Wednesday, October 23, 2013

TYOE: Maryland (part 2)

More eating recommendations for any time you might spend in the Fredneck/MoCo area.

Isabella's has an amazing lunch tapas special. 3 ladies x 3 plates each = all the fried asparagus. Their plates are generous and delicious anytime but lunch seems like a no-brainer.  

Bonus points for popping into Muse, across the street, and buying a beautiful handmade stuffed animal for one of your besties, or any of their other amazing locally created trinkets and delights. 

I do not spend a ton of time in Charlestown, West Virginia but my favorite little monsters (ages 4 and 6) live there, and I have it on good authority that they are pizza experts, and they eat Papa Johns. So, clearly Papa Johns is the best in the biz, with a little Yellow Tail Shiraz blend for the grown-ups, hello Tuesday night.

Side note: this was the first time I have gotten to hang out with these kiddos in about three years, just us and not our entire enormous, loud, crazy pants family. It was so wonderful even though they are quite simply, the rottenest. 

I have a crafted a theory about the restaurants Voltaggio after having eaten at all four.

If you are looking for a fancy, lets impress everyone meal - you go to Volt. If you want to do this and have it not be an incredible strain on your wallet, you do it for brunch. 

If you are looking for a delicious dinner that will make everyone happy - you go to Family Meal. You make sure you have at least one order of duck fat fries for the table (maybe two if some people skipped lunch), and you order the fried chicken. Let your friends make their own choices, but don't mess around with this, it's fried chicken or its pack it up and go home.

If you need a sandwich, go to Lunchbox (duh). 

If you are just looking for some short eats and a craze-mazing cocktail, you go to Range. Having eaten dinner at Range, I can tell you it is not worth it. The price tag on a meal that makes you full is steep, and for the quality of food, impractical. We had some amazing bites, but that only made the bad ones all the more obvious. Get the rockfish, and the sunchokes, and anything that you can smear bacon relish on. Get a drink, be brave and order something with at least one word you don't know, and then be done.

When Congress continues to deny you buttermilk fried alligator bites, Good Stuff Eatery is getting all the sloppy seconds by way of some realdecent cheeseburgers. Get a milkshake, because you only live once. If you see Barack Obama there, tell him Rachel says hello. 

Pacifico has sangria. Apparently they have food too, but after all that cheeseburger, sangria is all you need to spend an afternoon catching up with your friend-who-is-family.

When you find out your 21 year-old sister has never eaten Greek food, lament her entire childhood being spent in Western Maryland, and then head to Ayse (pronounced Eye-shay). You must get the Brussels sprouts. This is not a negotiation. These are world champion Brussels sprouts. They are so freaking delicious. Get two, who cares, they're a mystical, magical vegetable. Then whatever other Greek food you need, which is mostly just lamb and cheese on fire.

For your final meal, you convince your Granny to take you out to lunch, and really the only acceptable place is Clyde's. Cross your fingers for seating in the hunting room and enjoy the bizarre placement of this kitschy Adirondack lodge in the middle of sterile, boring Montgomery county. Get whatever you want (a crab cake). Thank your grandmother for lunch and for telling you about all the ways you could be a better granddaughter. 

And then as you're leaving, get Chipotle at the airport, because there is a chipotle at the airport. God bless you, BWI. 

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She's pint-sized and amazing.