Weekend Recap (it doesn’t feel like spring…)

Another weekend in the books. I am so excited it’s finally spring….even if it doesn’t feel like it! At least we’re one weekend closer to consistently nice weather. We made the most of the weekend even if the weather was a bit of a downer (Jeanette was spending the weekend in Deep Creek which turned into a cozy cabin weekend when they got SNOW on Saturday!).

Friday afternoon I left work a little early and raced home to watch the Terps in the first round of the NCAA tournament. What looked like it was going to be a comfortable win (up 18 points in the second half) got all too close and stressful in the last few minutes. Luckily, Maryland came away with a win and our whole weekend wasn’t ruined (this is no exaggeration, if we had lost I probably would have crawled into bed at 7pm on Friday and not emerged until at least Sunday). After the game, we walked into Fed for a quick bite of dinner and ended up at Matsuri. Neither of us felt like sushi, so we ended up with his and hers teriyaki (chicken and salmon) with seaweed salad and miso soup to start.

chicken teriyaki matsuri baltimore salmon teriyaki matsuri baltimore

Everything was delicious and the portion was huge so I ended up bringing one of those pieces of salmon home. We popped into Metropolitan for a drink  and to watch more basketball before calling it a night.

Our chilly Saturday morning began with a walk to Dunkin’ for coffee and a manicure at Light Street Nails before heading down 95 for a day in DC. Adam and I joined several of the girls I used to work with at the Kastles for lunch at Oyamel. You may remember from my Miami post, that I am a big fan of Jose Andres restaurants and Oyamel was no exception. We were those annoying people who had a big group (with a very well behaved baby!) and posted up for two hours eating, drinking and catching up. We started with the table side guac and a round of drinks (pomegranate margarita with sea salt foam for me) before tackling the rest of the menu. Like all Jose Andres restaurants, the menu is full of small plates, but we weren’t really in the mood to share so most of us girls got three tacos each and a side of rice and the guys each got a taco and one of the larger tapas. I thought the pork belly taco was good, but the mahi mahi taco was amaaazing. The brisket taco ended up being way too spicy for me so I gave it to Adam and since our table ended up with an extra fish taco, I stepped up and polished it off. I’d definitely like to go back and try more of their menu, especially since my friend raved about the steak and eggs dish she had. Jose Andres you seriously need to open a place in Baltimore – we have quite the burgeoning dining scene!!

oyamel dc pomegranate margarita

After lunch we walked up 7th Street to Redline for a happy hour with even more folks we used to work with at the Kastles. Redline is a great spot with a long bar and a ton of big TVs and when we walked in around 2pm during the first weekend of March Madness it was almost empty! Redline you need to step up your marketing game!! It had started to fill in by the time we rolled out at 5:30, but still if you need some marketing help, give me a call. 🙂

Exhausted from a day of drinking and traffic on our drive home, we grabbed take out ramen from Mi & Yu and spent the rest of the night watching basketball.

mi and yu ramen take out

Sunday was quiet – errands, grocery shopping, laundry, took a long walk with Jack and grabbed a caramel machiato at Afters before starting to get PUMPED for the Terps game and settling in for a night of watching basketball and cheering on my boys. I ❤ March Madness.

 

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Friday Five (Spoons Cafe)

If you’re looking for breakfast in Baltimore, Spoons is where it’s at. While I’m not a huge breakfast person (and am afraid to admit that I really don’t like brunch), I’ve enjoyed some amazing meals at Spoons lately and I feel like every time I go I learn a new tip or trick so I thought I’d share them for today’s Friday five!

  1. Go early! As I mentioned I…ahem…don’t like brunch, so I don’t mind an early get together on the weekends. Spoons can have upwards of a 30 minute wait and they don’t take reservations, so if you want to beat the crowds, try to arrive by 9:30am. Spoons Baltimore - Salted Caramel Latte
  2. Skip the coffee…go for the espresso drinks. Hello you beautiful salted caramel latte. The coffee is OK, but the lattes and chais are amazing.
  3. Speaking of lattes, you can get your drinks to go! If you’re looking for a quick morning caffeine hit, head straight to the coffee bar and order your espresso drink to go. It’s about the same price as Starbucks and more delicious because it comes from your neighborhood joint.                                   Spoons Cafe - ONuts
  4. Don’t skip the O-nuts. Worth every calorie, these powdered sugar covered gems are Spoons’ twist on a traditional beignet. Deep fried and DELICIOUS. They come in perfectly small portions too- get 3 or 6.
  5. Spoons doesn’t have serve liquor so if you’re looking for the kind of brunch where you stuff your face and pound bloody mary’s, this probably isn’t the place for you. They do serve wine and champagne so you can get mimosas and bellinis (an cheap ones at that!). Spoons does have their own twist on a bloody – Asian-inspired and made with sake. It’s not bad, but no substitute for the real deal.

You may notice that I didn’t even touch on the food and that’s because everything I’ve tried is delicious – you can’t go wrong! Most recently, we tried the hangtown fry: fried oysters over scrambled eggs with smoked paprika aoili. The oysters were fried perfectly and had amazing flavor that was enhanced by the mild sauce. They also have a build your own omelette or scramble option if none of the menu items are striking your fancy. I’ve designed myself a tasty egg white omelette chock full of veggies and gooey cheese. And the breakfast potatoes. For your choice of side, always go with the breakfast potatoes – so, so good! I mean, just look at that plate below. And wake up tomorrow morning and get yourself to Spoons. Stat.

Spoons Baltimore Fried Oysters

Spoons Cafe

Location: Federal Hill, 24 E. Cross Street

Highlights: Affordable breakfast entrees, sweet O-nuts and delicious espresso drinks.

Happy Friday and happy March Madness! Go Terps! And because it’s Friday, we’re linking up with Heather, Mar, Cynthia and Courtney.

New(ish) places around Baltimore

I have a tendency to eagerly track construction of new bars, restaurants and shops. I follow them on Facebook, make vague, sort-of plans to drop in with friends, gobble up reviews in City Paper, and check all-too-regularly for any additions to its Yelp page. And then, nothing.

The restaurant/bar/coffeeshop/boutique slowly fades from my memory or, more likely, is replaced by the next restaurant/bar/coffeeshop/boutique set to open in my ‘hood. Yeah, it’s not my best trait. So I’ve been trying to mix it up lately. Sure, I still have my regular haunts, but I’M WORKING ON IT, OK?

A few new(ish) places I’ve recently tried out:

BLUE MOON TOO. Blue Moon’s second shop opened a few months ago in Federal Hill, and I was lucky enough to get my Cap’n Crunch French Toast fix (topped with fruit and whipped cream) just before Jonas hit. So, so good and so incredibly sugary. The perfect comfort food for when you’re paranoid you’ll get snowed in without power and have to eat canned beans for a week.

DAS BIER HAUS. The site of the now-closed Langermann’s on Light has been replaced with a German biergarten-style restaurant. We dropped in a few weeks ago for a beer (bier?), and even though it had just opened, I was shocked by how packed it was. With communal tables and barely enough space to stand, you’d think I’d be complaining, but it actually kind of forced you to make friends. By the end of the night, I was sampling beer from some girls’ beer boot. You can judge whether or not that’s a good thing.

BREW HOUSE NO. 16. A historic-firehouse-turned-neighborhood-brewpub. You know, just your average restaurant reno. K and I popped in a few weeks ago for after-dinner-drinks. I’d read that the food was just OK, so we opted to grab pizza across the street and then stop in for a nightcap. The decor was what really stood out to me here: tall ceilings, Edison bulbs hanging above the bar, fermentation tanks lining the wall behind the barstools and yes, even the old fireman’s pole.

Next on my to-do listand because I’m writing it here I will ACTUALLY have to go: 3 Bean Coffee next to Federal Hill Park, Iron Rooster in Canton (I’ve been to the Annapolis location which was amazeballs but I’m counting this), Diablo Doughnuts in Fells Point.

Excited forBlacksauce Kitchen to open a restaurant in Remington, Yard House to come to the Inner Harbor.

Weekend Recap: Wine and Dine

Happy Monday! I had a jam packed weekend and thought I’d pop in with a quick recap. I followed my own advice and did a couple of day trips to spend some time outside and get a change of scene. Since I spent most of the weekend out of the apartment my housework and errands were definitely neglected, but I did manage to make it to the gym both days, grocery shop and do a couple of loads of laundry so I’ll let the rest of the stuff slide.

Adam and I kicked the weekend off Friday night with a trip to Salt for restaurant week. We got six different dishes among the two of us and each of them was fantastic – as were our cocktails. I posted our starters on instagram so I’ll just briefly talk about our main courses here. Adam got the grilled hanger steak which was super flavorful and perfectly seared on the outside. I got the cod which was served in a tomato-y broth. The dish was soupier than I expected but also very good. Dessert was a riff off of strawberry shortcake with lemon poppy seed shortbread, fresh strawberries and mascarpone sorbet. The sorbet might have been the best thing I ate all night. Such a unique flavor!

Salt - Steak

Salt - Cod

Salt - Dessert

 

Saturday we spent in Bethesda at a friend’s pool. Our friend goes all-out when entertaining and decided to make this weekend’s pool sesh Christmas in July themed complete with costumes and a white elephant gift exchange.  We spent several hours in and around the pool and by the time we made it back to Baltimore we were exhausted. It seemed like everyone and their mom was going to the Billy Joel concert that night, but since we were to poor to spring for tickets we stayed in and made this Cooking Light Chicken Tamale Casserole. <— It is a crazy easy and delicious recipe! A friend first told me about it this past February and I’ve made it a bunch of times since then. It also reheats really well and I brought some leftovers for lunch today.

Sunday afternoon I hopped in the car for the hour drive to Linganore Winery where I met up with a bunch of girlfriends. We all met as freshman living in Cumberland Hall at the University of Maryland and have stayed in touch with regular get-togethers. We paid $5 to do a tasting and sampled 10 of Linganore’s wines before buying a few bottles and settling in outside for a potluck picnic feast. Everyone brought something to share and we enjoyed catching up and munching on cheese, baguette, hummus, veggies, sweets and table side guacamole courtesy of Jeanette. It was a beautiful (hot) day and the perfect, relaxing end to a busy weekend!

Winery

Winery - Girls

Winery - Guac

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Have you ever been to a winery? 

Linking up with Tara for Weekend Update.