22 January 2011

Micro.mantage: Ummm, where's the camera?

Well, as you may or may not guess by the title of this post, our digital camera has gone missing. The last time I saw it my wife was putting it in her purse to take with us on Christmas day. What makes it doubly sucky is we had an amazing dinner at Bluegrass Tavern this past Friday that I was very excited to blog about. And now I can't. Boo.

So until we find our camera or break down and purchase one I give you a sizzling hot sample of some of the backlogged food adventures I never got around to blogging about for one reason or another. So here we go:

Hamilton Tavern Baltimore, Maryland


This is one of my favorite burgers in Baltimore (I would've said it was my absolute favorite, but the burger I had at Bluegrass on Friday is jonesing for that honor). I usually order it medium rare with pickles, hold the lettuce and upgrade from their housemade chips to their beer battered onion rings (neither of which are shown here).


This was the burger that ignited my passion for fried eggs as a topping. The runnnumminumminess the gooey egg yolk creates is quite lovely indeed. Plus the sticky-spicy bacon doesn't hurt either.

Laurrapin Grille Havre de Grace, Maryland

This was the meal I treated my friend G to after he helped get me my current uber-cushy job. Now this was over a year ago so I don't remember too many details, so I apologize for that. But a little straight up food porn every once in a while never hurt nobody, eh?


I ordered the shrimp and grits as my appetizer and the braised lamb shank as my main. This was the first time I'd ever had a braised shank and I was immediately in love.



I mentioned to our waitress that the braising liquid was so good I could eat a whole bowl of it, a few minutes later she emerged from the kitchen, bowl in hand. Needless to say I tipped very generously that night.

MaGerk's Pub and Grill Bel Air, Maryland

About a year ago I would've said that MaGerk's holds the #2 spot in the Bel Air pub grub hierarchy underneath Looney's, but after the douchebag owner (of Looney's) canned the entire kitchen staff on a drama-filled tirade, the food has been extremely hit or miss--one of the reasons I have yet to blog about Looney's.  This is not to say that MaGerk's doesn't serve good food, it most certainly does.

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Ah, the Spicy Tuna Wrap, my wife's go-to order. And for good reason, their edamame is better than most upscale sushi joints I've been to--when it's cooked right anyway, we've been a few times when they've been slightly over-steamed--and the accompanying dipping sauces are seriously addicting. And just look at the bright red tuna and green avocado they use:

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If thats not a testament to the quality of the ingredients, I don't know what is. On this particular visit I decided to try their Reuben and was pleasantly surprised.

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The bread was nicely buttered and toasted and the ingredients were balanced so that all of the flavors really worked together. Now, I know they're not curing their own meat or anything, but this is definitely one of the better Reubens I've had. But this also brings up the one thing I hate about MaGerk's: They give you a shitty bag of Utz potato chips instead of fries. Every time I walk out of MaGerk's I do a quick survey of the tables, and 95% of the time the bag of chips is sitting there completely untouched. I know times are hard and all, but come on serve us some goddamned fries--doubly so since their fries are pretty damned good. Here's the order of Old Bay fries we requested:

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They also make a damned good cheesesteak. If you're a fan of the real deal then I highly recommend their 9th & Passyunk, which is the best iteration I've had outside of the City of Brotherly Love. Hey MaGerk's, lose the damned bags of Utz. Otherwise, I definitely get down with this joint.  Staying within our city limits I finally bring you probably the most overrated place in Bel Air:

Open Door Cafe Bel Air, Maryland

I've given this place multiple chances to serve me something worth eating, and after three strikes, they were out.  Unfortunately I only had my camera once, but I can assure you I've dined here enough to say that it's not worth your time or dollar.  The first meal was lunch and I ordered this delicious salad topped with grilled salmon.  I loved it.  Until we were in Bed, Bath, and Beyond about an hour later and I was overcome with some of the most intense stomach cramps I've ever had.  They weren't solved by heading to the bathroom either, these inexplicable pains only went away with time.  It really ruined my day.

The second strike was when I ordered their typically dressed smoked salmon bagel, noting that they served it with goat's cheese instead of cream cheese.  I usually love goat's cheese, but when you get a 1.5" thick layer of the stuff it tends to overpower anything it's served with.  I wasn't expecting Russ & Daughters or anything, but this sandwich was practically inedible.

The final strike was when our family went there for lunch one day to celebrate my dear grandfather's birthday.  This time I brought my camera.  At the time I was doing a lot of research for our trip to Canada and I kept seeing croque monsieur/madame on menus.  Having never had one before I decided to try ODC's version.  I was expecting something that looked like this.  I was served this:

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It was flaccid, flavorless, and just an all around depressing plate of food. The yolk was nice and runny, I'll give them that, but it was like all of the flavors of the dish were muted.

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It was like I had earplugs on my taste buds. "Hello, taste?" Yeah, I usually don't even give a venue that many chances to impress me, I should've given up on ODC long ago. Well, live and learn I guess.

I guess that's enough for now, I've got a decent amount of other joints to highlight, but I'll save that for another post since I have no idea if I'll be able to find my camera, and current fundage might not make buying a new one feasible at this very moment.  Until then, thanks for reading, and I hope you're all having a positive New Year so far.  Micro, out.

Laurrapin Grille on Urbanspoon
Hamilton Tavern on Urbanspoon
Open Door Cafe on Urbanspoon

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