It had been a while since Alex and I enjoyed a night out at a fancy restaurant. Our 4th anniversary was the perfect excuse! We always trust the Washingtonian’s 100 Best Restaurant List for recommendations on where to go if we want a delicious dinner for a special occasion. You might laugh at this, but I always do a thorough investigation of many restaurants before making a reservation. I read through the menus, check locations, etc.. I think it’s fun to do, and we don’t get out as much as we used to, so I want to make sure I choose the perfect place. For our anniversary, we chose to spend the evening at Del Campo in Northwest Washington, DC.
Del Campo is a South American Restaurant specializing in steaks and slow roasted meats. Their mouth watering meats are accompanied by beautiful herb sauces; such as chimichurris and salsas. The chef/owner Victor Albisu, really lets his Peruvian roots shine through, not only on the dinner menu, but in the largely South American wine selection as well. Let me show you what Alex and I enjoyed on our wonderful evening at Del Campo.
We started by ordering drinks. Alex went with his pretty standard Margarita and I asked the waiter’s recommendation for a cocktail. He suggested the Basil Mule, so that’s what I got. It’s made of basil infused Titos Vodka, raspberry – passion fruit, fresh lime juice, and ginger beer. I love this cocktail and happily sipped on it throughout our meal.
While we looked over the menu, fresh bread was delivered to our table. This bread was delicious and had a charred smoky flavor. It was served with olive oil for dipping. I will never turn down bread!
It’s appetizer time! We ordered the King Crab and Shrimp Empanadas and the Provoleta. The Empanadas were served on a curried squash puree and topped with a peanut cabbage slaw. These were delicious and not to mention beautiful. I loved all the different textures on the plate: the crispy empanada dough, the smooth puree, and the slight crunch of the slaw. All of those components together were the perfect bite.
The first ever Great American Food Truck Festival happened in Carroll County, Maryland this past weekend! I saw this event come up on Facebook a few months back and I knew right away we HAD to attend. I bought the tickets and I had been anxiously awaiting ever since. Sunday was the day! We arrived early and got in line. We could see the food trucks from afar and started devising a plan (yes, we took this very seriously). Also, at this point we were on the verge of hangry (so hungry you get angry) because we had eaten light that morning in preparation (again, yes very serious).
After much debating and menu paroozing (not how you spell it), we picked our first truck! CapMac was our first stop. How could you not want to visit the Capital of Macaroni? I ordered the Local Duck Confit as a pasta and Alex went with the Bolognese. We found a table to sit at and took our first bite…..wow! I am a huge fan of Duck Confit so this pasta was perfect for me. It was packed with duck meat and also had braised greens, squash, gouda cheese, and was topped with bread crumbs and sun dried tomatoes. I’m in love! The Bolognese was also delicious. I am not usually a huge red sauce fan but this one had tons of flavor. With beef from Creekstone Farms, tomatoes, root vegetables, red wine, fresh cream, and parmesan cheese it had be coming back for me. Luckily, Alex didn’t mind sharing 🙂
Our next stop was The Pretzel Lady. The twins love soft pretzels so we wanted to get them a treat. We got one soft pretzel for them to share (and of course for us to try) and we also got their fresh squeezed lemonade. The pretzel was delicious. Alex thought it rivaled the soft pretzels we always get in Lancaster, PA (that’s a big compliment). The lemonade is the kind I search for but rarely find. The perfect mix of sour and sweet. I could drink that all day long! We came back for two more cups of it later on.
While the kids happily ate their pretzel, we moved on to the next truck. At The Broken Fork we ordered the Fish Tacos which came served with cabbage and a slightly spicy sauce. Big pieces of tender white fish were seasoned well and these really took me back to when I discovered fish tacos on our honeymoon almost four years ago.
Next stop, Tacos El Rey. When I see authentic Papusas on the menu I have to give them a try. We tried both the Cheese and Pork Papusas. Man, were they good, some of the best I have had. I have only ever had cheese papusas but now I am wondering why I haven’t tried the ones with pork filling before, of course that would be amazing! I still have a dream of making authentic homemade papusas in my kitchen….one day! I was also impressed with their service. They had a very long line but served up our food quickly. Thank you!
At this point we are feeling full, very full, but we wanted to make sure we gave the Kommie Pig truck a try. The twins were getting restless, it was now way past naptime, so we went for a walk and left Alex to do the ordering. He chose the Porky Fries. These fries were loaded with shredded pork, bbq sauce, onions, and cheese sauce. If I wasn’t totally stuffed I could have eaten much more of this than I did. Neither of us are huge fans of cheese sauce but that didn’t stop us from putting a dent in it. We almost finished all of it.
Well hello gigantic sweet tooth! After all that delicious savory food my sweet tooth needed a treat. There were a few trucks to choose from and of course I couldn’t just visit one, I visited two. First up, La Cakerie. I’m sure what initially drove me to this truck was the bright color, oh and the fact that so many people were walking around with delicious looking cupcakes. Once I walked up to the truck I realized La Cakerie has been on many Food Network shows, which is pretty cool! I am a big Food Network fan, so if they like your baking I’m sure I will too. I chose four cupcakes: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Chocolate Fudge, Cake Wars Winner, and Red Velvet. These beauties went home with me where I had a little photo shoot and then tasted (how did I even have self control for that?)
Time to taste test. The Chocolate Fudge and Cake Wars Winners were my favorite. Super moist and the icing was almost fluffy. Delicious! The Pumpkin Cheesecake…..I wanted to love this one I really did, it is pumpkin season after all, but I thought it was just okay. Maybe the name threw me off and I wanted it to be actual cheesecake. The Red Velvet was also very good. I only got one little bite of it before Alex inhaled it :). Overall, very impressed!
For myself, I chose the Blueberry Pancake Cupcake. This one made it home for a photo shoot as well and I had to laugh when I cut it open. I thought, I’m going to take a picture of the blueberries inside, that will be a nice shot, and there it was. One lone blueberry. But you know what, after tasting it, I didn’t care! This cupcake was amazing! It tasted exactly like a blueberry pancake. It’s like I was eating a stack of pancakes with butter and syrup. I don’t know how they did it and I wish I had bought a few more of these. Yum!
We had such a great time at the Great American Food Truck Festival! We really enjoyed being able to get dishes from multiple food trucks that are very good at what they do. I hope this will be an annual event!
Food Trucks we visited:
The Pretzel Lady
I visited Gunpowder Bison and Trading Co. almost two months ago (Time is flying. I can’t believe it’s been that long) and I am just now getting this post up. Shame on me! Better late than never I suppose….I just have so many delicious recipes and places I want to share I am having a hard time fitting it all in. Well here I am to finally show you this beautiful bison farm in Monkton, Maryland.
Gunpowder Bison and Trading Co. (GBT) all started when the owner Trey Lewis took his hobby and passion for raising bison and turned it into a business. He currently has 80 head of bison that he raises in the rolling hills of Monkton. The bison are turned out in large pastures where they are mainly grass fed until it’s time to go to the market. When a calf is about two years old, it will be taken to a processing plant in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where it turns into some delicious cuts of meat (don’t make me say how).
When we pulled in to this beautiful farm, my mom and I were in awe. The sign at the road clearly tells you, you are in the right place but you may question it because it’s seems like you are in a neighborhood. You drive down a long paved driveway past houses and fields filled with bison. Then pull up to this amazing barn. Let’s all take a minute to gawk at this barn………come on……that could be my house. I wouldn’t mind at all 🙂 In the barn there is a shop where you can purchase their meat as well as some other cool products.
GBT offers many different cuts of bison: roasts, steaks, sausages, burgers, ribs, etc. You are sure to find something to take home and cook that the whole family will enjoy. Bison meat is not only delicious but it is good for you too. It is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. You cook with it just like you would ground beef but it cooks up quicker because it has a lower fat content.
Did you know?
- Bison and Buffalo are the same animal.
- American bison can reach speeds of 35mph.
- Bison are North America’s largest land animals. Standing 6-6.5 feet tall and weighing 2,000 pounds.
- A bison’s hump is composed of muscle, supporting a long vertebrae. It allows the animal to use it’s head to plow through snow.
They don’t only carry bison meat. You can find a variety of local products like sauces, seasonings, and pickled vegetables.
I couldn’t wait to get back to my kitchen and cook up some of my purchases. First, I grilled up some Bison Cheese and Jalapeno Franks. We loved these. Lots of smoky flavor and just enough spice but not overwhelming.
I decided to use the ground bison I purchased in Clean Eating Bison Chili. I found the recipe on the blog Kim’s Cravings and it was delicious. I changed a few of the ingredients to accommodate what I had on hand and in my garden. I think bison meat has so much more flavor than ground beef and gave the chili extra richness. The meat was also slightly gamey tasting which I love!
Gunpowder Bison and Trading Co.
1270 Monkton Road
Monkton, MD 21111
We have finally made it to dinner on the first day of our Lancaster County Foodie Adventure. After leaving Corner Coffee Shop we drove around and saw some beautiful Amish country before heading to Fireside Tavern. It is so peaceful up there, I just can’t get enough. If you haven’t been to Lancaster County you really must make a trip.
Fireside Tavern is another one of those places that my sister Laura has been raving about. She couldn’t stop talking about their amazing daiquiris, so of course I needed to try one for myself. This cozy tavern is located in Strasburg, PA amongst beautiful rolling farmland. They provide a casual dining experience serving delicious elevated American comfort food. I love that it is family friendly and I felt very welcome bringing the twins along.
Once we were seated, Laura went right ahead and ordered her virgin Mango Daiquiri. I thought I might stray from the idea and go for a signature cocktail but I ended up choosing the Peach Daiquiri, with alcohol please :). Laura was right, best daiquiri ever. That whipped cream on top…I don’t know what they do to make it so thick and irresistible…but I could eat a whole glass, or a couple glasses, of that stuff. It’s not normal whipped cream. It is something special. Of course the daiquiri itself was good, all fizzy, refreshing, and filled with peach flavor. Yum!
Making a decision on an entrée was difficult. The menu had so many great dishes to offer like crab cakes, jambalaya, shepherds pie, ribs, and steaks. Eventually you do have to decide, so I picked the Apricot Salmon. I loved this dish! Salmon is by far my favorite fish and I get so excited when it is treated right and not overcooked. This salmon was crusted with Cajun seasoning and topped with an apricot glaze and fried “I think” spinach leaves. Served alongside were green beans and jasmine rice. The jasmine rice was sticky so it soaked up the apricot glaze and that paired with a big chunk of juicy perfectly cooked salmon is the ultimate bite. The Cajun seasoning and the apricot was a great sweet and spicy combination.
My mom chose the Prime Rib Sandwich and first impression…wow what a beauty. This gigantic piece of prime rib has been rubbed in seasonings and grilled until blackened. It had a ton of flavor and went really well with the horseradish mayonnaise its served with. Onion rings came as the side and as you can see they were huge too. Overall this sandwich was well seasoned and it’s a great dish to order if you have a big appetite!
Laura ordered the Smoked Salmon BLT Salad. Smoked salmon was served on top of a bed of mixed greens along with tomatoes, bacon, hard boiled eggs, and red onion. The dressing was a lemon dill ranch…oh my goodness was that dressing good. The salmon had tons of flavor (they really know how to cook salmon), the veggies were fresh, and coating it all in a delicious dressing couldn’t hurt.
Needless to say, we were all very happy with our dinners! We also loved our waitress who gave us great service. Thanks Fireside Tavern for a lovely dinner!
After leaving Fireside Tavern we headed to our home for the night. We stayed at Olde Stone Guesthouse which is a beautiful tranquil bed and breakfast in Atglen just a short drive from Strasburg. We were greeted by the inn keeper Florence who is so sweet and welcoming. She showed us to our rooms and we agreed on a time for breakfast the next morning. Good night everyone!
1500 Historic Drive
Strasburg, PA 17579
Welcome back to our Lancaster County Foodie Adventure! It’s still day one (yes, we covered a lot of ground in half a day) and we have arrived at Stoltzfus Meats.
Can I vent really quick? I have had two, yes TWO, baking fails in the past 24 hours. Last night I made, well tried to make, brownies using a recipe I know well and they turned out super dry. I wanted to cry when I tried them. So I threw them away. Yeah, threw them away! Now I am mourning the loss of those ingredients. Today I needed to make a replacement, so I found a chocolate cupcake recipe on Pinterest that looked divine. Once again, they did not turn out like they should have. They do taste really good but they aren’t the prettiest things. There is nothing more aggravating to me than having something not bake up correctly. When I open the oven to a fail, I just want to scream “Why!??” and crumple to the floor where I will lay in a puddle of my own tears. The culprit to my baking fails? My oven. Oh oven, why must your temperature not regulate correctly? Why do you make it so hard for me to bake? I am dreaming of better days with a brand new oven that loves me and will bake and bake all day long until my hearts content. Okay, just needed to get that off my chest. Onto Stoltzfus Meats!
Stoltzfus Meats has been in business for more than 60 years and they offer a large variety of…. you guessed it, MEAT! In 1954, Amos Stoltzfus began taking products from Lancaster County to a farmer’s market in Delaware. As the demand for what he provided grew, Amos started making and selling his own high quality products. He continued selling at the farmer’s market until he opened his own retail store in 1966. Today Stoltzfus Meats and Deli is run by Amos’ son Myron who had the vision for this location on Center Street. This location has both a shop side and a restaurant side where you can sit down and enjoy a delicious sandwich among other things.
They have hams, steaks, bacon, sausages, bologna, scrapple, jerky…I could go on and on. There are so many delicious things packed into this cute little store. They carry both frozen and fresh meats. I couldn’t get a good picture of the meat case because the glare on my camera was so bad, but trust me, the steaks were beautiful! I did get a picture of the jerky which I bought for Laura, Mom, and I to sample but I snuck off and ate it all myself….it was too good to share.
They also have a great selection of spices and seasonings to give whatever meat you choose some great flavor. I picked up some steak rub and some spice rub for vegetables. Laura and I loved the peanut butter making stand. Who doesn’t love samples? So many different kinds of peanut butter makes my heart happy. I highly recommend going to Stoltzfus Meats and seeing all they have to offer. If you are from out of town make sure you take a cooler and some ice packs with you so you can stock up on some really quality meat.
My Purchases: Lysanders All Natural Spice Rub for Veggies, Sweet Bologna Snack Sticks with Cheese, and Myron’s Steak Rub.
Stoltzfus Meats and Deli
14 Center Street
Intercourse, Pa 17534
Next stop…..Corner Coffee Shop!
After leaving Stoltzfus Meats, we headed right next door to the Corner Coffee Shop for a little caffeine boost. This adorable coffee shop is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee, no matter how you like it, and just relax. If I was a local, I would probably take my laptop there and do whatever it is people do on their laptops in coffee shops….oh I have a blog now, I could work on that! The barista was very friendly and didn’t at all mind our indecisiveness while ordering. We ended up asking her for recommendations.
Laura chose the Sweet Bee Latte which is flavored with vanilla and honey. So good! I got the Crème Brulee Latte. This has caramel and white chocolate and is topped with cinnamon and raw sugar. How can you go wrong with that? My mom went with her ever faithful choice, the iced latte. We all really enjoyed our drinks and they gave us just the boost we needed to continue on with our adventure! Next up, dinner!
Corner Coffee Shop
3526 Old Philadelphia Pike
Intercourse, PA 17534