RESTAURANTS

BlueBird Cocktail Room

 

As a former bartender, craft cocktails are something I can appreciate. So you can imagine my excitement was on another level when I heard about The BlueBird Cocktail Room, a new bar opening in Hampden. I’ve wanted to explore more restaurants and bars in Hamden, Baltimore because I have a few friends that live in that neighborhood and I’m always in the area.  Last Friday, I attended a blogger Happy Hour/Meet-Up and finally got a chance to check it out.

Tropic of Quebec
Mint Julep
The Handsome Devil
Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Lamb Meatballs

Happy Hour is definitely the time to do a little menu sampling. The appetizer bites are 1/2 priced Monday-Friday from 5-7pm and because we were with a large group I got a chance to sample a few items.  The Happy Hour cocktails are $5 house wines, $5 Pimm’s cups, and $2 Natty Bohs. My favorites on the food menu were the lamb meatballs and squash blossoms. They gave me five meatballs which were so filling, I almost didn’t’ have room for anything else.  The “Tropic of Quebec” cocktail is an Orange Creamsicle in a glass, so sweet and reminiscent of childhood on a hot summer day.

The décor is somewhat romantic… think chandeliers, dark floors, dark blue walls, blue sofas with bright yellow accents. They have a long high-top table in the middle of the space and quiet, intimate sofas and corner tables along the perimeter. You have to order your food/drinks at the bar and the server gives you a number to take back to your seat.  The food and drinks arrived at the table pretty fast, which was a good thing because the space was filled with customers on a Friday evening.

This would be a perfect place to impress a first date!  Send me a message or reply, tell me what you think. Also, I need suggestions for your favorite bars and restaurants in Hampden.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

TellTale Restaurant at Delta Marriott Baltimore

Delta Marriott Baltimore is one of the newest hotels in Downtown Baltimore. Originally an office building built in 1904, the newly renovated hotel kept some of the original features like the painted original brick in the hallways but also added new features such as a restaurant and bar on the first level. Keeping with Baltimore’s favorite theme of Edgar Allan Poe, the restaurant was named “TellTale” after his famous short story. The hotel also has colorful purple and pink Ravens on the carpet, also a nod to Poe’s famous poem and our beloved Baltimore football team. The restaurant served dinner only when it opened January 2017. The hours were recently changed and the kitchen is now open 11 am – 11 pm, the bar is open until 1:00 am and they’ve added happy hour on Monday and Thursday 5-7pm. I was invited to join other Baltimore food bloggers in sampling a few items from the new menu.

During my visit, I sampled two of their handcrafted cocktails – “Three Roses” and the “Dream Within a Dream”.  Both were great but lately I’ve had a fondness for Sagamore Rye, therefore, the “Dream Within a Dream” edged out the other cocktail as my favorite of the two.

Three Roses
Dream Within A Dream

The small plate servings were endless. They were coming to our table one after another and I appreciated that.  I also liked the variety of items on the small plate menu.

Avocado Caprese Toast
Avacado, Mango and Crab Stack

 

Pulled Pork Tacos
Steak Crostini
Garlic Parmesan Wings
Meatballs

 

Strawberry Bruschetta

 

Watermelon and Feta Stack

Here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts on the small plate items…

Avocado Caprese Toast – Thick toast, fresh avocado, very filling
Avocado, Mango and Crab Stack – Crabmeat was sweet, this dish is perfect if you’re looking for something light to eat
Pulled Pork Tacos – Pulled pork marinated in BBQ sauce with a spicy kick, coleslaw was fresh and delicious
Steak Crostini – One of my favs of the night, the steak is marinated in Coca-Cola giving it a hint of sweetness, the steak was tender
Garlic Parmesan Wings – Great flavor, could give iBar Baltimore a little competition
Meatballs – Hearty, flavorful, can be eaten alone as a meal
Strawberry Bruschetta – Sweet and Savory, very delicious, I almost feel like it should be on the dessert menu
Watermelon and Feta Stack – Tasty mix of sweet watermelon and bitter feta cheese, it’s like eating a salad with watermelon

Our Entree of Salmon, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Risotto was perfect. A simple dish with simple ingredients that hit all the right taste points.  I especially liked the goat cheese risotto, It was my favorite of the night. I’ve never quite had that taste combination but it was amazing…makes me want to try and make it at home, or I’ll just keep going back to TellTale to order it.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood, be sure to visit and tell them Arli’s Appetite sent you!

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

Friday night brunch at Home Maid

Home Maid is a quaint brunch-only restaurant on Key Highway in the Federal Hill neighborhood.  The restaurant was originally located in Towson, but relocated to its current location in the Spring of 2016.  The location is only open Friday-Sunday and brunch/breakfast is served all day.  I visited on a Friday night for a private D’usse event hosted by Events 4 Good People.  Stepping into the restaurant was like stepping into my grandmother’s kitchen. There’s cute chicken patterned wallpaper, family-style photos in gold and silver frames and wooden chairs painted white. The restaurant has about 11 tables that seat four and a high-top bar area. Because it was a private event, the menu that night was limited and there was one server.

My friend and I decided that we would each order one dish and share with each other. I ordered the Blackened Salmon and Shrimp with Creamy Grits and my friend ordered the French Toast and Bacon.

In almost every instance that I eat salmon, it’s smothered in a tasty sauce but in this instance the dry rub salmon exceeded my expectations. It was prepared Cajun-style with a spicy rub and flavorful herbs. The cut was tender and juicy on the inside which let me know that the chef knew his way around the kitchen! The grits were thick and creamy almost the consistency of mashed potatoes and accompanied with the house sauce created a match made in heaven. The French Toast had a sweet caramel flavor with a crunchy outside texture served with whipped cream, fried plantains and sea salt.  If you notice on the photo the bacon didn’t come out with the French Toast, we had to ask for it again and it came out about 10 minutes later.

Besides the mishap with the bacon, Home Maid was a pleasant brunch experience.  It’s a little pricey though, the French Toast was $18.00 and the Salmon and Grits was $22.00.  In my opinion, Home Maid is the perfect place to brunch with family.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

 

 

The Best Lunch Ever Pop-Up with The Local Fry and Ekiben

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I’ve wanted to check out Ekiben‘s sweet buns forever!  I know that sounds a little weird but, I’ve seen Instagram photos of their sandwiches with white fluffy sweet buns and I had to try it.  On Monday, a friend invited me to “The Best Lunch Ever” pop-up collaboration with Ekiben and The Local Fry.  The event was held at the Ekiben location (1622 Eastern Ave) and featured customer favorites from both restaurants.

The event was from 11:00am-3:30pm and I arrived around 2:15pm.  There  seemed to be a good turnout because the place was full with customers who were waiting for their food. The cashier was friendly and explained the menu items in detail.  I decided to order “The Original” which is two Thai chicken meatballs with coconut peppercorn sauce and slaw.  Let me tell you how that sandwich was everything I imagined and more!

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“The Original” – Thai Chicken Meatball Sandwich with Peppercorn Coconut Sauce

The meatballs were freshly made with chopped onion and green peppers inside and they were cooked to a medium well consistency – not too hard or over cooked.  The bun was soft with a little hint of sweetness.  I also ordered plain fries from The Local Fry with a side of the peppercorn sauce.

ekiben

My friend ordered the Korean fried chicken wings with gochujang sauce and of course I had to taste one.  The sauce is a savory, traditional Korean condiment and had a sweet and spicy flavor, truly awesome sauce.

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Korean fried chicken wings with gochujang sauce

I think “The Original” will be my new favorite sandwich! I also want to visit The Local Fry and taste their gourmet and unique french fry options.  What is your favorite fry from The Local Fry?

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

Brunch at Gryphon DC – Come for the food and stay for the fun

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A while back I attended the #STEAKANDEGGSSUNDAYS brunch at The Gryphon DC and I must say I didn’t expect to have such a good time! In addition to the brunch that runs from 11:30am-4:00pm, there is also a day party from 4-9pm.  Needless to say I spent my entire Sunday there.

I went with a few friends and we started off with the bottomless mimosas of course and we all ordered something different, so I was able to sample a few menu items.

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Steak & Eggs
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Shrimp & Grits
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French Toast

My favorite brunch item was the French Toast – four thick challah bread half slices drizzled with berry compote, bourbon sauce, maple syrup and fresh fruit. It was AMAZING!  The Shrimp and Grits was very delicious. The grits were thick and the shrimp were large, but they only serve it with three shrimp and I wanted more.

After many mimosas we ordered hookah and stayed for the day party. This day party was hype, like a legit nightlife party.  The place was packed and the music was great!  Steak and Eggs Sunday at The Gryphon DC is definitely the move if you’re planning a full Sunday Funday

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

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