Monthly Archives: April 2009

Dining in Harbor East

I was looking at all of the pictures on my cell phone the other day and realized that if anyone were to ever steal my phone, they’d think I was crazy.  I have an insane amount of pictures of food.  Plates with food.  No people in the pictures.  Just pictures of food.

Once upon a time, I thought it would be a good idea to participate in a blog of restaurant reviews in the Baltimore Metropolitan area.  I go out to eat a lot so it seemed like a good idea.  But seeming like a good idea and actually following through with it are completely different things.  It started to feel like work and I’m terrible at describing food.  My descriptions usually consist of “It’s good”, “delish!” or “I hated it.”

Since this blog, however, is about my life in Baltimore and I do still eat out quite a bit – I feel like I should at least mention some places I’ve eaten at as a service to my readers.  Here goes.

2 weeks ago, on a whim, I went to Teavolve for dinner with Jeremy and Theresa.  I’ve always wanted to try this place because (1) it was shiny and new and (2) it’s located in the super hip Harbor East area of Baltimore.  They’re veg-friendly so I figured it couldn’t hurt. 

Surprisingly it was pretty empty on a Friday evening (although as we were finishing up our meal, it looked like they were setting up some sort of “dj” area so perhaps this place turns into a lounge-y type hang-out later in the night).  While I felt like a super dork walking in (because nowhere does it explicitly state how you should seat yourself), I was pleased with the menu selection. 

We started with the Black Bean Dip: black bean, jalapeno & green peppers, red onions, garlic, cilantro, garlic-herb crostini for $6.50.
blackbeandip1

And because their whole gimick is that they’re a tea place, most of the cocktails are “tea-infused”.  I had to try one.  I ordered the Spicy Mango Margari-Tea: Organic Himalayan Green Tea, Fresh Mango Puree, Jose Cuervo Tequila, Cointreau, Dash of Habenero-Lime Juice for $9 and Theresa ordered the Eden Mar-Tea-Ni: Fukuiju Green Tea, Fresh Green Apple Puree, Absolut Vodka, Dash of Fresh Lemon Juice for $9.  I think Jeremy thought he’d look less masculine with a martini drink and just got some sort of tea smoothie.
teacocktails

For dinner, I ordered the Asian Tofu Wrap: tofu, shredded carrots, edamame, organic mixed greens, house made tangy asian sauce for $5.75.  Jeremy got the “Thai Me Up” entree of thai chicken satay, sweet chili sauce, asian noodles for $14.25.  And I totally forgot what Theresa ordered but it was a wrap and she liked it.

I thought everything was great (especially the cocktails!).  My wrap was ridiculously good and I will definitely return to this locale.  Jeremy wasn’t as happy.  His meal was more than twice the price and was very small in portion size.  And he was starving.  You can see his dilemma.

They offer a brunch that looks really good and this place participates with Restaurant.com (that site where you can order gift certificates to restaurants at a reduced price).  Not too shabby.

I still don’t know squat about tea though.

The following week, I met up with Theresa and Meredith for happy hour at Ra Sushi.  This is another hipster locale in the Harbor East area and I think that I was one of the few residents of the neighboring yuppie areas that hadn’t been here.  Their happy hour special seemed like a great deal and I was able to confirm some veg-friendly options.

Their happy hour is 1/2 off selected sushi and appetizers as well as $4 selected cocktails and $3 selected imported beers (and some other special crap that I didn’t pay attention to).  Everything we ordered was a happy hour special so between 3 people, we spent around $40 (not including tip).

I ordered the Vegetarian roll and holy hell it was magnificent.  I have ordered a vegetarian roll at other sushi joints with dismal results but Ra’s roll was amazingly light and fresh.  Theresa ordered the Crispy Spicy Tuna.

We all split 2 orders of Edamame (normally priced at $3.25) because you can’t go to a sushi restaurant and not eat edamame.  If you do, you have no soul.

We also split the Pineapple Cheese Wontons- fried wontons filled with cream cheese, scallions and pineapple, served with roasted pineapple dipping sauce (normally priced at $7.50).  Theresa and Meredith ordered something with lobster in it… I don’t remember because I wasn’t paying attention.  I was too busy making love to my vegetarian roll.

I also ordered the Dengaku Tofu – tofu laced with tempura sauce and finished with a red miso ginger glaze (normally priced at $6.00).  Very good but an acquired taste.  If you don’t like tofu – you won’t like this app.

I also ordered a Pamatini (ketel citron, pama liqueur and fresh grapefruit juice).  I thought this was a great happy hour special since it normally costs $9.50 and I got it for $4.  Theresa and Mer both got a Sapporo Light.

I thought the food was great.  My only complaint is that it was so frickin’ loud.  It’s more like a clubby/loungey bar so music is turned up so loud that your heart begins to beat in rhythm with the bass of the music.  My voice went hoarse trying to yell a conversation to Theresa and Meredith.

At that moment, I realized I turned into an old lady.

Still – I’d go back just to eat that magical vegetarian roll.  I’ll just pack earplugs.

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2 Years Ago Today

… I married the guy that I deemed my “pet project” years earlier, that I awkwardly flirted with to grab his attention and that I lured to my house with the promise of viewing an “awesome cat puke stain” on my bedroom carpet.  Clearly – he was into me despite my craziness.

We have been married for 2 years and holy cow – time flies.  We’ve been together for almost 4 1/2 years now.  We’ve lived in our house for almost 4 years (yes, do the math.  We moved very quickly).  We’ve had our dogs for 3 1/2 years.  But seriously – married for 2? 

Unfortunately we aren’t doing anything big to celebrate aside from going out to dinner.  I had to work, Jeremy has to study for finals and well, we just dropped $450 on vet bills for our dogs (btw – Petie strained a muscle!  poor guy).

Anywho – I’m taking this opportunity to post a pic from the wedding.  Yippee!

Technically we weren’t married yet (we did pics before the wedding) but it’s still my favorite of the bunch. 

Happy anniversary, Jeremy!

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A Young 91

Today is Petie’s birthday.  He is 13 years old.  I’d say for an animal that is equivalent to 91 years of age in human years, he looks great.  Sure he’s a little more grey than he used to be but he’s still got a ton of energy and constantly gets mistaken for a puppy.

Lately, Petie seems to be dragging just a bit though.  I have to say, it breaks my heart.  While he’s still pretty sprite, I can’t help but notice him walk a little slower… hesitate to run up a flight of steps or jump onto the couch. 

We set up a vet appointment this week just to make sure nothing is wrong with him.  I secretly hope that maybe he’s just sick with something that is easily curable with antibiotics and that he’ll be back to being my hyperactive little man but a part of me fears that he’s just old… ugh, I can’t even think about that without crying!

Regardless – happy birthday, little buddy!

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Help Me

Hello blogosphere, how are you?  I’m not doing so well.  I’ve been infected with a serious case of procrastination.  I had started my spring semester with a plan of attack on managing my projects.

I am not rounding out the last weeks of the semester and haven’t done shit.  I’m struggling with a research paper that I had originally set out to complete in March.  Well it’s near the end of April and I’ve written 2 pages (of the required 10).  I know what you’re thinking.  10 pages isn’t much.  But ohmygodthistopicissoboringIwanttocry.

I’ve just gotten approval and written instruction on how to complete my social study for another class.  This is where you come in.  My social study is on online metropolitan vegetarian resources and how they may foster an online community based on locality and common interest.

How can you help?  Please fill out this very short (and not very good) survey.
Click Here to take survey

It would be helpful if you tried to approach this as though you’re a vegetarian (but it would work if you were just a foodie looking for a local resource on food).

Thank you!  You are awesome, blogosphere.

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Great Casting and Stereotypes

I’m going to blog a bit about the show Lost.  I know not everybody is a fan and a lot of people have gotten frustrated with the show and stopped watching it.  I haven’t.  I love it and dammit, I’ve made it this far.  I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.  And if this show ends up being about aliens or dinosaurs, so help me god – I am going to make those writers PAY for wasting the last few years of my life.

With that said… I guess I should say what I’m posting may be a bit of a spoiler if you didn’t catch this past week’s episode so stop reading if you don’t want to know what happens.  Although I will say this was a very predictable plot twist.

Anywho – this past week’s show focused on Miles, the guy who can talk to dead people.  It was interesting to get some perspective on his past and as soon as his dying mom said that his father was in a place he’d NEVER find, I knew exactly what the twist was.

Miles is the spawn of Dr. Pierre Chang.

Wow – I didn’t see that coming from a mile away (no pun intended and please note the sarcasm).  I deduced this from the simple fact that Miles and Dr. Chang are both asian.  Lost isn’t really doing a bang up job incorporating minorities into the show unless they’re related.  Michael was Walt’s dad.  Sun and Jin are married.  So you can’t have 2 unrelated asian people running amok on the island.  They must be related. 

The best part of this revelation?  Jeremy’s reaction.

Wow – they did a great job in casting that role.  They look a lot alike.

Observe the evidence.

miles_lostchang_lost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside from both being asian (not even the SAME ethnicity, mind you), I don’t see a resemblance.  I laughed when I tried to get Jeremy to tell me what exactly was similar (he claimed their nose and mouth were the same but never once mentioned their almond-shaped eyes or yellow skin).

Maybe Miles is my long lost cousin?

P.S. I do want to add that I’m kind of guilty of avoiding stereotypical descriptions too.  I caught myself once describing a girl to a woman.  The girl is black and I was asking who she was because she had the most fabulous sense of style and was GORGEOUS to boot.  But I found myself avoiding saying she was black.  I have no idea why.  So weird.

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My Mom

2 posts in 1 day?  Crazy! 

But, today is my mom’s birthday.  She’s 39 years young (okay – not really.  Do the math.  I keep trying to tell her that her telling people she’s 39 is not going to work anymore.  I’m getting too old).

Regardless – My mom should just take comfort in the fact that she looks much younger than she really is (and I am not at liberty to disclose her true age).

My Uncle Bob scanned a ton of old photos of my aunt (my mom’s sister) and some of my mom.  It’s one of my 101 items but in the meantime, look at how sassy my mom was in her 20s:

Too frickin’ cute.

I sent her flowers today and she called to thank me and then the following conversation took place:

Mom: You shouldn’t have sent flowers.

Me: Why?  It’s your birthday and you love flowers.

Mom: I do love flowers but they die.

My mom ALWAYS asks for flowers.  ALWAYS.  And now this year she’s feeling morbid?  Oy.  It’s tough to keep up.  I think it’s also clear to see where I get my tendency to change my mind about anything I love.

Happy birthday!

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Am I the Smelly Car?

Early this morning, I was in the little kitchenette at my office and noticed a foul smell of body odor.  This isn’t terribly uncommon (I’m sure that you can probably pick out at least one or two smelly folks in your place of employment) but something strange happened.

I was getting hit with waves of this terrible body odor throughout the day, throughout the office building.

I had a sudden realization.  I am the smelly guy!  On the way to a meeting, I asked a few trusted colleagues to smell me and provide me with honest feedback.  Do I stink?  One colleague sniffed me, my sweater and all around me and agreed that there was a slight hint of something but it definitely was NOT my sweater.  Apparently my aura stinks.

I spent the rest of the meeting smelling myself.  My hands, my shirt, my underarms, my necklace… nothing.  I couldn’t find that smell.  I started to worry that I had acclimated to the smell and was now just grossing everyone else out.

But then I mentioned the stench to others in the meeting (that were eyeballing me suspiciously as I tried to nonchalantly smell my armpits for the 10th time) and one person recalled the same very strong stench from that very same area.

We all agreed that I was struck with a case of the The Smelly Car (from Seinfeld).  Apparently this stench was SO strong, it has attached itself to me and now pops up to say hello every so often.

I can’t wait to get home to SHOWER.

Off topic, I’m wearing a new necklace today (hence why I smelled it in my early investigation of the stench).

necklace

A co-worker complimented my necklace but then delivered the hardest back-handed compliment I think I’ve ever received.

“It looks really expensive!”

I laughed and said it was $4 (I bought it from Forever 21 when I was in my crazed Romper mood).

Her reply?

“Oh – I was joking.  Normally any sort of coral bead that is that large tends to be very expensive.”

Um… I felt like I was in Pretty Woman and being shunned on Rodeo Drive.  Tomorrow I’m coming into the office in my most expensive attire, with the price tags attached, perhaps I’ll even carry some shopping bags full of clothing and I’ll nonchalantly pass her cube and say, “Big mistake.  HUGE.”

btw – I promise I’ll post a pic of me, a grown woman, wearing the romper soon.

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