2014 Frederick Restaurant Week: March 3-9 #FredRestWK

2014 Frederick Restaurant Week #FredRestWK

Food photos in this collage were taken by Jennifer Gerlock

2014 Frederick Restaurant Week begins in less than a month!

I was invited to take part in the 2014 Frederick Restaurant Sneak Peek this past Saturday. I had so much fun last year at the 2013 preview, hanging out with other foodies made up of journalists, writers and well-connected Frederick folks! So when the invitation graced my mailbox for this year’s event I eagerly RSVP’d with YES!

Then, a couple weeks later, I realized my daughter’s dance company dress rehearsal was the same exact day, at the same exact time. So I had to decline. VERY REGRETFULLY.

Oh, the choices we have to make as a parent. Also? First world problems.


Luckily my good friend Jennifer from Hip As I Wanna Be attended and enjoyed all the spoils! I begged her to asked her to share a couple of preview picks with me along the way so that I could share them with you guys! Thanks, Jen!


This year, Frederick Restaurant Week runs March 3-9, and includes the following restaurants with price-fixed menus:

Mark your calendars!

For more info visit FrederickRestaurantWeek.com and follow the hashtag #FredRestWK!

9 Dragons Restaurant at Charles Town | #ad

I was recently invited to try 9 Dragons, one of several restaurants located in Hollywood Casinos at Charles Town Races.
I know what you’re thinking. All the way in West Virginia?!?! Well, even though Frederick, Md., is now considered to be a commuting suburb of both Baltimore and Washington D.C., people often forget that we’re not that far from our neighboring state to the left either.
The 35 minute trip is quite scenic coming from Frederick. A good portion of the drive to Charles Town runs along the bottom of a mountain next to the Potomac River, with views of the White Horse Rapids and glimpses of quaint Harpers Ferry.
My husband and I rode over for a 6:00 PM reservation on a Sunday evening. Parking was a breeze with the  large garage sitting adjacent, and directly connected to, the casino, and after a quick elevator ride we found ourselves winding through the slot machines towards the restaurants.
9 Dragons has its own entrance among the hustle-bustle of the casino, and once we were inside we couldn’t hear any of the outside noise – it was actually very relaxing.
We had one purpose on our trip over: try as much sushi as possible.
The 9 Dragons 6-page menu is expansive, filled with an array of Hong Kong-style entrees and appetizers, along with an extensive wine list that [surprisingly] doesn’t include Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc by the glass. My world didn’t end, however, as I was enticed to instead try Fume Blanc, and it was fabulous substitute for my usual tart, crisp white wine preference.

wine, 9 dragons, asian food, sushi, restaurants, charles town
Sushi options are plentiful. We must’ve picked 8-10 different rolls to try I lost count, and each one was expertly put together and tasted exquisite. I believe we both said, “This may be some of the best sushi I’ve ever had…,” more than once. It’s true.

sushi, 9 dragons restaurant, charles town

sushi, 9 dragons restaurant, charles town

sushi, charles town, 9 dragons

sushi, 9 dragons, restaurant, charles town

There were two other things that caught my eye on the menu, and despite the fact that we ordered a table full of sushi I still couldn’t pass up trying them.
The first was the pork dumplings, steamed and then fried and served with the traditional soy sauce based dip. These were very good and held up well to dipping, bites and being handled by chopsticks.
dumplings, pork dumplings, 9 dragons, charles town

The second was the BBQ roasted pig belly, served golden and crispy with a sweet bean sauce on the side. You know how pork belly melts in your mouth, like a slab of bacon on steroids? Yeah, that. It was my husband’s first time trying pork belly, and I’d say he’s a convert.

pork belly, BBQ, asian BBQ, 9 dragons, charles town

More than anything, we felt the service was stellar. Whether it was because the restaurant knew I was there as a guest, I don’t know, but watching how the other tables were being handled leads me to believe good service is just “business as usual” at 9 Dragons.
Our server was attentive without being overbearing and hover-y (yes, that’s a word). She was also on top of it when we managed to knock over a cup of freshly poured, very hot tea that soaked most of our table. Grace is not one of our specialties, but it seems to be one of theirs.
9 Dragons may not be a restaurant you’d think of first when deciding on a weekend night out, but after our dinner there I’d ask that you consider. Make it a destination and play some card tables or slots, or check out their live music lineup at the H Lounge – often times the show is free!
Disclosure: 9 Dragons covered the cost of our meal in full, but all opinions are my own.

Guest Post | Experiencing Lawry’s The Prime Rib: Chicago

Today’s guest post is written by a friend and colleague of mine; we know each other through our day jobs, but both appreciate a fine meal and the experience around it. On a recent trip to Chicago I saw Tommy mention a few different foodie destinations planned, and asked him to write about one of them as a guest post for the blog. Of course he said, “Absolutely!” and so here you go. Cheers! –Liza

While I will admit that red meat is hardly the most creative cuisine available, there are times when a large slab of beef is the perfect centerpiece of a great dinner. A recent trip to Chicago with my wife was just such a time, and we headed to one of our favorite spots, Lawry’s The Prime Rib.

Located just a block off Michigan Avenue in the McCormick Mansion, Lawry’s provides a elegant atmosphere for any special occasion, and the unique style of service makes for a memorable evening with clients, friends, and loved ones. Lawry’s has only four locations across the country – Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Source: lawrysonline.com via Liza on Pinterest


We settled into our booth and refreshed ourselves with the menu.  Lawry’s does not offer a wide variety of selections, but most everyone who comes in already knows what they want. Several cuts of prime rib highlight the entrees. Six to eight ounce cuts will satisfy the lighter appetites, while those with a more hearty palate will enjoy the 12 or 16 ounce cuts.

I decided on the Diamond Jim Brady 16 ounce slice, which includes the rib bone.

Source: lawrysonline.com via Liza on Pinterest


Dinner at Lawry’s begins with their famous spinning salad bowl, a nice mixture of lettuce, beets, spinach, egg and croutons tossed (or rather, spun) with the house vintage French dressing. The large stainless steel bowl is spun on a bed of ice tableside as the server adds a generous portion of the dressing, and then our plates are presented with the delicious salad to enjoy.

The signature of Lawry’s dinner experience is the silver cart which holds the prime rib as well as the delicious vegetable side items that are included with dinner.

Mashed potatoes are included with all dinners, and my wife and I added a serving of creamed corn and creamed spinach to our plates. The prime rib is sliced tableside, and LaRue, our master carver for the evening, selected two delicious cuts for us. The traditional Lawry cut for Susan, and the above mentioned Diamond Jim Brady cut for me.

As I stated in the opening paragraph, there is nothing particularly unique about dinner at Lawry’s, except for the absolutely perfect taste of the beef, the potatoes and vegetables, and the Yorkshire pudding (English bread).

Source: lawrysonline.com via Liza on Pinterest


In a day when some restaurants seem to go out of their way to create novel cuisine, Lawry’s takes pride in presenting a simple meal in an extraordinary fashion to create a memorable dining experience.

We finished off our meal with two delicious desserts; Susan had the carrot cake (one of her personal favorites) and I had the cheesecake with strawberries. Both slices were more than generous and the perfect ending to a great night out in one of America’s finest cities.

So the next time you find yourself in Chicago (or Dallas, Vegas or LA) and have a craving for some “comfort food”, give Lawry’s a try.  I think you’ll agree with me, it is a unique dining experience.

Tommy DeRamus talks about Lawry's Chicago
Tommy DeRamus


Wood Fired Pizza | #WordlessWednesday

Warm spring evenings bring out the lure of outdoor dining, and one of my favorite places to sit and watch the downtown hustle is at Brewer’s Alley in Frederick, Md. If you’ve never tried one of their wood fired pizzas, now’s the time:

                                                                          Source: amusingfoodie.com via Liza on Pinterest

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