If a restaurant is named after a family member, you already know the food is going to be amazing. Definitely check out Mamma Angela’s if you’re ever in Maryland. I loved that almost every item on the menu is under $20! Everything we ordered off the menu was great, especially the fried polenta with truffle and mushrooms. And make sure you try their house-made limoncello.
My family is a very family-oriented family despite the fact that everyone is spread apart across the country. We are all grown adults with our own lives and own families, but we do try to set aside time for these family gatherings. For our 2nd Annual Cousin Trip, we took it down Tampa, Florida.
We drove out to Clearwater Beach and rented kayaks from Sail Honeymoon. Sailboats and stand up paddle boards are also available for rent. We kayaked out to Caladesi Island which is just 15 minutes away. It was 80 degrees, the sun was out, and the water was nice and cool. Caladesi Island was the perfect place to hang out for a whole day. I wish we had planned this trip better and brought a picnic. We saw a few dolphins swim by while we were on the sand, and my cousins were lucky enough to have had an encounter with a manatee while paddling back to shore. It swam under their kayak and poked it’s snout out of the water.
On our way home we stopped by the famous Frenchy’s for a bite to eat. I’ve eaten at this restaurant a few times and my favorite dish is always the Greek Style Octopus. I also got the Jerk Grouper with Coconut Rice. The flavor of the coconut was not overpowering and accompanied my fish so well. The Frenchy’s Garlic Crab Fries and Maryland Style Jumbo Lump Crap Cakes were also delicious.
When my boss told me I was approved to go to training in New York City for a week, I was so excited. Not only was I looking forward to be learning geeky computer IT stuff, but I couldn’t wait to try the hundreds of great restaurants just train stops away from me. Everyone is always raving about how NYC has the best brunches, so I thought I’d try a spot.
My New York native friend suggested we hit up St. Anselm in Brooklyn (Williamsburg). We walked in on a Sunday afternoon and to my surprise there was no wait. To start off, I ordered a mimosa because brunch isn’t brunch without a mimosa. We shared the grilled avocado with shrimp salad appetizer. I’ve never had grilled avocado and it was absolutely amazing. It came halved, topped with baby shrimps in a white sour cream sauce with lemon zest and herbs. This savory sauce was sour and cold and offset the warm, neutral flavor of the avocado so well.
My friend ordered the steak and eggs off the Specials menu. She got her steak cooked medium but it came medium rare. None of us complained; that’s how steak should be cooked anyway. It was so juicy and flavorful. The dish came with garlicky potato fingerlings perfectly cooked tender. They were definitely addicting. She also ordered a side of spinach gratin, which was also tasty. You could taste more of the spinach and not the cheese. (I forgot to take a picture of it.)
My friend suggested I try the Sweet Tea Brined Young BoBo Chicken and I did not regret my decision to listen to her at all. They cook you a whole young chicken — yes, a whole chicken. As in chicken head, neck, and feet and all. The chicken is soaked in a tea marinade and then cooked on the grill. It was well cooked through and still very juicy. The lemon wedges were the perfect touch of sour.
Here’s a fun fact. St. Anselm’s meat is antibiotic and hormone free. One of the farms they source from is BoBo Farm, hence the Bobo in “Sweet Tea Brined Young Bobo Chicken”. I’m all about healthly eating!
I spent a weekend in Washington, D.C. for a bachelorette party. I can’t go into details about exactly what we did, but I’ll share the restaurants we went to.
After a night of heavy drinking, my friends and I walked around Dupont Circle area in search of some food. We stumbled upon this gem, Ping Pong Dim Sum. It isn’t an average dim sum spot; waitressess didn’t come around pushing carts of food. Our waiter handed us a checklist for the Unlimited Brunch menu and all we had to do was check off what food we wanted. Of course our eyes are bigger than our stomachs; we ordered way too much food. We got the Deconstructed Mimosa which was champagne poured over lychee popping boba. It kind of looks and has the texture of caviar; it’s definitely worth a try.
For dinner, we went to Osteria Morini. The restaurant is located in the Navy Yard next to The Yards Park. I actually thought this area was perfect for a date night (ahem, fellas). The girls and I sat outside for dinner and enjoyed the breeze from the river. We shared a delicious grilled octopus appetizer on a bed of couscous. We also shared the Casarecce Nero dish, which I thought would’ve had more flavor to it. I think I was expecting garlic overload like other squid ink pasta dishes that I’ve had. The Tagliatelle was delicious though. You can never go wrong with pasta and red sauce. After dinner, we walked around The Yards Park. There’s a gorgeous bridge that leads to a grass area and a wading pool. From there, lighted stairs that leads you up to a pretty florescent-lit fountain.
On our last day in DC, my friend and I walked around Dupont Circle in search of some real breakfast food. We asked a local and she suggested Teaism. The restaurant serves many types of tea and organic dishes. You can also buy tea to take home too. I ordered the Cilantro Scrambled Eggs and the Moroccan Mint Tea. The tea warmed my soul and made me feel whole again after a weekend of excessive drinking. My friend ordered waffles and shared her Aidells chicken and apple sausage with me. So yum!