Archive for March, 2011

Where The Locals Eat featured blog

I want to extend a thank you to LocalEats for mentioning me on their website, blogs.wherethelocalseat.com. I am excited to be a part of the site, which compiles noteworthy food blogs in hundreds of cities across the US. You can find my blog mentioned on the Baltimore page. I am honored to be listed among great local blogs such as Suzanne Loudermilk’s In Good Taste, and Richard Gorelick’s Dining@Large. I encourage you to explore the site – LocalEats is a great resource for food news, recipes and new restaurants to try in the area!


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My Spring Break travels take me to Fort Lauderdale, where I dined at Seasons 52, an Orlando-based restaurant specializing in fresh, seasonal ingredients. At the top of the menu is a promise – “nothing on our menu is over 475 calories.” Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Scanning over the menu, the options are health-conscious and emphasize more vegetables than carbs. It’s brilliant, really. If you study the menu, the options avoid butter and use healthier cooking techniques such as grilling and brick-oven cooking.

We started with a Steak and Cremini mushroom flatbread, essentially a mini pizza, but with much less bread, sauce and cheese. Crunchy and flavorful, the dish made an ideal appetizer for four.

For my entree, I ordered the Grilled Rainbow Trout with roasted potatoes, vegetables and a broiled lemon on the side. I loved the simplicity and cleanness of the presentation – whole carrots and green asparagus alongside a filet of trout that blanketed crispy roasted potatoes. And for being under 475 calories, I was impressed with the size of the portion.

However, the best part of the meal came last (as it most often does). Seasons 52 claims to be the inventor of “Mini Indulgences,” pint-sized desserts with incredible flavors. The desserts come in containers slightly larger than a shot glass and are reasonably priced at $2.50 each. Key Lime Pie, Rocky Road, Pecan Pie, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse and Mocha Macchiato are among the flavors offered.

Unfortunately, I may have missed the point a little by devouring three of these little things, but what can I say? I loved the richness of the Red Velvet Cake, but the tangy, cool flavors of the Key Lime Pie was the perfect note with which to end my meal.

The “Mini Indulgence” trend has apparently caught on in numerous chain restaurants, such as P.F. Chang’s and Applebee’s. As far as for local Baltimore restaurants, I’m still looking. I have heard word that Iced Gems, the popular mobile cupcake truck, might be offering mini cupcakes soon. It’s a great concept, for those who a want to sample more than one flavor but not overstuff themselves (such as myself), the mini-dessert is a great way to please the indecisive palate.

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Here’s something of interest I came across last weekend at the BMA, while having brunch at Gertrude’s with my mom – starting March 19th, Evergreen Museum and Library is hosting a five-part “kitchen-garden” series. John Shields, executive chef of Gertrude’s, will lead workshops and cooking demonstations covering sustainable growing and ways to prepare farm-to-table, organic produce.

The first session is called “Garden Planting and Seed Starting.” From 9:30 am-11:30 am, “master gardener” of Gertrude’s, Jon Carroll, explains how to design and plan an organic fruit and vegetable garden from seeds. The class meets at Evergreen, next to Loyola’s campus.

The next classes meet May 7th, June 18th, August 27th and October 15th. The session costs $110 to the public, and $90 to members. Although this is a bit outside my budget, I wanted to showcase the series for its devotion to organic, sustainable ingredients. I salute John Shields and Jon Carroll for their dedication to teaching the public a healthier, more environmentally friendly way to eat. In the third session, Carroll teaches about composting and saving herbs, while in the final session, Shields demos how to can vegetables and fruit, so they can be enjoyed year-round

I encourage Gertrude’s and Evergreen to hold a free course or seminar such as “Edible Evergreen” in the future, in order to appeal to a wider audience (I’m sure there are plenty of students like me who would love to attend!). I think Shield and Carroll’s approach towards growing fresh, sustainable ingredients is very important for the future of our food.

For more information, visit Evergreen’s website.

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