Just saw that Moxie, the lovely bakery way up on North Market Street has closed. Their location so far away from the downtown center had to hurt it.
Category Archives: Food
Just wanted to post a picture of yesterday’s harvest from the garden. The tomatoes and beans are winding down. I’ve got lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard and radishes in for the fall.
Those three fruits at the bottoms are fresh figs. I’ve planted a fig bush three years ago and this is the first season we’ve gotten any thing from it. We’ve been getting several every three to four days. They are amazing and blow away any other figs I’ve ever had!
In today’s Washington Post there was a review of Firestone’s Market on Market. The reviewer generally liked their sandwiches and the pastrami in particular. Until I read the article I had no idea Market on Market had added sandwiches now. In the past I have gone there for their gourmet and unique foodstuffs. I have found it’s a great place to get those little gifts.
You can read the full review here.
As you can probably guess I have a large collection of books on food and drinking and cookbooks in particular. In fact we had some custom built-ins added to our kitchen to accommodate our ever-expanding pile of books. Of course we have outgrown that and the collection spills into the pantry and onto other shelves throughout stately Fred Manor. So I have slowed my cook book acquisition of late. After all how many recipes do you need for gazpacho? What I tend to do now is try to get a book I’m interested in through the library, review it, cook some recipes and only add it to my collection if I like it or feel that it fills a hole. A few months back I heard an interview on the Splendid Table with Roberto Santibañez, author of the book Truly Mexican: Essential Recipes and Techniques for Authentic Mexican Cooking. I was intrigued by his discussion of pipians (traditional Mexican seed sauces) and decided to track down his book. Two months later through FCPL’s inter-library loan program (thanks St Mary’s County Public Library System!) I had a copy in my hands. I was so blown away that after getting about halfway through the book I went upstairs and ordered a copy. Now this is not a book chock full of recipes for entrees, although it has several dozen of them. Rather it is an in-depth instruction manual on traditional mexican cuisine’s sauces: salsas, guacamoles, adobos, moles and pipianes. It feels more like a cooking class that teaches you the fundamentals which, once mastered, you can apply to a whole manner of dishes. Perfect for the more improvisational, instinctive cook I would love to become.
VERDICT: Worth making space on your kitchen shelf for. Get it!
Just saw that Knob Hall Winery’s 2010 Prestige was awarded best in show at the 2012 Winemaster’s Choice awards. This is quite a kudo since the awards are judged solely by other winemakers and some media (not me!)
Got some blueberries from Frog Eye Farm as a father’s day present. The new owners are lovely, friendly people. This is wonderful since when I heard of the farms impending sale I planted some blueberry bushes just in case. Unfortunately despite being caged the deer managed to eat them all down to twigs. I’m so irritated I’m going to break out the compound bow and begin practicing now.
Nice after action review in the Frederick News Post about the Swinetastic BBQ Festival.
This Friday and Saturday (June 15th & 16th) is the second annual Central Maryland Swinetastic BBQ Festival at the Frederick Fairgrounds. Admission is only $7. It features “a nationally sanctioned Kansas City BBQ Society event.” It also has a beer garden, live music and a kids zone.
I just wanted to pass along a blog I discovered. Food & Frederick. It’s been going on since March 2011 but somehow it has been off my radar until I saw it mentioned on the excellent McCutcheons blog. McCutcheons, which I read all the time, has been mentioned here and long been on my blog roll. Food & Frederick is new to me. Both are worth reading and following. I really like the photography on Food & Frederick and Sarah has inspired me to try to do a little better than my crappy iPhone pictures.
For years Frederick managed to survive without a single cupcake store, but now we find ourselves in the enviable position of having two within 400 yards of each other. I reviewed the original cupcake bakery, Angelcakes, here about ten months ago. Since that time a newcomer opened up: Sweet Angela’s Cupcakery. Of course this begs the question; which is better? To answer that pressing question I first had to try the wares at Sweet Angelas. Whereas Angelcakes is chrome , white and Tiffany blue the minute you walk in to Sweet Angela’s you are greeted by a sea of pink. It reminded me of a nursery of a couple who are expecting their first daughter: pink on the walls and bright pink boxes.
I picked up a four pack of their chocolate-chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, Southern Belle (red velvet) and yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Cost $10. On their menu they have five daily flavors and had a dozen specialty flavors but on the day I visited the only specialty flavor available was the chocolate peanut butter. Drooling I headed for the office where we conducted a taste test.
I found the cupcakes to be incredibly moist. The icing was very sweet but there was slightly less on the the cupcakes than Angelcakes which I liked (see my review of Angelcakes for my feelings on icing). Two of the cupcakes, southern belle and chocolate peanut butter had cream cheese based frosting as opposed to the standard buttercream. So who’s best? Here is my take you decide what’s important to you:
Color: AC (What can I say? I’m a guy I prefer blue)
Cupcake SA (Much moister than AC)
Price Tie ($2.50 each at both places)
Selection AC (seven standard varieties and specific rotating daily specials)
Just wanted to say that I’ve been on an Asian kick lately. In the space of a week I have eaten at both Lucky Corner and Sumittra. I’ve reviewed Sumittra before and found it to be excellent. I been back at least half a dozen times since that review and it has never disappointed. It has become our go to Thai place in Frederick (Sorry Thai Rice!). However, this was the first time that I had been to Lucky Corner and I had to wonder what took me so long. I sampled the chicken Pho, mango chicken, veggie egg noodles and veggie hot pot. I don’t have time to do a full review, but the food was uniformly delicious, the menu was filled with dozens of things I would have been happy to try, and the service was perfect. I’m curious as to how it stacks up to the other two Vietnamese restaurants in Frederick? Comments anyone?
Bloom announced that they will be shuttering their Walkersville store in February.
Yesterday I was in a foul mood. I was a grumpy parent, a crabby spouse and a surly boss. Not quite as bad as Kevin Spacey in Swimming With Sharks (favorite clip here) but pretty close. I’m not sure what my deal was, by when I woke up this morning I was filled with the Thanksgiving spirit. Truly I have so much to be grateful for on this the eve of my favorite holiday. A day oriented towards family, food, drink and gratitude. What’s not to like? So happy Thanksgiving to all. Dinner for 15 at stately Fred Manor tomorrow!
Not trying to get all paparazzi on you but here is a recent picture of Chef Voltaggio at the West Frederick Farmer’s Market shopping. It’s not my picture so I’ll just link to it.
This serves as a great reminder to get out there before its over! I was there two Saturdays ago and just blown away by the abundance. All the fall glory with some of summer still hanging on as well. This really is the best time of year to go. Among my scores were some amazing apples, my favorite vegetable of all time: brussels sprouts and got a huge bunch of rainbow chard on impulse. Mrs. F displayed her strong knife skills (Shout out to Chef Christine and the Kitchen Studio!) by julienning the leaves and dicing the stems. Sauteed the whole thing in olive oil and served it with a sprinkling of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Amazing!
Got an email from VOLT. They’re having a party at Harry Grove stadium next Tuesday the 18th:
Please join the Voltaggio Brothers for an action packed night at the Harry Grove Stadium
- Home of the Frederick Keys Baseball Team - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 6 -10 p.m.Two of America’s best chefs have joined together in the creation of VOLT ink, a new cookbook by Bryan and Michael Voltaggio… and we are throwing a party to celebrate!
Concession food courtesy of the Voltaggios take on ballpark food. Beverages by Flying Dog Brewery and Brewers Alley. FACKA Double Header (Frederick Adult Co-ed Kickball Association) featuring one regular game and a second All Star Game with the brothers playing on the East
Coast vs the West Coast team. Concert provided by the Regal Beagles Yacht Club Band and the Blatant 80′s. Kids Fun Zone for oodles of fun for the kids.
Entry tickets $8 for adults and free for children 12 and under. Children will need a ticket for entry.
Early release of the book will be on sale for $40 and the brothers will be on hand for signatures.
I’m going to keep an eye on the forecast for Tuesday, but right now it looks decent. You can get tickets by calling 301-815-9939 or clicking here.
In scanning the real estate listings in my other life I noticed that Frog Eye Farm; the most excellent pick your own blueberry farm that we have been patronizing over the years is up for sale. I was aware that the owner had been having some health issues. I hope all is well with him and whoever buys it keeps it up. Anyone for blueberry farming? Anyway as a hedge we will be planting a half dozen blueberry bushes on stately Fred Manor just to assure our supply.
In case you are interested the listing for the property can be found here.
UPDATE 4-23-12: The listing link is no longer valid. Anyone have an update on this property?
Everybody knows that cupcakes are all the rage. With reality TV shows, cookbooks and a proliferation of stores it was only a matter of time that a cupcake store would open in Frederick. Now to be fair the store is billed as a “cake and cupcake shop” but the cakes are only by special order. What people go for are the cupcakes. And go there they do! When I stopped by on a weekday afternoon the place was jumping. The co-owner told me that they had sold out the day before (also a weekday) by 2 p.m. At first I was seized by panic since there were only a handful of cupcakes on display and I feared that I had missed the boat. I soon realized that these were only samples of what they have for sale. In fact each type of cupcake is individually nestled under a beautiful glass dome like a jewel. It is only fitting that the cupcakes are sold in Tiffany blue boxes.
Angelcakes has seven regular varieties: Madagascar vanilla, scarlet red velvet, black and white, shaved coconut, salted caramel, key lime and chocolate ganache. In addition to these they have rotating daily specials. On the Wednesday I was there
it was chocolate peanut butter. Some of the other special types that look delicious are snickerdoodles (Saturdays) and fresh strawberry (Sundays).
I sampled a chocolate ganache, chocolate peanut butter and a salted caramel. They were all very good. The cupcakes were very moist and chocolaty. The chocolate peanut butter was bursting with flavor and the salted caramel was delicious. I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite out of the three I sampled. The icing was plentiful and incredibly sweet. I’d be the first to tell you that I am not really an icing person to begin with so this was a big negative to me. I ended up scraping the some of the icing off, which was a bummer since I wanted to keep the drizzle of caramel and salt crystals. I think they should offer their cupcakes with either “regular” or “half” icing. However others in my party had no problem scoffing down all their icing and then the rest of mine which I could not eat. If there is any real quibble to be had with the cupcakes I tried was that the edges of the cupcake itself were hard and chewy. This was on all the cupcakes so I don’t know if it was intentional or not. Either way it did not detract from my enjoyment.
Bottom line is that a trip to Angelcakes is an awesome indulgence. Go there and get some, just go early. Angelcakes is located at 319 East Church Street and their website can be found here.
Received an email from Stacey who let me know that Frog Eye Farm will be opening this weekend! My previous posts will let you know why I am so excited about this. The big news for this year is that they intend to be open on weekdays as well as weekends. Now that the kids are (almost) off from school I shall press my child labor gang into action! I can’t wait.
The other day I stopped by the new Frederick Wine House location at the Wegman’s shopping center. I’ll do a full review of that later, but while I was there I noticed the Coal Fire Pizza restaurant located just a few doors down. I’ve been talking about this place since December 2009 and alas they are still not open. They have a hiring and opening soon sign out front but it is still clear that construction is going on. I will definitely review this place once it opens. Perhaps it will give Il Forno a run for its money as the best pizza joint in Frederick? We will see.
Sometimes foodies can be insufferable. This video is hilarious and puts it in perspective. I’ll make sure to watch it from time to time to stay grounded about these things.
I recently came across this actual recipe from the Food Network and could not stop laughing! Some of the comments are pure comedy gold!
Reminder:- the West Frederick Farmer’s Market kicks off its 2011 season this Saturday, May 7th at 10:00 am. It is at the same location (110 Baughman’s Lane (Potomac Physicians Parking Lot), Frederick, MD 21702) as it has been in past years. It will be interesting to see what the vendors have. It seems to me that it has been a wetter and colder spring growing season so far. I know my garden is a couple of weeks behind last year. No matter what is there I am looking forward to it. It’s sort of Foodie/locavore opening day? Also due to the recent legislative change wine tastings will be allowed at Farmer’s Markets. I hope that is in the cards for the West Frederick Market. How cool would that be?
Confession time: I hate coffee- dislike the taste so much that I don’t even care for mocha ice cream. My caffeinated beverage of choice is tea and I am nuts about a relatively new place (fiveish months old?) that has opened in downtown Frederick.
The place is Voila! and they have a huge selection of black, green and herbal teas all sold loose by the ounce. The proprietor always has three varieties (usually one of each type) brewed and available for your sampling pleasure. Everything they sell has samples in these cool little magnetic canisters attached to the wall so you can sniff each one to get an idea of their taste. The range of teas is huge and many I have never seen elsewhere (Tea on The Beach is an inscrutable favorite). I have tried about half a dozen varieties over the last couple of months and they have uniformly been excellent. I am also especially enamoured of Wild Grey green which is a green tea version of the famous Earl Grey blend. The costs vary but most are around $8 for two ounces. I get about 12-15 pots out of each two ounce can, so they aren’t that crazy expensive.
Voila: 10 North Market Street, Frederick. 301-663-0704. No web page that I am aware of but they are on facebook.
First of all I really had no intention of doing this review. A full review on a brand new restaurant isn’t fair to anyone. However last Thursday we were walking downtown, hungry and decided to see if the new Thai restaurant that has been slowly assembling over the past couple of months was open. Lo and behold it was, so we stopped on inside. At that time we had no idea that this was their first day open. The place was fairly empty when we first arrived but soon it was packed. About ten minutes after we were seated it became apparent that the staff (looked like one waitress for all 72 seats) was in the weeds. It took an hour and a half for us to get two appetizers and two lunches, for which the waitress apologized profusely. At one point people were giving up waiting to be seated and were leaving.
On the plus side we both felt the food was very good. I had the drunken noodles which were pleasantly spicy with lots of perfectly done vegetables. The fried tofu was light and crispy. The spring roll was delicate, airy and full of crunch. The only complaint I had was I felt that the noodles in the drunken noodles dish were a little overcooked and mushy. Anyway I’m going to give them some time to get their rhythm and then I’ll be back.
Sumittra Thai Cuisine located at 12 East Patrick Street.
UPDATE: Added full review on May 16th.
Wow- the Shab Row Bistro and Wine Bar, which I talked about here, got a not so kind review this past weekend by Tom Sietsema in the Washington Post. You can read the full review here, but I think you have to be a subscriber (free) to read the whole article. Some highlights:
[Referring to French Onion soup] …but the bowl’s thin broth, minimal onions and cap of blond cheese distance themselves from the classic.
Even sorrier is the cassoulet, which does a great imitation of a vegetarian casserole. We dig and dig and dig for any sign of meat and come up with just a morsel of shredded pork.