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The Food Market, The Avenue in Hampden - Chef Chad Guass Comes From City Cafe


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that sounds good although a bit similar to 13.5 .At least so it looked inside when I walked in the other day. I like the open kitchen .My only worry is that maybe Hampden is getting a little too congested in places that serve food. I guess the silver lining will be that only the best will make it

Something is opening at the Petit Louis ,the side area of the building oposite to the Fire House .Any idea what it is ?

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Had an amazing meal here last Friday evening. We had to wait a while for our table to be ready (we had a reservation for 5 for 9:30, when I inquired about the status shortly before 10 I was told they were waiting for tables to leave, can't remember when we were seated, maybe another 15 minutes after that). In the meantime, we found a couple of seats at the bar and had drinks. It took a little while initially to get service, but once we did it was excellent. I didn't see a dry rose on the by the glass menu, but decided to ask anyway and was pleasantly surprised when the bartender was happy to accommodate. By the glass list has a reasonable number of selections, nice beer choices, and the requisite large can of Natty Bo for the hipsters. :P Our bartender was also very enthusiastic about the menu and happy to offer recommendations since everything sounded so good we were having trouble deciding. Also had a "little" plate, popcorn with truffle oil, basil, and grated cheese. Can't go wrong with truffle popcorn in my book, but the basil was a nice twist.

For dinner, we all shared the duck confit potato skins with mornay, cheddar, and peas. 3 very large round potato skins (cut cross-wise so they could be filled with more delicious "stuff") were incredibly rich and tasty although the confit seemed dried out to me and was my least favorite part of the dish. For my app I chose a salad, which is rare for me but I wanted something that would pair with an acidic white and couldn't pass on the pickled onion in the Endive Salad with pickled onion, goat cheese, pistachio, & pancetta. The goat cheese was somehow creamed into a dressing or sauce on this salad and all of the flavors melded really well. We passed plates throughout the meal and one of my friends said this was actually his favorite dish from the apps course. Other apps at the table were cracker fried oysters and salt & pepper tuna - both outstanding, steak tacos - very good, and Farmer Ian's tomatoes with house made burrata - a nice version of a simply made dish with quality, locally sourced ingredients.

For my entree I chose something off of the specials list - a pork schnitzel with creamed corn, roasted red peppers, and pesto of almonds & cilantro and a side of mashed potatoes. The dish included two pieces of thin pork, breaded and perfectly fried. The meat was juicy and tender. The creamed corn, made from fresh corn (a few small pieces of silk confirmed this if there were any question about the chef taking his ingredient sourcing seriously) took me back to my childhood with an elevated and incredibly tasty version of the canned stuff of my youth. The bright pesto was a nice contrast to the rest of the dish - overall an unexpected but really tasty dish and at only $16 an incredible value (I took half home because I couldn't finish it, which is unheard of for me).

Friends had: BBQ Short Rib crispy onions, potato salad, green beans - meat was incredibly tender, the mustardy potato salad was a nice contract to the rich sauce, very good dish overall although the friend who ordered it would have preferred a more vinegary sauce to this sweet version, Wild Salmon herb gremolata oil, local squash, potato cake, beurre blanc - only took one bite as I don't care for salmon, but this dish seemed to be enjoyed by everyone at the table, Scallops roasted tomato risotto, spinach, cream chipped bacon - was generally one of the favorites at the table although I found the risotto too dense, it is certainly a very rich filling dish with 4 generously sized scallops, and finally off of the "In Between" menu, the fried chicken box, jalapeño blue cheese, watermelon, crinkles. This was the only disappointment of the evening. Everyone was expecting pieces of fried chicken, but they were actually just boring chicken tenders. The blue cheese sauce (more of a dip on the side) was good, but the crinkle cut fries were nothing special. Sadly this is a dish that feels suitable only for a kids menu.

I had read many complaints on service. Other than our slow start to the evening, service was excellent and we were even visited by one of the partners when I had a wine pairing question my server couldn't answer. I had also read that the food was overpriced. I'm not sure what kind of crack they're doing in Baltmore these days, but I had 3 glasses of wine (pours were substantial), my snack, app, entree, and shared portion of the additional app and my bill with tax and a 20%ish tip was $70 (and let's not forget I left with lunch for the following day). My only complaint is the noise. It is SO loud inside. They really need to install sound dampening something or others in the ceiling asap. Otherwise, a fantastic experience that would stand up to anything similar in DC, an excellent focus on locally sourced ingredients, and a nice atmosphere outside of the noise. I would happily eat here again (and again).

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As part of our semi-annual (or so) effort to explore the great neighboring city of Baltimore, we had dinner at The Food Market for the first time last night (Saturday), and came away really impressed.  Five of the 6 dishes we ordered were terrific, and the 6th was pretty good.  Standout dishes included the Buffalo Pickles, Brown Sugar Pork Belly, Cracker Fried Oysters, and Korean BBQ Chicken (with jalapeno mac & cheese).  Service was helpful (in discriminating between the good and great) and suitably attentive. Prices (including the modest but appealing wine and beer list) were at the lower end of what I expect for a similar level of quality in DC.

The place was happily noisy and humming with people who really seemed to be enjoying themselves.  Bonus points for the no-big-deal celebrity presence (Kevin Spacey and Michael Kelly and I believe several others from the House of Cards cast, in a big group).

This is definitely a place now firmly on our radar, and worth going out of the way to visit.

Dave

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Couldn't get into Woodberry Kitchen so had to find another restaurant close to Loyola University where we were for a basketball game. Food Market fit the bill for an interesting menu and within 10 minutes of the game. Unfortunately for me, as interesting as the menu was, it became one of those dinners where you can't decide what to get so you order everything and get so stuffed, it actually gets almost bad at the end.

Started with several small dishes, focused on things for the kids, pretzels, fried oysters, cream of crab, and lamb "porterhouses". All were fantastic. The oysters in particular were a really generous portion and perfectly prepared, though the hot sauce was not so hot. The cream of crab was a little too thick for my preference. Just ate at the Classics in Silver Spring and I prefer the consistency of their bisque, though the cream descriptor would indicate it would be thicker, so can't really complain. The lamb was fantastic, you can't go wrong with little lamb steaks. Didn't eat the pretzels at all.

For entrees, we had the short ribs, scallops and bronzini. The short ribs was a ridiculous amount of meat. Wish there was a little more whipped potatoes as the meat was quite disproportionate to the potatoes, and likewise, the three carrots. While the meat was tender, it was a little dry. The sauce on it was a little too sweet for me but did go well with the meat. I've never been a big fan of BBQ sauce, preferring my meat to taste like meat, rather than sauce. Wife's scallops were nice as was the risotto it was served with. Full disclaimer, I've never been a big fan of squash. Sister-in-law's bronzini was really good with a nice char to the meat, but cooked perfectly. Our daughter did not like the char though as it was fairly strong and perhaps was close to overpowering the taste of the fish, but I thought it actually matched really well.

In spite of being really stuffed, we got the strawberry tiramisu. A little heavy on the cocoa, but interesting with the added strawberry powder.

Total damage was $250 for all this plus a bottle of riesling, and an extra order of bronzini to go for sister-in-law's sig other who couldn't make it, which in my opinion was very reasonable for the ridiculous amount of food we ate. Probably better strategy would have been for us to just get more small plates, rather than the entrees. Perfect place to go for a variety of dishes all very good.

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