Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Good Morning Baltimore....

Between the two of us our vacation included traveling between 10 states, 2200 miles in the car, waiting in airports and being away from our homes for a combined total of 20 days- all of which can spell disaster to a clean healthy eating routine- luckily by planning ahead and bringing our favorite snacks from home we were able to splurge on good restaurants and good desserts rather than wasting our money and calories on crappy snacks & convenience foods.

Our Hotel Pantry 
We always made sure to grab fresh bananas and apples form the hotel lobby and we didn’t go anywhere without packs of Justin’s Nut Butter in our bags.  We had enough Lara and Mojo bars to feed an army and had plenty of roasted almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas (mexican pumpkin seeds) and organic dark chocolate.  Once we bought it all and got organized it was so much easier, and cheaper, than running out every time we were hungry or being tempted by late night pizza parties. 

Part of what made our trip so much fun was exploring all the local restaurants and stores.  Neither of us are big on chains and through internet research, urbanspoon apps and reviews and suggestions from our friends we really found some unique spots. 

Chiapparelli's in Little Italy

In Little Italy we went the charming Chiapparelli's at the suggestion of 3 older Italian men sitting on the stoop outside their row house.  Our waitress brought us each out a loaf of bread.  We each had some (how could we not, our waitress had made it that morning in the restaurant!) but like all things, we had it in moderation.  I had the broccoli rabe & sausage with homemade pasta and Carrie tried the ricotta & spinach ravioli’s.  They both came with huge salads.   

For dessert we checked out Glarus Chocolatier and got some truffles and a dark chocolate sea salt bar.  The owners make the chocolates by hand in their shop and don't use high fructose corn syrup (aka...poison) and named the store after his father’s hometown in Switzerland.  There was no waxiness, it was just pure heaven.  They also ship online orders, which is a good thing because that sea salt bar was amazing!
Sharing our Ice Cream

We worked up an appetite staring at cute Navy boys at the Academy and needed to cool off with a sweet treat.  We were thrilled to find the Annapolis Ice Cream Company that doesn’t use high fructose corn syrup and makes all of their ice creams on site.  The best part was they let us get 1/2 scoops, and since we love all the same flavors we enjoyed caramel with sea salt, brownie batter, and coconut chocolate chip.  Big smiles from both of us!

We found The Dogwood Restaurant in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore and were thrilled to arrive during Restaurant Week.  It was a nice surprise to enjoy this farm to table restaurant and get a full appetizer, entrée and dessert for $30, but we would gladly go back and pay full price. 

We started off with Bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeños on baby arugula salad with jicama and sweet and spicy chiles and Seared chincoteague day boat scallops with grilled zucchini succotash, virginia prosciutto and a cannellini bean pureé; and that was just the appetizers! Our entrees were Spiced lamb borek with shenandoah lamb seasoned with north African spices and ginger, wrapped in phyllo with spinach and feta cheese and served with cucumber tzatziki salad and a
Grass fed beef tender, potato stuffed with chevre and roasted carrots.
We devoured our desserts so quickly I don't have a photo of the Key Lime Pie and Carrot Cake, both made with local ingredients. 

Check back later this week for a post from Carrie on some of other adventures.   

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