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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.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Miss Shirley's, Roland Park

I really love Miss Shirley's. I love the location. I love the atmosphere. I love how I feel when I know I am going. I love the menu. I love THE FOOD.

I discovered Miss Shirley's a couple of years ago when it was in its old location across the street. I remember getting lunch but wishing in my mind that I had ordered breakfast instead. In fact, there was one menu item in particular I wished I had ordered: Coconut cream stuff french toast with bruleed bananas. I mean, seriously? If you've been reading this blog long enough, or if you know me well enough (and the two people that read this blog do) you know that I love sweets. But I digress. The appetizer that I really enjoy are the sweet potato fries with mango ketchup and lemon aioli on the side ($4.25). The mango ketchup is by far the more superior dip, and I also like the fact that anyone can make it. I bet it's pretty much mango puree (buy it in a can) and ketchup mixed together. I can't distinguish any other flavors other than those two, which is fine with me. The fries themselves are soft and perfectly salted. I also really like the presentation.



I, of course, ordered the French toast ($11) and cut into it with moans and sighs of pure love. The serving is ridiculously huge and I can never eat all of it, so if you eat with me at Miss Shirley's, you will probably have half of this meal. I LOVE the creamy middle of the french toast and I love pairing that with the soft bread and strawberries on the side. The bruleed bananas are sugared perfection- really crispy and not burnt at all. I really love everything about this dish, other than the fact that I probably consume 5 million calories in 20 minutes (ok fine, 10).


The one disappointment was Dan's Seafood salad for $17. It was caesar salad with a horseradish caesar dressing, crab, shrimp and a ton of old bay. It didn't appeal to me, and unfortunately it didn't appeal to Dan either when he tried it. The horseradish sauce completed overwhelmed the dish, the old bay didn't seem to fit with the dressing, and the grilled shrimp were cold. There wasn't anything to complain about to the kitchen, I think this was purely something that had to do with taste.

What I felt promising though was even though Dan disliked his main dish, he still really loved the place. He enjoyed the sweet potato fries and he loved my dish (who wouldn't!!!) and he said he would happily come again. Considering that he hated his main dish-- that's pretty impressive!

If I come again, I would probably try and convince someone to split the french toast and a savory dish with me-- they all looked so great!

Miss Shirley's
www.missshirleys.com

513 W Cold Spring Ln
Baltimore, MD 21210
(410) 889-5272

Miss Shirley's on Urbanspoon

Taharka Brothers, Mount Washington



I can't believe I forgot to blog about this place!

Oh sweet deliciousness. Oh sweet love of all things icey and creamy. This is my ode to you.

Well, as you can see, I love Taharka Brothers ice cream (formerly Sylvan Beach). This is a new discovery of mine, even though I've known about them and their mission for a while. At Artscape I tried the key lime pie flavor and I'm not sure if it was because I was highly dehydrated and extremely sweaty, but that creamy delight was the best thing that had ever happened to me.

I mean, it tasted like a key lime pie! Crust and all! The lime flavor wasn't overpowering but just enough to make me feel citrusy cool. I went again to their cute shop in Mount Washington (which stays open really late) and ordered their strawberry ice cream and that was ALSO incredible. Everything seems so fresh and so pure-- you know that the ingredients are the real thing.

Oh I can't wait to try more.

Oh yes, and on top of that they serve the community by teaching at-risk youth about business and entrepreneurship. It feels good to eat ice cream!



Sylvan Beach on Urbanspoon

Piedigrotta, Federal Hill


Dan and I LOVE ribbon cake. Do you know about ribbon cake? I'm pretty sure it's a Mid-Atlantic delight. At first I thought it may have been a Baltimore thing, but then I saw it at the Amish market and I took that thought back.

Ribbon cake is made of the same cake slice, just colored like a rainbow and the fillings are either chocolate or raspberry jam. This cake had raspberry jam (chocolate is usually the filling you find at markets), and that pretty much sold it for me. However, it was $3.97 a slice which is kind of hefty if you think about it. But I tell myself that I would never make ribbon cake myself so I don't mind paying for it.

We found this beauty at the Cross Street Market in Federal Hill, but they also have a main shop in Little Italy. To be honest, the cake was good but not great. The cake itself seemed a little stale, but the filling was lovely and paired really well with the chocolate icing. If there had been chocolate filling it would have been a bit too much, especially because the chocolate icing was already sweet as it is.

I wouldn't be against trying anything else from this place, but I would more likely try it from their shop in Little Italy than their stand at Cross Street.

Piedigrotta
Cross Street Market, Federal Hill

1300 Bank Street, Suite 140
Baltimore, MD 21231
410-522-6900
www.piedigrottabakery.com

Piedigrotta Bakery of Baltimore on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 15, 2008

Christopher Daniel, Timonium

Christopher Daniel is the type of place where you walk in and will immediately feel the snobbery in the room. I'm just being honest here. It's the type of place where people get dressed up to eat here (and once again, this place is in a random strip mall) and you are almost obliged to drink expensive wine or a crazy martini. Well, i didn't do any of those things and I still had a great time. Why? Because the food was good. And I mean GOOD.

They first brought some yummy type of focaccia bread to the table while we waited for dinner, which was great. My meal itself was YUM. I ordered the pan seared scallops which came with a vegetable risotto and "crispy basil." Ok, the crispy basil was one leaf of basil stuck in the middle of the risotto as a garnish. Please do not write a garnish in a menu description. The scallops were perfect-- buttery and tender. The risotto was yummy, but I was disappointed with the vegetables because I'm pretty sure they were from the vegetable medley frozen bag, you know, the kind with carrots, green beans and corn. This meal was about $24.

My mother-in-law ordered the beef short ribs which were braised in red wine sauce and honestly the best ribs I have EVER tasted. The meal came with green beans and mashed potatoes which I didn't try. That was about $26.

My hubby ordered the burger, which came with fries and coleslaw. It was really great and only about $10! The seasoning was yummy, and it was NOT dripping with oil. It was a perfect burger.

The waitress brought out their flourless chocolate cake since we were celebrating my birthday, which was a really nice touch and NOT AT ALL what I would expect from that place. The torte itself was good, but I think I would have rather tried the ricotta cheesecake with mangoes. Doesn't that sound heavenly!?

Overall, I can't imagine having a reason to go back to that place anytime soon since we would just be able to order burgers, and I would never order just a meal of burgers in their dining room. They do have a martini bar next door (which was apparently hopping based on loud it was) so maybe I would go there and order some "lite fare" instead.

Christopher Daniel
106 W. Padonia Road
Timonium, MD 21093
410-308-1800
http://www.christopher-daniel.com/ (Don't trust the menu on this website, the dinner options are very different when I went)

Christopher Daniel on Urbanspoon

India Palace, Cockeysville


There is a lot I could write about India Palace's food, considering they catered an event during my wedding weekend, but I wanted to write about their weekday lunch buffet for $7.95.


First of all, they seem to always have a lot of dishes for vegetarians, and they also change around their dishes from time to time, so you can try lots of different meals! I love their Chicken Tikka Masala and their Korma anything (usually with lamb, but they probably would notoffer this at a buffet considering the price).


Service is really fast, they refill AND stir their dishes constantly (take note, Parsa Kabob!), and seriously-- how can you beat their price?


If you find yourself in Cockeysville during the week and fancy a delicious buffet-- check out India Palace and steer clear of Parsa Kabob.

UPDATE 11/19/09: Check out my newest post


India Palace on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quizno's, Everywhere USA


Sammies. They look very big and full, do not be deceived. But they are delicious.

I’m going to be brief because this is a huge chain, and most people have already made up their minds about getting food at chains. I just want to comment that for $2, Sammies are a GREAT deal. They are actually pretty delicious and I like the fact that I can get 2 different kind of sandwiches for lunch. That really appeals to me, as well as the fact that Quizno’s is right outside my building. I chose the Turkey Sonoma and Italiano and they were both up to par with usual Quizno’s sandwiches. Good deal.

www.quiznos.com

Cosi, Everywhere USA

Simply good taste if you don't get the salad

Cosi is at the foot of my building, and what I have to pass everyday morning and evening. Let’s just be honest here and say that most of the employees know and wave to me when I see them. I really love it for their breakfasts. I like to order the breakfast bundle which is a bagel and medium mocha latte (or medium house coffee) for around $4.80. Considering that a medium mocha latte is already in the $4.50—this is a good deal. Their cranberry orange bagel is HEAVENLY when toasted with a bit of the plain cream cheese (don’t be tempted to get the fruit trio cream cheese, this bagel is sweet enough).

However, I’ve had their lunch a couple of times and have been disappointed 2 out of 3 times. Their Alaskan salmon salad is pretty terrible because the salmon is cold. They say chilled in the description, but really it’s cold and therefore has no flavor. The salad would be ten times better if they just heated up the salmon.

I also just tried the Seasonal Fruit and Mozzarella Salad. This was equally terrible. First of all they describe the dressing as a “light citrus dressing” but whatever it was, it was citrus-ly disgusting, which really surprises me because I like those types of dressings on my salad….but it was just off. The mozzarella were TINY little cubes of some white stuff that had no taste. And I mean tiny. Smaller than a pinkie fingernail tiny. The fruit itself, which consisted of strawberries, cantaloupe and pineapple, was good but I didn’t need to spend $8 on a crappy salad just to eat some fruit—that’s what farm stands are for!

To make up for this review, however, I will say that I do like their Bombay Chicken salad and sandwich. That’s the one thing they do right. Oh, and their bread. Their amazing bread. Yes, they do that right too.


www.getcosi.com

Cosi on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Spoons Coffeehouse and Roastery, Federal Hill

This was the first Green Certified restaurant in Maryland!!!! They are 100% wind powered, have solar panels on their roof, and provide sustainable wine and beer (and smoothies that I want to try. Oh yes, and they are delicious, I guess I should mention that as well.

This really cute coffeehouse in Federal Hill is near the Cross Street market. It has a spunk-y vibe to it that I really liked, even at 8am. We decided to order breakfast, and like usual I had to get the craziest things on the menu, not something normal and guaranteed delicious.

I ordered the Raven's Nest which was like the V for Vendetta meal-- egg in the middle of toast, which came with home fries and turkey sausage (out of the choice of bacon, ham etc). I also tried the broiled grapefruit half covered with vanilla-ginger sugar. How amazing does that sound!!! And it tastes just as great too. What's also great about that, is that you could DEFINITELY make it at home. As for the Raven's Nest, the egg was yummy, but I found the toast a little too buttery. I hardly ate that part, but just the egg (runny!) with the home fries and sausage. I LOVED the home fries! They were seasoned with rosemary and other stuff I couldn't place (but oh how I tried).

Dan ordered the French Toast which was excellent. It was really moist and fluffy, and as you can see, a great portion. Of course, he polished that up in a second.

Overall, this is a really great place for breakfast or lunch. There's such a laid back vibe, and because they're such a green restaurant I felt so happy eating here. I love places like that! All I wanted to do was talk to people about sustainability etc. I didn't though.

Please try this place!

Spoon's Coffeehouse and Roastery
24 E. Cross St
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-539-6751

Spoons Coffee Cafe on Urbanspoon

Iggie's, Mt. Vernon

Holy crap. This is it! I have found my favorite pizza place EVER!!!!!!!!! Not only is this the cutest pizza place in the city, but it has the most delicious gourmet style pizza. I am vowing to myself to try every single one on their menu. The pizzas themselves come on thin crust pizza and it's a self serve sort of place, and a BYOB so there is no extra charge with tips etc. It's a very warm atmosphere-- and dogs are allowed!

We tried the Pera Saporita which has gorgonzola cheese and pears and a balsamic reduction (the half eaten one in the picture). Let me tell you something, I don't like the gorgs, but I LOVED this pizza. The gorgs wasn't overwhelming AT ALL and all the 3 ingredients created this wonderful melody in my mouth.
We also ordered a pizza with cheese, basil and tomatos-- YUM. I can't find it on the menu so I don't know what it's called, but you can find it! It's delicious and definitely my favorite of the three that we ordered. The cheese was just the right amount, and I love basil so much so the amount on there made me glow.

The last pizza we ordered was the Quatro Formaggio, 4 cheeses, roasted garlic and sea salt. Boy they did not lie about the garlic. This was a really yummy pizza, but VERY garlicky, so beware if you're on a date!

These pizzas are pretty expensive compared to regular take out. The large pizzas (the best for sharing) cost anywhere from $14-17, so be prepared! They also donate all tips to a different charity every month (this month was Beans and Bread Outreach).

Overall, this is a wonderful neighborhood gourmet pizza joint with heart and soul! I loved it.


Iggies on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tomato Interlude


Please say hello to our first harvest from our tomato plants!!!!! Aren't these two absolute beauties! I made some bruschetta with them and oh man were they tasty.

Razorback's Raw Bar & Grill, Towson

This place really surprised, in a good way! I just expected this bar/grill in a Towson strip mall (have you noticed that I've eaten at a lot of strip mall restaurants lately???) to serve "bar fare" aka burgers, wings etc etc. They serve a lot more than that! Of course, we still ended up getting burgers because that's what we were in the mood for, but I wouldn't mind going back there again to see what else there is.

For an appetizer we chose the Pancetta wrapped mango shrimp which was really delicious and huge. The mango sauce was lovely and definitely beats just having plain old cocktail sauce.

The burgers were insanely delicious. They were hearty, not dripping with oil, and on a really yummy roll. The fries were yum yum in my tum as well! I ordered the Razor burger for $7.95 (cheese etc are an additional 50 cents).

For dessert we each ordered an apple tart a la mode and an icecream sandwich with freshly made cookies. The apple tart was ok, I was obsessed with ice cream for some reason, more so than the pie, which tells you a lot about the pie. The filling was good, it was just something about the crust-- I don't think it was crispy enough. The cookie sandwich was also ok, the cookies were a little too crispy. Basically the tart and sandwich should have swapped personalities and we would have been in business.

Overall, I was really happy with this place. The bar is like any normal place, but the restaurant behind it is surprisingly classy. Watch out though, this place was pretty noisy, so don't come here for a quiet dinner.

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

Razorback's Raw Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hershey's Symphony Chocolate Bar (with toffee and almonds)


Let's take a break for a second and pay homage to a yummy YUMMY chocolate bar that I just discovered from none other than Mr. Hershey's himself.
Oh sweet love of Symphony, the almond and toffee kind! How happy I am to finally meet you!
It's like a toned down version of a heath bar because of the little bits of toffee and smooth milk chocolate. It has been a long time since a regular chocolate bar has inticed me so. I will admit on my own blog that I am a chocolate snob. I only really like to go to chocolatiers for specialty chocolate, and I would only buy expensive bars of fair trade, organic chocolate to bake with.....but then this little bugger came along and has thrown my snobbery for a loop.
Perhaps you should try it, too! :)

Pasta Mista, Towson

YUM.


I had already heard good reviews about Pasta Mista's pizza before I tried it, so the anticipation was great when some friends decided to order from there. They ordered 3 kinds, one cheese, one meat and one WHITE vegetable.


As soon as I saw the vegetable, it was like all the other pizzas went into a blur and the vegetable pizza stood out in a bright light. Seriously, this pizza looked damn good. Besides the fact that the pizzas themselves were HUGE, they weren't kidding about adding vegetables to the pizza. There were large pieces of broccoli, basically the whole broccoli tree was on there, and also some spinach and tomatoes. This was SO GOOD. I almost felt healthy chowing this pizza down because the taste of vegetables gave me a false sense of caloric knowledge.


I WHOLEHEARTEDLY recommend this pizza. YUM.

822 Dulaney Valley Rd
Towson, MD 21204
(410) 321-8855


Pasta Mista on Urbanspoon

Parsa Kabob, Cockeysville

I wish you were plentiful.

Parsa Kabob is an Iranian restaurant in a random strip mall. I really wonder about the location of this place, but I'll take it. I've gone here a couple of times for dinner and usually order the kabob platters which come with a ton of rice and meat. This time, hubbo and I went for their weekday brunch which is $10.95. Great price, right?


Well, sure it is, but not if they DON'T REPLENISH THEIR FOOD. What!?!?! Ok, so we were there at 12:30pm, the buffet starts at Noon. Why did we have to scrape the rice pan just to get some on our plates? Nearly all the pans were at the end, which kinda grosses me out. The food itself was good (especially because they had my favorite chicken in pomegranate meal), but the fact that there was no rice and just the ends of all the dishes REALLY disappointed me enough to not want to go back.


However, if you do feel like Iranian food and you work/live close by, I still wouldn't discount the place. I mean, it's good food, they just apparently don't run a lunch buffet very well. They also have a mini shop in the back featuring all sorts of amazing Persian delights which I wanted to sample.....but I held myself back.


Parsa Kabob

74 Cranbrook Rd

Cockeysville, MD 21030

(410) 683-7411


Parsa Kabob on Urbanspoon
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