Monday, September 28, 2009
Hope to go to the Market again next week!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The newly opened B&O American Brasserie at the Hotel Monaco-Baltimore has a great happy hour. It’s $3 for some of their beers, white and red wines and champagne. They have a small bar menu that you can get some little plates from, as well as burgers and flat bread pizzas.
Chef Cat and I both had been interested in seeing this place, so while Chef Dawg was working late, we went over. Valet parking is $5, so that’s a good start. The building is the old B&O Railroad headquarters and it’s amazing. (You can read more about it here.)
We started out with a glass of champagne each and got a chicken liver pate with fig jam and brioche toast as an appetizer. There were only four tiny brioche toast fingers and so we had to ask for more. I always wonder what the kitchen is thinking when you get a lot of spread or cheese or pate and only two pieces of bread. The pate was mousse-like and very light, and the brioche fingers were buttery, but the fig jam didn’t have much flavour, which was a shame. It was sweet, but didn’t have the taste of figs.
We ordered a flatbread with cheese, asparagus, arugula and a fried egg on top. It was very good and Chef Cat ate the egg. There were fava beans in there as well, but I picked them out. I don’t like beans much. We also got some meatballs, which were well-seasoned and came in a nice tomato sauce. Kinda hard to tell what they are from the picture, but they were served in a little iron pot. Since Chef Cat’s a pastry chef, we HAD to order dessert. The menu was interesting for early fall, with some non-seasonal items like a rhubarb-strawberry cobbler. There was a cheese plate, which I totally understand, but there was also a charcuterie plate, which I totally didn’t understand, especially since it wasn’t listed on the bar menu as an appetizer. Really, do you want meat for dessert?
Chef ordered the rustic apple tart and I ordered the butterscotch pudding. If you know me, you know I love sweets. But the pudding was gross. It had no discernable butterscotch taste and a really odd texture. Chef Cat said it had a raw corn-starch flavour, but I didn’t even get that. It certainly wasn’t a pudding, because it didn’t seem like it had either milk or cream in it. Maybe a pastry cream? It was served in an 8-10 oz. glass with a garnish of a ginger cookie. I ate about three bites and left the rest.
When Chef Cat cut into the steaming rustic apple tart, she realized that the apples weren’t cooked. So she took the pastry top off of the tart and looked at the apples. Not only weren’t they cooked, they were brown because someone didn’t know enough to put them in acidulated water to keep them fresh and white. The pastry top was not quite cooked through and was raw on the inside. While we liked the restaurant, and the service was very friendly and good (if a little slow), the desserts were a huge failing and really brought the meal down. They were basically inedible.
We’ll go back for happy hour though!
It's really beginning to look a lot like fall at the market with loads of varieties of apples and pumpkins and the changing light. Although I keep hearing that this has been a banner season for figs, I've yet to see any at the market. Here are some of the things we saw at Sunday's Market.
Pumpkins of all sorts
Teeny, tiny tomatoes
Lotus flower pods The gang at the Hummus stall were celebrating International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day. Ahoy, Captain Cook!
See you next week!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
When we got off the train, along with a mass of humanity, we wandered around a little bit, getting our bearings along Roosevelt Avenue and Main Street, and figured out where we wanted to have lunch. We ended stopping at a noodle restaurant on Roosevelt, just around the corner from the train station. We sat for a while contemplating the menu with more than 200 dishes on it! Luckily, a chic young Chinese woman next to us offered us some guidance on what to get.
I lucked out with a dish of crispy noodles with roast pork and bok choy with a sauce and Julie had a roast pork and wide noodle soup. Both were excellent. After lunch, and at the suggestion of our lunchmate, we headed up to Honk Kong Market, a huge store with food and kitchen items. Both of us were agog at the selection of fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and more. We were a little taken aback at the tubs with huge live hardshell and soft shell turtles and LIVE FROGS! We also had a good laugh at the labeling on some of the products, including Gourmet Powder (MSG) and Indispensible Condiment (also probably MSG).
Here are some other pictures of what we saw:
Dragon Fruit or Pitaya
Seaweed knots. I am not sure why they're knotted, but the whole bin was like this and you can find recipes for seaweed knots on the intertubes. These were some sort of dried radishes. They look like... well, I'll let you think of what they look like. Flat fried duck.
Miss Bong Crab Fingers. These were 60% mackeral and 40% crab. Obviously not Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab. They were in little brown tubes. We couldn't bring ourselves to buy them. Not so sure what this is, but we thought it was funny enough to take a picture of.Conch. Tastes like rubber. Chewing rubber bands. Check my other blog for pictures of Little India.