The Fearrington Granary

Fear, you say? No, it’s more like “fare”. Take a look: The Fearrington Granary.

They sure love their belted cows. Don’t know what a belted cow is or looks like? Again, take a look here: BELTED COWS! Lovely and cute, aren’t they? The Fearrington Granary is located in this adorable village… appropriately called the Fearrington Village. If you are EVER in North Carolina, make a pit stop in Pittsboro (hehe) and stop by this adorable village. They have pretty houses, cute cows, quaint book store with readings, and great events. My first visit was for Halloween where they got decked out with costumes, kids’ events, hot chocolate, beer garden, and carved pumpkins and turnips. Yes, you read that right…. turnips.

Probably my ALL TIME FAVORITE dish in the South. This particular Shrimps and Grits was a little more soupy than gritty. I did enjoy the scallions and andouille sausages though. My mom had the soup of the day which was a little salty, but hearty, and something else which I neglected to take a picture of and thus forgot. 😦

Remember that book store I mentioned? LOVE IT! I especially love the kids section… maybe because I’m a kid at heart? 🙂

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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.

 

Eating Fest w. E*

Brace yourself. This is the mother of all food blogs. I have a lot of photos and we hit up a lot of places. I swear, I do nothing but eat everytime my love, Estar, visits! I think that’s her favorite hobby in NYC though… or in life in general, besides planning her upcoming wedding.

1st Stop: Doughnut Plant

This place is TINY! Absolute hole in the wall (har har, pun). Apparently this was on Bobby Flay’s Throwdown show (what hasn’t been, I begin to wonder) and unfortunately the owner lost. 😦 Still, good publicity and they’re very popular.

Go ahead. ADMIRE and DROOL. I know Homer is.

Lavendar. Valrhona. Tres de Leches.

I liked the Lavendar but it was so… pure lavendar, a bit strong. The chocolate was DELICIOUS and the tres de leches was very good. By the way, we each got 2 donuts and an iced coffee. Total pigs, and enjoyed every morsel, thanks very much.

Details of the tres de leches and the peanut butter/jelly Esther got. The pbj donut is actually square so that EVERY corner is filled up with the combo. It’s like a sweeter version of pbj sandwich. The tres de leches was just so soft and chewy and flavorful. Loved it. The donuts were all pricey though… $2-4 each! Well, that’s how much gourmet donuts are going for these days….

2nd Stop: Chelsea Market

I’m going to miss this place.

FRIEDMANS LUNCH: Shrimp & Grits (mills grits, blackened shrimp, cheddar, over easy eggs) and Fried Green Tomatoes

The shrimp/grits were comparable to the ones I’ve had at Elmo’s Diner in Durham, North Carolina. I loved the over easy eggs mixed in with the grits and cheddar. The shrimps were cooked just right. The fried green tomatoes could’ve been better. Esther said it was rather bland and I thought there was too much batter. The best green tomatoes I’ve had were in Old Salem, NC. They were cooked perfectly with just the right amount of batter, not so much that it was competing with the taste of the tomatoes when I went to Sweet Potato in Old Salem. Le sigh, still, eating our lunch on the high line, even on a cloudy/rainy day, was relaxing and filling.

3rd/4th Stops: Billy’s Bakery & Magnolia Bakery

Two dessert in a row? Well, at least we shared. And there was SOME time lapse. 😛

Only comment from Estar: “Mine is better.” We still finished it. I’m not a big fan of key lime pie, but in cheesecake form this was very good. Billy’s Bakery is in Chelsea, an avenue and 2-3 blocks away from me. I pass it often to/from work.

In my opinion, Magnolia Bakery NYC is comparable to DC’s Georgetown Cupcake. So, you would think we would get the cupcakes here. Nope. The banana bread pudding is well known in addition to their cupcakes. This was really good. I still love the BBP my ol’ coworker, Linda P., makes. Magnolia’s didn’t have enough of the bread I think… or manila cookies? It was super sweet, and though we got the smallest size, definitely for two and not one.

5th Stop: Maison in Theater District

So if you’ve seen my pics and crazy status updates on FB, you know by now that Estar won the lottery tix for WICKED! After we stopped shaking from the excitement and surprise, we picked out a local spot for lunch, just before the show.

Maison is a simple French restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. It was way too hot for outdoor. The indoor wasn’t that soothing anyway, but still we were protected from the sun’s rays. We shared the salmon version of eggs benedict.

Home fries, salmon, english muffin, over easy eggs, and hollindaise sauce. The sea salt in this dish was a bit much, but we both enjoyed the meal. It was filling and just enough before the show. I think we both really liked the home fries too, they had herbs and were so soft.

6th Stop: THE Halal Cart on 53rd and 6th Ave

AMAZING! Out of all my visits to NYC, this was my first time trying the Halal Cart. It’s right around the corner from MoMA too! How could I not notice this before?! Estar kindly introduced me to the original with their yellow shirts and yellow bags proudly stating they are the original despite competing carts surrounding them on other corners.

The Combo: Chicken and Gyro with Rice. Includes gyro, shredded chicken, REALLY soft pita (even i can bite), shredded lettuce, and yellow rice. Esther grabbed THREE containers of the ‘white sauce’ and 1 mini container of the hot sauce (which is really hot hot hot)

I think 3 white sauces was a bit much… but other than that, the chicken and rice with gyro was heavenly. Probably the best cart food I’ve ever had. They give you a lot for $7 too. It took the two of us to finish that whole thing. SO. FULL.

And so comes the end of my lengthy and ginormous food adventure blog entry with E*. Hope you enjoyed my gorge fest as much as I did!