Saturday, March 29, 2008

Soup's On

Perry Hall
9533 Belair Road
Baltimore., Md 21236
Open Monday-Saturday 11 - 7
Closed Sundays

My mother was in town and we were out and about doing some basic mother/daughter shopping. I had come across this place over some reading at some point and when we were up that I was recalled it and thought we would check it out.

I am glad we did! They are a gourmet soup joint that makes freshly prepared soups each day. It is owned by brothers who are twins and they offer soups that are made all natural using no additives, preservatives or anything artificial. They even make their own stocks. All their soups are low sodium, use spices from around the world and contain no canned items. They do this with all of their 200 variety of soups.

All the soups can be purchased as a cup ($3), bowl ($4), and pint ($5) or in a combo ($7).

We decided to both get a combo. We got 1 combo that was soup/salad and 1 combo that was soup/sandwich and then split them both. We tried the Maryland Crab and the Cream of Tomato w/ Mascarpone Cheese.

They were both good. He said the crab soup used both back fin and claw meat. The crab soup was perfectly spiced and the tomato soup was very creamy and had a bit of sweetness and the perfect match of tartness I like in my tomato soup. The mascarpone cheese in the tomato soup added a great texture to the soup.

We had the Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwich. It was the best chicken salad sandwich I have ever had. The chicken was the perfect bit size pieces and was perfectly most. The pieces of red seedless grapes in it were wonderful addition! The roll was roll was very fresh.

We also had the Soup'R Salad w/ Toasted Walnuts, Red Seedless Grapes & Goat Cheese on Organic Greens in Balsamic Vinaigrette. This salad was perfect also and was very tasteful and nothing was overpowering (even the cheese).

It was served with a crostini (a plain and/or seeded toasted baguette sliced and brushed with olive oil and dusted with sea salt & cracked peppercorn, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and oatmeal). They make this on site and it was to die for! I could have eaten about 20 more of these!

The brothers have 2 locations: Perry Hall and Mount Vernon. The Mount Vernon location offers just soups and has more daily choices where as the Perry Hall location does the soups, salads and sandwiches.

The service was great! He explained all about their soups and let us try whatever ones we wanted. He understood were splitting it so served it to us so we could very easily. As were talking he explained they are looking to open in Towson and maybe Bel Air.

Our bill came to $16 for 2 combos and 2 bottled waters. I can’t wait to go back and try more soups and some of the chilled soups! We had leftover soups to take home and share with our husbands.

Soup's on in Perry Hall

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cooking for a good cause!

I was reading one of my fellow Foodbuzz featured publishers blog called Tales of a Culinary Novice and saw she had a post about this which I think is a great idea!

"Hunger affects more than 35 million people in America today. It's a challenge that requires constant attention and support, and as a food company, Barilla is in a unique position to help raise awareness and money through projects like The Celebrity Italian Cookbook. When you download a copy of The Celebrity Italian Table Cookbook, Barilla will donate $1, up to $100,000, to America's Second Harvest, a national charity that secures and distributes more than two billion pounds of food products annually."

You can download the cookbook here

Picnic in the Car

I love when spring starts showing itself. Today was one of those days. Since I am off for Spring Break since the city schools are closed this week I was able to have a “picnic” lunch with my husband on a whim today.

Now the meal was nothing gourmet but still it was perfect for our car picnic outside his work with the windows down and the moon roof open. I picked up some good Mac and Cheese from Noodles & Company with their parmesan crusted chicken. For dessert we had one of their huge Rice Krispy Treats. We washed it all down with an Arizona Ice tea- Green Tea. It was perfect for today!

So I am ready for the warm weather to come around and enjoy more picnics and outdoor dining.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jasmine Tea

Ok this has nothing to do with a place to eat. I was out in Portland, OR this past weekend for my Uncle's 75th birthday. Another Uncle and Cousin of mine were in China in December. They brought back with them something that I fell in love with... a Jasmine Tea Flower. It is long green tealeaves tied together, formed and dried around a flower center that "blooms". Then you just put one at the bottom of a pot and add hot water and enjoy the show.

We were talking and thought a nice glass pitcher and these tea balls would make a great house gift. And another thought was to put them in a bowl at the center of your table and let it seep as you eat- your guest could watch as it "blooms" as they eat. I would add it right after the toast or something. Then serve it later.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Fogo de Chao

600 E. Pratt St., Ste. 102
Baltimore, MD 21202

So after reaching out to everyone about this place we head there ourselves. I called Thursday to make reservations and was told anytime before 5:00 (they open at 4:30) and anytime after 9:00. So we were already downtown all day so we said 4:30. There weren't many open tables at 4:30. My husband and I were very lucky (at least we thought) because we got a table that is right up against their wine cellar. They offer many different varieties of wines from domestic to European to South American to Australian and Italian wines.

Instead of ordering from a traditional menu, Fogo de Chão offers a prix-fixed system where guests can sample the entire menu, or just focus on their favorite items. The menu features unlimited servings of 15 different delectable cuts of fire-roasted meats, a sumptuous buffet of gourmet salads and fresh-cut vegetables, and a variety of Brazilian side dishes. Each guest uses a two-sided disk to control the pace of their meal. The green side signals the Gaucho chefs to bring out skewers meats to carve at the table. The red side indicates a stopping point. Turning back to green lets the Gaucho chefs know to start offering the meats again. So I recommend not eating anytime soon before you come!

The salad bar was the most gourmet salad bar I have ever seen. It had some many things are it from smoked salmon, proccito, sin-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, green and white asparagus and the best Caesar salad dressing I have ever had. After you sit down they explain how things work and tell you that you can go to the salad bar as many times as you want- 1 trip to taste the things was more than enough for me with everything else!

Once you turn your disc green you are in for food a plenty! They first bring side dishes of warm cheese bread, fried bananas, crispy hot polenta and seasoned mashed potatoes. The fried bananas were wonderful. Neither of us was very impressed with the mashed potatoes (they were very thing).

Then came the meat… and man let me tell you- between the 2-3 people who take care of you and the men who bring the meat around they move... they are constituently dogging each other but their wasn't one spill! Some of our favorite of the 5 different types of meat were the fillet mignon wrapped in bacon, Beef Ancho (rib-eye), and our favorite was Picanha (sirloin seasoned with sea alt or garlic).

Overall we extremely enjoyed ourselves even though we were full to the brim! If you are against buffet and all you can eat places this is not where like those places to don't pass it up! Before we left I have the opportunity to talk to the manager. As we were talking I was blown away over a statement he said: We were joking about a service to roll you to your car and his reply was if he gave me one I would have to come back at the end of the night and get him to his car because they would have over 1,000 people in that night!

So save your pennies ($45 a person for dinner w/out drinks) and GO!

Fogo de Chao in Baltimore

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