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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ashland Cafe, Cockeysville Part Deux

I read somewhere that the Ashland Cafe has wonderful Greek menu items, so I put my usual hankering for bison burgers aside and chose the lamb gyro platter. For about $10 it came with a greek salad, fries, pita bread and the usual gyro fixings (tomato, lettuce, onions) and tzatziki sauce. This was a DELICIOUS alternative to my burger. The gyro was perfectly seasoned

Ashland Cafe
10810 York Road
Cockeysville, MD 21030
410-666-3838

Ashland Cafe on Urbanspoon

Caribou Coffee, Hunt Valley (and elsewhere)



I love going to Caribou Coffee during the wintertime because I feel like I'm in a warm log cabin on a mountain. But not only is the ambiance so inviting, the coffees are great too. My signature mocha latte costs $3.20 for a small. It also smells like hot chocolate rather than mocha. Overall, it's your regular chain coffee store-- but perhaps it will make you feel warm and toasty in the winter months to come.


Caribou Coffee
www.cariboucoffee.com
110 Shawan Rd, Cockeysville
410-229-0112

Caribou Coffee on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekend Trip: Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia


I LOVE Colonial Williamsburg, it makes me so happy being there. I like the magic of it all- pretending to be in another time and place. It’s the same sort of feeling I get when I’m at the World Showcase part of Epcot Center.

Christmas time in Colonial Williamsburg is also very special. All the houses are decorated with natural wreaths- and even have a competition for the best wreath. They have a Grand Illumination on the Sunday of the first full weekend of December. They have fireworks, a parade and caroling. They also place candles in the windows of the buildings. I’ve heard that it’s their most crowded time of the year and all the hotels are usually double the price and/or booked up. The second weekend after the Grand Illumination is still pretty busy, which is when we went. I wouldn’t have wanted it any busier because then it’s less fun. I enjoy going into all the different buildings to see the trades and re-enactments of daily life in Colonial times, and those buildings are small and can get crowded with only a couple of people. Also, at night time on Saturdays they still have a parade and caroling. I LOVED caroling and was bummed that we had to leave before it finished for our dinner reservations.

Which comes to the most important part. The food. I LOVE the food. The Raleigh bakery is usually my first stop when I get to the main street. I love the Queen’s cake which is a lemon pound cake with currants. I also love to walk around with some hot apple cider. Oh there’s something so wonderfully festive about being in Williamsburg during December.

One thing that any visitor should do is visit a tavern within the historical district. There are many yummy restaurants and cafés in Merchant Square, just out of the historical district in between there and William and Mary (which is GORGEOUS and makes me jealous for any student there), especially the Cheese Shop. However, going to the taverns is something special. The more upscale taverns are the Kings Arm Tavern, known for it’s meat dishes and Christiana Campbell’s tavern, known for its seafood. I’ve eaten at the Christiana Campbell tavern twice now and have NEVER been disappointed. The food is delicious, seafood or meat (I got their tenderloin which was excellent). They also serve mini sweet potato muffins as starters—how amazing is that! Please make reservations WELL in advance.

This is a WONDERFUL trip that takes about 3 hours. It’s great for families and for couples. I’m not going to lie, this isn’t a nightlife oriented place- so tire yourself out during the day so that you can get up early and enjoy more in historical Williamsburg as well as close by Jamestown and Yorktowne. Oh yes, and Williamsburg Winery is just around the corner J

Weekend Trip: New York City, New York

New York is so close to Baltimore, but sometimes it seems so much longer than a 3.5hour trip since there is usually always traffic, stops and the occasional wrong turn (not to mention the GPS gets foiled by all the tall buildings- so always bring a map if you’re driving). However, I still like to go every once in a while and so my husband surprised me with a weekend trip to the city for our 6 month anniversary of getting married (he is SUPER!).

I won’t bore you with the details of what we ate (hot dogs are one of them), but I must say, as much lure as there is surrounding New York City during Christmastime—it was INCREDIBLY crowded. All the places that you would want to see such as Rockefeller center and 5th avenue are so heavily packed with people that it quickly becomes sucky. Dan and I instead walked around Union Square, Soho and unfortunately a very crowded Chinatown as well.

However, we saw the 2008 Tony award winning play for best Musical- In the Heights. It was BRILLIANT! We BOTH loved every minute of it. I would totally recommend it. The next day we went to see the Metropolitan Museum of Art since we had never been there either. That was quite a treat, but we found ourselves sort of burnt out from the older pieces of art since we saw so many similar paintings in Europe a couple of months ago.

All in all, New York city is always a great weekend trip from Baltimore. It’s a great place to be tempted by food and love everything you eat. Be weary of places that guidebooks recommend—they are usually always overcrowded. But perhaps that’s just a theme of New York during the Holidays—CROWDS. Next time, we’ll be going in the spring or fall to be sure.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mari Luna Mexican Grill, Pikesville

Yay! We finally went to Mari Luna!!! I've been really excited about trying this place ever since I got the recommendation from my favorite wine owners- Austin and James from Swirl Wine (see here). I love Mexican food and have been searching for a delicious place near me (no, Dan, Chili's does NOT count!!!!).

First of all, let me quickly point out that they have a new sister restaurant called Mari Luna Latin Grille right down the street from this place, so don't confuse them! The Mexican Grill is where we went!

I ordered the Barbacoa (lamb) taco ($3), a chicken gordita ($3.50), and a side of fried plantains ($3). My plate also came with sour cream, salsa, guacamole and lettuce. Everything was EXCELLENT. I LOVED the barbacoa taco. The way the lamb was cooked was succulent and moist. It was really perfect. The gordita was soooo yummy. It's a handmade corn tortilla stuffed with the meat so there were bits of corn in there too. The plantains were yummy as always, but they hardly got touched because I was so happy with my two entrees. I REALLY wished I had ordered the beef chalupa because it looked excellent. Next time. Definitely next time.

Next up was dessert. Oh sweet amazing desserts!!!! I ordered the Tres Leches Cake(A spanish sponge cake soaked in three types of milk) for $4, which came topped with bananas and whipped cream. HEAVENLY. Soooo heavenly. The cake was really moist and paired perfectly with the bananas. In fact, if there were no bananas, I probably wouldn't have loved it as much! Dan ordered the sopapilla (fried flour tortilla with caramel and powder sugar topping) which was really good, but too plain for my liking. The fried ice cream was good too, but again, not what I wanted. What I REALLY wanted was the Crispy Napolean ($6) which wasn't on the menu! Our waiter told us about it and it was incredible. It's a mix between flan and creme brulee with these crispy bits of sugar in between. OK, my description doesn't explain it well, but come on...let's think about this: Flan AND Creme Brulee. It was SO YUMMY LALALALALALALA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I need to come back here again. A lot. It was really yummy and reasonable!!!

p.s. They don't have a liqour license, so don't plan on getting margaritas like we were!!!!!

Mari Luna Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Baltimore Coffee & Tea Company, Part DEUX

I popped in here to get some coffee when I was hungry, and I happily remembered that they serve food! I ordered their Eastern Shore Chicken Salad which came on Foccacia bread. The chicken salad had walnuts and cranberries. The chicken salad was really yummy, but I would definitely switch the bread. The focaccia was thick so it was hard to eat, plus it made the sandwich very dry. Not that it wasn't a pleasant sandwich, it was actually really delicious and very satisfying. I usually don't like getting chicken salad with walnuts in it, because sometimes I can't tell whether I am eating a walnut or some gristle. Gross, I know. The sandwich was about $6ish.

I would definitely go there to eat again. But maybe it's because I love that place so much I don't mind staying longer.

Oh! You can purchase all sorts of items from their website-- give it a look!

www.baltcoffee.com
9 W Aylesbury Rd
Timonium, MD 21093
(410) 561-1080

Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company, on Urbanspoon

Outback Steakhouse, Everywhere USA

What is it with me and Chains lately? I slightly hate myself for going to so many in such a short period of time. I have a huge list of restaurants in my Google Documents of places I want to go to and I end up.....here. Unfortunately, there is a perfectly good reason to that-- most of the places listed are expensive. Oh well....one day I'll finish my list.

OK. self loathing over....let me continue with the review.

I was still sickly when I went here so I decided to take it easy and chose the French Onion Soup and the Queensland Salad (Fresh chicken breast salad on a bed of mixed greens with Monterey Jack and Cheddar, diced egg, tomatoes and toasted almonds). It basically tasted like the crispy chicken salad from Friendly's that I used to love with all of my heart (until I realized that Friendly's is kind of gross). The French Onion soup was actually rich and flavorful. Probably not the best I've ever had, but from a Chain "Australian" restaurant...I was happy with it. The salad was good- you can't really go wrong with a salad like that, but I do have to say that all the ingredients were fresh. Probably not local though.

My choices in food probably don't reflect what most people come here for, but I still thought I should blog!

Outback Steakhouse
134 Shawan Rd
Hunt Valley MD 21031
(410) 527-1540
www.outback.com

Outback Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Cheesecake Factory, Everywhere USA

Look, I don't mind eating at Cheesecake Factory, but I don't understand why this place is ALWAYS so crowded. There are a lot of good restaurants around these chains and yet for some reason people still resort to waiting for 2 hours at the Cheesecake table. I don't get it. When this particular Cheesecake Factory opened near me, I, like many other people, waited for hours to eat here. Why? The meals are the same everywhere and we know what we are going to get. What is the excitement? I have no idea....but I still was involved! Good marketing team over there!

So I've been here twice now since it's opened near me (and countless other times outside of that), so let me quickly tell you what I got.

First Visit:
The Factory Appetizer Favorites was an AWESOME way for a table to sample all the delicious appetizer items they have. I love appetizers a lot, so this was such a special treat. My favorite were definitely the tamale corn cakes; spinach and cheese dip; and summer rolls. After that, I was actually really stuffed even though we had five people splitting appetizers! I ordered the Fresh Fish Tacos which were good, and very healthful tasting (good after the appetizer!) I ended up not being able to eat a lot and took some home. Let me tell you-- they don't heat up well the second time around, so I would advise you to eat the whole dish. I then ordered (please don't ask me how I had room for this) the carrot cake, which was HUGE (again, i took most of it home) and was good, but still not as good as my favorite carrot cake EVER from Wegman's (their Ultimate Carrot Cake and their Ultimate Chocolate Cake are two of the best cakes you will ever eat in your life).

Second Visit:
I ordered the appetizer salad (which size is good enough for a normal portioned salad) for my dinner, the French Country Salad (Mixed Greens, Grilled Asparagus, Fresh Beets, Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans). Doesn't that sound delicious? It wasn't. Ok, ok, I'll be fair, it was.....Ok. They forgot the pecans so we had to specially ask for it, which was strike one. But also, the taste was just incredibly bland. I was expecting taste explosions in my mouth and it didn't happen. I was bummed. To treat myself, I decided to go for dessert, as I often do. I chose the carrot cake cheesecake which was yummy. I think I preferred the carrot cake cheesecake over the carrot cake.

Overall, I still don't get they hype over this place other than the huge selection of meals. But, you won't hear me complaining if we end up going here......

Cheesecake Factory, Towson Town Center,
825 Dulaney Valley Road,
Towson, MD 21204
(410) 337-7411
www.thecheesecakefactory.com

Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon

Chili's, Everywhere USA

This post is past due. I've been here a million and one times because it's Dan favorite restaurant. I've been trying to avoid posting on a place like Chili's because it's almost like blogging about Starbuck's-- it's the same everywhere, and everyone already has an opinion on it.

But as I said, I've been here so many times I might as well quickly write something. For starters, their Presidente Margaritas are delicious and at $6 are a great addition to a meal. You get a shaker (not to keep) and there are about 3 margaritas in that shaker. As I said, great addition. I like to get the fajitas so that I control what I put in my stomach (aka no green peppers), and because I actually like the steak they have. I've had their Guiltless Chicken Sandwich before and that's a good option if your husband drags you here and you still want to be healthy. One thing I've had that I would NOT recommend are their Chicken Tacos, surprisingly. They were WAY too soggy and just not appetizing overall. I was very surprised, especially with something as easy as Tacos. Also, I got them at lunch and I was disappointed that there was no lunch menu. They have one lunch feature- their bottomless chips, soups and salad choice...but other than that, no price changes for lunch. I don't appreciate that from a big chain like Chili's.

Oh well, that's my two cents.

Chili's Bar & Grill
9615 Deereco Road
Timonium, MD 21093
410-308-8740

Chili's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Fractured Prune, Towson

The Fractured Prune is literally right next to Pei Wei (My entry) so we skipped over there after our (terrible) meal. I ended up not ordering anything because I was strangely full enough, and I was excited to go back to my friend's house and eat all of her homemade saltine toffee candy anyway. However, Dan ordered the OC Sand (honey glaze, cinnamon sugar) and the French Toast (maple glaze, cinnamon sugar) so I knew that I would have a couple of bites :)

Both were extremely delicious, I must admit. I felt extremely unhealthy from eating only a couple of bites (somehow the Saltine toffee don't make me feel that way!), so I can't imagine ever getting more than one. It was superb with a nice cold glass of milk. Definitely a special treat! My friends really enjoy others with crazy toppings, especially the Reese Cup (peanut butter glaze, mini chocolate chips) but I am not a fan of the peanut butter/chocolate combination so it didn't appeal to me.


Fractured Prune on Urbanspoon

Bubba's Breakaway, Towson

We ordered from here one Game Night ago and I decided to get some hummus under the recommendation of a friend. For $5 a big tub of hummus came my way with some coldish pita bread. The hummus was not what I was hoping for. It was extremely runny and WAY too garlicky. I ended up eating most of Dan's fries (yummy) instead. I think I am spoiled by the Sabra brand of hummus. I think that has got to be the best hummus ever, and I really love hummus so I must know.
Do you guys know of any restaurant that has good hummus? I love getting it for an appetizer.

Bubba's Breakaway
905 York Rd
Towson, MD 21204
(410) 296-4080

Bubba's Breakaway on Urbanspoon

Pei Wei, Towson

Pei Wei is owned by P.F. Chang's, so I don't understand why I don't love it like I love P.F. This time around I ordered the Pad Thai because that's an easy dish to get right and because I love it so much. Well, not only did my order come out MUCH later than everyone else in my party but I didn't like it at all! I can't describe why, I just think it doesn't compare to the Pad Thai at Fuji San (in Cockeysville…I need to eat there soon so I can review them again). It didn't have that hint of sweetness that most Pad Thai's have. It was also too spicy and had random bits of tofu in my dish (even though I asked for chicken). Actually, a couple of people at the table had the random tofu slices in their meal. That's just plain weird and makes me feel kinda icky that either things don't get cleaned out well or everything is just a hodge podge in the kitchen. Dan did like my Pad Thai though, so I should mention that. However, he HATED his lo mein. He said that he thinks they forgot to add any sort of sauce , so it was just greasy noodles. I tried them and thought they were gross too. Basically, if you're going to fail at Pad Thai and Lo Mein…..that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the dishes.

Pei Wei Asian Diner
6302 York Rd
Baltimore, MD21212
(410) 435-3290
http://www.peiwei.com/

Pei Wei Asian Diner on Urbanspoon

Wegman's, Hunt Valley PART TWO

This entry almost hurts my heart to write because I love Wegman's so much. Unfortunately, this must be written.

I have tried something from here that I did not love.

I was sickly so I was in the mood for some soup. I also wanted to walk around and chose Wegman's as my destination for my soup and gander. I chose the quintessential "sick" soup- Chicken Noodle. Unfortunately what I ended up getting was more like Pepper Noodle Soup. I had one piece of chicken in the medium size container. It also had the most pepper I've ever known. Now, knowing that people turn to Chicken Noodle Soup as their Soup Savior when they are sick-- why would you laden it with pepper? It was too spicy to ingest. What a disappointment. I counted on you, Wegman's :o(

Wegman's, Hunt Valley Towne Centre
www.wegmans.com
122 Shawan Rd, Cockeysville
(410) 773-3900

Monday, December 8, 2008

Boheme Cafe, Inner Harbor

I had a FABULOUS lunch friday from Boheme Café. I got a bowl size of their turkey chili for $5 and a fabulous looking almond Danish for $1 (pastries and cookies are half off because they want to sell out before the weekend). The chili was amazing! It's sweet and spicy and very meaty which makes me happy. My friend, Leah, very nicely gave me a chocolate chip walnut cookie they had and ate it in delight! The cookie was so soft and the chips were slightly melted. Oh it was just a perfect cookie. I really really love this place and will be sure to come back again. I've had a sandwich from there before that I really enjoyed. They have a lot of vegetarian options and are committed to the local food scene which I admire. They also serve fair trade coffee. Overall, this sounds like a café I wouldn't mind going to every once in a while for lunch. Be sure to check it out, but be aware- there is no indoor seating, so I hope you don't mind carrying it back to your desk!

Boheme Café
(410) 347-9898
400 E Pratt StBaltimore, MD21202
www.bohemecafe.com/index.html

Boheme Café on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baltimore Farmer's Market, Baltimore City

I went to visit the Baltimore Farmer's Market under the JFX on Sunday after Thanksgiving.  It was very rainy and cold and hardly anyone was there, so luckily for us parking was a breeze.  We also knew that a lot of the stands would have gone since it is pushing Winter-- but we were still tempted to see what was offered.  OK, fine, we were actually tempted by the amazing mini donuts and the crepe stand.  Let's first talk about the donut stand because those are THE BEST DONUTS EVER.  I love them so incredibly much.  A large bag is $4 and they may be one of the best uses of $4 in this city.  The dough is fresh and hot, and you can pour your own sugar on it.  Oh they just melt in your mouth.  The crepes were really delicious too-- you can make your own egg, cheese, meat combination but they are pretty hefty at $6 for one singular crepe.  If you get anything fancier, some may cost you $8-9.  I don't know about you, but when I go to the Farmer's Market, I expect things to be cheap...but I guess the prepared food isn't.  However, the produce IS!  I got a quart of turnips for $1!  We also got a bag of four huge Organic chocolate chip cookies that were great.  Basically, we went there to eat and we were so happy!  I would recommend going to the Farmer's markets any day.  Everyone there is so helpful and friendly!  And the food, both the prepared and produce kind are delicious.

Thanks, Baltimore!

Hightopps Backstage Grille, Timonium

Have I ever told you about how horrendous the food is at Hightopps? I haven't!?!?! Well shame on me because it's terrible. It's a darn shame too because I go here every Tuesday night for Charm City Trivia and it would be nice to order something delicious while I work my brain. Recently, I went there to watch the Ravens game and had a lot of fun but had terrible (shocker) nachos. Nachos! How can any place mess up nachos! ESPECIALLY a bar! I ordered the chicken nachos for about $12 which is pretty expensive for nachos, not to mention really crappy nachos. THe chicken was cooked too much and was excessively chewy, the nachos themselves were practically burnt to a crisp and the cheese wasn't gooey but a solid overcooked mess. It was terrible, but I ate it because I was hungry. My husband has ordered a chicken sandwich from here and received raw chicken, that same time he ordered wings which had a feather still attached. Totally gross. Basically, come here for a cool bar, but do NOT order any food. Seriously.

EDIT 8/10/09: Thanks to the commenters, it seems like Hightopps has changed chefs- so this review may be out of date.....but I still need to go there to check! Thank you again Jessica and my anonymous friend for giving me the scoop!!!! -- Nakiya



Hightopps Backstage Grille on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Razorback's Raw Bar & Grill, Towson PART II

We came here with some friends, and I was excited to get a burger again. However, for the sake of this website I decided to try something different! See what I do for you! For starters we got the "Baltimore Sushi" for about $9 which was crab and shrimp wrapped in a tortilla with some cheese. I mean, I understand that it was sort of rolled up as it was served to us....but sushi? I don't think so. But anyway, besides the name, this was a YUM start to the meal. The shrimp pieces were huge and all the flavors worked so well together. I really enjoyed this appetizer, more so than the shrimp I tried before.

But my main dinner was AMAZING. I had the Honey Bourbon ribs, half a rack for $9.99 (a special on Mondays). Oh wow were these ribs good. The half rack portion was perfect for me as well, and I'm glad I didn't get the full size since I couldn't even finish most of my fries that came with my meal. The sauce was sweet, but not overly so. The meat was perfectly cooked and easily fell off the bone. I really couldn't have been happier with the ribs.

What a wonderful second time back to Razorback's-- this place should definitely get more notice.

Razorback's Raw Bar & Grill
826 Dulaney Valley Rd.
Towson, MD 21204
410.821.9550

Padonia Station, Timonium

I'm not going to lie, I've never been a huge fan of Padonia Station. I don't really know why, but it's never my first place when I think of restaurants in my area. In fact, I usually never even mention it. I think it's because, once again, I confuse my hatred for the restaurant when it's really directed towards the bar. I hate the bar- but don't ask me why because I don't know. So when my hubby wanted to go to Padonia Station for dinner with some friends, I immediately groaned and muttered a less-than-emphatic "ok."

So we went, and I was VERY happy to see they offer bison burgers on their menu, and they will switch out anyburger with bison for an extra $3. However, this isn't necessary to do because they already have bison burger choices for less than $9 anyway. I chose the Texas bison burger for $8.95 which came with pepperjack cheese and chili on top! Delicious! It was seriously yummy! The fries were excellent too, as fries so often are. But overall, I was happily surprised with the quality of my bison burger and was also happily proud that they were serving local bison as well. Perhaps I need to re-evaluate this place after all! Of course I would probably stick to getting bar type food, and not anything fancy from this place. However, I must add that the BBQ wings were good and my friend said the ribs were fantastic.

63 E. Padonia Road
Cockeysville, MD 21093
410-252-8181
http://www.padoniastation.com/

Padonia Station on Urbanspoon

Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company, Timonium

OK, you're going to have to give me a second to catch my breath here. I CANNOT believe I haven't posted on this place. This is my hands down favorite coffee establishment! This is where I buy my coffee (my favorite is their Fair Trade Mexican) and my tea (my favorite is Yorkshire Tea Gold). Their coffee bean and tea selection is fabulous and overwhelming all at the same time. They also have flavored coffees for those wanting to start slowly into the world of Coffee Love.

On top of being my tea and coffee supplier, this is also the shop I like to go to in my area when I want a nice cup of mocha. Their prices are MUCH cheaper than your big coffee shop chain, and they also serve gelato, pastries and some savory choices (including bagels).

They have free wifi, so get a cup of coffee, an almond pastry and sit at a table and ponder how awesome this place is!

p.s. They have gifts displayed for Christmas!

www.baltcoffee.com
9 W Aylesbury Rd
Timonium, MD 21093
(410) 561-1080

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ashland Cafe, Cockeysville

I've been here many times before for a quick dinner, although it just recently opened up for dinner- having served breakfast and lunch only for most of their time open. This place is a small neighborhood cafe where cheap and well-made food is what you will always find. The best thing I get is the Bison burger with local bison from Gunpowder Trading Co. in Hereford. The burger is moist and tasty (ask for it medium- bison doesn't have a lot of fat and will dry out at any other temperature) and the fries that accompany it are crisply delicious. Come here for comfort food, a couple rounds of Keno, and fast service.




Ashland Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An Poitin Stil, Timonium

My dad was in town (yay!) and so we were trying to think of a place in the area for dinner that was reasonable and delicious. For some reason, it was really hard for us to think of places in Timonium/Hunt Valley that were reasonable and not chains or crappy! In the end we decided to go to An Poitin Stil, an Irish restaurant and bar that is close to home. I had been there before and I remember really loving it, although I never really think about going there because unfortunately I always just think of it as a bar and not a restaurant.

Well, I’m really glad we went! The restaurant looks cool and is decorated well inside too. We sat in a castle type room which was neat. The brown bread and honey butter that was served before our meal was divine and it was hard reminding myself that my meal was coming! I ordered a house special- corned beef and cabbage (It was about $13.50)! I know this sounds kinda unappetizing, but it was DELICIOUS. The beef was corned brisket beef (I don’t know what the corned bit means) which was incredibly tender and juicy. The cabbage was EXCELLENT. Even people who are iffy on cabbage would love this cabbage. It was just so soft and flavorful, having been braised and then coated with a parsley sauce. There were also potatoes on the side, but I forgot about them and merely wanted my beef and cabbage. Oh yea, and there was A LOT of cabbage. I took a hefty amount for lunch the next day.

Dan tried the Tri Color Cheese Tortellini Shrimp Fra Diablo, which is a fancy way of saying cheese tortellini in a tomato sauce with some shrimp. However, perhaps it says Diablo or “devil” because holy crap that sauce set a FIRE IN MY MOUTH. I couldn’t eat more than one bite it was so hot. Dan enjoyed it though, his tolerance is better than mine. Be aware!

My dad ordered the shepherd’s pie which is soooooo yummmmyyyyy. This is the meal that I had first had when I came here, and it did not disappoint when I tried it for a second time. The beef chunks were tender and the sauce was flavorful. The mashed potatoes or “champ” on top was yummy as well. I really really like this dish, and it’s great that it’s such an accessible dish while being an Irish speciality.

For dessert, I had to try the bread pudding and oh man was I happy! The bread pudding had the most raisins I had ever seen, which makes me so happy! The flavor was very rich and luscious, and the bread they used had to be of good quality. I liked this dessert A LOT and was very happy that I couldn’t finish it all and was able to take half of it to work the next day.

Overall, we loved this place. We liked the really laidback atmosphere and the delicious food. It’s definitely a place we’ll visit again.

An Poitin Stil
2323 York Road
Timonium, MD 21093
410-560-7900

An Poitin Stil on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weber's Farm, Parkville


Going to Weber's Farm in the Fall should be a Baltimore tradition.  They have their own apple orchard where you can pick your own apples (now over for the season), and they also have their own shop where they sell produce and baked goods.  One thing that Dan and I love to go there for is their cider apple donuts which they make on the premises.  It's a thin, freshly made donut covered with cinnamon sugar.  It's delicious and such a treat when visiting and walking around the store.  I also like to get apple cider there as well as some local cheese from a dairy farm in Maryland (Keyes Creamery in Havre de Grace).  

Something else to note is that they raise their own turkeys there at the farm, so if you want a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving, consider getting one from Weber's.  Go onto their website to find out more information (they are $2.49/lb).

In general, I just love the feel of going to Weber's.  It's in the middle of a large neighborhood in Parkville and it feels so random, but I like that a community has been built all around it since it's actually celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year!  It's super close to Towson, and for all you city folk-- it may be the closest farm to visit! 

Weber's Farm
2526 Proctor Lane,
Baltimore, MD 21234
410-668-4488
Fax 410-665-7844

Bagel Works, Cockeysville

Bagel Works is one of those places that everyone in the immediate area knows about.  You come in and seat yourself for a cheap breakfast or lunch.  They make their bagels themselves and they are always fresh and excellent may I add.  When I go there I usually get an omelette because they also come with homefries and a bagel. Excellent deal for under $7 if you ask me!!!  I've had the Lord Baltimore before which I enjoy- cheese, a choice of meat and homefries are mixed into the omelette.  Get this if you really enjoy homefries!  I also like the meat, egg, cheese, and homefries wrap.  My favorite bagel is the cinnamon raisin and I splurge for the walnut raisin cream cheese, which makes the bagel $2.75, which is pretty hefty for a bagel with cream cheese if you ask me.  Overall, this place is definitely delicious but not something you should drive out of your way for.  I'm sure you can find plenty of places like this all over Baltimore.  But for people in the Timonium/Cockeysville/Hunt Valley area- it's a household name!

Bagel Works
11209 York Rd
Cockeysville, MD 21030
Also a location in Towson
(410) 785-0811



Bagel Works of Hunt Valley on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Coffeeland, Baltimore City

Oh early morning meetings, how I hate you. However, they give me an excuse to treat myself to a delicious coffee! I had a little extra time this morning so I went further up Charles Street to Coffeeland, opposite the Tremont Hotel. I walked in and really wanted to walk right out because there was no ambience WHATSOEVER. And granted, I was going to get my mocha to go...but I still wanted that coffee-shop feel. It's not here. It's dingy and kinda messy. There are no red walls adorned with fancy artwork here. It's just about the coffee and the food. I ordered a medium mocha, and to my luck they give free flavor shots on Wednesdays! My mocha ended up being $3.02 for 16oz, which is a steal for this area. They also have an array of breakfast sandwiches and toppings, as well as pastries that were extremely reasonable. The mocha itself was great! The coffee isn't strong at all, and perhaps it's a liiiiitle too sweet. But I still like it.
Overall, I'm not sure how many times I will make the trek to this place but it's nice to know there's a really reasonable place in this area for a good coffee and a breakfast sandwich (although it is open for lunch as well).

Coffeeland
222 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21201

Coffeeland on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 7, 2008

Juice Me Up, Federal HIll


Because today was such an unusually warm November day, I decided to take advantage of it (and try and burn off the Hershey kisses I consumed this morning) and go for a walk. I usually walk east and north of Pratt Street, so I decided to head towards Federal Hill, besides, I was in the mood for a smoothie.  It took me ten minutes to get to Federal Hill!  I was so amazed and annoyed at myself because I had never thought of walking down here.  Now this opens up so many possibilities for my Friday lunch out of the office!
I headed for Cross Street Market and went to Juice Me Up, a place that serves a variety of blended juice smoothies.  Usually I love the yogurt-y smoothies, but I was going for healthy today.  I ordered a 16oz Dango Mango for $4.  It was mango, orange, organic pineapple and banana mixed with ice.  This was a deliciously refreshing juice.  The banana made it really think without making it taste banana-y.  The flavor was definitely an orange mango juice.  I thought that the 16oz, which is the smallest size, was the perfect way to go.  Anything more and I probably would have had a stomach ache.  Overall, I was really happy with my choice, and it has opened me up to the possibility of trying more juice smoothies rather than yogurt smoothies.  I would definitely try this again, although I would probably make my way back again on another warm day.


Juice Me Up on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VOTE


Before treating yourself to a sweet treat,

how about casting a delicious vote




Sunday, November 2, 2008

Java Joe's Round Deux, Baltimore City

Remember I had a terrible smoothie from Java Joe's? Well, I decided I would give it another try because they had the most delicious sounding sandwiches. Also, it's relatively new and I like to help out places that have to compete with Starbuck's and Cosi's that surround them.

So, I tried their Mocha latte and was very happy! Usually, you can't go wrong with mocha lattes (although...see Sweet Lela's Market Cafe), but I still really enjoyed this latte. I think the coffee itself isn't as strong as Cosi's so it's more soothing and comforting than it is a jarring wake-up experience. It's $3.30 for a small and $4.48 for a medium which I think is a HUGE difference in price but not enough difference in size to make the medium worth it. I definitely think that whenever I decide to treat myself to lattes (i know it sounds like it is everyday, but it really isn't), I may walk a little further and go to Java Joe's instead of Cosi's.

Or perhaps I will just go there to try more of their sandwiches because I was delighted with the "Thames" which is tuna salad with dill, muenster, tomato and lettuce on sunflower bread. The bread is delicious and hearty. This is such a yummy sandwich, and it made me really excited to try more of their selection (which is quite large if you look at their menu on their website). The tuna salad was made perfectly and I got quite a serving too! I thought it went really well with the creamy muenster cheese. Overall, I was super happy with my choice! I will definitely go back again for lunch.

Java Joe's
8 E Baltimore St
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 727-6647
http://www.javajoesbaltimore.com/

Sweet Lela's Market Cafe, Towson

I've been excited about this place ever since my dad and I stopped by before it first opened. The name seemed promising with "sweet" in the title. I had images of pastries and chocolates dancing around in magical harmony. Finally I decided to go here to get a cup of coffee. I had high expectations because this place is Italian and I had some delicious coffee when I was in Italy (including my first ever espresso!). I asked for a "Moka" as it said on the menu and it was about $4.40 for 16oz which is insanely expensive now that I think about it. It's amazing how much I can spend on coffee and not even flinch. Anyway, the coffee was a HUGE disappointment. I am pretty sure I got the milkiest latte that has ever been made, with the most foam that has ever been scooped on top. It took me about 6 big slurps to even get to the coffee. And when I did get to the "coffee" it was actually steamed milk. Where the crap was the mocha taste? It was nowhere. You can be sure that I'll never get a coffee from this place again. What a disappointment. An expensive disappointment.



Sweet Lela's Market Cafe
3 W Allegheny Ave
Towson, MD21204
(410) 821-5352

Sweet Lela's Market Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Patisserie Poupon, Baltimore City

I FOUND MACARONS IN BALTIMORE!!!!!!
This cute little French bakery is walking distance from my work!!!!!!
Thanks to my wonderful friend who steered me here for Macarons, I ended up buying 1 almond filled croissant (amazing, I need to eat more of these as well), 1 Madeleine (good, a little dry though), 2 almond macarons (I'm pretty sure I shed a tear because of its sheer deliciousness), 1 chocolate macaron (yum), and 1 raspberry macaron (I REALLY liked this as well) all for a little less than $5!!!  Isn't that incredible!!!! I can't even tell you how much money I spent in France when I bought pastries for myself!

So, my dear Baltimore readers (all two of you!), we now know where to get some macarons and other amazing treats!!!!

Patisserie Poupon
820 E Baltimore St
Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 332-0390



Patisserie Poupon on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I AM SO SORRY!

(Photo Taken from Wikipedia)

Let's just put this out there-- it's been a while. But I have a good excuse-- we were on our fabulous honeymoon! Oh I ate SOOOOO much, and documented a lot....but again, this is a Baltimore blog so I'll spare you all the details.

We went to France, Italy and Switzerland.

And yes, I had French Onion Soup; oodles of Pizza and Pasta; and a traditional swiss cheese fondue! I've never eaten so much in my life, and I've never been so happy in my life. It was a glorious trip :O)

One thing I must note is that I became obsessed with Macarons. They are my current obsession....and I don't know what to do now that they aren't in every single shop around me. If you know of any Baltimore places that sell these-- let a desperate girl know!!!

Lots of updates coming soon!!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cosi, Everywhere USA POST DEUX

I have found a new love. I am sorry Mr. Mocha-Latte-with-Skimmed-Milk-no-whip-and-lots-of-money, you have been replaced by MR. PUMPKIN SPICED LATTE!!!!!!

Oh it's sooooo sweet and soooo perfectly spiced and it reminds me of the Fall, which probably is the biggest draw for me. I just had to let you know that there is a new coffee in my heart. Unfortunately, I know this is temporary. Cosi is sly like that, they get you addicted to all their products and then just take them away each season :O(

But anyway, this is pretty great. It's also stupidly expensive, but that's why you have to save these things as a Monday morning treat and stick to your own tea bags the other weekday mornings :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Austin, Texas

Sorry that it's been so long since I've blogged. Dan and I visited my sister in Austin, Texas for the labor day weekend and so I've slowly been trying to catch up. Again, seeing as though this is a BALTIMORE blog-- I'm not going to take up a lot of time talking about the restaurants BUT I do want to say that Austin is a little jewel in the middle of Texas. It's extremely liberal (a big plus for me) and very active. It's much greener than I thought Texas could ever be-- and hill country is spectacular. I think everyone should definitely check this place out.

Whenever I go to Austin, there are a couple of places I have to go to everytime:
Jo's: This coffee bar has a couple of locations, but the one I usually go to is on South Congress since it's close to all the other places I love! I love their yummy iced coffee, including something called a Belgian Bomber that's made with mocha and condensed milk-- wonderfully refreshing!

Guero's Taco Bar: I love South Congress Avenue-- it's a really chill place to hang out in Austin and check out the more laidback vibe. This restaurant has delicious tacos and margaritas. My personal favorite is their Al Pastor taco.

Amy's Ice Cream:
Their Mexican Vanilla is AMAZING. I can't get enough of this sweet vanilla ice cream that puts all other vanillas to shame. Oh yes, and where else could this be but on South Congress!

The Oasis: This gorgeous restaurant on Lake Travis is a perfect treat for visitors. The view is spectacular- especially at sunset- and their food is delicious as well (not to mention their margaritas!). I tried the fish tacos which I really enjoyed. However, people go there mostly for the view, it's just an added bonus that the food is amazing. Be wary about long waits!

Visit Austin-- you might be happily surprised!!!!

Ding How, Timonium

Ding How, a Chinese restaurant right behind my house, is our neighborhood Chinese take-out restaurant. However, ever since Wegman's came around-- we usually just (shock and horror) get our Chinese food from their Wokery Bar!

Saturday night we decided we wanted something fast-- and thought that Ding How would be the best idea. Instead, we ended up waiting for our carry out order for about 35-40 mins. We probably could have sit down and eaten during the time it took us to get our food. That was hugely disappointing, especially because we heard the lady on the phone tell her delivery orders that it was going to take 25 minutes. I guess we should have stayed at home and called them!

We ordered the General Tso's chicken and Sesame Chicken (healthy eating was not on the menu tonight) and unfortunately they were definitely not up to par. The breading around both of these meals were entirely too much. There was just something off about these meals. Overall, I am pretty disappointed because usually Chinese take-out is satisfying regardless of the meal. I think because we waited SO long for the food that we were expecting it to be amazing, and it really didn't meet those standards.

Ding How
12234 Tullamore Rd,
Timonium MD 21093
(410) 628-0888


Lu's Ding How Orchis Garden on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Orchard Market and Cafe, Towson

Don't be fooled by the name. This place is neither a market nor a cafe, and they don't have an orchard in their backyard. This is a delicious Persian restaurant in a REALLY random strip mall (you know me and my love for random strip mall restaurants).

I've been wanting to go here for so long, and finally decided to when I was in the mood for something ethnic and Chili's wasn't going to cut it :) I am SO glad we came. This really is a gem of a place and I hope that it continues to thrive. First of all, I must mention it is a BYOB and so I brought along that delicious Argentinian Malbec that I blogged about previously. It went great with the food. But, let's start talking about it.

We ordered two appetizers, the Mango Shrimp ($8.95) and the Hummus ($4.95). The mango shrimp was Dan's favorite, and mine was the hummus. I felt that the shrimp, which was made with with onions and vegetables in a mango chutney and garlic sauce, was waaaaaaaaaaaaay too saucy, and almost too sweet. There also wasn't enough shrimp for the sauce, nor enough bread. OK, this sounds like I don't like it...and I admit I wasn't floored- but Dan loved it.

There was a substantial amount of hummus, and I wished there was more bread. I didn't really understand the whole deal with the pickles, but I kept going. Overall it was a very smooth and yummy hummus, with a mint flavor to it which threw me off a little bit. I think, if I had the choice I wouldn't order either of these and order this choice instead: Haleem Bademjune
A dip of eggplant and beans with sour cream, garlic, walnuts and spices. Similar to baba ganoush.
($5.95). Mmmm doesn't that sound yummy?

For the main meal, Dan chose the Mixed Kebobs dish which came with beef tenderloin, ground beef, and chicken breasts ($16.95). Overall, this was very tasty and prepared very well but I think because I can get the same thing at Moby Dick's in Silver Spring for half the price...it underwhelmed me.

Oh dear, this doesn't seem like a positive post, does it? I think this was a really good meal, but not something I would order- so I guess that it's hard to recommend it. If you wanted to try Persian food for the first time-- this is the way to go to be introduced to the flavors in a very safe way. Oh yea, and rice was cooked perfectly!

But here is where I first saw fireworks. The Chicken Fesenjune ($16-17...i forget). AMAZING. AMAZING. YUMMY. DELICIOUSNESS ALL AROUND. Chicken Fesenjune is chicken in a walnut-pomegranate sauce. This sauce is probably the most incredible sauce out of the history of all sauces. There's a perfect balance of tangy and sweet from the pomegranate, while the walnuts gave the sauce good body. The chicken was amazing! It was falling from the bone and every bite in my mouth was heavenly. I really cannot get over this dish.

This is saying a lot because I've had this dish many times, in fact it is my favorite Persian dish-- and this meet my expectations and more. I WHOLE HEARTEDLY recommend this dish to you. Please try it and let me know what you think. It's a classic Persian dish that I think a lot of people wouldn't think twice about ordering. Please think twice!

You'd think that after that culinary delight, my senses wouldn't be able to handle anything else....oh but I HAD to try dessert! When you ask for the dessert menu, they actually bring a tray out with all their desserts, and there were quite a number of choices (mostly cake-like). The napoleon was also on the tray, which was a flaky pastry stuffed with saffron ice cream and topped with candied orange peel.

YUM. I WISH A PLATE OF THIS WOULD DROP IN MY LAP RIGHT NOW AND FALL UPRIGHT WITH A SPOON SO THAT I CAN EAT IT.

The saffron ice cream is subtle but flavorful and pairs incredibly well with the light pastry. The candied orange is a reallly nice touch, and even though it may have been mostly for a garnish-- i still polished it off. But honestly, the ice cream is really where the love was. I pretty much gasped with delight at each bite. Oh yea, and Dan loved it too :O)

Please go there and support this delicious restaurant!!!!


Orchard Market & Cafe on Urbanspoon

I Love This Wine


No. This is not a Maryland wine. I was very hesitant about posting this since this has nothing to do with Baltimore, except for the fact that I bought it at Swirl Wine (earlier post!).

But...I couldn't help myself. This was one of the best wines I have ever tasted AND
1) It's organic!
2) It was $12!!!!!

This is a terrible picture, so let me spell things out:

Vineyard: Santa Julia
Varietal: Malbec
Region: Argentina
Year: 2007

Delicious! Incredibly smooth. Incredibly yummy! (I told you I cannot describe wine).

If you find it in your local wine shop (Swirl?), then why don't you pick up a bottle for dinner!

Elk Run Vineyards, Mt. Airy

Well. Here was the last stop on my birthday winery tour! Another smaller operation than Linganore, but bigger than Loew's. It had a rustic and garden-y feeling to it....if that makes any sense. The tasting was $2 for 5 wines, or $5 for 5 wines and a souvenir glass.

Overall, their wines were good but nothing stood out to me on this trip. I did like the opportunity to taste their Malbec ($22) since I like that varietal. It smelled very strong, but it was actually a mild taste. One wine I didn't like was their Syrah, sadly enough, since it was the first Maryland Syrah! Oh well...

I also liked how they had bread and cheese for you to buy with any glasses of wine. Cute place.


A cute little area to sit and enjoy your wine with some bread and cheese.


Elk Run Vineyards
15113 Liberty Road
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
Phone: 410-775-2513
www.elkrun.com

Loew Vineyards, Mt. Airy

After going to Linganore, we stopped in at Loew Vineyards. This was a MUCH smaller operation. In fact, Lois Loew was the pourer in the tasting room! While I loved that it had such a family-operation feel, I unfortunately did not feel as much love for their wine.

But first let me say, tastings cost $2, or $5 if you want to keep a souvenir glass. You are able to taste whatever wines they have on the counter-- but it was a nice variety. I tried 7 wines. These are small tastings, let me remind you!!!!

For some reason I tasted a lot of mint in these wines, and in one I thought it tasted like mustard (The Country Classic). I think the problem with my distaste for these wines is that I tasted them right after tasting all those sweet wines back at Linganore. I'm pretty sure my taste buds had not recovered.

I hate to give a Maryland winery a bad review, but it's important to be honest. If you go to Mt. Airy, definitely check this place out and if you go to a wine festival-- please visit their tent and see for yourself!

Loew Vineyards
14001 Liberty Road
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
301-831-5464
www.loewvineyards.net

Linganore Winecellars/Berrywine Plantations, Mt. Airy


The main tasting room and shop

One of my most favorite ways to pass the time is to visit a winery (or some wineries). I love wineries. They are usually set in the most gorgeous locations, surrounded by really friendly and interesting people, and they usually have wine tastings! I've been meaning to go to Linganore Winecellars for a couple of years now. They probably have the most extensive wine list of any Maryland winery, and they allow you to taste any and all of them for free when you visit! I would advise you not to do that if you want to accomplish anything else that day :)

What did I tell you about gorgeous locations?

I tried quite a few of the wines offered, but I'm not going to sit here and write wine notes, because I am not good at describing wine other than saying "Yum" and "Gross."


The tasting room and shop from the inside. It was really lovely.

The White wines that I really loved were the Oak-aged Chardonnay ($16.04) and the semi-sweet white May Wine ($14.15).

The Red wines I loved were the cabernet sauvignon ($18.87) and Chambourcin ($26.41).

My absolute favorites, however, were the pure fruit wines. They were delicious! Definitely not something you could drink a lot of-- they are all very sweet--but perfect for sipping on summer nights. The fruit wines included: Peach, Plum, Stawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry and Blueberry (range from $12.26-16.04). I ended up buying the Raspberry wine ($12.15) which won the 2007 Governor's Cup Gold.


What I took home. Yum.

I really loved this winery. My pourer, Joyce, was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. I know they have a bunch of festivals throughout the year, and most of their smaller events are free. This place is awesome!

Linganore Winecellars/Berrywine Plantations
13601 Glissans Mill Road
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
410-795-6432
www.linganorewines.com

Tonight on TV

Just a quick heads up, tonight on Road Tasted with the Neely's, they will be coming to Baltimore!
Here is more info:

Road Tasted With the Neelys: "Baltimore." Pat and Gina discover savory pies, cupcakes, and crab cakes in Baltimore, Maryland. 9:30 p.m. ET, Food Network

Monday, August 25, 2008

Swirl Wine Shop, Timonium


It's such a great feeling (for me, at least) when you find a wine shop that you love. Personally it's hard to find because I'm not well versed on wines (even though I am a Maryland Wine Ambassador....), I like cheaper bottles of wine (no less than $7 and no more than $14), and I don't like to be surrounded by the typical wine drinking snobbery. I realize that most people at wine shops are trying to be helpful, but I hate it when they point me to a wine that is expensive even when I clearly look like I am not the type to be able to distinguish a buttery nose from a crispy nose (whatever that means).


Swirl wine seems to cater to me. It's eclectic, it's fun, it's NOT overwhelming at all, and the owners/employees are genuinely nice and NOT snobs! To be honest, they have a small selection of wines, but they do cover all the bases- even Maryland wine! Most of the wines they sell are VERY reasonable, and some are even on sale. They also write special handwritten notes about some of the wines on tags around the bottles.


Another reason why I love them is because they sell local chocolate from a friend of theirs! I bought a box and will review it once I actually open it.

***Actually, this is a shocking piece of information so let me just explain. I bought it for myself on my birthday 5 days ago and have still not opened the box! I've been having a LOT of sugar lately and decided I needed to not have something every night.***


Anyway, they also offer wine tastings every friday and saturday and sometimes they have winemakers come in to speak. I really think this wine shop is trying to market themselves to my generation, and they are doing a fine job!


Swirl Wine

2320 York Road (next to the fairgrounds)

Timonium, Maryland 21093

410 252 7787

The Legendary "Hot Brown" of Louisville, Kentucky


So I went to Louisville, Kentucky for a wedding this weekend and happened to learn about a traditional Louisville dish called “Hot Brown.” The dish was actually created the chefs at the Brown Hotel—the Hotel that I was indeed staying at! Hot Brown is an opened faced turkey sandwich with a creamy sauce. There is a more specific recipe that I will give, but the reason that I am being vague is because it is now made in a variety of ways. Here is the actual recipe from The Brown Hotel’s website itself:

The Legendary Hot Brown Recipe
Ingredients:

4 oz. ButterFlour to make a Roux (about 6 tablespoons)
3 - 3 1/2 cups Milk
1 Beaten Egg
6 tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 oz. Whipped Cream (optional)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Slices of Roast Turkey
8-12 Slices of Toast (may be trimmed)
Extra Parmesan for Topping
8-12 Strips of Fried Bacon

Directions:
Melt butter and add enough flour to make a reasonably thick roux (enough to absorb all of the butter). Add milk and Parmesan cheese. Add egg to thicken sauce, but do not allow sauce to boil. Remove from heat. Fold in whipped cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For each Hot Brown, place two slices of toast on a metal (or flameproof) dish. Cover the toast with a liberal amount of turkey. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the turkey and toast. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until the sauce is speckled brown and bubbly. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of bacon on top, and serve immediately.


I tried it at a restaurant across the street from the hotel (the horror!) before I knew about the legend, unfortunately. This particular hot brown was made with an alfredo sauce and had tomatoes. I don’t remember if it had bacon as well. I just remembered the extreme cheesiness and sauciness of it all. Overall, it was superb comfort food. It was so exciting to taste a bit of local food history!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Grauls Cafe, Timonium


Once again....I'm writing about a supermarket's cafe. I can't help it-- this one is literally behind my house. It does have some odd hours, and is often frequented by people at least 50 times older than me, but I still like it (and it is not because I am secretly hoping to run into John Locke and have another conversation again!!!).


I usually come here for coffee when I am in the mood for something quick and frothy. It is also the first stop before Dan and I go on any long road trips-- a mocha latte for me, some juice for him and pastries for the both of us! What I like about their mocha lattes are they are never too sweet. This is a good thing. There's only so much chocolate milk flavor you can handle when you are actually hoping for some caffeine as well.


Their pastries are varied and yummy. Their chocolate croissants are heavenly and ALWAYS have a LOT of chocolate in the middle (see- what you lack from the coffee, you make up in the pastry). Dan really likes their muffins.


In general, this is a great quick stop in the area, but definitely not worth coming to check out if you're further away than Towson (or maybe even Cockeysville since there are a bunch of cute coffee shops there too).

While we are talking about their cafe, let me quickly say something about the grocery store itself. Grauls gives out A LOT of samples on the weekends and they are always great! Their employees behind the deli are usually in a foul mood, but the rest of the peeps are great. They have really delicious carrot cake, brownies, pastries, fruit tarts etc etc. They make their sushi in-store, and I've seen the same sushi chef for YEARS (he does a great job).

That being said, if I wanted to pick milk up fast, or get some deli meat (Shopper's deli meat ALWAYS gets slimy on me before the end of the week), or maybe pick up some unusual cheese and don't feel like going to Wegman's-- then this is the place for me. Other than that, the main groceries get done at either Sam's Club (don't judge me) or Shopper's.
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