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Does anyone know what is opening next to Clementine on Harford Road?

Looks like a restaurant as I walk past with my doggie.

Jun 19, 2009
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor

We went on Saturday and enjoyed ourselves quite a bit. Yes, there were many free tastings - food, wine, beer, and rum drinks. Some items were available for sale.

Our number 1 fav: Timothy Dean's Thai curry mussels. I am not a mussels person, but the broth was unbelievably tasty.

Also yummy
*Catering by Vest - Carribean food - curry chicken salad; beef patty; peas and rice
*Peach Sunset drink from the Rums of Puerto Rico stall
*Red gazpacho from Public House (there was a yellow gazpacho from another stall that was just OK)
*Carolines Cakes - caramel cake. Super sweet but you could smell the caramel just standing in line
*Fage Greek yogurt - my gf loved the full-fat version with strawberries

Jun 07, 2009
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

San Diego Cheap -ish Eats Near Convention Center

Wanted to post what I ate for those looking for affordable eats in the Gaslamp / downtown / East Village areas, from the perspective of a non-beef/poultry/pork eater. I walked to everything. Felt very safe night and day wandering around by myself. Easy to navigate, grid-like setup. I've divided my victims into three categories.

1. Bright spots. Recommended.

Basic (J and 10th). Very good, thin-crust pizza. Modern interior, with huge loft windows on the restaurant side and an open garage door on the bar side. Must bypass two bouncers to enter. One complaint is that the black olives tasted canned; had I known that, I would have tried a different topping. Overwhelmingly loud music. Have I gotten that old? No one else seemed to mind. Space-cadet service. http://www.barbasic.com/

Neighborhood (G and 8th). Also modern urban decor. Sweet-as-pie waitress. Ordered the jicama and grapefruit salad (large size). So refreshing with a light sesame-hinted dressing. And the lettuce! Super fresh and tender. Nice atmosphere too, though music was a little loud. Is that code for hip? http://www.neighborhoodsd.com/

The Mission (J and 13th). For breakfast - desayuno burrito. I added avocado. Yummy - eggs, beans, chipotle cream, potatoes, cheese, cilantro. Can't really go wrong with that. Came with chips and salsa. Very sweet and attentive waiter. Bright, plain interior. http://www.missionsoma.signonsandiego.com/

Heavenly Cupcake (6th between J and Island). Tried four mini cupcakes: S'Mores, Carrot, Banana PB, and Orange Chip. S'Mores is a chocolate cupcake with marshmallow frosting. Yummy chocolate; could use more graham cracker crumbs. Carrot was just OK, not spicy enough and I would add nuts. Good cream cheese frosting though. The Banana PB was good banana cake with yummy whipped PB frosting. Orange Chip is orange cake with choc chips and dark choc frosting. All of the frostings were light and the right amount for me. I would go back for the Dark Chocolate, which is choc cake and dark choc frosting. As I am a tea person, I appreciated that they serve Te teas - the organic forest green was delightful! I headed directly here after the mishap at The Tin Fish and was able to fill my belly happily, and I overtipped the sweetheart behind the counter for redeeming a dark moment. Bright cafe atmosphere. The schedule of available flavors is posted online. http://www.heavenlycupcake.com/index.html

2. Fine. Would return.

Ate breakfast at the Marriott's LC's Restaurant (Harbor at 1st) because I had to be at a meeting there on Sunday morning. Head to the north tower and down one level. They push the $20 buffet but I went a la carte. Memorable sourdough toast. Seriously, I am still thinking about it. Fresh bread, properly toasted and buttered. Huge egg white frittata with lots of veggies and topped with salsa. Not bad, enhanced with Cholula. Excellent service. Windows look out onto the huge resort-ish pool area. If you walk out and beyond the pool, there's a boardwalk behind the hotel overlooking the bay - several other restaurants and shops out there. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-information/restaurant/sandt-san-diego-marriott-hotel-and-marina/

3. Huge disappointments. I would not go back.

The Tin Fish (L and 6th). Ordered the Double - two tacos with fries and slaw. Bewilderingly, the fish was smothered in shredded cheddar and what might be ranch dressing? The grilled mahi was way too fishy. The breading on the fried cod had STRONG italian seasoning. HUH?? Tortillas not tasty. I dug one of the cod pieces out of the cheese/sauce and ate only that with the good waffle fries. Slaw was not bad, a little too vinegary. The waiter greeted and checked in on everyone around me and ignored me. I left 10% tip only b/c I didn't have to bus my own table; please note that it takes a lot for me to not tip 20%. Really bad experience. However, I could hear and see that everyone around me was enjoying their food. Interior: sports bar. http://www.thetinfish.net/right-tinfish.php?nav_ID=106&nav_Parent=104

Cafe 222 (Island between 2nd and 3rd). Ordered the basic waffle plus fruit minus yogurt. Quite bland despite a thorough dousing in syrup. I wished I had tried the peanut butter or pumpkin waffle instead. Also, no puddle of butter, sadly, though prominently pictured on the website. Did they withhold my butter b/c I ordered fruit? Doesn't seem fair. I sat outside so couldn't get a taste of the interior. http://www.cafe222.com/

Red Pearl Kitchen (J between 4th and 5th). Following advice from Yelp, ordered the Thai chili-glazed calamari. Started out fine, but then got too sweet and suddenly got very spicy. Liked the sour slaw on top and was amused by the fried wontons mixed in but the calamari was overcooked. Ultimately had to abandon the mission. Sat in the lounge which has the least attractive decor I had seen, but the restaurant seating area looked nicer. Not nearly as loud as Basic. http://www.redpearlkitchen.com/sandie...

Apr 18, 2009
aya in San Diego

70th bday dinner for 50 near Belair/B'more?

Chrissiep, did you find anything? I also need a place for when my dad turns 70 - in 2010, but I'd like to figure something out now - and am looking for a Baltimore place with no-hassle parking and an affordable menu to suit a crowd that's not very adventurous. Let me know if you find a great place. Also, I'll need an indoor place - we'll have the party in December.

My godfather took me to the Rusty Scupper for lunch, and I had their three-course express lunch with rockfish, salad, rice, and soup -- a nice variety and the rockfish was properly grilled. The view is great, and they have a parking lot, though I can't remember how much it costs. My dad loves seafood, so I'm going to look into that and Hazelwood Inn.

Dec 29, 2008
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sides at Comfort (Richmond)

Everyone, THANK YOU! I'm sorry I missed your previous post, AMFM. Next try I will go for creamed spinach or scalloped potatoes with the very fresh green beans. Not into the vinegary stuff.

Nov 27, 2008
aya in General South Archive

Sides at Comfort (Richmond)

Had my first lunch at Comfort today. I chose it because it's just off on 95, perfect for lunch when I'm traveling to visit my folks in NC. I had the catfish entree (don't eat meat). The fish was excellent. I chose mac and cheese and green beans as my two sides. The beans were pretty good. The mac just OK. Several posters indicated that the sides are very good. Which ones in particular? How are the brussels sprouts? The greens? The squash casserole? The scalloped potatoes? I will not order the mac again, can do much better at home. Thank you!

Nov 24, 2008
aya in General South Archive

Need Balt. suggestions please

Skip Minato. Very small portions. Could hardly find the avocado in my shrimp tempura roll. Smallest shrimp tempura I've ever seen. WAY-overcooked calamari; had to send it back. Miso blander than usual. Girlfriend's bento box looked pretty empty on arrival. Skimpy sashimi portion. However, the decor is cute!

Aug 25, 2008
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

Hamilton Tavern on Harford Rd., Baltimore

The other night we stopped by for the onion rings, we tried two salads, had the veggie pita pocket. Yummy onion rings in beer batter. The greens and dressing on the peach salad were bland but featured great, ripe, warm peaches. My house salad was also a little bland. Needed salt but good tomatoes. Very pleased to have them in the neighborhood and will bring friends for drinks. Wish I had been there for the tavern fries - sounds delish! The tomato salad with corn looked really good; I should have ordered that. Calamari would make a great addition to the menu!

Aug 25, 2008
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

Clementine - Hamilton

Just tried breakfast. Very sweet place and staff. We went right at opening, because I didn't want them to have run out of anything. My veggie breakfast casserole was tasty as were the accompanying red-skinned potatoes and cooked properly. It has been hard to find a tasty, basic breakfast. My gf's ww bagel and bluefish cream cheese were also very good. She didn't even miss that they don't have smoked salmon, which is her typical order. She also had one of their Stash teas - a good brand. Disappointments: (1) the fruit salad. Good red grapes but hard watermelon, canteloupe, and honeydew. Plus, the fruit is dressed in sesame oil and mint. Fruit salad should be perfectly ripe and naked or not served. (2) I ordered a banana nut muffin, homemade, but surprisingly cold. The image in my head was toasted and served with butter. This is why we eat breakfast at home, it just seems like restaurants can't get it right. (3) The waitress said that the bacon, cheese, and scallion muffin wasn't ready yet. I can understand that they run out of items as time goes by, but I can't understand why the menu wouldn't be available at opening time.

Still, I'm eager to try their dinner menu. I'm just wondering what is the most strategic time to go, when everything is ready and nothing has run out?

Also, am thrilled to be able to walk from our house to a nice restaurant, beyond thrilled. Everyone coming through the door had a nice, hopeful smile on their face, so we'll see. And our bill was only $9.01. I thought it was a mistake!

May 24, 2008
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

Clementine - Hamilton

Thanks! I just drove by and noticed them for the first time. A good restaurant that I can walk to - that is more than I was hoping for! Has anyone tried breakfast? The "really good bagels" and homemade cream cheese sound compelling, since Edelweiss has closed (best bagels IMO).

May 19, 2008
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

Yum pecan bars

I recently moved to Hamilton, Baltimore and am always looking for excellent eats nearby, since our kitchen is not yet ready, and since I don't really feel like heading downtown or west every night. I stopped by Edelweiss the other day for another excellent bagel and discovered their pecan bars, which are half-dipped in chocolate ganache. YUM! I had to share with you, because I have been thinking about them since Saturday and they don't open back up until Tuesday (closed on Sundays and Mondays). I highly recommend them. Highly!

Oct 08, 2007
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

What are the most overrated DC restaurants?

I second the vote for Del Merei as way overrated. It's right up the block from me, so after I was really excited to go after reading such good things. Not impressed at all and our waiter was pretty dismissive. Waiter aside, my main complaint is that the sauces are served on the side, instead of as part of the dish. That seemed really cheap. My salmon was overseasoned and the mac and cheese was underseasoned. It was not horrible food, but we could have had better if we had stayed at home, and we both got bad gas! We're not going back.

Aug 06, 2007
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

Scrumptious cheap eats - Old Port, Portland, Maine

Just an update: I LOVED my visit to Old Port, Portland. Such friendly folks everywhere we went. My whole company was charmed. We had a lot of catered events, so I didn't eat out a lot, but my highlights were a great lobster sandwich at Eve's (not so cheap but I love challah), and a great chocolate chip cookie from Two Fat Cats. I'm not a huge lobster fan (too rubbery), but it had some kind of cheese on it and lots of butter. The best thing I ate in Portland was a warm blueberry crumble from our caterer with this amazing granola-y topping. Probably second best was a bite of my friend's slice of nut bread from Two Fat Cats. I guess that exposes my sweet tooth. I hope to come back someday and keep eating!

Aug 06, 2007
aya in All New England Archive

Best cheap lunch near Union Station

I've had the nicoise salad at the salad place, but there's too much white/iceberg lettuce. I read from others that Taqueria Nacionale is promising but inconsistent -- dry/cold tacos. Bistro Bis and White Tiger are pricey, and White Tiger is far (I'm NW). I guess I should give the food court another go. Someone said the soup is good. Anyone agree?

Jul 19, 2007
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best cheap lunch near Union Station

I'm pretty bored with the lunch offerings near Union Station. I've had good omelets at Dubliner, fresh sandwiches at Phillip's, and OK pad thai at the restaurant on the top floor of Union Station. Any hidden gems?

Jul 19, 2007
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

Good Recs for Baltimore City -Hamilton area

I am moving to Hamilton soon too and am thankful to you all for these ideas. I love the bagels at Edelweiss.

Jul 19, 2007
aya in Washington DC & Baltimore

Scrumptious cheap eats - Old Port, Portland, Maine

I'm traveling to Portland, ME for work and will have just a little time to venture out in Old Port. What's not-to-be-missed any time of day including snacks? I eat fish and seafood but not beef, pork, or poultry. Thanks!

Jul 19, 2007
aya in All New England Archive