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Saturday Brunch at Woodberry Kitchen

14 Aug

Last weekend, Rachel and I went up to Baltimore for the day and headed up to Woodberry Kitchen for Saturday brunch. We have always wanted to dine at one of Baltimore’s finest establishments, so brunch was an affordable way to introduce ourselves to Chef Spike Gjerde’s cuisine.

Of course, getting to this restaurant isn’t the easiest of tasks as it’s tucked away in a 19th century foundry in the Hampden neighborhood. Good thing we had a GPS, otherwise we would have easily gotten lost trying to find the place. Complimentary valet parking is provided, and after quickly surveying the narrow road for street parking, it’s probably your best bet.

Once stepping inside, the rustic interior and friendly staff reminds you why Baltimore is nicknamed Charm City: Woodberry Kitchen simply oozes it. Just a few steps from our table was an enormous grandfather clock sitting adjacent to a shelf housing all sort of pickled items in glass jars.

Tilghman Island Crab Pot

We started the meal off with French press coffee for the entire table while Rachel got a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice. On top of that, we ordered the Tilghman Island Crab Pot to split amongst the four of us. The restaurant’s rendition of crab dib, it was prepared with lump crabmeat, cream cheese, and sherry poured on top and accompanied with a variety of toast points. As anticipated, it was a very savory appetizer. Rich and creamy, the pot was scraped clean by our party (okay, maybe just me).

Morning Flatbread

For our entrees, I ordered the Morning Flatbread. This morning’s rendition featured potato, Hawks Hill cheddar, farm egg, and some of the most delicious barbecue pork shoulder I have ever come across. I’ve been to countless BBQ places across the country, but the tender pork found on this flatbread was without a doubt some of the best. Spreading the egg yolk across the flatbread gave the dish a nice consistency, and it was especially hard to put the fork down if one of the slices featured a piece of succulent pork atop it.

Egg in a Hole

Rachel ordered the Egg in a Hole, which was essentially Pullman toast with a circle cut out and an egg cooked inside, served with heirloom tomatoes, squash and their blossoms, and rocket. The dish is served best with the egg runny, and even though Rachel couldn’t have it that way since we still have a bun in the oven, she loved the rich buttery toast and the accompanying vegetables which were fresh and tasted like they were just picked from the garden.

Brunch at Woodberry Kitchen was a fantastic experience – between the excellent food and service, we would love to return for dinner down the road. And if that pork shoulder is listed on the menu on our next visit, it’s pretty much guaranteed that I will be ordering it.

Woodberry Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Crab Cakes at Faidley Seafood

26 Jun

As close as Baltimore is to our home in Bethesda, we don’t go there nearly as often as we’d like. I happened to be in Charm City for a work conference and we definitely had some good eats while we were there, from Boog’s BBQ at Camden Yards to Amicci’s in Little Italy to Pazo in Fells Point. But the one place I knew we had to go before we headed back was Faidley’s at Lexington Market for some crab cakes.

Faidley Seafood

As my colleagues and I walked into Lexington Market, we were overwhelmed by all of the vendor stalls. We asked an officer to point us in the right direction and we were quickly shown to the star of the show, Faidley’s. What we saw wasn’t just one stall but a whole corner of the market, complete with a raw bar, an area for cooked meats, and then the crown jewel of crab soup, fish and chips, and of course, crab cakes. You can order a regular crab cake, one with backfin meat, or an all lump crab cake. Obviously, we got the all lump version, which was the size of a baseball when it arrived.

All lump crab cake

On top of the awesomeness of the crab cake itself, when we arrived, the first thing we noticed was a camera crew. Sure enough, there was Andrew Zimmern from The Travel Channel! We were definitely a little star-struck and watched as he ordered both a fish and chips and crab cake platter. According to Zimmern, he was definitely impressed with the crab cake (which he was told was the best ever by both Michael Symon and Adam Richman), but wasn’t sure if it was the best he’s ever had.

Andrew Zimmern!

Well, I have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Zimmern as I was in heaven with each bite. All lump meat, no filler, and a rich buttery flavor – it was just perfect. I have definitely had my share of crab cakes while living in the DC area the last 10 or so years, and this one takes the cake, hands down. It was so good that I had to order two more to go so Brett could try one for himself and that I could enjoy the crab cake awesomeness one more time. Now that I finally know that crab cake heaven is only a 40 minute drive away, we will definitely be back again soon. I can already envision this being our mandatory pit stop on road trips to and from New Jersey.

Faidley Seafood on Urbanspoon