wet peanuts.  There was a candy shell on top that you had to break through.  And it was nowhere near the best sundae I’ve ever eaten.  Maybe I’m partial because I worked in a sundae shop for five years, but it just wasn’t that great.  The apple pie sundae, with cider sorbet, vanilla ice cream, cinnamon streusel, and caramel sauce was far better.  I’m not sure what Chef Duff was thinking.

At the end of our meal, we got homemade peanut butter marshmallows and brandy gumdrops, which were interesting.  All in all, it was a good meal, but I’m not sure if it was worth the price.  A nice and fun place to go, but not going on my list of favorites.

Woodberry Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kooper's and Teavolve

Hey all!  Sorry for the complete lack of postage in the past few days.  Being snowed in started out really nice and cozy, but then quickly became a mess.  I have barely left my apartment since last Thursday except to walk to a few places in the snow.  And remember when I said I wasn't binging and boredom-eating... well, that went south.  Let's just say I didn't take any pictures this week.  It was bad.  But I am getting back on track!  Next week will have to be a detox of sorts.  I can't wait to go grocery shopping!

I did want to do a little review, even though I didn't get pictures.  We went out for lunch yesterday in Fell's Point (because if we hadn't I would have gone nuts!).  We chose to go to Kooper's Tavern because I have been wanting to try their Burger Wagon for a while now, but I always miss it.

Photo courtesy of

All in all, they were pretty good burgers.  I liked that they had a nice char to them.  But in comparison to the AbbeyReally nothing special.  I guess it's a good burger and they have a long beer list, but I probably wouldn't go again.

Kooper's Tavern on Urbanspoon

On the way back I did, however, have an awesome Chai latte from Teavolve.  I have been wanting to go in there forever!  It looked so laid back and chill inside and the staff seemed very friendly.  And my Chai was perfection!  The pastries looked yummy, but I was full.  I would love to try their full menu.

Teavolve Cafe & Lounge on Urbanspoon

We're going out tonight for a pre-Valentine's night out and I am really excited!  I hope everyone is thawing out from all of the snow!  Have any big weekend/V-Day plans?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Staying sane.

I am amazingly not going completely stir-crazy right now.  I haven't been out of our apartment since Thursday, but I've been getting a lot done and watching movies (Anyone seen Food Inc. or Rachel Getting Married?  I liked both.).  We've gotten a little bit bored, and done things like tried to see what the dog looks like with glasses:


But other than that I've been pretty good.  I'm actually proud of myself that I haven't eaten constantly.  I'm not the best at controlling myself when I'm bored.  I've been trying to drink a lot of water instead and that seems to work.

I had some leftover meatballs and marinara for lunch yesterday with bowties.  Gotta eat all the leftovers!  Nothing can go to waste!

And I'm still working on the pumpkin flax bread.  I don't think that G has been eating it at all.

Dinner was a tomato. mozzarella, pesto panini and a cup of tomato soup.  I was amazed at how good the mozzarella and pesto were.  I love when you can get good flavors like that at home.

I also had a brownie last night, but I figured your sick of seeing them ;)

Breakfast was the ULTIMATE snowed in Sunday meal-- banana pancakes.  These got some Smart Balance and syrup, of course.

My roads are still covered in snow so it looks like we're not going anywhere for a while.  Hopefully they'll be cleared today because I'm on call tomorrow!  Plus I'd really like to go grocery shopping at some point.

Oh yeah isn't there some big football game on today?  It's crazy how much people have not been talking about it because of the snow.  I think a lot of restaurants will be losing a lot of business, either because they aren't opening or people aren't leaving the house.  What are your plans for the big game?  We're probably watching the Puppy Bowl.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


We woke up to about 20" of snow this morning and it's still coming down hard!  I have never seen anything like this.  It's definitely interesting with the puppy.  He loves it! 

Yesterday I had some yogurt flakes cereal as a snack.

And a Powerhouse Salad with my champagne and pear dressing instead of the one that it comes with.

And did you know that yesterday was National Nutella Day?  It was a great excuse for an afternoon snack of a mini bagel with Nutella.  Mmmm.

And then I got a little bit adventurous for dinner.  I had seen a lot of magazine and blog features on polenta lately, and I really wanted to try something with it!  I wanted to play it a little safe in case we didn't like it.  I made some marinara sauce with this recipe (I used more garlic and added 1T of brown sugar).  Then I made some turkey meatballs and grilled the polenta for about 5 min on each side (I used the kind in tube form from TJ"s).  Topped with parmesan and it looked like this:

This was so yummy!  And it was a really great alternative for pasta (only 70 cals per serving).  I have a lot of polenta left so you'll probably be seeing it again!

My wonderful brownie for dessert.


I wanted something comforting for breakfast, so I made Cream of Wheat with brown sugar, vanilla, flax, and cinnamon.  Plus a little bit of Smart Balance on top.

And I just had a blueberry wheat bran muffin from TJ's.


G thinks that we don't have any food in the house and that we need to go to McDonald's or 7-11 for lunch.  I disagree.  We have a ton of food for today.  Maybe tomorrow, but I still doubt it.  Maybe I can get some snow pics for later.
Question:  I'm thinking about getting a smart phone.  Anyone have one?  I'm a little concerned about the data plan and don't know if it's worth it.