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 (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:

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  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

Hump Day Happy Hour

Is there anything more young(ish) than trying to make a meal out of happy hour? Gone are the days of pounding $3 rails on an empty stomach, I’m just looking for a nice cocktail and a date night that doesn’t break the bank. Luckily, there are a lot of quality happy hours in the city that fit those requirements and one of my faves is Ouzo Bay. The upscale Greek restaurant in Harbor East has a large, open bar space and happy hour Monday-Friday from 4-7pm. With large windows and glass doors that open up onto outside seating, the whole place is airy and sunny on a summer evening. Bonus is that I can walk there from work downtown which is great since parking/traffic in Harbor East can be a little tricky around rush hour.

ouzo bay happy hour

I met my husband for happy hour a few weeks ago and started with a glass of white wine while we pondered our food choices. Ouzo Bay has a number of discounted small plates on their happy hour menu along with $3 bottled beers and reduced price wines and cocktails. On past visits we had tried pretty much all of the small plates except for the house spreads so we decided to order that along with our favorite grilled octopus. The spreads were delicious and served with triangles of pita. There was a fish spread, a red pepper and feta spread, a tzatziki spread , and some sort of nut spread that I blocked out because I’m allergic. While we waited for our apps we munched on a delicious bread basket because the more carbs the better amirite?

ouzo bay spreadsouzo bay octopus

After our first set of munchies we ordered a second round of drinks and that’s when we decided to go big or go home. We were both still a little hungry but couldn’t agree on a dish to order so we got the soft crab sliders and the lamb sliders. In retrospect, probably not necessary but they were both delicious. Each dish had two of the sliders served alongside homemade potato chips – you could probably make a meal from one of these alone, but where’s the fun in that? Our bill ended up being less than $70 including tip though we could have definitely saved money and still had a great experience if we had ordered less food and had beer instead of wine.

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If you’re looking to get a little happy hour action into your hump day check out Drink Baltimore’s list of tonight’s happy hour specials!