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blitton

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About blitton

  • Rank
    Hat Trick
  • Birthday 02/12/1980

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  • Location
    Laurel, MD

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  1. My wife and I have eaten here twice and have been happy enough that we'll surely be back for a third visit. On our first visit we started with spiced marcona almonds, which was a simple dish that we both enjoyed, with apologies to the Californian drought. Subsequently we ordered braised pork shoulder over patatas bravas and a pasta dish with clams in a butter sauce. The pork shoulder was tender and well portioned. I enjoyed this more than a similar dish I had at the Red Hen. The pasta and clams was very good, though the sauce veered on the buttery side. This was pleasant, but perhaps overwhelmed other flavors. On a subsequent trip we started with blistered shishito peppers. Like the almonds on the previous trip, this is almost as simple as a dish can be, but well done well and we enjoyed it. Also, like the almond dish, the portions for the two of us was perhaps too generous. For our entree we had the seafood stew. The menu specifies that it is for 2-4 people, and I can attest that for the two of us that were there, 4 seemed like the more correct suggestion. It was a tomato base with bread, both in the stew and outside of it, with an aoili that complemented the dish well and served as a bit of a break for the palate in one could otherwise be a lot of a similar flavor. The service was conscientious and attentive and for the moment the busy but not overwhelmed atmosphere led to a less pressured atmosphere than some more established venues.
  2. My older brother was in town. The wife and I currently live too far out from the city to eat out very often (we're moving soon!) so I wasn't sure where to take him for the kind of casual, affordable and good food that would be appropriate and near Union Station. My wife did the first round of research and from coworkers and the like, heard Chef Geoff's was a good place to go. "Oh no," I said, "we have to see what the people on donrockwell.com have to say first." The general opinion here on Chef Geoff's was, shall we say, less than ecstatic, and ultimately I found Belga Cafe. The food was very good. She and my older brother both had mussels. He went with mussels with garlic butter, she with mussels marinière. I tried and liked both. I had the biefstuk van de beenhouwer. I wisely didn't attempt to pronounce it, lest I incorrectly confuse Belgian pronunciation with a Schwarzenegger accent. It is described on the menu as "Hanger steak with roasted vegetables, purple potato confit and a red wine sauce." It was also good. All in all, the dinner exceeded expectations. We all left feeling happy and intend to go back. My older brother told us it was much better than the dinner he had the previous night. Apparently a Maryland native (which I am not) took him out intending to impress. The hamburger, he said, was burned on the outside, but raw on the inside. "The place had such good turnover," he said, "I ate it anyway." It turns out it was our near miss, Chef Geoff's. Had we gone with that original choice, he informed us, he would have found an excuse to rid himself of our company.
  3. Hello, I grew up on your typical American cuisine, by that I mean casseroles and other exotics mashed together lovingly from a can or a powder, and I would only know that life could be better than this by visiting my Italian relatives and finding myself amazed that food could be a much more interesting experience. Fast forward into adulthood and I found myself eating something I hated, except I no longer hated it. It was with this realization that all sorts of sundry awful things, like the vegetables I was always told to eat, can actually be delicious if prepared well and helped along with artery clogging fatty goodness. I have since been on a frenzied exploration of cooking and food and find it to be one of life's simplest and most irresistable pleasures. In conversations with others, it is also clear to me that people think I'm insane and don't seem to share my feeling that good food preparation and the enjoyment of its labours is a near mystical experience. I tell someone I made croissants, they tell me they make Pillsbury crescent rolls all the time. I'm a jerk, I suspect, if I point out that this isn't quite the same thing. So it is in search of people that share my passion for food, or perhaps exceed it, that I've found myself lurking in the background of the site. I am not a professional in the industry. While I love cooking I suspect my career in software development is probably an easier one to pursue than excellence in the culinary field, though I'd be lying if I didn't consider it at least on occasion. Nevertheless, I look forward to being in an environment where my relative culinary skill is mediocre at best, for it is in that environment that the enticing possibility of learning a good deal exists.
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