Monday, March 26, 2012

East Coast comida

Our last post was mostly about our friends and familia that we spent time with in the States and a little about the comida that we ate while we were there. This post is all about the food. There are so many dishes we can't get and restaurants we can't get to while living in Spain. We tried our best to check all those off the list while we were there (and sí, Meghann actually had a list of food and restaurants). So, here's photographic documentation of our Maryland to North Carolina culinary tour. This should also explain why we've been trying to get to the gym as much as possible since we got back.

So, so happy that we were back during oyster season (we were both raised to believe the "months with an 'r' rule"). A fresh-from-the-Chesapeake-Bay dozen on the half at The Narrows are the perfecto way to start brunch. And on the left you can see their seared scallops with strawberries and balsamic reduction.

It's not brunch without bloodies and mimosas. On the left, brunch cocktails at The Narrows, where you can must get your bloody mary with an Old Bay rim. On the right, Meghann's concoction from the bloody mary bar at The Imperial.

We're not usually huge fans of chain restaurants, but let's be honest, P.F. Chang's is an exception. And there's definitely not any of those in España. The vegetarian lettuce wraps are a must.

Nothing says classy like wing night at the Chester River country club! 4 giant plates of them (Old Bay, Salt and Pepper, Hot, and Teriyaki) washed down with the Sam Adams seasonal cerveza on tap. Gracias to Jess and Rob, who are actually members, for taking our group out. 

Kristen's amazing homemade pizza. Mushroom and fontina on the left, white pizza with balsamic reduction and arugula on the right.  There is no way our oven in Spain could turn out pizza crust like that. There's dos reasons for this. Uno, because Kristen is a pro (or should be, but instead everyone just comes over and eats for free) and dos, because it would never fit in our pequeño Spanish oven.

America's finest beverages. Yuengling, from America's oldest brewery and a Wendy's chocolate frosty.

Tortuga's Lie is one of our favorito restaurants in the Outer Banks. It's small and beachy, with license plates on the ceiling and surf videos playing, and in the summer the crowd waiting for a table pours out into the parking lot. But it was winter, so we walked right in for lunch one day with Graham's mom. We ordered our usuals - shrimp and veggie steam plate for Meghann, bajan burger with fries for Graham. Meghann definitely had to steal some of the fries, because they are, hands down, the best on the beach. It's a bold statement, but we stand by it. If you can, go find out for yourself. 

One of the places that we didn't get to spend enough time in was Norfolk, where we lived before we moved to Spain. We did pass through a couple of times, while making unsuccessful attempts to get on a flight from the base there. Being able to get food at "our" Mexican place, El Rodeo, almost made up for all the driving. Sometimes people are surprised by how much we miss Mexican food, but Spanish food is nothing like it. 

We mentioned our non-traditional but awesome Valentine's Day dinner in our other post. We broke out 4 botellas, including some of our favorites (Alamos Malbec and a red blend from Boordy) as well as some that had been saved (instead of the wines that you buy and immediately take home and drink, you know what we're talking about). The third bottle is a California red that was served at Kristen and Chris's wedding and the fourth is a Virginia Nebbiolo from Barboursville that Graham picked up on a trip to Charlottesville. They were delicious and totally worth the February 15th headache.

In addition to all the vino, we also had steaks from a local farm that produces grass-fed beef. And check out that lovely table.

We finished up with molten chocolate devilry topped with fresh cream and raspberries for dessert. Now you understand why we didn't care about going out.

Mimosas, blueberry pancakes, bacon, and fruit salad for Pancake Tuesday.

Seafood nachos at Doc's in Centreville. Basically tortilla chips covered smothered with shrimp, scallops, crab, and cream sauce, sprinkled with Old Bay, and served with a side of sour cream, of course. 

Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts, just like the ones served at our wedding as Graham's groom's cake.

We went to McGarvey's more than once, but here is the rundown of our Valentine's Day lunch. Aviator cerveza and crab dip to start.

Meghann also had the Maryland crab soup.

We both ordered rockfish specials - Graham had the sandwich and Meghann had the salad. Both were excellent.

Sushi at Joss in downtown Annapolis with Kirsten. When this tray came out, the three of us had that moment where we thought there was no way we could eat all of this. And then we finished the entire thing.

Bagels are impossible to find aquí, unless you get the ones from the commissary, and we hate to tell you - but that is not the real thing. This is the real thing. Jalapeño and cheese bagel with veggie spread and a sprinkle of Old Bay from Naval Bagels in Annapolis. 

Fried oyster sandwich from Lemon Leaf Café in Chestertown. 

That's right, a crab cake on a salad. That's what Maryland does. Also from Lemon Leaf.

Seared scallops and white lasagna from Brooks Tavern

Homemade fried oysters, courtesy of Graham. Presentation was a little lacking, but taste wasn't.

Fancy ramen with shrimp from Café Sado on Kent Island, which looks from the outside like it should be a seafood place because it is tucked back next to a marina, but is actually trendy and modern on the inside and serves fantastic sushi and other Asian dishes.

Not pictured (because it was eaten too quickly):  Blackened mahi fish tacos from Mama Kwan's on the Outer Banks, another beach favorite. Meghann's mom's homemade New York-style cheesecake, which was her sister's birthday cake request. Oyster fritter from Brooks Tavern. Creative cocktails from Metropolitan in Annapolis. Subs from Wawa, where we stopped at least half a dozen times. We were on the road a lot, but at least there was always a Wawa nearby to keep us going. Sounds like a weird statement (if you haven't ever been to a Wawa) but best gas station food ever. Their made-to-order subs kick Subway's - oh, hola Moms. 

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