that's forking good

adventures in a culinary neophyte's kitchen

Archive for the ‘dining’ Category

tbt: Blue Moon Cafe

Posted by culinaryneophyte on December 11, 2014

Blue Moon Cafe Captain Crunch WafflesThe first place I remember seeing featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” was a breakfast spot in Baltimore that had a female owner with a rock-and-roll personality and a menu full of crazy, drool-worthy meals. I sat there thinking, “If I ever open a restaurant, THIS is what I would want it to be.” And when I had the opportunity to finally visit Blue Moon Cafe in Fell’s Point last month, that feeling only grew.

I’m not usually a waffle/pancake person when I’m out to breakfast, but there was no way I wasn’t getting the as-seen-on-TV Captain Crunch French toast. I’d been dreaming about this thing for, like, five years. I can still taste the sweet, buttery goodness… the tart berries… the fresh whipped cream. You need this. YOU. NEED. THIS.

The decor was funky and the attitude was relaxed. We thankfully got there just before a big rush of people (on a Monday morning, even!), or we would have been waiting out in the cold; there isn’t much seating, let alone room to congregate. When we sat down, I wasn’t too excited to be right next to the front door, but I would gladly take the occasional whoosh of cold air over 30+ minutes sitting in it. I may have felt a little guilty gleefully stuffing French toast in my mouth while the frozen latecomers gazed longingly from the park bench outside. My bad, guys.

Our one mistake was not ordering the Sweet Baby Jesus as our other meal. We saw an enormous plate of hash browns, crab meat, eggs and hollandaise sauce pass by our table, and thought, “SWEET BABY JES–ooh, I get it now.” Yeah. Next time.


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staying classy in San Diego

Posted by culinaryneophyte on October 29, 2012

One of the reasons I did the GM diet/cleanse when I did was because I was a week away from leaving for a business trip to San Diego and knew I would be eating like a queen, but working 17-hour days and not getting a chance to exercise; I figured it would help me feel a little less guilty about all the calories if I had that 6-pound buffer. Really, I should have done it before and after because man did I eat…

Two recommendations I got before departing – Mexican and seafood. I did a little of both, and sometimes within the same dish. Here’s a little food porn for you, West Coast style. Feel free to drool. I did. Repeatedly.

Cafe 21: Frittata with prosciutto, heirloom tomatoes, cremini mushrooms and cheese; toast; fresh fruit and a glass of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice.

Fred’s Mexican Cafe: Surf & turf enchilada with ranchero and suiza sauces; black beans; and queso fresco.

Harbor’s Edge Restaurant, San Diego Sheraton: Cioppino, Italian-American stew with lobster, crab, prawn, mussels and oysters.

Las Hadas: Enchilada del mar with fresh broiled lobster and shrimp rolled in a handmade crepe, topped with green tomatillo and avocado; black beans; and queso fresco.

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pizza makes it all better

Posted by culinaryneophyte on September 20, 2012

I guess my “I’m going to post more” timing wasn’t the best, considering I’m packing my apartment and moving twice within in the next few weeks (long story), but here’s some food porn to whet your appetite: spinach pie from Manco & Manco in Ocean City, N.J. Formerly Mack & Manco, this place has been a destination for me on every trip to the Jersey Shore for as long as I can remember, and with good reason. Up until recently, I had only had their standard plain pie, but I highly recommend the spinach. And don’t get all bummed that it’s almost fall and you won’t have a chance to get down there; at least one of their locations stays open all winter long for you to get your Manco fix.

No recipe today, but hopefully this will hold you over for now. Consider it a “piece” offering.


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brunch at Supper

Posted by culinaryneophyte on June 25, 2012

If I’m going to be terrible and neglect my food blogging duties during these busy summer months, I might as well post periodic food porn. Here are a few shots from a recent brunch I had with my friend Laura at Supper in Philadelphia. Brunch at Supper. Makes sense, I know.


Cheers! Laura’s mimosa and my drink, which for some reason was called the Danny DeVito.


The Hoboken Benny: two fried eggs, taylor ham, smoked mozzarella, garlic pizza knots, basil hollandaise and tomato jam.


Red Velvet Waffles with sweet cream cheese mousse, toasted pecans and molasses bourbon cherries.

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that’s how I ‘roll’

Posted by culinaryneophyte on April 8, 2012

I like to try new things, and often I’m met with “eww, that sounds gross” when my menu selection goes off the beaten path. Such was the case last Friday when I hit PYT with a few of my friends. I opted for their special “Philly Roll” burger with cream cheese, smoked salmon, fresh cucumbers and a pinch of seaweed. When it arrived at the table, everyone took a taste. When their disgust turned to jealousy, I retorted, “Fortune favors the bold.” That’s how I roll.


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pretty young takeout

Posted by culinaryneophyte on January 13, 2012

My friends and I had another fantastic meal at my favorite Philly burger place, PYT, this weekend. Check out Randi’s s’more milkshake and my Chinese Takeout Burger, a fried chicken patty in a sweet and sour chile sauce topped with cabbage, cucumber and scallions and finished with fried wonton strips. (It even came with a fortune cookie!) If you live within 50 miles of this place, you must go.

After our meal, we journeyed across the Piazza for gelato only to find — gasp! — Nana Petrillo’s is closed this month and next. I swore there was another place for us to find sweets, so we continued down a side street full of shops until we stumbled upon Sweet Spot Cafe. I fell in love with the place as soon as we entered — mostly because there was a list of at least 20 crazy-flavored lattes on the wall. I opted for red velvet (pictured below), and it did not disappoint. My coffee-loving friend, Laura, bit on the barista’s sales pitch about the “purest cup of coffee in the world,” and we sat in awe of the siphoned coffee science experiment that took place at the bar. Thought it took a bit for her to be able to drink (it comes out at 270 degrees, after all), she reported back that it was in fact the best cup of coffee she’s ever tasted.

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