Thursday, July 5, 2012
Vacation Means Eating Out ~ A Lot!
I’m vacationing in Maryland again and now I’m here to tell you about the delicious foods I’m experiencing. It’s vacation time, people, and I’m not cooking, except maybe to pop something in the microwave.
Luckily, both son and I love – absolutely love – to eat out. We search out treasures from small establishments featuring down-home cooking to larger places that offer a variety of foods from other countries.
In the past week, we have eaten at Wegmans, Red Hot and Blue, Lenny’s Deli, Royal Taj and Ava’s Pizzeria. The list would have been longer if I hadn’t chosen to stay in on those really hot days, when son, daughter and her kids rode the Metro to D.C. and tried out some new (to them) places.
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I can eat Indian food any time, any day (every day?). We have Thali of India here in Corning NY (USA) and it’s my choice of places to eat out along with Wegmans in Corning.
Royal Taj is located in a small shopping mall on McGaw Street in Columbia MD, right across the street from Wegmans. (I'll cover this new Wegmans in another post.)
We dressed casually (for me, that was jeans and a blouse). Next time I’ll dress up a bit more. The place deserved it. Clean and neat, attractively decorated. Cloth tablecloths and napkins. Lots of well-dressed, attractive Indian waiters. Hot dishes sizzling as they were delivered to nearby tables. Delicious smells wafting throughout our entire meal added to the appeal.
I was truly in food heaven with the basket of Papadam, “thin pieces of crisp lentil bread” speckled with whole cumin seeds. How many did I consume? Too many.
Son ordered my favorite, Chicken Tikka Masala, “Chicken breast tenders marinated in space and yogurt, baked in a tandoor oven and cooked in a tomato based cream sauce.” He prefers medium heat with his foods. It was a beautifully prepared dish with lots of meat, and the bite he shared had me grabbing the water glass for a moment. Royal Taj’s Chicken Tikka Masala is just as good, if not better, than what I’m used to.
In the mood for vegetables, I ordered Vegetable Jalfrezi, “Fresh vegetables and cheese cooked with mild spice and butter.” That description is an under-statement. Vegetable Jalfrezi is a rich dish packed with cauliflower, broccoli, red and green bell peppers, lima beans, green string beans, onions, carrots, peas and corn! I ate a hefty portion of it, mildly seasoned (meaning not too spicy hot, but superbly seasoned), served on long-grain white rice. I also brought home enough for two more sizeable meals.
My house wine, a White Zinfandel, was very good. So good I had a second glass, compliments of Royal Taj’s owner. At the end of the meal we were each presented with one Gulab Jamun, a sweet but not too sweet deep fried cottage cheese ball. You’d think the honey and sugar syrup poured over it would make it too sweet. It didn’t. A great way to finish a meal.
I was truly full and satisfied. Definitely going back!
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While my daughter and her two boys were still here, we spent at day at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor…
I keep wanting to call this candy store It’Sweet ‘cause it is! I know it’s not a dining establishment, but it definitely is all about the pleasures of eating. I mean, who doesn’t like candy?!
Chocolate Chip Uru!
LUNCH AT LENNY’S DELI
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RED HOT AND BLUE
Red Hot and Blue when daughter was still here. Items ordered from the kids’ menu were more than enough, even for a hungry 9-year old. I ordered a cup of Brunswick Stew which was all meat and I missed the veggies. I suggested Hush Puppies. The boys ate theirs plain and my vegetarian daughter dipped hers in the bleu cheese dressing from her salad. However, when the waitress brought the honey I asked for, we all decided that was the best addition to the Hush Puppies.
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AVA’S PIZZERIA AND WINE BAR
Son suggested a scenic drive yesterday and we ended up driving to the town of St. Michaels near Chesapeake Bay and had lunch at Ava's Pizzeria and Wine Bar.
Our appetizer was Fried Green Tomatoes. I lunched on an arugula-fennel salad with goats cheese and a light vinaigrette. Son loved his white pizza with sausage and mushrooms.