The Adventures of Irish Chip and American Fry

TheLocalFryOL_B

September is my favorite month of the year! (I know it is now nearing the end of October, but I wanted to give my favorite month a proper goodbye and thank you before it got too late!) I feel like good things always happen in September…I mean my brother and I were both born in September (scratch that, GREAT THINGS happen in September!! HOLLA! ūüėČ ūüėČ ūüėČ HAHA. Joking aside, this September in particular was exceptional¬†as we got¬†the¬†green light for a very special project we’ve been working on for some time! If you’ve been following me on facebook and twitter, you’ll know that Kevin and I¬†are opening a Specialty Fry Shop¬†called ‘THE LOCAL FRY’ in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Baltimore, MD.

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bean hollow

dirty chai and cappuccino

Anytime I’m¬†in Ellicott City and in need of a hot cuppa, I¬†head over to the Bean Hollow¬†on Main Street in Old Ellicott City. I grew up nearby¬†and I’ve been going to this spot since high school. It was Riverside Coffee then.¬†It’s a great local coffee shop that’s very cozy and welcoming. I wish there were more gems like the Bean Hollow around the suburbs. I’m not going to lie, I’m a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee addict and I will get an occasional specialty drink from Starbucks. But if I had the choice between big corporate coffee retail outlets¬†or the small independent¬†local coffee shop, I’ll always choose the latter. Having said¬†that, I won’t go to any ol’ mom and pop shop. The local joints have to be good! There are so many big corporate franchises or generic average places around.¬†You¬†have to really care about what you’re selling and¬†offer a good product, then I will be your lifelong loyal fan and customer! (more…)

the food market

amish pretzels

Sunday brunch is a meal I enjoy very much and yesterday’s brunch was especially¬†enjoyable with Kevin’s brother joining us from Ireland. He was passing through Baltimore for less than 24 hours. Very short visit! Wish he could’ve stayed longer! We¬†planned to go out for Korean BBQ as soon as he got in Saturday¬†night, but we could tell he was pretty wrecked¬†from all the traveling. So instead, we had a quiet night in with Five Guys bacon cheeseburgers and fries and a nice bottle of red wine. It was a lovely night catching up on everything that’s been going on back home since our last visit. It’s funny listening to Kevin and his brother talk and joke around. It was like we were back in Ireland! Maybe I’m just used to Kevin’s accent or (oh, Kevin’s not going to like me saying this…) maybe Kevin is sounding more American ūüėČ , but I find their accents to be very different from each other. It took me a good 15 minutes to adjust my ears to understand what my¬†brother-in-law¬†was saying¬†HAHA. (more…)

making kimchi with mom

A few weeks ago, I promised my nephew, Joseph, that¬†Kevin and I would be on the sidelines at his next soccer game. That Friday night, I forgot to set my alarm and by the time I got up from bed,¬†his game¬†had already finished. When I spoke with my brother later in the week, he mentioned that Joseph kept looking over his shoulder for us. It broke my heart! So last Saturday, I made sure to wake up on time and watch my soccer star play. His team did so well! He ran over to us after the match with his arms wide open and gave us the biggest hug. “Gomo, we crushed them!” “You did bud, great job!” By the way, my nephews call me Gomo, it’s Korean for aunt (Dad’s sister). As we were walking back to our cars, my brother mentioned¬†getting tickets to the Orioles playoff games. Go O’s! “I’d love to go!” I said. To that, my brother responded, “Sorry lis, I was talking to Kevin!”……. Oh!……….. I see how it is… Suddenly, flashbacks of my childhood popped into my head. (more…)

bookmakers cocktail club

cocktails collageOne of the biggest things I miss about living in a city is going out for drinks without worrying over¬†how I’d get back home. I love me a good cocktail or a nice glass of wine (or 2 or 3). Since moving back stateside, unless someone else is driving, we¬†usually take turns drinking so that one of us can drive us both safely home.¬†My friend suggested we try Uber.¬†I¬†hear people use Uber and taxi services all the time. I don’t know why but I’m not completely comfortable taking a taxi from the suburbs to the city, but that’s just me being weird. I will definitely have to give it a try. I was hoping maybe I could convince Kevin to just move into the city instead. Perhaps¬†a place in Fed Hill with a roof top terrace – dinner parties with a view! What do you think Kevin? ūüėČ I know I know, not going to happen anytime soon.

Speaking of Fed Hill, have you been recently? Loads of new businesses are set to open there like Blue Moon Cafe, Cross Bar, and The Local Fry. I follow a bunch of Baltimore restaurants and bars on twitter and a few weeks ago, I saw that Bookmakers Cocktail Club was finally opening it’s doors for their soft opening. We were planning to go into the city to meet up a friend anyway, so we arranged to meet at Bookmakers. (more…)

bangers and mash

bangers and mash

Every few months, I place a rather large order on Tommy Moloney’s online shop for Irish speciality meats and products. I order corned beef, cocktail sausages, breakfast sausages,¬†rashers (Irish bacon), black pudding and white pudding. Before I knew about the site, whenever we’d have a taste for something Irish, I’d either have to make it from scratch (so basically just shepherd’s pie)¬†or go out to James Joyce Irish pub in Harbor East. They do a delicious Irish potato soup and I really like their bangers and mash with onion gravy. By the way, bangers are¬†Irish style sausages. Funny name, I know ūüėČ (more…)

donut shack

our donuts

I woke up this morning craving iced coffee and a glazed donut. There’s a Dunkin’ Donuts just up the road, but I was thinking of¬†something more special from the Donut Shack in Severna Park, MD.¬†Kevin got up before me (like every morning) and when I went downstairs he already had a pot of tea made for us. ūüôā Maybe we’ll swing by the Donut Shack later in the day.¬†Oh wait! It’s Sunday, football’s on all day! Will have to trick Kevin into leaving the house. (more…)

thai house restaurant

green papaya

On our way home from the gym yesterday, Kevin mentioned how he could go for a big plate of spicy green papaya salad. Mmm. I said ‘OKAY! Let’s go for some Thai!’ Of¬†course, he¬†was only being a tease. ūüôĀ HAHA.¬†It’s probably better that we didn’t eat out. I have all sorts of fresh produce and meat in the fridge that I need to use up first. But ever since he mentioned that papaya salad,¬†I can’t help but crave Thai food.

To be honest, I can’t remember the last time we had Thai for dinner. Portland maybe? Wow, was Portland really the last time? Kevin, can we go out for Thai this week? ūüėČ (more…)

branzino

potatoes and grilled branzino

Do people still have house warming parties? I remember going to so many house warmings and open houses as a kid. There would be elaborate buffets of food and a pastor would come and bless the house. I was taught to¬†formally greet adults when we’d go out. I would greet any and every adult I saw at these open houses. It was¬†funny to hear them tell me how much I had grown, especially because I’m sure they didn’t have a clue who I was. Like seriously, I don’t know you! HAHA. Last summer, my friend and I went for a hike in Patapsco Park and we ran into a woman who looked like my other friend’s mom. We went over to say hello¬†and she was like ‘oh you’re here, it’s great to see you, have a good hike.’ As soon as we walked away from her, my friend and I turned to each other ‘Uh, that wasn’t her mom! HAHA. Who was that?’ Anyway, as an adult, I feel like I’ve only been to one or two house warming parties. Maybe it’s not as big a deal anymore. When we moved into our current house, we didn’t have a formal house warming. Our first guest was my mom. We prepared a lovely meal and had her¬†over for lunch. This is a photo from that day. (more…)

tonkatsu

tonkatsu salad rice

So much for a week of Irish food…

Let’s see. I did a pork roast, made a few loaves of brown bread, had smoked salmon, drank pots and pots of tea and ate chocolate biscuits. Chocolate biscuits are considered Irish no? I have this thing where I can’t go without Asian food for more than a few days. I mean, I could but… for instance,¬†I could be in Italy enjoying the most amazing seafood¬†or pastas¬†everyday on holiday, but as soon as I get back home, the¬†first meal has to be¬†something Korean. In a strange way, the stinky kimchi, soups, stews, grilled meats, marinated vegetables and white rice cleanse my palate. WHAT?!?!¬†Am I the only one who’s like this? It’s kind of weird if you think about it because I was born and raised here in the states and although I did grow up with Korean food, I probably ate just as much American food, if not more. I wonder why I don’t crave burgers as soon as I land? Anyway, while I attempted to go the whole week making/eating at least one Irish meal a day, we ended up eating out a bit more than usual and when I did cook, I made foods from all over the place.¬†My themed weeks haven’t been very consistent this time around. I mean to call¬†it Irish¬†week and only make two¬†dishes…? tsk tsk tsk. Must do better next time! (more…)