A Birthday Lunch at FF

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!* Oh and how happy it was. Happy I shared it with MLK Jr. and happy I spent the entire birthday weekend (beginning on Thursday!) with my MAN, the big honcho… my main squeeze. As you will see from my post, I think HE enjoyed my birthday a little more than MOI! And it is all thanks to the wonderfulness that is FOUNDING FARMERS.

Enjoying the flying ducks and cotton-like clouds up there?? 🙂

FANTASTIC concoctions for lunch. Of course it’s not too early for cocktails! On the left is the Constitution and on the right is the Farmers Smash. I got a gin mixed with blueberries, tea, ginger, and lemon, while Shek opted for the Founding Farmers Rye, muddled lemon, orange ginger syrup, and bitters. I really loved mine because it had a tasty kick whereas his was a little too strong for me.

Left: Drinks ———— Right: Mr. Handsome

Left: Lovely milk bottle for H2O ———- Right: Amazing app, Pitchfork

We got the combo Pitchfork, which was a combo of tater tots and glazed bacon. Both were amazing and wonderful and delicious. LOVED IT! Another customer accidentally bumped into our table and knocked a tater down, but fear not, our gracious hostess brought out another fresh one. So courteous, thank you Founding Farmers. 🙂

Credits for the above photo and the one of the cocktails goes to my sweetie. He loves his camera. For our main dishes, he ordered the Slow Braised Short Ribs. MELTS OFF THE BONE. yes. delicious. mouth wateringly delicious… comes with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. For the ribs, the sauce was so perfect, they put the appropriate amount and it was wonderful.

I had the pleasure of dining on one of the best fried chicken dishes OF MY LIFE. I ordered the Northern Fried Chicken,  which comes with potato latkes, apple sauce, sour cream and chives, and pickled beets. They also include a tin of a garlic oil sauce to dip the chicken. The Northern Fried chicken is crispier than southern style, but just as juicy. The chicken was perfectly moist and I loved the crispy outside. I’m dying to know how they made it! What kind of magical cast iron skillet do they have in their kitchens?!??

Of course, no visit is complete without the pressed coffee, and bread pudding with vanilla cream. mm. mm. good.

AND, they leave your check in a cute old fashioned tin mail box. A D O R A B L E. I am so enamored with Founding Farmers. Fondly infatuated ❤

*Yes, my birthday was over a week ago and this post is unfortunately late AND I’ve already broken my NYE resolution (to blog every Sunday). I’ll keep up from now on, and really work on scheduling my posts better! Again, wonderful birthday weekend… oh yeah, another birthday post about a tea party, coming at you soon 😉

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.

 

Mussel Bar II

The 2nd post in a series of 3 for…

Mussel Bar (II)

Butternut Squash Soup: This was the special soup of the day which included chopped chives, cream, and chopped bacon. It was SO GOOD. I loved this soup and slurped up every yummy morsel. It was so nice because I was craving something warm for my unsettling stomach.

Wisconsin Tart: Another special of the evening, and I forgot what they actually called it. The “tart” includes STRONG Wisconsin cheddar cheese, arugula, bacon, tomato, and slices of granny smith apples. This was good, but the cheese was just TOO much for me. I couldn’t eat it after 1.5 slices. I think this is what made me queasy again because of the strong cheese. IT’S ALL PREFERENCE. It’s good if you REALLY like cheese and can handle the cheesiness.

Salad: This isn’t on the online menu, but it was definitely on the Bethesda menu. It’s an endives salad with walnuts and goat cheese mixed with other greens. I don’t know why it’s not listed on the online menu, but this was okay. I really like endives, but maybe not prepared in this fashion. I think instead of sweet walnuts, they should’ve added a sweet and juicy fruit to compliment the bitterness of the endives.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING: Oooo, this was delicious. It’s seating on top of what appears to be melting (cinnamon?) ice cream. The bread pudding was equally chocolatey and moist with a generous chocolate drizzle. MMMMMMM.

Another good trip to the Mussel Bar, once again thanks to LivingSocial. I really like these deals!! Notice how we didn’t order mussels? They have other great dishes and I absolutely recommend exploring it outside of the mussels. Also, they offer select Belgian beers at half-price during happy hour. I think it’s from 4:30 to 6:30pm. Enjoy!

That’s some MOXIE!

mmm baked goods…

Moxie Bakery & Cafe

The cappuccinos here are so yummy. I wonder if they use Illy… I don’t remember seeing Illy products, but that’s my favorite Italian espresso. It could be the milk they use is what makes it good. On the right is an Apricot Scone. I think their pastries change on a daily basis. This was pretty good, not as soft or buttery as the ones at Alice’s Teacup in NYC, but still good. There were CHUNKS of fresh apricots in the scones. MM.

Bread Pudding Pastry with confectioner’s sugar and drizzled fudge. Now, keep in mind, everything is made fresh and warmed up after you place your order. The service is great- friendly, attentive, and accommodating. If you want to eat outside on their patio furniture, they’ll bring the dishes out to you.

The Bread Pudding would have been better with banana I think. The crust on top was a bit too crispy for my taste, but I really enjoyed the chocolate drizzle. 🙂

This was delicious! I love their breakfast wraps because they heat them and press them like paninis. The only difference is the bread. I think these are much better because the bread turns out light and crispy. They should rename this breakfast veggie wrap as the Southwestern wrap because of the cheese and fresh veggies they use. The flavors reminded me of something more Tex-Mex.

Go get some Moxie! (next time you’re in Frederick)