Friday, January 18, 2013

Tidbits - Mid-January Edition

Just a few notes, as the state-by-state thing is winding down and I have a little time to write about the places I've eaten at in the meantime.

* I've been getting a lot of good stuff at the farmers' market in Waverly lately.  I'm trying to stick to a new year's resolution of eating locally-grown or -raised food at least once every two weeks.  I've been better at this than I thought.  A few weeks ago I got tendergreen (a type of mustard green) which I made into a nice salad, and mizuna, a Japanese green that you can (apparently) pickle very easily.  The Little Grass Shack website shows how, among all the other info it gives about the versatile, easily-grown plant.

Also, look at what I whipped up from my loot from Waverly:

The other night I ate mashed sweet potatoes (definitely grown locally), fresh horseradishy-smelling turnips braised in butter, sugar and salt (probably grown locally) and kielbasa from South Mountain Creamery (made from locally raised pork).  Also note: I'm trying to eat less meat (not "no meat" - fool, please), so here is the kielbasa as a side dish to the turnips.

* Last week I found myself in Frederick, and after a day of conferences I decided to make it, finally, to Volt, the flagship restaurant of Top Chef's Bryan Voltaggio, a Frederick native.  Mind you, I do not have $85 just laying around to pay for a delicious three-course meal (that is, again, before beverages, taxes and tip).  Fortunately, Volt has a lounge menu with cheaper foods you can eat at the bar, so that's what I chose when hitting the bar at Volt.  The sleek bar usually picks up around 5ish, and I got there a little earlier.  While talking about Voltaggio's latest venture in the DC area (no chains for him - each of his restaurants is unique), the barkeep gave me a Flying Dog Raging Bitch, on tap ($7), locally made right in Frederick.  This went nicely with my order, a lush, buttery lobster roll ($12) on a homemade brioche bun, with kettle chips.  I don't usually eat a lot of lobster, and when I do it's usually in roll form.  This was a particularly lovely one, and it just went too fast for me.  All the more reason to go back to Frederick for another one?

* My friend Eric and I went out last weekend for a nice leisurely bite at the 13.5% Wine Bar.  I've written about it before, but just to mention how nice my latest meal there was, I have to give major kudos for the cheese selections the waiter made for us (five for $16), as well as the calamari, which  was the crispiest and most tender fried calamari I have had in ages (can't remember the price, but I think it was about $10).  Everything we had was delicious, I might add.