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Moving to Frederick, MD next year


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15 replies to this topic

#1 bcm

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Posted 28 September 2004 - 03:38 PM

Semi-retired restaurant critc/columnist moving to Frederick MD next year
and looking for suggestions for shopping (food, of course) and dining in the area.

#2 Faboo

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 03:06 PM

You're so lucky to be moving (moved?) to Frederick, the food options are fantastic. We usually eat at the Ethiopian restaurant, Tajitu, but today we did lunch at Zest.

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The decor has inspired me to repaint all my walls yellow with white trim.

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The bread was beautifully presented but umimpressive otherwise.

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The grilled veggie panini was full of fresh roasted asparagus, zucchini & cream cheese. :biggrin:
The fries were better than Thrasher's fries on the O.C. boardwalk.
Zest must've somehow acquired their secret recipe. :cool:

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Dessert was four or five blocks away at the Candy Kitchen. I love their fresh
tasting candy and always stop in for a little bag of blueberry and apricot brandy
buttercreams when I'm nearby. :wub:

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"Don't be afraid of flavor" -- Tyler Florence

#3 Malawry

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 03:11 PM

Thanks for the wonderful photos and report, Faboo. I just moved to nearby Jefferson County, WV and find myself in Frederick often. (I'll be there even more next year, when I start teaching recreational classes at Frederick Community College.) Please let us know where else to go in town--I knew about Zest, but most of the rest of town seems to be filled with Olive Perkins Brewery Waffle Evans Barrel type places.

#4 JennyUptown

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 03:23 PM

I believe I heard that a soul food (or soul food inspired) place opened there recently...?

#5 My Confusing Horoscope

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Posted 10 September 2005 - 05:55 PM

Have you tried John Hagen's Tavern on Braddock Heights Road?

It's an historic tavern (one of those places where George Washington slept, and the officers of both the Union and Confederacy spent the night before the battle).

Not bar food. 20 dollar entrees.
Scorpio
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#6 Meanderer

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 07:47 AM

Isabella's is worth a visit. It has an impressive array of tapas, almost always well prepared, and a very good wine list emphasizing Spanish wines. My only reservation is the dimness of the interior away from the windows.

#7 KVentura

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 11:18 AM

I too recommend Isabella's. I prefer it over Jaleo. Delicious sangria and the asparagus sticks are yummy.

#8 Malawry

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 12:50 PM

I stopped by Candy Kitchen while tooling around Frederick this afternoon. I tried several different of the chocolates and, frankly, wasn't that impressed. They were too sweet and the chocolate sides were rather thick and clumsy--as was the decor on the decorated pieces. They are very low-priced and very kid-friendly as candies go. I did like the fresh fillings--the coconut cream dark chocolate was particularly tasty, and the raspberry gel had a real fruit flavor. The chocolates are made at the other Candy Kitchen location in Waynesboro, PA, which has apparently been in operation for over 100 years. They sell fudge (which I did not sample since it is normally too sweet and milky for me), some pate a fruit, much of the Stonewall Kitchen line of condiments, some sugar-free chocolates, and a few random novelties (Jelly Belly jelly beans, licorice laces, etc). There were chocolate dog bones (labeled "not for dogs!") and chocolate-dipped rice krispie treats on sticks near the register. It's very friendly and probably fulfills your childhood fantasies of a chocolate shop--I was a little disappointed with my adult palate was all.

#9 Faboo

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 11:26 AM

I should've emphasized it's just a little family type candy store, no MarieBelle. I dont know of any other area candy store like it.

John Hagen's Tavern has been on my to-do list for many months. Isabella's always has a fantastic specials board outfront, but I've been afraid to risk it. Now I will. Thanks everyone! :biggrin:
"Don't be afraid of flavor" -- Tyler Florence

#10 Faboo

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Posted 19 September 2005 - 05:10 AM

Meanderer and KVentura, thank you so much for recommending Isabella's. We went yesterday and had a marvelous time. Isabella's was 200 times better than my experience at Jaleo.

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Isabella's Signature Crispy Panko Crusted Asparagus "Fries" with Smoked Tomato Aoili. (Pretty much every table had an order of these, and justifiably so)

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Warm Asparagus Flan with Goat Cheese Cream and Balsamic Reduction.
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Garlic Grilled Portobello Mushroom with Wilted Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Melted Cheese.
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Fried House-Breaded Goat Cheese and Almond Fritters with Tangy Shallot Vinaigrette.
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Spanish Flan.
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My inner child still had to pick up some goodies next door: :wink:

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:smile:
"Don't be afraid of flavor" -- Tyler Florence

#11 KVentura

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 07:12 AM

Glad you enjoyed it! Those asparagus "fries" are totally addictive!

#12 Faboo

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 07:21 AM

Have you tried John Hagen's Tavern on Braddock Heights Road?

It's an historic tavern (one of those places where George Washington slept, and the officers of both the Union and Confederacy spent the night before the battle).

Not bar food. 20 dollar entrees.

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John Hagan’s Tavern is so nice! The food, service and atmosphere are all stellar. (Looks like they lost a shutter)

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The moment I entered the restaurant, I forgot it was a gorgeous warm day and craved comfort food. Started w/the Mushroom Crepe w/Marsala Cream

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Hubby had the Vegetarian Vegetable Soup which he started to say was more delicious than the soup I make, but quickly regained his senses…

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I was stuffed from the crepe and huge brioche-like rolls by the time my entrée came, the Roasted Vegetable Ravioli. I had to take half home.

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Camera batteries then died. I can’t wait to go back!
"Don't be afraid of flavor" -- Tyler Florence

#13 Malawry

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:08 AM

I supped at Zest last night with my husband. Service was a little wobbly--we were the only table initially, but then a group of regulars showed up and suddenly our server was planted at their table almost exclusively. She regained her senses after my husband explained that we were ready to order, and after that things were appropriately attentive.

I started with the small plate of fried oysters, which are almost as irresistible as the version at Firefly. It's a generous portion for a "small plate" and comes with a healthy dollop of chile-spiked mayonnaise for smearing. My spouse had a "fisherman's stew" appetizer, which was also a very generous portion of Asian-influenced fish soup. This was more like a strong fumet with slices of assorted fish and shellfish than the creamy French-style soup we thought we might be getting, and there was pak choy floating around in the bowl.

I wanted the beer-braised short ribs, but they were out, so instead I ordered the lamb. It arrived with a walnut gremolata showered atop and came with glazed carrots and an acceptable rosti. The lamb itself was spectacular, the best lamb I've had since dining at Eve--flavorful and rich and a little gamey and very tender. I sampled my husband's peanut-crusted fried chicken, which again had an Asian slant with a rice wine-spiked dipping sauce and a pickly slaw draped over the top. The chicken was cut into chunks, breaded and skewered before frying, almost like chicken lollipops rather than the large pieces of bone-in chicken normally served in restaurants. It'd be fun if you had a picky child along with you to let them tackle this dish.

We were satisfied with our meal, especially the oysters and the lamb. The desserts just didn't sound that engaging, so we went without. I suspect the small plates are the real highlight here; I also had a really hard time picking an entree as so many sounded so wonderful. There are a lot of fish dishes on the entree list that are particularly appealing. The room is bright and warm even on a night with terrible weather like we experienced yesterday. Frederick is lucky to have this place.

#14 Lori in PA

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:21 PM

I live about an hour from Frederick but find myself there at lunch time every month or two. Where would you go if:

you find yourself feeling semi-poor but want a nice meal and time is unlimited?

you find yourself feeling semi-poor and only have 45 minutes?

you find yourself feeling semi-poor and need to get take-out you can eat in the car?
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#15 Malawry

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 12:57 PM

For your time-is-no-object lunch, I'd defintiely consider Zest. Their lunch menu entrees top out at $14, with some under $10 (that chicken pot pie is alluring, as is the bison salad):

lunch menu pdf here

I'm very interested in responses to your other two queries. I'm on a strict budget as well but end up in Frederick at least every other week to hit Costco and run other errands. The Costco hot dog at $1.50 (including a soda from the fountain) is a great deal and often serves as my lunch, which is good for both quick takeout and 45 minute lunches (if you like sitting in the food court that is!). I usually end up with that when I'm in town. But something different, local and good would also be quite welcome. Are there good ethnic eats in and around Frederick? I've seen plenty of little hole-in-the-wall Indian and Asian restaurants along the strip centers of W Patrick Street for example, but haven't explored any yet.

#16 KOK

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 03:16 PM

I live about an hour from Frederick but find myself there at lunch time every month or two.  Where would you go if:
you find yourself feeling semi-poor and only have 45 minutes?

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White Star Lunch (Motter and I think Rosemont) for good, quick (lunch may only take you five minutes :smile:) and cheap chili dogs. Other items always look good on people's tables but I've yet to stray from the chili dogs.

Thanks,

Kevin
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