Baltimore Bucket List and Big News!

Between the blog and Twitter, I’ve mentioned my “bucket list” a few times. Nathan and I have recently created a list of restaurants that we’ve been wanting to try for a while now and are quickly working on getting to as many as we can. We figured it’s about time we get around to it since we have a month left in Baltimore. Yea, we’re moving to San Francisco. No big deal.

We recycle.

I lie.

It’s a really big deal!! Nathan was offered a promotion and we’re freaking MOVING ACROSS THE COUNTRY! We both grew up in Baltimore and have lived here our whole lives so to say this is a huge change would be an understatement. It’s very excited but also kind of scary; though it’s a scary challenge we’re ready to accept.

I’ve been waiting to break the news but it’s time and I want to get in touch with as many San Franciscans.. San Francisco-ans.. uhh, people of San Francisco as possible. So get in touch, people 🙂 We move out there the day after Thanksgiving so the time is quickly creeping up!

In the meantime, there are quite a few restaurants we’ve missed along the way and are trying to hit up before we leave. A couple of them we’ve happily crossed off the list and are trying to figure out a way to make it back!

  • Birroteca – DONE!

    Birroteca Hampden Baltimore Maryland MD

    We celebrated our 10 year dating anniversary with an incredible meal!

  • Verde Pizza – DONE! And more details to come 🙂

    Verde Pizza Canton Baltimore Maryland MD

    The best pizza we’ve had since Italy.

  • Jack’s Bistro
  • Fork & Wrench
  • Fleet Street Kitchen
  • Peter’s Inn – Nathan had their BLT from the Fells Point Farmers’ Market a few weeks ago and if that is any indication of how the main restaurant is, we would be crazy to miss out.
  • Ouzo Bay
  • Chaps Pit Beef
  • Lexington Market – Seriously. Everyone that visits Baltimore goes to Lexington Market and I’ve never been. It’s happening. I gotta get that crab cake from Faidley’s!
  • Johnny Rads – More pizza and it’s going to be tough to match what we’ve already had!
  • Of Love and Regret – We’ve been here twice before but I’d love to make it back once more. These are the brewers of Stillwater so they have a killer beer list!
  • Annabel Lee Tavern – Another place we’ve been a few times but they have the best crab cake in Baltimore! You can’t get blue crab on the west coast..

It’s certainly a Marvelous Monday..

Now I need to hear from all of you..

Baltimore friends – what restaurants am I missing from my list? Anything I absolutely need to try before I leave?

San Francisco friends – talk to me! I want to get in touch! Let’s get coffee [Irish, maybe? ;}] Let’s do lunch, let’s do a 5K. Basically.. hit me up 🙂

Happy New Year!

Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t make a resolution to blog more! So sorry to leave you hanging for the better part of 2 weeks. (Life, right?) So let’s catch up, shall we?

I was really looking forward to New Years Eve; my family always has a big dinner to celebrate with lobster and other wonderfully delicious treats. The peanut butter pie and peanut butter cups always call my name! I could never have too much chocolate and peanut butter. This year, however, was a bit different. My brother had to work on NYE, so we got together for lobster and mounds of peanut butter and chocolate on the 29th.

I made Gina’s Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip which, like all of her other recipes, was a big hit! We also stopped at Lebanese Taverna to pick up a shawarma dinner for my non-seafood-eating fiance. The nerve of him! But since we were there, we decided we’d also get some baba ghanoush. They have one of the best around!

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Skinnytaste Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip Lebanese Taverna Mediterranean Baba Ghanoush Maine Lobster

We followed up the delicious appetizers with even more delicious LOBSTA! Sorry for the awful picture.. I was too excited to dig in to go grab my real camera 😉 I loaded up on my veggies and after devouring everything on my plate, went in for 2 lobster claws and some extra shawarma that we got for everyone to share.

And I must have been really excited to dig into dessert because I don’t even have a bad picture of that! But imagine.. creamy peanut butter pie with oreo crust.. and homemade melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter cups.. oh yea, and fresh fruit. YUM!

After indulging on Saturday, Nathan and I had plans to indulge, yet again, for the real deal New Years Eve on Monday. We went back to an old favorite, Annabel Lee Tavern. We started with cocktails and a chicken quesadilla. Their cocktails are on point, but I’d skipped the quesadilla next time. It wasn’t bad, just not anything special.

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Annabel Lee Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD Cucumber Gin Ginger Rum Cocktails Chicken Quesadilla

I had the Morella (my fave!)– Hendrick’s Gin, St Germain Liqueur, Muddled Cucumber and a dash of Simple Syrup. Nathan sipped on the Descent into the Maelstrom – Goslings Rum, Bacardi 151 and Ginger Beer. Goslings Rum and ginger beer are his jam. It’s a new-found love for him but he orders it whenever he finds it!

Dinner and dessert were phenominal, as expected!

New Years Eve Dinner NYE Annabel Lee Tavern Baltimore Maryland MD DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus SweetBJ Crabcake Blackened Asparagus Roasted Duck Salted Caramel Crunch Cake

Before our food arrived, we finished up our first round of drinks and decided to split a Sweet Baby Jesus, or Sweet BJ, as Nathan called it. Hey, it’s the hashtag😉 This beer is a chocolate peanut butter porter, and like I said before, never too much chocolate and peanut butter!

I ordered the crab cake platter with blackened asparagus. Look familiar? That may just be because it’s my favorite crab cake ever. And coming from a Maryland-er, that means they’re doing it right! Nathan had the roasted duck, cooked to absolute perfection!

Finally, we treated ourselves to a slice of salted caramel crunch cake. Oh my gracious! I would get this time and time again if they continue to have it on their menu! A perfect meal to end a wonderful year.

We partied the night away right into 2013, which just so happens to be our wedding year! With it being just over 4 months away now, planning has started to pick up again. We’re both so excited for everything to come! So from our craziness to yours, we wish you a Happy New Year!

Barr & Table Happy New Year

Food for Thought

What did you do for New Years Eve? Did you go out to celebrate or stay in the comfort of your home?

Taking a Deep Breath

It has been a crazy two weeks and I’ve been a terrible blogger because of it. Between work and wedding planning, I haven’t had time to breathe, let alone blog! Meetings were lined up for every night last week after work and I didn’t get home before 9:30 pm. But there is definite progress that has been made and I have, however, had time to eat. Lots and lots of delicious food!

As the week winds down and I gear up for another weekend of wedding crashing (otherwise known as band shopping), I am finally catching a moment, albeit a brief moment, to take a deep breath. And to share one of my wonderful dining experiences from last week!

As an engagement gift from a few of Nathan’s friends, we received a gift certificate to Annabel Lee Tavern, a cute little local tavern celebrating the legen(wait for it)dary poet, Edgar Allen Poe. We’d never been there before so we were psyched to try it!

I started out with the Morella.

Annabel Lee Tavern Canton Baltimore Maryland MD Morella Hendrick’s Gin, St Germain Liqueur, Muddled Cucumber and a dash of Simple Syrup

Hendrick’s Gin, St Germain Liqueur, Muddled Cucumber and a dash of Simple Syrup

I’m a sucker for any cucumber drink so I knew I had to try this and I’m so glad I did. It’s a dangerously delicious drink that goes down far too easily!

We always ask for recommendations on the menu and as appetizers go, the nachos were hugely recommended. And when I say huge, I mean oh-my-gosh-we’ll-never-finish-that huge!

Annabel Lee Tavern Canton Baltimore Maryland MD Nachos with House-Made Pico de Gallo, Cheddar, Black Olives, Jalapenos, and Sour Cream

Nachos with House-Made Pico de Gallo, Cheddar, Black Olives, Jalapenos, and Sour Cream

Not only was every chip covered with cheddar cheese, there was another creamy cheese underneath all of that goodness that gave it an extra kick of something special.

After devouring a good portion of the nachos, we moved onto entrees. Once again, sticking to recommendations, I went with the Crab Cake Platter. Ladies and gents, I have found my new favorite crab cake. And as a native Marylander, that is hugely successful!

Annabel Lee Tavern Canton Baltimore Maryland MD Crab Cake Platter with Mashed Potatoes and Blackened Asparagus

Crab Cake Platter with Blackened Asparagus

It was all lump crab meat with very little filler just to hold it together. Cooked perfectly so that the outside had just the right amount of crispness and the inside was tender and creamy. And it was seasoned absolutely wonderfully. Served with blackened asparagus (I skipped on the mashed potatoes), it was nice and light and the perfect amount of food.

I immediately texted my mom to let her know that I’ve found the new crab cake place. It’s clearly very important in our lives.

And because we just weren’t quite full enough, Nathan made me get dessert. Alright, so all he had to do was say chocolate and I was sold. But you should be sold, too, for the Edgar Allen Pate.

Annabel Lee Tavern Canton Baltimore Maryland MD Edgar Allen Pate Tri-chocolate Pate served with Madeira Raspberry Sauce and Whipped Cream

Tri-chocolate Pate served with Madeira Raspberry Sauce and Whipped Cream

Our final course, once again, recommended, and for good reason! The perfect sharing size and a wonderfully decadent way to end a great meal.

And with that, I prepare myself to eat my way through the weekend and will bring you more fantastic bites soon! 🙂 And don’t forget to breathe!

Speak Up!

Any big plans for the weekend? Maybe hitting up your favorite local tavern?