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for tomorrow: moderately priced nice restaurant near hippodrome (baltimore)

Ii second Frank & Nic's. Decent place. Decent prices.

Jul 17, 2009
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Farmer's Market at UMB

Yes, a fledgling market, but quality stuff. Local strawberries finally made an appearance yesterday. I found some young garlic, rhubarb, chard, asparagus, kohlrabi...

The salmon guy is nice, and I tried the salmon. Good stuff. (albeit pricey) Market has been there every Tuesday since it started May 5th.

Jun 03, 2009
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Asian Supermarket Reccomendation

That was the report I got yesterday when I stopped in. Said they were getting ready to renovate. I dunno... I ain't seen a store that empty when getting ready to renovate. Had to drive all the way out to H-Mart instead. Fresh World had absolutely nothing.

Jun 01, 2009
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sunday Lunch near Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

How about Abacrombie? http://www.abacrombie.net/ Pretty much right across the street...

Jun 01, 2009
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Fresh World International Supermarket - Pasadena/Glen Burnie

I stopped by on Saturday and actually managed to get some shopping done. They were supposed to open on Friday, but the gal at the checkout said that they actually opened on Saturday due to an unforseen delay. (??) In any case, yes, it was mayhem.

But, I did manage to get some great head-on shrimp (so I could make stock) and head-off shrimp. I'd say 25-28 ct for $4.99 /lb. Meat prices were quite good, and they even had some cuts that I just can't find in my traditional grocer or even Whole Paycheck, such as skirt steak.

But mainly, I stocked up on staples like curry pastes, rice seasoning, frozen fish case/balls, fresh noodles, laver and other condiments.

Oh, the produce section was pretty good. Yes, a little smaller than H-Mart, but I'm not complaining. Especially since Fresh World is only an 8 minute drive from home. I found just about everything I need. Was looking for fresh lychee fruit, but didn't find it this trip.

I'll definitely be back. I usually make the H-Mart trek once every 6-8 weeks. Now, I can make Asian dinners in a more spontaneous fashion, which has my family pretty happy.

Oh... if anyone runs across any fresh or frozen Wild (kaffir) lime leaves, let us know. I looked all over, but it was so crazy, I was glad I made it out alive, with a nearly full cart in less than 2 hours. :)

Aug 18, 2008
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Restaurant recomendations for a New Orleans First Timer.

In case you missed it, Deanie's just opened a location in the quarter. We stopped in. Other than the location is different, look is 'newer' but the food is still great. They're on Dauphine, a few blocks from Canal.

Apr 02, 2008
gm_smith in New Orleans

Is there a good NY bagel shop in DC?

Agreed. Grew up in Bergen County, NJ. Every time I go back home (often) I eat my fill of bagels because I have yet to find something around here that even comes close.

Must be the local water from the Hackensack...

Jan 07, 2008
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

finding amaretti cookies in dc -- italian delis?

Oddly enough, I just picked up a package at my local Giant here in Anne Arundel County. They're not the primo-individually wrapped variety, but they were perfectly fin crumbled up in the recipe I was using them for.

I think I found them in the "International Foods" isle, on the top shelf.

Jan 07, 2008
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Grocery Shopping in Baltimore

I'm really surprised that Trader Joe's hasn't been mentioned more frequently. I do 90% of my grocery shopping there. Granted, there aren't as many as say Giant or Safeway, but there is one in Towson, Pikesville, Columbia, and Annapolis. Surely less driving than say.... Wegmans.

For those things I can't find at Trader Joe's (Aluminum Foil, feminine hygiene products etc.) I just go to my local Giant. It is cheaper than Safeway, but I don't get stuck bagging my own groceries either. (What is with my local Shoppers and Weis anyway???)

Jan 04, 2008
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

homemade ice cream Bmore

I second the Daily Scoop! If you are in Anne Arundel County, this place it great. Locally run by a husband and wife, supports the local town etc. and they make pretty good homemade ice cream. The favorites in our house are the Toasted Coconut, the Rum Raisin and the White Blizzard. Very tasty!

Jan 04, 2008
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Looking for Thai or Vietnamaese in Annapolis

Saigon Noodle house isn't bad. The service can be a little uneven; one night I had to ask for the usual bean sprout/lime/basil/peppers accompaniment to go with my Pho.

But if one is going to venture that far from Annapolis, I would sooner recommend Miss Saigon Noodle house in Glen Burnie, at the Glen Burnie Town Center. Their Pho is quite good, and if you have kids, they are VERY accommodating.

Oct 03, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need recs for anniversary dinner near BWI

I'll second Cynthia's. DH and I spent our 10th anniversary there this past December and we were thoroughly impressed. $30 per entree would fit here however I would recommend sharing and appetizer and a dessert because they really are that good. It's a husband and wife who own the place, and the wife is the pastry chef. So, if nothing else, at LEAST get a dessert. It's so rare to find a restaurant in the Baltimore area where all of the desserts are made on site.

PS, they also have a full liquor license, if that matters...

Mar 27, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Where to get a wedding cake?

Well, Charm City Cakes is really nice if you have $550+ to spare. Their cakes START at $550. Before his Food Network show, they started at $175. I think the other suggestions will serve you well!

Mar 27, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best sushi place in baltimore

How about Sushi Ya. Sounds like they're in the location you are looking for: 9616 Reisterstown Road. It's in a strip mall, don't let that scare you away. but I've been there a few times with friends who live in that area and it was pretty decent.

Mar 27, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Sunday brunch?

If you really want to get in there, once you get to your hotel, get a hold of your Concierge, and tip accordingly. I wanted to eat at August on a Saturday evening, around 8-ish, and with 1 day's notice, he got me a res. when it was 'booked".

You might want to try that route...

Mar 27, 2007
gm_smith in New Orleans

Pho in Baltimore

The Pho place you are referring to in Glen Burnie is Miss Saigon. Luckily, this place is about 10 minutes from my house because the Pho is very good. When I am not making Pho at home, this is the place I go.

Mar 23, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Ethnic food with children in Annapolis

Ya know, in the end having fun is really all that matters. So, if the kids enjoyed the food, and they loved the entertainment, it accomplished your goal.

Admittedly, my son (at age 2) is quite an adventurous eater already because we cook a lot of different ethnic foods at home. (He enjoyed Pho for dinner last night and will probably have Sauerbratten and Spaetzle tonight.) Just start small, and your kids will come to naturally expand their palate and learn to enjoy more variety in their diet.

And if you can get them into the kitchen and cook WITH you, all the better. You will find them more willing to try new foods if they are something they helped to prepare in the kitchen.

Mar 18, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

5 days of good chow

I hear ya. I have been talking about my trip to everyone who would listen. I keep telling people, "Yes, they still need LOTS of help rebuilding. Yes, it's just fine to go and visit."

I've been saying, why not take a trip for a week, join your local church/civic orgs Katrina Rebuilding effort, and get a weeks worth of good chow in the process! Everybody wins!

Mar 18, 2007
gm_smith in New Orleans

5 days of good chow

Well, we just returned from NOLA and I have to say I had a delightful time eating my way around the Quarter and the CBD.

Since this was our first visit to the crescent city, we had decided that we would try to eat locally, and try not to eat anything we would normally make/get at home.

After a long and exhausting day of travel, our first order of business Saturday night took us to the Quarter. We didn't want to venture far from our hotel, and since the Bon Ton Cafe isn't open on weekends, we decided to see what we could find. Well, we happened upon the Gumbo Shop and had their New Orleans Combo (as we called it) of a bowl of gumbo (I had seafood, my companion had the chicken and andouille) Crawfish Etouffee, a side and dessert. With a name like the Gumbo Shop, I was expecting to be knocked over by the gumbo. And I was. Their Seafood Gumbo is of the thick variety, very flavorful and became the barometer for every seafood gumbo I had throughout my trip. The only part of our meal we weren't too happy about was the garlic mashed potatoes chosen as a side (it was nothing to write home about, pun intended) but the creamed spinach was great, Our desserts of the bread pudding with whiskey sauce and the Praline Sundae were both very good. this was also the place that my companion discovered Turbo Dog beer (they had it on draught) and so the love affair with the dark brew began.

Later that night, at our hotel (Le Pavillon) we partook in the nightly Peanut Butter and Jelly gathering they give each evening from 10-11pm. While I didn't eat the sandwiches (not my thing) they did have some of the best homemade hot chocolate I have ever had. We made it a point to at least stop by the lobby each evening to get a cup before turning in for bed, or heading back out for some late night fun..

The next night we had dinner at G.W. Fins. This was a spectacular meal. While waiting for our table, I had my very first Mojito and found my new favorite drink. Sadly, it would be the last Mojito I would have in NOLA because of a shortage all over town on fresh mint. ??? Anyway, our entrees were spectacular. I also found a new love while dining at G.W. Fins: Tasso Ham. Honestly, I do not know how the wait staff keeps from popping little morsels of the stuff into their mouth each time they visit the kitchen. I had the trout (very good) and my companion had the grouper (spectacular). I had the Mushroom risotto for a side (Yeah, I know, I can make that at home, but it looked good.) and as delicious as it was, I couldn't manage to finish it. I was stuffed!

Part of that problem may very well be because I took it upon myself to try out every seafood gumbo I could get my hands on so I was never ravenous when it came to dinner. Oh well, it was worth it.

The following night we headed out to Coops Place on Decatur to try out their fare. I had the Gumbo along with Shrimp Creole and my companion had the Pasta with tasso cream sauce with shrimp. We left quite happy, although too full for dessert (yet again) so when we walked by Cafe Du Monde for the third time in two days, we weren't tempted.

The last night of our journey brought us to the French Market Restaurant and Bar on Decatur because about the only thing left on my list that I really wanted to indulge upon was some boiled crawfish. Of course, the open window with the steam form the boiling crawfish had been calling out to me each time I had walked by the place so it was about time. After trying out their gumbo (at this point I must have sampled 6 or 8 gumbos) we dug into the steaming pile of crawfish set before us. After giving a brief tutorial to my companion about how to eat a crawfish (twist, suck pinch, suck) we were munching away happily. This time we DID have room for dessert and we had to taste the bourbon pecan pie. It was a wonderful end to our meal! Not too sweet, good bourbon flavor with a really nice robust flavor from the pecans. Whoever made it (I'm sure it wasn't in-house) did a fine job.

Some other places we visited were Central Grocery for a Muffalatta (even if it did have swiss on it, it was good. Mother's (Great Shrimp and Catfish Po Boys - Saw David Rosengarten there as we were leaving!) We finally made it to Cafe Du Monde (loved the beignets, and the Cafe Au Lait was surprisingly good, and the Hot Chocolate was pretty decent too.) About the Pralines... I had tasted every praline I could get my hands on in the FQ and Southern Candy Makers made the ones I liked best. Good flavor, not just sugary sweet. I highly recommend them.

Unfortunately, since I was in NOLA attending a conference, I did have to eat some "conference food" for a few of my meals. But with that said, the seafood gumbo prepared at Le Pavillon was actually my #2 pick of favorite seafood gumbos.

Before we left town, I had to pick up some Andouille and some Tasso Ham (and my companion, some Turbo Dog) to smuggle back home in our suitcase. That and all of the Tabasco products we bought at the teeniest, tiniest A&P I had ever been in pushed the envelope for weight with regard to my checked baggage. Can you blame me? We don't get nearly half of the Tabasco products I saw back home!

We had a fantastic time and can't wait to return. On our next visit, we hope to venture more into the Garden District and also try out some other places like Mr. B's Bistro, Palace Cafe, The Bon Ton Cafe and maybe the "high end" meal of the trip will be Restaurant August.

I want to thank everyone who has posted comments about their feastings in NOLA. While I mainly lurk on the boards, it was by reading so many comments that helped us to pick out some of the places to stop at, and avoid the places that aren't so hot. I'm already looking forward to trying my hand at making gumbo (thanks to my new Gumbo padel and Gumbo Shop cookbook) so I'll let you know how it goes.

Mar 16, 2007
gm_smith in New Orleans

Muffulettas to go?

Answer me this... did your Muff have swiss on it? As we were munching away on ours this Wednesday, I was thinking, "This doesn't taste like Provolone or Mozzerella..."

Sure enough, it was swiss. WTF? Who puts swiss on an Italian sandwich?

Then again, what's an Irishman named Tony Moran doing owning an Italian Restaurant in the Quarter... oh well.

Mar 16, 2007
gm_smith in New Orleans

What about Mother's?

Mother's is still there and thriving. Was just there on Sunday (as was David Rosengarten, he was right behind me.)

The Trump Tower is north of Mother's, but south of Le Pavillon, if that helps you any. Mother's will be just fine...

Mar 16, 2007
gm_smith in New Orleans

New Orleans Restaurant's Reviewed

And I can tell you, he really was there at Mother's this past Sunday. As I was walking out, he was next in line to walk in. It was a surreal moment for me...

Mar 15, 2007
gm_smith in New Orleans

Muffulettas to go?

Central grocery is (currently) only open M-F 9-5.

On my way back home (yesterday morning) I picked up one for "lunch" on the plane. It travels well, albeit it gets a little messy with the olive salad, but doable. Oh, and everyone on the plane will be watching you (as they will be able to smell it for rows in either direction) so be forewarned. :-)

Mar 15, 2007
gm_smith in New Orleans

Two Business Dinners in New Orleans

I was just at GW Fin's this past weekend and they had no problem hosting a crowd such as you describe. The food is fantastic, full (and I dare say quite capable) bar in a nice setting that is neither too stuffy, nor too casual. Business Casual attire is standard.

They specialize in seafood, with 9 out of the 12 entrees being seafood, so that should be taken into consideration, but the other three entrees on the menu are the requisite beef, chicken and pork options for the non-seafood folks.

I think you should come in under the $125 pp limit just fine, with some room to spare, and have a really enjoyable time.

GW Fin is located on Bienville, just up from Bourbon. http://www.gwfins.com/

Mar 15, 2007
gm_smith in New Orleans

The Copper Monkey

I overheard someone in the office talk about this place that opened up in the quarter called the Copper Monkey on Conti. Said the crawdads were very good. Anyone else care to weigh in on this place?

Mar 09, 2007
gm_smith in New Orleans

Penzey's in Rockville

I've been told by the Penzey's folks that the tentative opening is April 13th.

Mar 03, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lime leaves and other Thai staples

I did go to the Hahn-Ah Rheum (now called Super H mart) in Catonsville, because I live in AA county. This whole exercise was to keep me from having to trek (along with my toddler) into Mont. County. Although, I may have to soon. We are having Thai withdrawal and right now, our toddler is going through a "phase" so we aren't taking him to restaurants we would like to visit again. ;-) Also, apparently all of the grocery stores that carry more Thai staples are in the Wheaton/Silver Spring area so making the trip won't necessarily be a bad idea. I'll just stock up and freeze what I can.

Feb 22, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Lime leaves and other Thai staples

Ah, thank you. Now I'm really jealous. :-) The good news is, my green thumb husband has taken on the challenge of helping me cultivate one, should I be able to obtain one of these beauties.

Feb 22, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

Penzey's in Rockville

Lucky you... Anne Arundel County isn't "local" enough to Rockville for Penzey's to send a postcard. If only they knew how many of us make a quarterly visit to the Philly Penzey's, they'd realize that we'll gladly drive half that distance to the Rockville store.

I knew it was coming (read about it in their catalog and then the One magazine) but didn't know when. When they finally say a date, please let us know!

Feb 22, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore

East-West Bistro - Pasadena

I second the Daily Scoop! Some things are a little (ahem) interesting. But all in all, it's all homemade and quite good. I just have issues with some of the shocking colors they choose for their ice creams at times. I know the kids like it, but really, most of us don't need to eat all that artificial colors, nor do i need to be seen with day-glo pink Cotton Candy ice cream. :-)

Feb 20, 2007
gm_smith in Washington DC & Baltimore