Saturday, March 26, 2011

Joung Kak - Baltimore, MD

Cold, rainy nights are remedied with delicious Korean food. Rarely am I ever in Baltimore, but the bf and I were visiting his sister, so she took us to Joung Kak in the Charles North area. There are a few metered spots in front.

Sorry guys, we were so focused on the food, I didn't take any pictures of the interior! I will say, it's kinda run down. Lots of wood, and random missing tiles, hair dryers...

They did give a wide variety of ban chan, which we liked.

This was the 1st time I've seen a charcoal tabletop grill, which I might add, was a huge fire hazard during our meal. The metal grate wasn't ever changed throughout the night and the char stuck to it caught on fire. Thankfully the bf's sister saved the day, otherwise it could have been bad.

The seafood pajoon (pancake) for $15ish was so crispy and flavorful, I loved it! This picture doesn't show how large it was, but it was huge.

This is one of the complimentary hot pots we received. Pictured was the egg-souffle-thingy (?) and the other was a pork-based soup.

We shared a BBQ combo that had bulgogi (beef), pork and chicken for $55ish.

There was a ton of meat for 3 people!

OMG they gave out Korean Yogurt Drink! I love these little tart drinks. I haven't seen them served at the end of a meal before.

The service was super lacking. We weren't checked on at all, so we were thirsty and almost caught the table on fire. They were nice though, and there were a lot of free items. I found the meat to be mediocre, but the bf and his sister liked it. The pajoon was my favorite part of the meal, and would be the only reason why I'd come back.

18 W 20th St
Baltimore, MD 21218
(410) 837-5231

Friday, March 25, 2011

Phillips Seafood - Rockville, MD

"There's a Phillips Seafood in Rockville?" Yezzir there is. I was recently invited to try some of their signature items along with Girl Meets Food, Johnna Knows Good Food and Cheap Eats in Charm City. It's nice to be with other people that know you can't eat until pictures of the food have been taken! There is plenty of parking in front and behind the building. The closest metro stop is Twinbrook on the red line.

Phillips is known for their Maryland blue crabs, crab cakes and buffet. However, there is no buffet here, so hit up the Washington DC location if that's what you want. Rockville's is an upscale seafood restaurant. The atmosphere is more conservative, and quiet.

$4 Happy Hour is all-day Sunday, and 4 - 7pm Monday - Friday. I ordered a mojito, which was ok. I would've preferred it sweeter with the mint leaves more muddled.

Executive Chef Arra Lawson was very personable and I enjoyed having him around our table telling us stories and teaching about seafood.

Isn't this gorgeous? We started off with the Chilled Sampler (king crab legs, oysters, clams, jumbo lump crab, shrimp cocktail, tuna tartare) for $28.99. Everything tasted very fresh, but what stood out to me was the tuna tartare. It was in a spectacular sauce.

We got to try the Steamed Mojito Clams (fresh garlic, chiles, lime and cilantro) for $9.99. It's a delicate dish with a lot of ginger.

The Famous Chesapeake Crab Cakes for $28.99. SO GOOD. All jumbo lump crab meat with minimal filler (secret: no bread crumbs). These reminded me of my childhood. I'm from MD baby!

We got to try the Key Lime Pie, Kentucky Bourbon Pie, Chocolate Lava Cake, and Black and White Chocolate Mousse Espresso. I enjoyed the Bourbon pie and Mousse Espresso the most.

These Crabby Nuts were in our gift bags! The bf killed the entire thing in about 1.5 days.

Thank you to Phillips Seafood for the invitation. Check out the specials they offer like $4 Happy Hour, 1/2 price wine bottles on Thursdays, $19.99 lobsters on Mondays and $2 Oysters Rockefeller on Sundays.

1775 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852-1621
(301) 881-4793
Phillips Seafood on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Greek Village - Silver Spring, MD

During my middle and high school years, I lived in the Colesville area of Silver Spring. I used to walk to the Giant, buy bread at Upper Crust Bakery, get boutineers at the florist, but I had never gone to Greek Village until now! How unacceptable. Luckily for me, one of my family friends was celebrating her birthday in that very restaurant. There is plenty of free parking with the closest metro stop being Glenmont on the red line.

The interior is spacious with Greek themed decor like the colors, paintings and murals.

On Monday nights, a live jazz band plays during dinner! They're actually pretty good and there is space for people to dance, but no one did. Since it's not a huge restaurant, the music can get loud and make it hard to talk.

I love Greek food. My uncle (through marriage obviously) is a 1st generation Greek immigrant, so I've had the chance to grow up eating it. Sorry guys, I don't have prices (I suck and lost my notes somehow!) but it's an affordable restaurant with a large menu of many typical Greek dishes.

Many of the entrees came with a choice of soup or salad. I ordered a cup of the Avgolemono (Greek Lemon and Rice Soup). It was delicious! There was a nice tang from the lemon and the texture was thick from the rice. I could go for some right now!

I ordered the Moussaka (Minced meat, eggplant and bachamel sauce), which actually was kind of cold when it arrived. I enjoy the hint of cinnamon that is typical of the dish, and I liked the huge portion size. I took most of it home since I would've exploded eating the whole slice.

My cousin (with the Greek dad) ordered the Spanakopita (Spinach Pie), which was SO GOOD. It was half the plate, and had the right amount of salty feta cheese and spinach. I'm ordering this next time I go. It was flaky and hot. The fries that came with her meal were beer battered and I was in love with them too.

The bf (the meat-lover) ordered Chicken with Lemon (not the exact name), which he found very moist. He found the lemon flavor to vary depending on the bite. He liked the portion size, but wasn't impressed.

Happy Birthday girl!

It was nice to finally try this place. We had a large group, so food took some time to come out but the server was nice. It's a very relaxed, family atmosphere. I enjoyed the food and the jazz band was nice entertainment on a Monday night.

13476 New Hampshire Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20904
(301) 879-2877
Greek Village on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 13, 2011

$50 Againn Winner is...

#5 - Lizi! Pittsburg, eh? I've never thought of going there for a summer vacation, but maybe a weekend drive for some food would work, haha.

Congrats, and thanks everyone for your suggestions! There were some cities I would have never thought of so I appreciate you guys opening my mind. Stay tuned for our summer trip in a few months because I'll be documenting everything!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Giveaway - $50 to Againn Tavern!

Thank you again to Againn Tavern! It was fun for the bf and I to taste their winter menu recently. At the end of the night we were each given a gift bag that included a $50 gift certificate. We used one on our date and figured we needed to share the love!

One of my awesome readers will get a chance to pig out and enjoy the food as much as we do.

1. Must be a Twitter or Facebook follower.
2. Tell me where in the U.S. the bf and I should go on vacation this summer! We have a city in mind, but I want to weigh my options.
3. Leave your name and email.
4. Ends 3/12 at 11:59PM.

Winner will be chosen using Good Luck!!!

Againn Tavern - Rockville, MD

5/31/11 - UPDATE: CLOSED.

Originally the bf and I were invited to try Againn Tavern for a media event, however we've been back 2 times since so this post reflects the 2nd time we've been there. I'll explain a bit more as we go along!

Againn Tavern (pronounced Ag-wen) had taken over Houston's former spot on Rockville Pike and prides itself on local, sustainable, organic ingredients. Their food is upscale comfort food featuring many British classics. There is plenty of free parking in front, and the closest metro stop is Twinbrook on the red line.

The interior has dim lighting, dark wood and brick. It's cozy but refined. For some reason, people like sitting in booths, and this place has a lot of them.

Nice circular bar in the next room.

Here is a little sneak peek into the event we went to. We had a sampling of their current menu, which changes with the seasons. The tour of the kitchen was awesome and they are very proud of their smoker. Glad we had the opportunity to be there!

The bf and I went on a date recently and tried a lot of things we didn't have at the event. We ordered as our appetizer Roasted Brussel Sprouts (curry aioli) for $6ish. This was our 1st time having brussel sprouts, and even though they don't have the best reputation, we were blown away. These were so good! Dipped in the curry aioli (aka mayo) they were smokey, caramelized, vinegary and only slightly bitter.

We wanted to try more classic British dishes. One of them was Bangers N' Mash (whole grain mustard seed mash, wine cooked onions) for $14. It may look simple, but it had a lot of flavor. We agreed that it tasted best when you took a bite with the sausage, onions and mashed potatoes together.

Hands down the BEST Fish N' Chips (mushy peas, egg sauce, fries) ever!  For $14, you get a huge piece of flaky, fluffy fish in the lightest, crispy batter I've tried. It's mind boggling actually. I wasn't a fan of the peas, but the egg sauce goes really well with the fish.

The bf ordered Virgina Grass Fed Burger (brioche bun, white cheddar, caramelized onion) for $12. He really liked it because the onions were the same ones in the Bangers N' Bash. The beef itself and bun were normal, in his opinion.

At this point we were about to burst, but we had ordered a side of Mac & Cheese ($5), which I thought was more oily than creamy. We brought this home and I thought it tasted better microwaved.

However, there is always room for dessert! The Sticky Toffee Pudding (toffee sauce, stout ice cream) for $8 was awesome. There's bourbon on it! It's not overly sweet, but a nice balance of flavors and temperatures.

The 3rd time we came here was with my brother and dad. We ordered the same things and added the Shepard's Pie, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, and Banoffee Pie, which were all awesome too! The bf and I decided the place was a nice blend of our tastes in food, comfort yet upscale. Service was fine, and I hope to come back when the summer menu is launched. They also offer personalized scotch lockers if that's something you're into.

12256 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 230-9260
Againn Tavern on Urbanspoon