Wednesday, January 15, 2014

We Are Farmers…A Visit To Founding Farmers Restaurant

Kay visited Founding Farmers last week and the dumb bitch left her hat there (actually, it was MY hat, and she STOLE it from me. What a dumb B!) (Insert Kay: Jay, there is no need for name calling. Even though I totally did feel like a dumb B for forgetting it!). So, instead of driving there just to get the hat, we decided to make an evening of it and grab dinner too. Located in Potomac, MD (with a second location in Washington, DC) you’ll find this farm-to-table restaurant has a lot to offer. The d├ęcor is interesting, they use big jars of canned vegetables to really hit home with that good ol' farm fresh feeling. In other countries, people are starving but here in ‘Merica, we decorate with food giving a middle finger to the third world. (Insert Kay: But they were so pretty!)

I ordered the Carolina BBQ and Kay got the southern fried chicken. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and helpful in making our decisions. My meal was…um, unique, let’s say. Each of my sides (beans and greens, and some kind of pickled cucumber something) had complex flavors but they just didn’t seem to all go together. The pulled pork was okay at best. I ate mostly everything but would order something different next time. It wasn’t traditional BBQ (my favorite food).  I get it—this isn’t a BBQ joint so they did their special take on it. Prior to ordering I had a feeling that I might not like the BBQ but, I took a chance. I rolled the dice. Finding good BBQ is like asking someone who is color blind to pick fresh strawberries from a field. Every now and then you get lucky. (Insert Kay: My meal was great! The fried chicken was super tasty, and the mashed potatoes and white gravy were pretty good too. I couldn't eat everything in one sitting, so I had it for lunch the next day. Still Good)

(Insert Kay: So, yes, the meals were good (or unique in Jay's case). But, let's not forget about their Farm Breads. OK, now, I'm a sucker for bread, so, we ordered their Prosciutto, Fig, and Mascarpone. Holy eff. It was SO good! Jay usually warns me to "Not fill up on bread", but he didn't even bother this time, because it was that good. And probably because I literally grunted/growled at him when he suggested I not finish every single bite of it. Seriously, I could've just eaten this bread. Did I mention I love bread?)

I would definitely go back to Founding Farmers. They had enough on the menu to interest me. As for marketing, I think these guys should hook up with . I’m not sure how the collaboration would work but it makes sense, since it’s a hook up website. Lastly, don’t worry about finding your car as you walk through the parking lot. Yours will be the one that isn’t the BMW or Lexus.

(Insert Kay: just as a side note. When I go to the Founding Farmers website, it reminds me of the Farmers Insurance commercials. "We. Are. Farmers. Da, da-da, da, da, da, da." Our dog loves those commercials. This is his response to all Farmers Insurance commercials (ok, so this particular video is to a different show, but the result is ultimately the same.)  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Boxd…Dreams Made of Waffles

Under the category of goddamn genius, you'll find Boxd located in Carlsbad, California. Kay and I stopped by Boxd while visiting California and couldn't believe how simple yet effective this business is. If you like waffles (who doesn't) then this place is for you. The menu is simple, it's waffle sandwiches filled with whatever you want (eggs, bacon, fruit...) (Insert Kay: You take a waffle. Put some shit in the middle. Fold it over. Then you eat it. Done and Done…Bananas and Nutella Waffle…drooling just thinking about it). They have a seating area on the street corner and they've landscaped it to look like a small park. (Insert Kay: Of course, it IS Sunny Southern California,, it's easier to have a year-round outdoor restaurant. Might be a little harder on the East Coast. Grrr, stupid Maryland weather.) After polishing of my waffle sandwich, I thought this about the entire setup.

Ask yourself, what would be better than hand crafted waffle sandwiches sold out of a shipping container in a small public park? Nothing, asshole. If I were ever going to rip off an idea, this would be it. Here is my business plan:

1) acquire shipping container
2) buy waffle iron and small griddle
3) rent a small space in city
4) make money

When (note I said when) you visit Carlsbad, make sure you take time to stop by and visit Boxd. They aren't open late so plan on breakfast or lunch (I refuse to say brunch since only douches use that word). If you don't have time to take a trip to the west coast, you can simply stop by our own version of Boxd here in Frederick, MD once we get it going. If any of you assholes rip off my ripped off idea and start this here before we do, you'll need to add step 5 to your business plan (receive ass whooping). And for a rating, obviously, we're going with a Hell Yeah here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

When Pigs Fly…The Flying Pig


(Disclaimer: Since Jay has a very short attention span, we've decided to shorten our posts a bit so they are short and sweet. This will help Jay stay on track a bit more and will allow us to … squirrel!)

Kay and I visited some friends one friend, one asshole out in California and decided to take this bitch coast to coast. Just north of San Diego you'll find the town of Oceanside, home of The Flying Pig. From the outside, you would never think to go into this joint but you'll be pleasantly surprised if you do. (Insert Kay: It literally looks like an abandoned warehouse building from the outside, we didn't have high hopes)

The Flying Pig offers an eclectic (big word, hope I spelled it correct) dining experience. Old LP covers (records, dumb ass) are used for menu holders, plenty of original art, and no two chairs match but some how they do. My menu was an old Bee Gees album and chest hair is the first thing I usually think of when ordering food. The shrimp and grits I had was really good with plenty of flavor. Kay's pork chops were also good (Insert Kay: Jay, that might be one of the best YouTube links you've done to date. Nice work, that is some creative genius shit right there. Of course, now that song will be stuck in my head for, like, 8 days!). There are plenty of craft beers on tap for those of you who can't make it through a day without one. (Insert Kay: Are you referring to someone specific here Jay?)

Not that you're going anytime soon, but if you do find yourself driving through Oceanside (Insert Kay: or O'side for all the kewl kids), look for The Flying Pig. Also look for our friend (singular), she'll meet you for ice cream anytime. (But, you'll also need our other friend to actually drive you to said ice cream shop, that is unless you want to ride on the back of her bike, which I hear can be a little bit sketchy these days…) Rating, Hell Yeah, stamp it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Red Roost

Kay and I found ourselves in Salisbury for her sister's umpteenth graduation and decided to take a pit stop for some grub. Driving directions are as follows: First, drive just outside Salisbury, then proceed to the middle of nowhere, turn left at the boonies (there is literally a sign for the boonies) and you'll find yourself located in east bumfuck. (Insert Kay: For reals) While you're there, visit The Red Roost for some local eastern shore (Maryland, asshole) seafood. Not sure how we managed to find this place (I visited their website and clicked on directions tab and it actually gives the same directions) but it was worth the drive (Insert Kay: And luckily we, eventually, found our way back to civilization!).

Once we arrived and the "where the hell am I" feeling wore off, we entered the restaurant. You'll first pass through the bar area where you can staple a signed dollar bill to the wall or ceiling. You can look for ours, it's the one with the middle finger that says "Eat Bitch!". Actually don't look for it because my dumb ass didn't think of doing that until just now. (Insert Kay: You're always a dollar short and a day late, Jay. HaHa…see what a did there…a dollar, and you were talking about a dollar…get it. Sigh.) After passing through the bar, we were quickly greeted and seated, the joint had just opened and we were some of the first customers of the day. (Insert Kay: You know a place is going to be good when there are already several parties there 5 minutes after it opens, despite it being in the middle of effing nowhere.) This upgraded chicken shack (read their literally was a chicken shack at one point) is mainly seafood fare but there is more to eat if you're not into crabs and such. If you're not familiar with how to eat crabs then you're the asshole, read the website's "how to" section. Seriously, that's the third mention about their website, read it, because otherwise you'll never find this place… and don't drive out there alone (safety in numbers). Kay and I checked out the menu for a few minutes and decided to go with "the red roost" which is a clam bake for two. What's a clam bake? Lot's of good seafood covered in Old Bay brought to you in a big ass pot. What's Old Bay? You really are an asshole and you're not from Maryland. You could put Old Bay Seasoning on a dog turd and it would taste good.

So we didn't have to wait to long because steamed seafood doesn't take too long to cook. Our clam bake arrived in glorious fashion: clams, crabs, shrimp, chicken, corn on the cob in tow. I ate most of the food as usual, snooze you lose Kay. All of the food was cooked well and I don't even think we had one bad crab (which can sometimes be normal when ordering crabs). The shrimp were cooked perfectly and the corn (though not local since it was not in season yet) was tasty. We were too far from home to take anything home so I made the bad decision of trying to finish everything. Bad idea. I think I shit an entire crab later in the evening. (Insert Kay: Lovely imagery Jay. You have such a way with words)

The Red Roost delivered. The atmosphere inside was cool, down to the crab basket lamp shades. The restaurant has a unique story and is a local hot spot. I use the term "local" loosely because there is nothing near this place, but it's worth driving off the beaten path every now and then. If we had to give this place a rating, we would go with "good enough to take your parents to". We actually took Kay's parents, well technically they took us since they picked up the tab.

(Insert Kay: Below: This is where the Red Roost is located. We TOLD you it was in the middle of nowhere. I still don't know where we were!)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jim's vs Pat's vs Geno's

A few weeks ago I headed up to Philly with a friend for a bachelor party. One of the perks was getting to put down a good cheesesteak. When I say "a", I mean three. One of the things that Frederick is missing is a good cheesesteak, so I was excited to go to the motherland. Here is an account of the three pit stops that we made throughout the night. (Insert Kay: No, I was not present for this cheesesteak adventure, but Jay is still talking about it. And talking about it. So, I feel like I was almost there.)

Jim's Steaks
Jim's was our first stop on the Tour de Philly. After getting lucky on a parking spot right around the corner, we headed inside. The line wrapped around the inside about three times and we had about one foot in the door. This was at 4:00, definitely a good sign. My friend is from Philly so he schooled me on how to order. In Philly they keep their cheesesteaks simple: with or without onions and type of cheese. Sure you can get peppers and other shit but you don't need it. I was told if I were going to do it right to order "one whiz wit" (translation for assholes, self included, one cheesesteak with onions and Cheez Whiz). The cook sent me on my way and I destroyed it like Maximus Decimus Meridius. It was delicious and I enjoyed every moment.

Pat's Steaks
Pat's King of Steaks was the site of cheesesteak number two. This was after the bachelor party and was around 1:00 am. My friend thought I was joking when I said let's hit it up on the way home but...when in Rome. After a quick trip across town we found ourselves at Pat's and were able to just walk up to an outside window and order. One whiz wit, order up! Literally 10 seconds later I had a cheesesteak in my hand, they don't fool around at this joint. We headed back to the car, planning to eat on the road. But before getting in, I found myself staring at the glow of Geno's just across the street. I tossed my cheesesteak to my friend and told him I'd be back in a minute. For the record, the cheesesteak was awesome but I did save a few bites for Kay. (Insert Kay: Surprisingly, he actually DID save me some!)

Geno's Steaks
Directly across the street from Pat's you will find Geno's. These two places could not look any different. Pat's is classic white lights and simple, Geno's looks like Vegas at night. I think I actually got food and a tan from the neon lights. An old pro now, I walked up and got my whiz whit. Biggity bam, cheesesteak number three. I headed back to the car, responded to some dude asking me for weed by telling him to just go to Pat's or Geno's and began enjoying another slice of heaven. In the car my friend asked if I were actually going to eat a third cheesesteak and with a mouth full I answered "why?". Geno's steak, equally awesome. Not a big fan of the "hey look at me vibe" though. The cheesesteak speaks for itself, they can do without the abundance of lights. I did save Kay a few bites but they were gone the next day before she had a chance. (Insert Kay: Asshole.)

So here is the verdict. If you order a cheesesteak anywhere outside of Philly, it's not a Philly cheesesteak. In fact, it should not even have the word "Philly" on the menu. I think it's the bread, I can't explain the taste but you can't find it outside the city. Also the Cheez Whiz is a must. When they make these cheesesteaks, the ingredients are simple: steak, onion, whiz, bread (no seasoning is required and don't eff it up by putting ketchup on it).  The main difference from each sandwich is how finely the meat is chopped. Geno's doesn't chop the sliced steak, Pat's chops the meat rather fine and Jim's is between the two. You can't go wrong with any of the three but if I had to pick one I'd go with Jim's. The flavors are basically the same but I preferred the chopped steak size at Jim's. If anyone wants to take a trip to Philly, hit me up, I'm ready for another. For the record that was three cheesesteaks in one night, bring it.

(Insert Kay: Since Jay's Cheesesteak extravaganza, he has actually insisted we try making our own at home. So, he sent me on a wild goose chase at our local grocery store looking for some fancy-schmancy type of hoagie roll nobody had ever heard of and cheese whiz. I had never bought it before and had a really hard time finding it. (Insert Jay: It's CHEEZ. No wonder you couldn't find it, you dumb bitch!). After three loops around the store, and multiple employee's help, I finally managed to find it. Ironically, it's in the dairy section with the cheese. I'm the asshole here, I guess. While our homemade cheesesteaks were good...they didn't quite pair up with the Philly standard. I guess we were lacking the years' worth of grease and grime on our griddle.)

PS—Jay was so busy demolishing cheesesteaks that he forgot to take a lot of photos. The one above was the only thing that was left before he finally remembered.