Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eating in August

We're more than halfway through the CSA hiatus, and to say that I've been eating well for the past few weeks would be an understatement.  I will say that this is one of the best times of the year for food, between vacation, festivals, and eating out just because. There's something about the time before the students return and while everyone is regrouping for fall that makes me feel lucky to not have to think about school for myself or anyone else.  It's almost as if I have an extra few weeks of summer to enjoy.

Going to the grocery store at the beach is more fun for some reason (Davy said it first and I agree wholeheartedly).  We ate very well in the Outer Banks: roast chicken, lobster, grilled soft shell crabs and tuna, homemade pizza, and a summery risotto that I think was one of my best.  Local tomatoes, green beans, corn and chicken sausage from Harris Teeter were wonderful together with the creamy rice and parmesan cheese.  The kernels of corn added the perfect amount of sweetness to the dish, and also gave it another layer of texture that was very pleasant.  

Lately we've been having a hard time picking places to go for brunch.  A lot of the fan restaurants don't change their menu and we've gone often enough to get sick of them.  Kitchen 64 is good, but we often leave disappointed and feel that it should have been better.  A couple weekends ago we made our way to Tarrant's for Saturday brunch.  I had a Greek omelet with large chunks of feta, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, tomato, and roasted red peppers.  There were delicious red potato homefries and fresh fruit on the side.  The omelet had three eggs and the plate was huge, but $9.95 still seemed a little pricey to me. Even the brunch menu is more expensive than the dinner menu, it's definitely worth a return trip, especially since the options are more varied than our regular brunch spots.   

Later that day, in the spirit of branching out, I experimented with a new lemonade recipe I'd seen online.  It's not pretty, but the "Balsamic Lemonade Cocktail" is refreshing and tart, with a little added richness from the vinegar.  Essentially, this is homemade lemonade with vodka and 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, but it's tasty enough and different enough to become a mainstay.

Our trip to Tarrant's was a result of going to Black Sheep, finding a long wait, and being too hungry to stay.  The same thing happened recently when we tried to go for dinner.  Neither of us had the patience to wait for thirty-forty minutes for a table, and we detoured to Ipanema Cafe.  I happen to love the mostly vegetarian menu and the basement atmosphere there.  They have great drink specials, especially from 5-7 p.m., and there are always good beers on tap.  As an added bonus, one of the servers was a girl who used to work at Bev's when Davy and I were going regularly (and I'm not embarrassed to say she knew our order).  We ordered beers at the bar and were seated within five minutes.  Davy went with the tried and true grilled cheese, and I ate the chili and corn gratin over rice and lentils, which was unique and delicious. 

The Hanover Firefighters Crab Feast has been a highlight of my summer (year?) twice before, and this year's event did not disappoint.  The crabs seemed to be sweeter and meatier this year, and there were endless amounts of them.  

We were also fortunate enough to eat crabs at our friend Keith's the following day, which were even better because he steamed them himself. The Old Bay-style seasoning he got with them was a perfect blend of spiciness and sweetness, and eating crabs twice in one weekend is the best possible way to end the summer.  If it's really over, that is.  I may try to stretch it for few more weeks.

1 comment:

Summer said...

hehe, you have crabs :)