Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On the waterfront: Osteria Morini

Osteria Morini

301 Water Street S.E., Suite 109
Washington, DC 20003 • (202)484-0660
www.osteriamorini.com


Dined on Dec. 14, 2013

Dining at Osteria Morini was like dining at a friend's place. The atmosphere is convivial, the staff pays attention to every detail as they want you to be comfortable in their "home". While the food did not meet my high expectations based on ratings and reviews, I nonetheless had a good and relaxing dining experience. At Osteria Morini you will definitely be taken care of and for this reason I will return and try some of their other menu items, and save room for dessert.
The biggest mistake Osteria Morini makes is having a really large flat screen TV in the dining room. It hangs over the bar, near the entrance, and is visible from the entire dining area. That TV really detracts from the ambiance. My dining companion faced the TV. Even though I wasn't facing the TV, it was fully reflected in the floor to ceiling glass wall, which I faced and the image flashes did distract me a few times. Why do restaurants do this? It's not a sports bar? The volume in Osteria Morini was lively to loud; it was a full house when we went but at least it drowned out TV volume.

My dining companion and I selected our entrees based on what we liked but also with the idea that we would share. We each wanted the Cappeletti (pasta) and the Stracotto (short ribs), so he had the pasta and I had the short ribs.

Cappeletti: Truffled ricotta ravioli, melted butter, prosciutto

Stracotto: Sangiovese-braised short ribs, whipped potatoes, gremolata
 

Must try appetizer: Mare - Adriatic style seafood salad, olives, capers. The seafood was fresh, tasty and there was lots of it-- shrimp, scallop, squid, calamari.

Complimentary focaccia is very good.

I am glad that the Cappeletti was not my main choice; it was not to my liking. The pasta was very soft, fell apart; and had mild to non-existent flavor except for the prosciutto. However, my dining companion is the one who ordered the dish, he said it was fine. He loved my short ribs (Stracotto). We both thought the dish could have a little less salt, and agreed that the whipped potatoes were too salty and barely palatable. The short ribs was a large piece of meat, and it was nice & tender. Perhaps with a little less salt, more of the Sangiovese-wine flavor would come through in the reduction.

We also had a side of Brussel sprouts with pancetta. The sprouts were cooked perfectly--caramelized, firm with portions of crispness.

Yes, do save room for dessert. What we had:
  • Affagato - Cardamom gelato served in a goblet, with cardamaro, and at the table freshly brewed espresso is poured on top. I will return for this dessert.
  • Tortino al Cioccolato - Warm chocolate cake, liquid ganache, espresso gelato; smooth, deep chocolate flavor, not sweet. Yes, get this too.
I recommend the desserts, the coffee, the mare, the sprouts, the short ribs. Overall, the food was just okay, with some standout desserts. I rate it 3 out of 5 stars.

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)


Osteria Morini on Urbanspoon

Season's Greetings



Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

food porn

View at your own risk.



Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tea: drink to your health

click to enlarge image

This tea infographic comes from Sayan Health, and it looks at the health benefits of tea varieties.

Source: http://www.care2.com

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Corduroy Restaurant

Corduroy Restaurant

1122 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001  (202) 589-0699
http://www.corduroydc.com/


Quality dining, not pretentious

I dined at Corduroy, on my birthday, which was November 3. It was fate because November 3, 2013 was a Sunday. Corduroy is normally closed on Sundays. Lucky me!

Pistachio bread pudding

I have had the pure pleasure of eating at Corduroy on three separate occasions, each experience has been a spectacular festival of flavors. I love the way they prepare food; they create wonderment. Each food item is scrumptious and memorable. Add to this the impeccable, professional service and that is why Corduroy is my number 1 or 2 favorite place to eat in DC. Corduroy always earns 5 out of 5 stars as a fine dining experience. I highly recommend that you make your next meal out a visit to Corduroy.

Cocktail
Lemongrass cocktails are dangerously delicious, you cannot have just one.

Appetizer
Heirloom tomato salad, with (red and yellow tomatoes) with flavorful basil and a smooth vinaigrette. The best, most tasty tomotoes I've had all year, sweet too.

Crab blintze - jumbo lump crab wrapped in phyllo dough with crisp Chayote Slaw. The blintze is light, tasty pairs well with the slaw.

Main Course
Phenomenal Scallops and grits, with candied onion soubise (like pureed sweet onions): Sweet tender scallops, silky grits, I want onion soubise everything.

Scallops and grits served atop onion soubise

By the way, Corduroy makes very fine coffee. We topped the evening off with coffee and dessert: flourless chocolate cake, which I have had here on a previous visit and it is still my favorite Corduroy dessert. The pistachio bread pudding was very unique. It was done in layers like a cake but with a completely smooth texture, in between the layers were crushed pistachios. Quite enjoyable and a nice change of pace from typical desserts.

I will be dining at Corduroy for Christmas dinner, have not been this excited for Christmas since I was a kid.

The end to a very fine meal.


Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Filet of sole

Just whipped up a very quick meal for a friend. He exclaimed, "The spinach is tasty." He enjoyed the filet of sole too, "The fish is so good the way you prepared it."

Filet of sole with mushrooms, carrots, and rosemary
served w/ sauteed spinach and
cumin flavored brown basmati rice.

Here's the lowdown on my quick 'n' tasty dinner:

Filet of sole (frozen, thawed) was steamed in saute pan with baby bella mushrooms; organic baby carrots; and seasoned with rosemary and garlic powder. I put about 2 TBS of olive oil in the bottom of the pan then added fish and veggies. After 2 minutes, I sprinkled a bit of smoked sea salt (from Cleo's Fine Oil and Vinegar) on the sole then cooked it on very low heat for 3 more minutes The carrots and mushrooms remained firm, which is great. Total cook time 5 minutes.

The Lundberg Farm organic brown basmati rice was already made. I simply scooped out a serving onto the plate and heated it in the microwave but not before I sprinkled a little bit of cumin on the rice. Once that was done I mixed in 1/2 a pat of butter.


The Olivia's fresh organic spinach was cooked last. I put the spinach, for seconds, in the already heated saute pan. The spinach was on the heat just long enough for it to go limp, and for me to toss it around in 1 tsp. of Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium Honey Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar.

Chow!
food chick


~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

 I saw the following cooking manifesto in an email I received from food52.com . I do cook but I don't like to cook, therefore, I don't really subscribe to a cooking manifesto but I've my own thoughts on home and hearth, and cooking.


how you eat is how you live


Food52 cooking manifesto

We love spending time in the kitchen, (not me!) and we believe that memorable cooking doesn't have to be complicated or precious. Yes, yes I believe in this.

Because, if you cook:
  • Your family will eat dinner together. - Nope, it's just me.
  • You will naturally have a more sustainable household. - I am easy to sustain.
  • You'll set a lifelong example for your children. - I don't have children...by choice.
  • You'll understand what goes into food and will eat more healthily. - I definitely pay attention to where my food comes from and what's in it. Cooking at home has done this for me. I grocery shop the way I do and eat the way I do for my health.
  • You'll make your home an important place in your life. - My home is already my sanctuary.
  • You'll make others happy. - With my cooking? Not possible. Just kidding. I am a good cook because I am a creative cook. However, I do not like to cook, especially for others. I don't mind making breakfasts.
  • People will remember you. - Not for my cooking they won't.

How you eat is how you live. True. I eat healthily and I live a healthy lifestyle too. The two do go hand in hand.

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Soil...nothing lives without it.

Grow soil--the living skin of non-living mineral, which is the base of earth.


Watch this beautiful, meaningful, educational film trailer. It's short.


Symphony of the Soil Trailer from Symphony of the Soil on Vimeo
.

Film: Symphony of Soil, courtesy of symphonyofthesoil.com, a full length documentary.

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Quick 'n' Easy HOT! rice, shrimp, spinach

I have done a good job getting back to my regular diet since the Thanksgiving feast gorge fest. December 8, I created this hot and very delicious meal for my lunch: spinach, wild rice, egg, onion, and shrimp sauteed in garlic and hot chili oil. This dish is full of heat! The rice helps temper the heat.


As usual, I did not really have a taste for anything specific but created the dish out of ingredients that I had on hand: fresh spinach, shrimp, Lundberg wild rice (note to self, you're out of rice), sweet onion, and egg. Seasonings: garlic powder (and lots of it), Asian Gourmet Chili Oil. Once the onion and shrimp are done cooking, add one lightly beaten egg to the pan. Scramble the egg in the pan. Add garlic powder to taste, throw in a cup of fresh spinach (or as much as you like); toss it around in the pan to mix it in and cover it with seasonings. It's done! Serve it on a bed of rice.

Wild rice blend

Sweet onion and shrimp cooking in chili oil with garlic powder


I am especially fond of the Lundberg rices, I have eaten them for years. It used to be only available at specialty organic, whole foods type stores but now you can find the products in regular markets. Not only does Lundberg have a variety of rice they also offer organic and NON-GMO products. The farm is a part of the NON GMO Project; learn more about that here.


Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Memorable meal: chorizo

My mouth is watering as I sit taking in the aroma of wild rice infused with garlic and basil to finish cooking so that I can make my lunch. Then my mind floated to one of my recent lunchtime creations (or did I have it for breakfast?) Yes, it was a weekend breakfast.

Mmm sooo gooood!

Garnet sweet potato w/ butter. Boiled egg. Fresh spinach sauteed w/ sweet onion, crimini mushrooms, and Hartmann's smoked chorizo.

What are you cooking fresh today?

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Yummy-licious Kale

 It's no secret amongst my friends and family that I do not like to cook. But when I do cook something it is usually very delicious, if I do say so myself. I am a creative cook, I don't follow recipes and I rarely have a specific dish in mind. I simply create dishes based on what is in my refrigerator and pantry. Today's lunch followed that scheme.

I created a super yummy-licious lunch: Organic Lacinato Kale, Bay Scallops, Organic Crimini Mushrooms, Pad Thai noodles sauteed in garlic and olive oil then tossed in Blackberry Ginger aged Italian Vinegar.

The kale was divine. I cannot wait to eat the rest of it.


Lacinato Kale, crimini mushrooms and Pad Thai noodles from My Organic Market aka MOMs, Bowie, Maryland
Aged Italian vinegar cleosfineoils.com, Annapolis, Maryland
Bay scallops from Whole Foods, Annapolis, Maryland

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Chh chh changes! (and squats)

#30daysquatchallenge


Today I am beginning the 30-day squat challenge (good lord my ass hurts just thinking about that!). In addition, I want to lose 10 lbs in a month, 8 lbs would be satisfactory. I have a pair of black lace hot pants I want to wear for a New Years Eve event. The hot pants are a size 7 and looked great on me one year ago. Sad to say, at present, I can get into the pants but I cannot fully zip them. I have too much hips and ass...lol.
Gabrielle Union in rumba panties

Ten pounds weight loss may seem a little ambitious, it is but I am confident that I can lose 8 lbs. Three to four pounds of this weight is puffy water weight gained in the last two weeks due to my diet. Ugh! Thanksgiving food is yummy but so much of is it completely different from my regular diet. The Thanksgiving food is higher in fat, sugar, and sodium. A week before Thanksgiving I was again eating a lot at my favorite Asian bistro (East Moon Asian Bistro, Bowie, Md); the food tends to have a lot of sodium in the sauces. The food is not salty but if you eat it 3 - 4 times a week the sodium count is high and it affects me--swelling. I can tackle the swelling issue hard by doing the Dr. Oz 48-hr. Weekend Cleanse. I have done it 3 times before and it works for me. In addition, I regularly exercise but I plan on increasing the amount of exercise in order to achieve my weight loss goal: more running, more dancing, circuit training to tighten and build muscle. Most importantly, as of today I have returned to my regular good diet.

Another blogger who has done the #30daysquatchallenge encouraged me to take before photos and at the end of the 30 days take another photo for comparison. Great idea! Yes, I will do this. NO! I will not post the photos.

Wish me success!

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

November Ends

Participating in November's National Blog Post Month has been fun. The event was helpful for me because I started this blog on October 29, 2013 with no other purpose than as a way to get my food reviews on Urbanspoon listed as blog reviews. Then I did a little poking around, discovered the Blogher network and the all the fun stuff happening: write a blog post a day, 30 day plank challenge, etc. The #NaBloPoMo prompts have helped spur my thoughts for other writing projects as well as for the food chick eats blog.

Trying to churn out a fresh post everyday, for #NaBloPoMo , was a not easy and I am glad it is over. Now I won't feel guilty when I miss posting something :-)  I will continue to write elsewhere and on this blog too. At food chick eats, the focus is on reviewing restaurants where I have eaten. I will, of course, continue to do that. My challenge is to come up with interesting and creative ways to share my love dining out and eating.

Chow!
food chick


~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Day highlights

Had a great day with friends and family. The turkey was pretty and delicious as it was smoked on the Weber kettle grill. Lots of trimmings. One friend supplied us with lots and lots of Italian wine. Another friend supplied homemade cherry strudel, apple strudel, and the world's best tiramisu (the only tiramisu that I like). The next day, for breakfast, I had coffee, a chocolate biscotto, and more tiramisu :-)






Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has officially begun.



I picked up the Thanksgiving turkey about an hour ago from Mom's Organic Market. This year I will enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday meal with friends and family visiting from near and far. On our table will be a golden turkey smoked on the Weber kettle grill, candied sweets, delicious custard-y macaroni & cheese, seasoned green beans, cranberry sauce, and the best cornbread dressing in the world (It's my Great Grandma's recipe).

What are your Thanksgiving plans?  
Will you travel? Do you eat turkey or some other selection?

I have a friend dining with me who is vegan. There will be plenty of vegan options for her, I'm still working on that portion of the meal. I almost bought her this vegan pie but she sent me a text saying she made homemade (vegan) apple strudel to bring for dessert.

Organic Apple pie vegan spelt crust

Homemade vegan Apple Strudel


Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jerry's Place of Southern Maryland

Jerry's Place Seafood Restaurant

1541 Solomon's Island Rd., Prince Frederick, MD 20678 (410) 535-3242
http://www.jerrys-place.com/

Dined on November 10, 2013


I ate at Jerry's Place again after a nice long hike. My dining companion had the special: filet of sole stuffed with crab. I know fish and I know filet of sole is a thin, smallish piece of fish, so I figured they didn't really mean stuffed but perhaps they'd sit the crab on top of the filet of sole. Nope! They wrapped the sole around a dollop of crab meat. (see photo). My friend said it was good but decidedly at $32.50 for this special entree was a rip-off! Way over priced.


I enjoyed the full fried shrimp dinner served with kale (love, love, love the kale at Jerry's Place) and fresh fries. The batter on the fried shrimp is merely a light dusting and the shrimp are not greasy at all. At Jerry's Place the shrimp are huge, incredibly flavorful and shrimp tasting. So often in restaurants the shrimp doesn't have that shrimp taste or it is flavorless, not the case at Jerry's Place.

Dessert: Jerry's has decent homemade desserts. On this visit I had the pumpkin cheesecake--real cheesecake. It is YUMMY, get some.

I am a fan of the croissant bread pudding, I always get it to go. However, the last two times I ordered it the bread pudding wasn't fully cooked. One time the entire lower half was runny. I had to bake it at home for 20 minutes and then the top layer of croissant was over-cooked and chewy :(  The second time I received an under-cooked croissant bread pudding it was not as bad,10 minutes in low temperature oven solidified things.

What my dining companions and I have learned from frequently dining at Jerry's Place:
1. Don't order combo dinners. You will not be given 50% of one entree and 50% of the other entree, you will get less than half. I had the shrimp and haddock combo once and the amount of fish was definitely less than half an order of the haddock dinner. Also the pieces of fish were smaller (not as big or thick) so they were dryer than the haddock given as samples and served on the full fried haddock entree.

2. Don't get the specials (unless it is something seasonal). Jerry's does weird things with their pricing. The specials are abnormally high-priced for what you get. Made this mistake twice.

What Jerry's does very well is kale, crab cakes, haddock, shrimp, and service!

Tip: People love the oysters here and several people come weekly for oysters. I don't eat oysters but Jerry's Place has a variety and they are fresh at the oyster bar.

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)


Jerry's Place on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Excite my palate, satisfy my soul



Too many restaurants focus on the wrong things when trying to woo the dining public. The menus are filled with rare, never heard of food or they tout foods sourced locally or an artistic masterpiece designed with food is placed before you to consume yet the dish tastes blah! Nothing to excite the palate or satisfy the soul. And you will be charged a small fortune for the exotic, fresh, beautifully prepared morsels of food.

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's Wednesday...can we talk?

Happy Wednesday, hump day, get me to Friday fast day!

I am happy (for now), I've only been up for two hours. But I am happy. I slept well. I woke to glorious sunshine. I have residual happy leftover from last night's fun & funny comedy showcase--The Last Resort Comedy Show. My day looks pretty good overall except the visit to the orthodontist in a few hours, which really should be okay too. I am in the "settling" stage of having my braces removed. If all is going well I will get them off the day before Thanksgiving. Yippee! I'm a little nervous to have the braces removed. I know so many people who had braces and their teeth shifted again once the braces were off. That would be a real bummer. After $9000 and 3 years and 7 months of my teeth encased in wire (and me looking oh so sexy!) I deserve to have permanently straight teeth.

Anywho? That's what's up with me. What's up with you?

I will leave you with some words of wisdom.


A NICKEL WILL GET YOU ON THE SUBWAY, BUT GARLIC WILL GET YOU A SEAT. --Old New York Proverb


Make your day a great day.

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blue Wind Gourmet

Blue Wind Gourmet

22803 Gunston Drive (directly on MD. RTE 235)
Lexington Park Maryland 20653 (301) 737-2714
http://bluewindgourmet.com/


Dined here on November 17, 2013

We stopped here after a day of hiking at nearby St. Mary's River State Park. I had remembered Blue Wind Gourmet from previous years when I spent a lot of time in Lexington Park, Maryland. Blue Wind is casual dining but it also has a great wine selection and is as well known for wine as it is for fresh, great tasting food. This restaurant is a much needed addition to an area full of restaurant chains and devoid of higher quality food.


The Food
Cajun catfish on ciabatta with avocado. I did not enjoy my half of this sandwich. The Cajun seasoning was good but the catfish was a little chemically or fishy tasting, good catfish doesn't taste like that. Too, the sandwich had very little avocado. This sandwich comes with a side of remoulade sauce. I usually hold off on sauces but add a little of the remoulade sauce to this catfish sandwich, it improves it. The ciabatta bread was good. (sandwich half, left side of photo)

Cajun shrimp & goat cheese on focaccia bread brushed with garlic oil was good. The focaccia was whole wheat and seemed to have its own herb flavor as well. The shrimp on the sandwich were huge. (see sandwich half right side of photo)

Crab corn chowder was thick and creamy (but not gelatinous) and mainly a corn flavor but there was crab in there too. It was a good soup for a cool night. The best food of the entire meal was the Masala Lentil soup. Great spices and a pinch of hotness; hearty not overpowering. I wish I had gotten some to go.

The Service
Service is walk up to the counter and order style, but they do bring your food to your table if you eat in.

Tip: The place us hard to find at night, not lit up, Blue Wind sign is dim. Heading north look for well lit Chiropractor sign, turn after that.

Note: I had dined here once before back in 2009 and had a memorable crab cake sandwich. I recall it being very tasty, fresh and little filler. 


Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Blue Wind Gourmet on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 18, 2013

What Your Coffee Says About You

I make a fresh pot of coffee 2-3 times a week, in a French press. I buy whole beans and grind them as needed. I prefer dark roasts and some full-bodied medium roasts. My cup of coffee is usually prepared with 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. of raw sugar, and 1 TBS. of evaporated milk. According to a survey by Clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula, I am a "Latte" drinker who seeks comfort, is generous with her time, and on the down-side can get over-extended. I won't quibble with this assessment. However, I think how I ritualize making coffee says more about me than the way I take my coffee. Perhaps it says, I am a perfectionist who allows little room for error, and who likes things orderly. Likes to have a plan, and stick to it; nothing wrong with routine. Naw, that doesn't sound like me ;-)

What does your coffee say about you?
How do you take your coffee? Share in the comments section.

Click to enlarge image

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Take a hike!

Today, November 17, was National Take a Hike Day. So I did just that--went for a hike. For the first time, I visited St. Mary's River State Park, in Southern, Maryland. I enjoyed the non-strenuous, 7.5 mile hike around the lake. The trail was very peaceful, undulating through the forest. I look forward to hiking here again this winter.




Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

5 things in my fridge



#NaBloPoMo Prompt:
Name 5 things inside your refrigerator right now
and how you feel about them.

1. Evaporated milk. I use this primarily in my coffee and tea, like you would cream. When I make omelets I add a dash to make fluffy omelets. Do you know what evaporated is? Evaporated milk is created by removing about 60 percent of the water from ordinary milk. I use whole milk evaporated milk. Tip: English Breakfast tea with a 2 teaspoons of evaporated milk and one half teaspoon of raw sugar is a pleasant cup of tea.


2. D'Noir prunes. Forget raisins...THIS is nature's candy. I love the taste of these prunes! They are so fresh, and sweet. I eat 3 - 5 of these most every day.

3. Mushrooms. I eat A LOT of mushrooms--crimini, white, baby bella, shitake. There are shitake and white mushrooms in the refrigerator now and I just finished the crimini mushrooms at lunch. I enjoy mushrooms in eggs, sauteed with onions in garlic and butter, raw and on a salad, and raw for snacking.

4. and 5. Apples and sauerkraut. Apples and sauerkraut is a salad I discovered while doing the Dr. Oz 48-hour cleanse. It quickly became a regular part of my diet and I have this for a snack pretty much everyday, when I have apples. I try to always have apples. Honeycrisp and Braeburns are the best choice because they are firm apples with a slightly sweet-tart taste. This balances well with the pungent, sour taste of Bubbies sauerkraut.



Chow!
food chick


~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Twitter sent me to Eventide Oyster

Eventide Oyster Company

86 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101   (207) 774-8538
http://www.eventideoysterco.com/

Dined here September 27, 2013

Recently, I vacationed for one week in Maine. I ended up at Eventide because once I entered the state of Maine I tweeted that I was looking for lobster rolls. The United Way of Portland replied to my tweet and suggested Eventide Oyster Company. I was hightailing up to Mt. Dessert Island so I did not stop in Portland but decided to visit the restaurant on my way back home. Thanks United Way of Greater Portland (@unitedwaygp) for the suggestion.

Eventide is a very small trendy type diner. Seating is at bar stools along the bar and stools along the windows with views of the street. Also there are two picnic tables indoors one that seats 4, the other seats 6. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable about oysters and how the menu items are prepared. The food is reasonably priced for this type of dining, in a tourist area. How does the food taste? It is good, decent tasting food. Not stellar, not OMG. The nice thing is nothing was heavily salted.

Potatoes tossed in aioli

The Bottarga Potatoes were good: a simple dish of tri-color fingerling potatoes fried and tossed in a minimal amount of aioli. No special seasonings, just tasted like potatoes. The clam chowder seasoned with salt pork should be renamed "pork chowder". There was no clam taste at all. The chowder had potatoes, large bits of pork, and in a few spoons I was awarded small minced bits of clam. The base of the clam chowder was not creamy but more the broth-style chowder. The color was cream but it was not at all creamy in texture. As pork chowder, it was decent pork chowder in broth but disappointing if you want clam chowder whether it be creamy, broth, or buttery. The biscuit served with the chowder was delicious! The zucchini fritters has a nice spice to them, they were not heavy or greasy. For my taste I would have enjoyed a little more corn meal flavor, which was almost non-existent.
Clam chowder and lobster roll

Lastly, there was the lobster roll. It was good. The roll is smaller than many other lobster rolls elsewhere but Eventide's has just as much meat. I had my lobster meat tossed in the house-made mayo with dill. Very refreshing, a nice flavor and change of pace. At $12 it was the cheapest lobster roll I had all week while vacationing in Maine. Most places charge $14 now! 3 out of 5 stars.

Tip: Order the Brown Butter Vinaigrette lobster roll. @unitedwaygp recommended that I get the Brown Butter Vinaigrette lobster. I had forgotten what I was supposed to order and did not find the tweet suggestion until moments after I ordered. A woman next to me had the Brown Butter Vinaigrette lobster roll and it looked soooo good.

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)


Eventide Oyster Co. on Urbanspoon

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Small plates at Oyamel

Oyamel
401 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004 (202) 628-1005
http://www.oyamel.com/

Dined on November 6, 2013

When I arrived at Oyamel I was displeased at the very loud noise level. I had reservations so we were seated immediately. My companion and I were shown to a tiny table, on the lower level, located on the aisle and directly in front of a bar. Ugh! I absolutely was not sitting at that table. It was so tiny, I knew all our food would not fit. Dumb idea for a small plates restaurant to have such tiny tables plus my companion has broad shoulders. He would get bumped into all night if we sat there. I immediately asked the hostess if we could be seated elsewhere. She was very kind, and accommodating. We were told to have a seat at the main bar and they would re-seat us in a moment. Sure enough in about 3 minutes we were seated in a booth. The booth was on the same lower level but a wall of sorts wrapped around us shielding out the noise and the table could seat five people. Ahhh! Now I could relax and hopefully enjoy my meal.

I had been wanting to try Oyamel for some time because I am a fan of Jose Andres' Jaleo. I read a lot of Oyamel Yelp reviews and walked away with the impression that people really love Oyamel for happy hour, their margaritas, and the guacamole made at the table. Very few reviewers were ecstatic about the food. The same sentiment on Urbanspoon.

Spoiler Alert: This is exactly my impression of Oyamel. The food is okay, nothing spectacular, nothing to make you return for just the food.

Of what we ate, there were a few delicious dishes. I am a fan of small plate/tapas-style dining or in the case of Oyamel "antojitos" for little dishes from the streets.

The Food
Complimentary salsa & chips: The chips are good and our second batch was warm. The red salsa made with smokey chipotle chiles has just the right amount of heat, and is flavorful.

Guacamole: Yes, it is fresh. Yes it is good. It is not the best guacamole I've ever eaten but it is a must order item. At $13.50 I think it is the most expensive guacamole and chips I've ever had. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Gaspacho (salad) estilo Morelia: a salad of seasonal fruit (mango, grapefruit, orange), jicama root, cucumbers, queso fresco and chile pequín. The salad was very refreshing, the fruit was firm, and juicy; nothing mushy. I would order this on each visit to Oyamel. Very nice starter and is a nice change from all the 'salty' foods and heavier dishes. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Elote con calabazitas: Sautéed sweet corn, baby zucchini, & serrano peppers with Mexican cream, queso fresco & chile pequin. Meh! Don't waste your money or calorie allotment. It is not that flavorful or special. Sounds much better than it is. I was surprised how small a portion it was compared to the other dishes we had received thus far. Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Enchilada Placeras: House-made corn tortillas filled w/ spiced beef, pickled chayotes, a roasted tomato salsa, red onions and radishes. My dining companion liked this.

Pescado con mostaza: Very tasty blackened grouper, roasted tomato and pasilla de Oaxaca chile salsa, pickled mustard seed purée and pickled mustard seeds. The grouper alone, away from the salsa and mustard seed puree, was excellent. Made me long for an entire piece of blackened grouper fish as an entree. The salsa served with the grouper was good, the mustard seed puree was even better. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Pescado Mexicano/fish taco: Seared fish with salsa Mexicana and a tangy cilantro pesto. Translation: A lot of mediocre flavored green stuff, and a teeny-tiny piece of fish. Pass on this item. There was only a small bite of fish in the small tortilla; the piece of fish was no more than one and three-quarter inches long! At least put enough fish to extend through the tortilla. Note tacos are $4 per taco and one order is 1 taco. Rating: don't bother ordering

Cochinita pibíl con cebolla en escabeche/pork taco: Yucatan-style pit barbecued Shenandoah Valley pork with Mexican sour orange and pickled red onion. I did not taste this but my friend said it was okay. He said he would order it again.

Note: My ratings for the individual food items are within the context of the food at Oyamel that I ate.

Service:
The staff pushed alcohol a lot. We kept saying no but they kept asking and pointing out alcohol drink menus and specials. At the main bar, while waiting to be seated the bartender looked visibly surprised when I ordered "unsweetened ice tea" and stuttered slightly upon repeating my order.

The hostess was very nice, polite, and accommodating. Our waitress was adequate.

Ambiance: The open dining concept makes for a very loud noise level at Oyamel. The space's dining room design doesn't seem to incorporate any sound baffling.

Do I recommend Oyamel? Sure. Small plate restaurants are fun for groups and friends, sharing food, and trying out different dishes. Is it the type of place I'd return to often? No.The food isn't standout fare.


Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)


Oyamel on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why I Plank

originally posted as comment here

"... I used to do fitness boot-camp twice a week and we planked, and planked, and planked! Got to the point it was easy, even comfortable and my mind could wander rather than think about how much I hated planking and how many seconds were left for me to be in that miserable plank position. The big bonus was that my ultra-strong core made it a breeze to invert for fitness pole dancing.

I can't afford the fitness boot-camp classes anymore and slacked off severely on circuit training. Maybe the plank challenge is just what I need to get my core strength back."


I started the 30-day planking challenge on November 6, 2013 and did a 1 minute full extension plank. Today, I did 70 seconds full extension plank. I need to incorporate side planks, I was weakest at that so I think I'll do that later today. #30dayplankchallenge

Chow!
food chick

~~:~~
Eat, drink, be merry and validate for parking (TM)