Indian Food in Fed Hill

So a few weekends ago I did that thing that I usually try to avoid: I ate out for every single meal. I know. The $$$ and the calories! But it’s okay because everything I had was really, really good.

Saturday lunchtime I met up with Jeanette to walk into Fed Hill hoping to try the new Indian restaurant, Himalayan Bistro. It was tough to tell at first glance that the restaurant was open as the door is set back in an alcove and looked like it had a big lock on it, but we persisted and the place was in fact open for business! When we sat down, it felt a little bit like we were the first people to ever eat there, but by the time we left several other tables were full (we’re just trendsetters like that).

You can order a la carte off the menu, but we opted for the buffet ($12 on the weekend) since we like to try a little bit of everything. We recognized most of the usual Indian buffet standbys: chicken tikka masala, palak paneer, dal, biryani, fish and veggie pakora. All of the dishes I tried were tasty and paired perfectly with some naan, salad and cooling raita yogurt sauce.

We polished off our first plates and got seconds of our favorites – that means you chicken masala! We ended our meal with gulab jamun – those sweet, syrup-soaked donut balls (gross description for a great food). We both seriously enjoyed are meals and are definitely happy to have a good Indian food option in Fed Hill.

The rest of my meals that weekend were equally good: dinners at Sobo Cafe and DBGB in DC and a bridal shower brunch at Donna’s. Pictured below you’ll see some highlights – the brussels sprouts flatbread with goat cheese at Sobo, a pork and a lamb sausage for sharing at DBGB, and roasted veggies + roast beef from Donna’s brunch buffet.

 

Have you tried Himalyan Bistro yet? What did you think? 

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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.

Eating all the foods at Food Market

My favorite restaurants are the places where I can try a little bit of everything and leave without feeling like I’m going to explode (always a good goal, right?). I love tapas and the recent trend toward small plates and so does my husband, Adam. That is why we were so excited for Adam’s birthday dinner at The Food Market in Hampden. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

Two things I like about Food Market right off the bat: free valet parking (the fastest way to win me over in a hard-to-park neighborhood) and the lively crowd. On a Friday night at 8pm, there was a great mix of young and old, families, couples and groups of friends.

We started with drinks and since I’ve been on a gin kick lately, I tried the French Tease, a delightful, lemony cocktail with gin and bubbly. I sipped my cocktail alongside bread sticks and olive oil and our first course: duck confit potato skin and kale caesar salad. The salad was particularly good, chock full of yummy toppings like brussels sprouts, bacon and crispy chickpeas. The portion was also quite large and perfect for sharing.

Food Market - Baltimore Kale Caesar Salad

Food Market 2 duck confit potato skin baltimore

We had a long debate about our second course and whether or not we should double up on fried foods. I was interested in the street tacos and tuna meatballs but Adam wasn’t feeling them, he was interested in the pork belly but it was made with pecans and I’m allergic. Ultimately, we decided we wanted the fried oysters and the tempura game hen and who cares if they’re both fried. I stand by our choice. The oysters were huge and delicious, perfectly paired with the bacon and onion dressing that accompanied them. The game hen was good too, like an upscale Bon Chon, lightly fried and sitting in a sweet and sour Korean bbq sauce. The price for our first four dishes ranged from $6-$13 making it very affordable to try many different flavors.

Food market 3 korean bbq game hen

food market 4 fried oysters

At this point in the meal, I was plenty full and could easily have stopped right there. But where’s the fun in that? This was a celebration after all. So I powered through, ordered a $6 glass of the house bubbles (served in the cutest stemless champagne flute, and tried the veal meatloaf with mushrooms, spinach and cheesy polenta. My goodness. It was so, so good. Up until this point the food had been good, but nothing really knocked it out of the park. This dish, however, was out of this world!

food market 5 veal meatloaf polenta

So there you have it, we tried five dishes on a long list of appealing sounding options (seriously, I could go back several times and find many more things to try). If you’ve looking for a lively restaurant that’s a lot of fun with an expansive menu and solidly good food – this is the place!

The Food Market

Location: Hampden, 1017 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD

Highlights: Atmosphere, veal meatloaf, cocktails, service

Friday Five (Favorite Date Night Ideas)

Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but by the time Friday night rolls around I am exhausted and in the mood to do little else but drink wine in my pajamas (okay not so different than every other night).  However,  I do like to acknowledge the weekend with some low key date nights. Here are my faves:

IMG_3867

  1. Carry out and catching up on the DVR (and usually it’s a week’s worth of Jeopardy’s). Food supplied by one of our faves: Baba’s, Nacho Mama’s, Mi & Yu or Matsuri. Or instead of doing a traditional dinner, graze on apps or put out a picnic spread. Charcuterie and cheese platter anyone? Open a bottle of wine or some seasonal beer and relax!
  2. Game night with friends. Friday is the perfect night for staying in, drinking in the comfort of your own home, and building the longest road in Catan.
  3. Happy hour in Harbor East. The best thing about going to happy hour on a Friday? You’re home by 9pm. A lot of great restaurants that we don’t eat at on the reg because they are too pricey have great happy hour specials like Ouzo Bay and Fleming’s.
  4. Visiting family. We’ll visit Adam’s parents in the county on Friday nights and bring Jack to run around in the yard with their big dogs. Jack tires himself out and we get to catch up with the fam. It’s a win win.
  5. Walk to dinner at a BYOB. Our current fave is Zaatar where I order the chicken kabob platter every. single. time. Flavorful chicken, salad, hummus, grilled veggies and crack pita. We also like Brendali, Byblos or Thai Arroy.

Alright, alright, I realize that a lot of these are food related, but that’s the thing about Friday nights, you gotta eat, so you might as well make a date out of it! We cook dinner at home pretty much every night during the work week so it’s nice to be able to forgo cooking on the weekend.

What are you up to tonight? I think we have carry out and Aziz Ansari’s new Netflix show Master of None on the agenda!

Linking up with Heather for Friday Faves

[Long] Weekend Update!

I had the best weekend! Just the right mix of fun and relaxation, this long weekend was exactly what I needed.

We had two great meals in Baltimore. Friday night Adam and I wanted something easy so we walked into Federal Hill for dinner at Zaatar (the new name of Ali Baba). It’s BYOB so we brought a bottle of white to share and we each ordered the chicken kabobs. The chicken was juicy and flavorful and comes with amazing hummus, perfectly spiced salad, grilled tomatoes and onions, and the pita equivalent of crack. The crack pita or as the call it “Ali Baba Bread” is almost like a Mediterranean quesadilla with what I think might be red pepper, onion and cheese grilled between two super thin pitas. So. so. so. good.

Zaater chicken kabobs

Monday we met up with some family that was in town for brunch at Donna’s in Cross Keys. I wasn’t feeling breakfast food and opted for a lamb burger with sweet potato fries which were delicious. Adam’s omelette was definitely the winner though with creamy goat cheese and big chunks of portobello mushrooms.

donnas goat cheese omelette

We also went to two beautiful weddings! Saturday we drove up to New Jersey for the wedding of one of Adam’s high school friends. The bride and groom were so adorably happy all night and their venue was awesome! My love for passed apps ensures that the cocktail hour is my favorite part of most weddings, but this is especially true at New Jersey/New York weddings that always have the most ridiculous cocktail hour spreads. This one included a pasta bar, a carving station, mussels and gyros! We danced up a storm and before we knew it the night was ending, but not before s’mores at the fire pit and pizza at the after party. Suffice it to say, we were very well fed.

Le Tote Dress

Rocking a long dress that recently arrived from Le Tote!

Sunday night was round two at the Douglass-Myers Maritime Park for the wedding of one of my business school friends. The setting of their ceremony was absolutely picture perfect, on a pier on the Eastern side of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The bride, who works in fashion, knocked it out of the park with her gorgeous dress and both families were clearly so excited about the nuptials. Cocktail hour was another smashing success with amazing crab cakes and the rest of the night passed in a flash of dinner and dancing.

baltimore wedding

Monday I had the strength for brunch and some errands before crashing with the most amazing nap in the afternoon. As we all know, the best part about a long weekend is the subsequent short week at work and this week if even better as I only have two days in the office before heading to the beach on Thursday. YAY! Hope everyone has a great week!

What was the highlight of your long weekend?