Posts tagged ‘restaurants’
Sorry that this series of blog posts is taking so long to get done. Yes, we’ve been back from our honeymoon for 10 days…We moved into our new apartment last weekend and it’s been really busy around here. Maybe next trip won’t be “technology free” and these posts will be more timely. Or not.
After Philly, Brian and I headed to Delaware to check out the Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, Longwood Gardens and the Brandywine River Museum. We stopped in Wilmington with the hopes of finding something to do and somewhere to eat. Frankly, there didn’t seem to be much going on in downtown Wilmington, but the folks at the visitors center mentioned something about a brewery. Brian, beer lover that he is, decided that was where we should have dinner and, after getting lost driving around the city, we found Iron Hill Brewery located on the riverfront.
He hasn’t stopped talking about it since.
We started our meal with a sampler of 8 types of beer, the 6 house beers and two seasonals of our (Brian’s) choosing:
My husband, who is far more knowledgable about these things than I, thought the beer was really great. I actually liked most of them too, and only having to have a little of each was definitely the way to go for me. Sampling all the different kinds was a lot of fun. It’s possible I’m starting to like beer. Who woulda thought?
We also ordered an appetizer of sweet potato fries. Sweet potato fries aren’t usually on my radar, but they might be in the future. I think the picture speaks for itself. Amazing. I would’ve been content to skip the main course and just eat more fries.
I had a “healthy selection” crab cake with tomatoes, avocado, baby arugula, and roasted tomato-jalapeño vinaigrette:
You know you’d had a lifestyle change when you order things off the “healthy selections” menu not because it’s healthy but because it sounds more appetizing than the “normal selections”.
The food was really delicious, the portions sufficient and the atmosphere was fun. Brian suggested, before the meal was even over, that we forgo looking for other restaurants and just come back to Iron Hill for the remaining evenings of our trip. I declined, but it wouldn’t have been the worst thing ever. Iron Hill Brewery has several locations in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
As I mentioned on Friday, my husband and I were on vacation…our belated honeymoon, actually. We spent the first 24 hours checking out the historic sites of Philly. We promised each other we were going to eat well. And take pictures of the food, of course. Over the next couple posts, I’ll share some of the highlights.
On Wednesday night, we were in search of a nice, reasonable sit-down restaurant so we checked out Pizzicato on Market Street. Brian enjoyed a grilled chicken, spinach, and prosciutto pizza. Since it had so many toppings, it had a tendency to fall apart, but otherwise it was great. I only got a bite, but it was delicious.
I had a refreshing salad. I don’t remember what was in the dressing, but it was lemony and light and amazing. Plus arugula, asparagus, goat cheese and artichokes. It was wonderful. It was also pretty big…
It’s very possible that I consumed the entire thing.
If you ever find yourself in the historic district of Philadelphia, Pizzicato seems to be a safe, yummy choice with some healthy options.
I may have just decided where all my money is going to go.
I also just had an amazing whole wheat bagel with delicious sundried tomato cream cheese.
If my Man notices in a few weeks that we’re out of money, brewhaha, in downtown North Adams, may be to blame. It’s adorable. It’s delicious. And they have vegetarian/vegan offerings! They offer loose, organic teas! Not to mention coffee and baked goods.
If you’re in the area and looking for breakfast or lunch, I highly recommend it.
Finally leaving the house today was so worth it.
Posting’s been thin lately, but I have a good excuse (I think). My sister and I were on vacation in Quebec City.
If you’ve never been (and we hadn’t), I highly suggest you go. We had a wonderful time shopping, going to the Musée National des Beaux Arts du Québec, walking through The National Battlefields Park, and, of course, eating.
I’m sure Quebec isn’t the end all, be all of fine cusine, but I took my mini-vacation seriously and ate whatever I wanted, not necesarily in terms of quanity-we stuck to 3 meals a day, and relatively cheap ones because we’re like that- but I ordered whatever I felt like off the menu, vegetarian or not. We were only there for 3 days and it was vacation after all. Everything we ate was delicious (who doesn’t love crepes?), and despite our lack of ability to speak French, the waitstaff in all the restaurants we tried were accomodating and helpful.
We finished up our wonderful trip to Canada by stopping at the Empire Grill in Skowhegan, Maine on our way home. For those unfamiliar with the novel Empire Falls by Richard Russo, the Empire Grill is the restaurant owned by the main character. The Empire Grill in Skowhegan was used as the site for the filming of the HBO miniseries based on the book which starred Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Newman, after which time the restaurant kept the Empire Grill name. Empire Falls is one of my absolute favorite books of all time, so stopping at the Grill was a “must do”. The restaurant far exceeded my expectations. The portions were huge (I think they served my sister an entire fish with her fish and chips), the prices reasonable and the food delicious. Even if you don’t care about Empire Falls (though you really, really should!), the Empire Grill is the perfect place to eat if you ever find yourself in Skowhegan.
1) The Maine Brewer’s Guild has just released a brochure about the “Maine Beer Trail” (opens PDF). Personally, I’m not a fan of beer. I’ve been told it’s is an acquired taste but I’ve been trying it for almost 4 years now and I still haven’t acquired it. Nevertheless, visiting breweries can be fun and I know a lot of people who do like beer, including my wonderful Man. So if you’re in the great state of Maine, check out some of the locations on the Maine Beer Trail (apparently Maine has the fourth most breweries per capita in the United States, one for every 42,000 residents).
2) The Portland Press Herald had a lovely story on the front of the “Food and Health” section of the paper today about Rob Evans, the James Beard Foundation Award winner for Best Chef: Northeast. Evan’s restaurant, Hugo’s, is in Portland. I haven’t been there yet, but it’s definitely on my list. Who would’ve thought a Portland chef would beat out the Boston ones? Me, because Maine is awesome.
Fore Street Restaurant
Whole Foods Market, though completely wonderful, was just an errand on the way to the climax of my day. I had 6 pm reservations at the Fore Street Restaurant in Portland (Maine). Fore Street made an appearance in a recent issue of Down East Magazine in “Where to Eat Now”, but what really got me interested in checking it out was its nomination for a 2009 James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant”. When I saw that a Portland establishment had been nominated for an award, I knew I had to go, especially since Fore Street is focused on local, fresh ingredients, which sounded right up my alley.
I don’t eat at “fancy” restaurants much, but the meal really made me question why I don’t. From the moment we entered the restaurant, I felt at ease. First of all, though Fore Street is beautiful, it’s just rustic enough to feel cozy. Our waiter, Lance, was incredibly kind and helpful. The menu was relatively long and though I’ve never been somewhere where carpaccio or foie gras was actually being served, they apparently don’t just exist on television. That said, there were many items on the menu that sounded delicious and I wish they didn’t change their menu daily (!!!) so I could try to experience more of the items on it. I settled on duck, cooked in their wood-burning oven. My Man ordered pork loin. We split a side of delicious Maine garlic mashed potatoes. I had never had duck before, and it was incredible. I figure if you’re going to eat at a good place, you may as well order something different because it’ll be good. Yay for trying new things, again. We also had some really excellent pino grigio (I forgot how good quality wine was!) We had a wonderful meal at Fore Street. I would absolutely recommend it to someone looking for perfectly prepared food, though be prepared for $25-40 entrees.
Forgoing dessert at the Fore Street was a hard decision (though we were pretty full…) My Man and I had other plans; on the way home we stopped at another place we adore. The Gelato Fiasco in Brunswick is a frequent stop for my family (my sister once went 3 times in one weekend…and its a good 40 minutes from our home!). I’m sure Brunswick isn’t the first place you’d look for good gelato, but it’s well worth it. The gelato is created fresh from scratch right in town. They always have at least 20 flavors available and I’ve never had a bad one. Tuesday night’s choice for me was half strawberry (sorbetto, actually, not gelato) and half chocolate gelato; my Man had half espresso gelato and half chocolate caramel. Delcious. Gelato Fiasco is also very generous with samples, has games for customers to play and provides free wi-fi. They’re open 7 days a week, 11-11. If you’re ever in mid-coast Maine, definitely check them, or one of their partner locations, out.
So far so good, as the weekend goes. On Friday, the family and I went to see celtic rock fusion band Enter the Haggis. An excellent show as always (In my family, I’m the slacker with only 5 ETH concerts under my belt. Check them out, they’re great.) On the way to the show we stopped at Big G’s Deli in Winslow for dinner. I have never seen more sandwich choices or bigger sandwiches in my life. Not gourmet, but quality.
Yesterday I finally got my parents to Whole Foods (it’s over an hour away from home, so it is a bit of a feat). Mom, once again, surprised me by being way more interested in all the store’s inventory. Dad was surprisingly patient and may have even enjoyed the experience too. Maybe its because our local supermarket is so…what’s the word? Limited… but Whole Foods really is an experience. I purchased 2 tubs of Israeli (aka Middle Eastern) cous cous, which I love but have a hard time finding anywhere else. Still trying to decide exactly what I’m going to do with it. If I can get my act together in the future I may do more real shopping there.
This morning’s been starting out slowly, which is the way I like Sunday mornings. Tea, hard boiled egg, toast. I can’t remember the last time I had hard boiled egg, but I felt like making some. Craving resolved. Normally I’m an overachieving morning person, but sometimes its nice to just sit around and enjoy the day. Church supper and service beginning at 4:45. The only thing I have to accomplish between now and then is making cupcakes (possibly dyed green?) for debate club.
Finally, I loved this news story about reusable shopping bags which was on NECN this morning. It’s wonderful to see that this is really catching on. I’m so sick of the piles of plastic bags accumulating in my house. Now, if only I could get in the habit of bringing my reusable bags into the store!