Frisco’s outside of San Fran~

Whoops! It’s actually A.K.A. Frisco’s. This is SUCH a good sandwich place. They also have awesome priced wine and desserts next door. Above was my sandwich with fresh ingredients like avocado and alfalfa sprouts. Lovely.

This was the other veggie sandwich on their menu. Again, alfalfa sprouts but with marinated and mixed olives. A little salty/oily, but still really good and definitely filling.

AND THE BEST PART OF ALL! Their mashed potatoes… has EVERYTHING in it and it is SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD. Everything including the bacon, so not recommended for steady vegetarians. sorry.

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Il Forno

Il Forno

We’re always looking for some good pizza. Frederick was a difficult spot to find good pizza, but at the recommendation of my honey’s co-worker, we tried Il Forno.

We got the Alla Puttanesca with Goat Cheese pizza. Toppings are: Tomato Sauce, Whole Milk Mozzarella, Artichokes, Capers, Black Olives, Fresh Garlic and Goat Cheese.

I loved it! The bread was chewy, and at some parts resembled partially cooked dough. I was questioning this at first, but I think they’re fully cooked, just really chewy crust. The pizzas come out piping hot, and the Medium was enough for 2 + leftovers. It was yummy. 🙂

With fond memories from a carnival I attended oh way back when in North Caroline, I suggested we order some Fried Pickles. Oh boy, they came with a ranch dip, and 1.5 were enough for me! They were super fried, and they look super ugly in this pic, but I really like them. Not as good as the carnival ones, but the crisp batter and warm crisp juicy pickle inside is enough for me.

So, if you are ever in Frederick, looking for some good pizza, definitely check out Il Forno.

Bonus: We happened to stop by on musical trivia night. It was pretty loud, but looked like a good time! We were doing carry out…. but I would be interested next time. Also, they have late nights and a full bar. Service is efficient and the atmosphere is casual.

Firestone in Frederick

Firestone

So, my honey took me out to Firestone’s Restaurant Tavern in Frederick instead of Uncle Julio’s in Gaithersburg. What a nice and lovely surprise. It was especially nice, because it just happens to be Restaurant Week in Frederick! Check out their restaurant week menu. Well, the promotion just ended on the 13th. (Sorry, I’ve been so behind on my posts and so much is going on right now in life– most important, my pending graduation!) But, back to what’s important AT THIS MOMENT– the food.

I think he’s smiling because he chose well on the restaurant. Good job. The ambiance was pleasant and though the setting was romantic, at the same time, it was cozy and nothing stuffy about the decor or staff. Everyone was friendly and courteous.

The BAR below (as we were seated on the second floor). Nice brick building with clean white ceilings and a beautiful painting along with dozens of beers sitting on a mantle. Check out the crowd! Get what I mean by cozy?

So, we decided to indulge a little. He got the Malbec (South American red wine) and I got the Pinot Grigio (from Italy, white). I’d say we chose well considering our 2nd courses.

Before the wine and bread, we played with my free phone app, Pudding Camera. It’s a Korean photo app that my friend introduced me to. It’s pretty fun! It ranges from fisheye to panoramic to divided action shots. Fun Fun 🙂

First Courses: Prince Edward Island Mussels (Flying Dog hefeweizen–which I love– and fresh orange, topped with Grilled Baguette) and Deviled Eggs (Roasted fennel olive tapenade, caviar, brioche). The mussels were good but not as plump as the ones at Mussel Bar in Bethesda, although they are the same type of mussels. The baguette was so buttery and good. I really liked the Deviled Eggs, more because of the garnish like the tapenade and caviar. That’s where the real flavor was.

Cleansing Palate 1: Pumpkin Soup– I don’t remember what the green dots were. When these came out, my unsophisticated self did not realize the restaurant was offering cleansing palates similar to the purpose of ginger when eating sushi. Quite delicious, and absolutely just enough to cleanse your palate.

Second Courses: Sea Bass (Charred hot house cherry tomato, black eyed peas, pea shoots, lemon beurre blanc, caramelized honey) and Shrimp and Grits (Organic stone ground grits, Meyer lemon, garlic, tomato, spices, chives, buttermilk biscuit). First, ISN’T THE BUTTERMILK BISCUIT CUTE?! Teehee. I love it! It’s got its own cushiony baking dish and everything… even a mini doily! 🙂

I fully enjoyed my Sea Bass. It was so fresh but did not carry that fishy smell that fish sometimes has even after cooking. The black eyed peas, cherry tomato, and pea shoots went so well together with the caramelized honey. It was the right amount of sweetness for the fish, not that I ever imagined sweet flavors mixing with my cooked fish!

MM, the shrimp and grits? Very good, although I have to say, it can’t beat Elmo’s Diner down in Durham, North Carolina. Theirs is a special they have on occasional Sunday brunches… you should be so lucky. Anyway, this was still tasty, but the grits seemed a bit overdone and not like real grits. The shrimp was perfect though!

Cleansing Palate 2: Fruit Sorbet Pretty simple– fresh.

Third Course: Dessert:: Bread Pudding and Profiteroles. Oh goodness. Bread Pudding was great, especially topped off with ice cream and a side of whip. The Profiteroles consisted of fried bananas and sandwiched creams… like mini cream puffs. I think my favorite part were the bananas on that dish.

All in all, a cozy romantic dining spot and perfect for restaurant week. Happy night! Grazie mi caro <3.

 

The Black Hog

A BBQ kind of night…

The Black Hog

Why the name? The following is from their About Us page:

One of the rarest of the heritage breeds of hogs, the Black Hog is listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservatory as endangered with fewer than 300 breeding hogs registered today.

Compared to other breeds, the flavors of the Black Hog’s meat is exceptional. The lean micro-marbled meat is extra tender due to the breed’s short muscle fibers. This produces a tender, moist cut of pork with an exquisite and unique taste.

We thought it only fitting to choose this name to represent the fine quality of food and service that we offer at the restaurant.

Loving the neon sign!

THE sauces… flanked by Flying Dog beers, native to Frederick. You’ve got the Original, the Kansas City Style, and the Carolina Red. I prefer the Carolina Red as it has that vinegar flavor. Kansas City is sweet, and the Original is half and half.

I think this is the Full Slab of Ribs Platter with 2 sides of Cole Slaw and Potato Salad, and a Corn Bread. Yeah, this is way too much for a half slab. Quite excellent as the ribs were not drenched in sauce, and really cooked to perfection.

I bet this is making you drool if you are a meat lover… even if you’re not, does it make you want to convert?

Good ol’ fresh cut fries.

I opted for the BBQ Meal Platter of a Two Meat Dinner. I got the Smoked Beef Brisket and Carolina Pork BBQ. Yummy! It also came with two sides– Mac & Cheese and Southern Style Greens, and of course, Corn Bread. I loved everything, ESPECIALLY the brisket. The greens were collard greens and the mac & cheese were truly cheesy in the delicious way.

Doesn’t he look really happy?

Proof of how much I loved everything!

Excuse the blurriness! Their happy hour specials, which we completely missed.

At our FAVORITE ice cream shop. We got the double scoop sundae complete with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle and a cherry on top! The two scoops were cappuccino crunch and uh oh, can’t remember the other one.

How great is this? Firemen outside in downtown Frederick on a chilly winter’s night hosting marshmallow toastings! Frederick is super duper cute.

Cheers and here’s hoping you had a romantic Valentine’s Day. ❤

Breakfast and Cuban

The only right way to start a day is with a good breakfast. My actual birthday started off with “eggs in a basket”.

I’ve never heard of this before! I have S to thank. I tested this out myself, and will share in a later post. 🙂 Basically, it’s toast with holes cut out and eggs cooked in the middle. It’s pretty good… mmmm.

And then there were toppings: sliced tomatoes and grated cheese.

And then I finally convinced him to go to That Cuban Place with me! This was our late lunch/early dinner meal, and it was oh-so-good. (http://www.thatcubanplace.com/)

Located on E 3rd and N Market streets in Frederick, MD. Their plantains and yucca are out of this world.

I don’t know how they make their spicy sauce, but it’s so good. You don’t want to overdo it! Taste it little by little. If you love spicy though, I think you’ll be addicted. It kind of reminds me of Nando’s Peri-Peri sauces. On the right is the Arroz Con Pollo aka chicken with rice mixed with veggies. The dish comes with either plantain or yucca. I got the yucca because we already ordered a basket of plantains. I really liked the Yucca. It was perfectly crispy outside and perfectly soft inside. How do they do it?

It was a Sunday and I accidentally asked for the lunch size. Apparently, lunch size is only served Monday thru Friday, but the manager said it was okay and prepped a lunch size for me. 😀 It’s a small place, homey, family-run, and personable.

On the left is the Original Cuban Sandwich and on the right is the Fried Plantain. The sandwich was good except I couldn’t really eat the bread. It was too hard for my sensitive teeth, but everything inside was really good… pork, cheese, mustard, onion? The combination, especially the meat, was so good. nyom nyom. I absolutely LOVED the fried plantain. It was not oily, but crispy and the plantains themselves were soft and a bit chewy. It’s the best plantain I’ve had so far.

The chalkboard up top is also a nice touch.

All in all, it was a nice quiet Sunday with warm homey food.

****Sad to say: That Cuban Place has since closed (April?) in Frederick. They left no message indicating a move or a return. I wish I got to know you better TCP! Sorry to see you go! 8.11.11****

* ANOTHER UPDATE:

FYI, TCP reopened this week at a new location. It is now at 506 E Church St.

Thanks Josh. Sorry it took me so long to see this. I have not updated the blog in 2 years, nor have I been in Frederick. *

LongHorn

http://www.longhornsteakhouse.com/

5744 Buckeystown Pike. Frederick, MD 21704.

Not bad. I can’t believe I’m writing a review about a chain restaurant, but this is rare and actually, I don’t think there are a lot of LongHorns around. There are 11 locations within a 50 mile radius of downtown Washington D.C. All are scattered throughout Maryland and Virginia.

The restaurant has a distinct and overwhelming Texan western theme.

We started off with the Firecracker Chicken Wraps: “Crispy, fried flour tortillas stuffed with spicy grilled chicken and cheese. Served with cool Avocado-Lime dipping sauce.”  ($7.99) This appetizer is incredibly SALTY. It was like they dropped each wrap in a bowl of salt. Still, we ate it, without the sauce and devoured the bed of fresh greens the wraps were laying on. If the salt was taken down SEVERAL notches, then this would be fine.

My cowboy of the evening got a Full-Rack of Baby Back Ribs: “Our fall-off-the-bone tender BBQ baby back ribs.”  (Half-Rack $14.99  Full-Rack $18.99) Very good. True to description, they were the most tender ribs I’ve had in a while, which is important considering my tender gums at the moment. I think he really enjoyed the ribs…

I opted for a nice and fresh 7-Pepper Sirloin Salad: “7-pepper grilled sirloin served over fresh mixed greens with diced tomatoes and crumbled bleu cheese.”  ($13.79) Loved it, especially after all that salt. The steak was juicy (I got medium rare) and it had a nice light pink running through the middle. I think next time I’ll go for rare… “moooo”. Salad was fresh as it should be, and it helps when the dressing comes out on the side. I probably drizzled only 2 teaspoons of the dressing.

Cowboy did not finish his ribs. He purposely saved it for his work lunch. 🙂 So, we had some room for dessert. I said absolutely no way to anything ginormous, so we both agreed on the dessert sampler. Great choice!

LongHorn Dessert Sampler: “A shareable sampler of three favorites: Chocolate Stampede, Caramel Apple Goldrush and Mountain Top Cheesecake.” ($7.99) This was so good. Each one was delicious in its own right. Chocolate stampede had several layers of chocolate and the only heavy part was the mousse. The apple pie was so warm and gooey and paired well with the vanilla bean ice cream. The cheesecake was a classic and looked like a whole slice really, not a sample. MM.

I’d say for a chain, not bad. Still, I would be wary about certain dishes and watch out for your salt intake… as well as calories! Did you know CPK menus offer up calorie counts on all their food? It’s kind of depressing when you try to order. 😛

Brewer’s Alley

http://www.brewers-alley.com/

Another Frederick establishment. It’s part of the historic downtown area in Frederick, MD. Their specialty? Beer, of course. I haven’t tried many of the beers yet, but the one I like so far is the Hefe-Weizen, a perennial season beer (June to September).

For this trip, we started off with their fresh oyster special.

These are RAW oysters. I think became brave enough to try raw oysters after I started eating sushi and saw my mom and sister hungrily devouring spicy raw oysters. The best oyster I tried was probably in San Francisco. It was $2-3 for one from a little stand inside the Fisherman’s Wharf during their Farmer’s Market. These oysters were okay. They were fresh, but not as good as I remember when I tried them in SF. Also, I think the area you’re in has an effect on your eating experience. For example, I probably would enjoy raw seafood on any bay, peninsula, or island as opposed to a little old town way inland.

I think this was one of their specials of the evening as well. We wanted something fresh and healthy. This is the Cranberry and Apple mixed salad. They tossed it with goat cheese, arugula, baby tomatoes, and a sweet dressing. Very good.

Meat Lover’s Pizza! There was plenty of meat and even a few veggies on this yummy pizza. I don’t think the dough was fabulous because I can’t remember the taste exactly. Everything else was good: the meat, veggies, cheese, and tomato sauce. I went to a CPK recently, and really did not like the pizza dough. If you want to make REALLY good pizza, start with REALLY good bread. It makes a HUGE difference.

All in all, one of my fave relaxing spots to hit up whenever I’m here and in the mood for a good beer.