July 14, 2008

Liquid Earth

1626 Aliceanna Street
Baltimore, Md 21231

I have found Vegetarian heaven in the form of Liquid Earth. Liquid Earth is located in Fell's Point directly across the street from the very popular Blue Moon Café. I find this to be particularly funny because Blue Moon Café is known for using tons of butter and meat while Liquid Earth boasts fresh, natural and vegetarian menu options.

I had been meaning to try this place for awhile now but it wasn't a big priority since they didn't appear to be a restaurant to me. We were looking for a place to grab lunch on Sunday and generally just pick up a sandwich from Whole Foods. On this particular day, Whole Foods was out of my fave sandwich so fate led me to Liquid Earth.

When you walk into Liquid Earth, it's very charming. You can tell the owners are big believers of reusing and recycling as none of the chairs match, there are a lot of interesting knick-knacks and my coffee was even served in a mug you would generally find in someone's home (and not just a plain old white mug or a specific restaurant mug). I liked this place already.

There is a large chalkboard that features all of their drinks/juices and it can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily the staff is very patient and very friendly. We sat down to eat our lunch and I was thrilled that I had more than 2 options to choose from! They had a section on their menu dubbed "Vegetarian" and one dubbed "Vegan". While the Vegan side is a bit smaller, there is a note under the Vegetarian section that you can substitute Vegan cheese for a slight increase in cost.

I ordered the Raw Vegetarian Roll which is described as an "oversized spinach flour tortilla layered with hummus, slivered red cabbage, organic carrot strips, organic sprouts, cucumbers, green bell peppers, radish and button mushrooms". I was surprised by the size of this meal and appreciated the presentation. And the taste? Incredibly light and fresh. I was practically licking my plate clean.

My husband ordered the Liquid Earth Club. This vegan sandwich consists of their organic fake bacon organic baby field greens, red onion, avocado, sprouts and tomatoes stacked on multigrain bread with Nayonnaise (vegan mayo). My husband enjoyed his sandwich and agreed that he would come back to Liquid Earth (and this is a big deal since he's a meat-eater!).

I ordered a cup of coffee with soy milk and my husband decided to go for one of their juice drinks. He tried the Facelifter (honeydew melon, mint, ginger, orange and grapefruit). They served it in a measuring cup and a glass. I liked this presentation because it gave you an idea of how much you're drinking. I took a sip of this drink and loved the light fruitiness of it. It's a great summertime drink.

Before we left, we noticed they had a large display of desserts. We decided to try a vegan chocolate chip cookie and a vegan oatmeal raisin cookie. Delish! You wouldn't even guess they were vegan.

Overall - I would definitely recommend this place and it will probably become a regular Sunday lunch spot for me. If you're not so into the vegetarian thing, you should at least stop by for a juice! Maybe next time you're waiting in the ridiculously long line at Blue Moon Café, you can pop in for a juice.

The only thing to keep in mind is that this place is CASH ONLY. But being in Fell's Point, there are ATMs abound so there is no real inconvenience.

July 11, 2008

Jack's Bistro

3123 Elliott St
Baltimore, MD 21224

I had heard a lot of good reviews from friend's about this fairly new Canton neighborhood restaurant. I was pretty excited when my friends agreed to meet up for dinner here.

It's a cute little corner bar/restaurant with lots of kitschy-ish and swanky-ish artwork/décor all around. I can't think of a good word to describe it so you're stuck with those words. While we were waiting on one person to arrive, 3 of us sat at the bar to enjoy their Happy Hour special:

2 happy hours every day- 5pm-7pm and 11pm-1am
$2 off apps, beer and glasses of wine

My friend was drinking beer from the cutest little glass featuring an owl on it and being the true beer connosieur that I am, I decided to give it a go. I hope you picked up on the sarcasm - I picked a beer based on its graphic. Come on! Hitachino Nest-White Ale ($6.50). It was a very light Japanese beer and it didn't disappoint this non-beer drinking gal. But I think the cute little glass helped.

My husband tried the Rogue Smoke House Beer and said it reminded him of a campfire. I don't know if that's good or bad but the other word used to describe it was "bacon" so I didn't try it.

Because we were starving, we split an appetizer of grilled cheese and tomatoes. I'm not sure what the cheese was (provolone, maybe?) but we were served 2 mini grilled cheese sandwiches that appeared to have been cut from the bread with a biscuit cutter on top of a layer of tomato soup. It was very creamy and very good.

When our friend arrived, we all sat down in one of the booths and continued drinking and eating. I was told that we had to try the Mac and Cheese and Chocolate ($8.50). It consists of: Shell pasta, 5 cheese sauce, And Belgian Milk Chocolate. Sounds gross, doesn't it? It was actually pretty good. Weird but good. I don't think I could have eaten an entire bowl of it but it was the perfect appetizer to split with another person.

My friend ordered a tomato and mozzarella tower app that was also delicious. I'm not sure what the official name of this appetizer was but it was tomatoes stacked on top of mozzarella cheese. You know what I'm talking about!

We were also served some rolls with a homemade horseradish/cheese spread. Delish.

For dinner, I ordered the Bohdi Dal ($14). It is the only vegetarian entrée the offer and it consists of mild Indian curry, lentils, squash, tomatoes, and pita bread. Very good! It wasn't too spicy but it wasn't bland at all. It was the perfect balance for my palate.

I also ordered a side of the battered eggplant fries ($6) because it sounded interesting. I love eggplant so I was curious was eggplant fries would taste like. Salty friend deliciousness. Order some!

My husband ordered hangar steak (I think) and enjoyed it very much.

My friends ordered the Bistro Crab Cake ($18.75) that contained Dijon horseradish sauce, salsify fritter, and purple Okinawa yams as well as the BBQ'd Short Rib ($17.50) with Merlot Dijon BBQ sauce, French coleslaw, jalapeno, bacon and smoked gouda grits.

Everyone was quite satisfied with their meals and I saved enough room for dessert. S'mores. Yes, you read that correctly - they have a s'mores dessert!

It's a marshallow coated in graham cracker crumbs and covered in chocolate sauce. Talk about amazing. It's also served with chocolate ice cream. I was in heavan!

As for the service…
The bar service was good. Our bartender was nice and mentioned that the cute little Japanese beer glasses were the only 2 they had. Perhaps she overheard me gushing over the glasses and said it as a warning to not take one home with me. Ha!

The beer my husband had ordered wasn't chilled yet so she said she'd put one on ice for him while she got him something else and I thought it was nice of her.

Our table service was good but the server was just a little strange. I can't complain too much though because he was quick and attentive.

Overall - I'd definitely recommend this place to anyone. Next time you're in Canton, you should drop by. Just note that they only accept reservations for parties of 6 or more people. However, we dined there on a Thursday night with no problem (there were only 4 of us).