Sunday, March 15, 2015


Some great friends of ours surprised my hubby and I to a day of fun recently. First we saw an amazing concert pianist and then we had dinner at a restaurant called Range, which features modern American cuisine by celebrity chef, Bryan Voltaggio.  Range is also known for its Chesapeake shellfish at the raw bar and their wood-fired hearth.

 The first course was a cheese plate, of course! The four cheeses were cabot (a hard cheddar with a nutty flavor), hazen blue (nice mild blue tanginess), kunik (soft and creamy, similar to a brie), and grayson (kinda stinky, but reminiscent of a swiss). It was served with raisin toasts and a pear compote. I love cheese! I haven't met too many cheeses I haven't liked (and I've even tried limburger), and these were no exception.

Left to right: kunik, grayson, hazen blue, cabot

We also had a ham tasting...a country ham and a surryano ham, both from Virginia, served with a creamy, spicy mustard that had a bit of a punch. But it was a nice compliment to the salty sweet hams.

Being a Southern girl at heart, I love biscuits and I love pepper jelly. So when I saw an appetizer for cheddar jalepeno biscuits with pepper jelly, I knew I had to get them. So yumma yumma! The biscuit was warm and flaky and the pepper jelly was the perfect combo of sweet and spicy!

Next came the bone marrow. If you've never had bone marrow, you need to. Its so delicious and unctuous. We first had bone marrow at the Blue Duck in DC which was amazing. The bone marrow dish at Range, cannot compare to the Blue Duck, however, it was pretty tasty on its own merit. This dish was served with shallots, pinenuts, and raisins, which added an unexpected sweet element.

All the above dishes were small plates, which we all shared between the four of us. Next came entrees...Superking chose the hangar steak, cooked medium rare, served with bacon grits, swiss chard, and a chimichurri sauce. Bacon grits...need I say more?

I had the lamb neck with coconut curry sauce and flatbread, which was accompanied by roasted cauliflower with a za'atar seasoning and tzatziki sauce. The lamb was so tender it was practically falling off the bone and melted in my mouth. I love all those mediterranean flavors and aromas!

One of our friends with us was gracious enough to let me take a picture of her dish as well. Her dish was pork belly with a smoked apple, vanilla, and fennel salad. Bright, sweet, salty, delicious!

For dessert they had this adorable "candy cart" that they could wheel around the restaurant to your table. Very non-traditional dessert offerings of chocolate covered rice krispie treats on a stick, variety of truffles, and caramel corn. I chose bacon caramel corn. It was gone in no time flat. While my friend went for a cute little custard of orange and cream with some sort of crumble on top, served in a little jar.

Overall, the food was delicious and unique, as was the atmosphere. The service was just "ok" though. It took a long time for the each course to come out, and all the dishes came out at different times, which was a little odd. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that it was because its a fairly new restaurant to the area and they are still working out the kinks? Nevertheless, it was a night of great fun, great food, and great friends!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Too Hot to Handle

I haven't had a lot of food adventures lately as we've been trying to save money and we've had a lot of snow days where I've been stuck at home. So I thought I'd do a retro-post from our last trip to Myrtle Beach.  On this cold snowy winter day, here's a spicy burrito challenge...

Superking had told me of a newer restaurant he had read about and wanted to try, called Salarita's.  Its a Mexican fast-food Cantina-style place know for their Burr-Heato Challenge. And Superking decided he had to try it.

Supposedly this is the World's Hottest Burrito because it is made with the Guinness World Record Hottest Chili Pepper: Smokin' Ed's Carolina Reaper. In this burrito, it uses one tablespoon of sauce made with this chili pepper, along with chicken, black beans, rice, corn salsa, tomatoes, and cilantro.  Notice there is no cheese or sour cream to help cool the burn.

Pablo says "that's too hot for me! smells dangerous!"

Superking can usually handle some pretty hot stuff (he's eaten a raw scotch bonnet and loves ghost chilies) and he likes it! I think the more pain he's in, the more he enjoys it. And its not just the burn. Its the sweating and, God help you if you get the hiccups; then you know you're in trouble. he actually brought his own jug of milk with him in case things got really rough. But I have to give him credit, he didn't drink any milk until after he downed the entire burrito! And it all stayed down, if you know what I mean! Way to go Superking! You have truly earned your nickname on this one!

(I tried to post the video here of him eating the burrito but the file is too big. However, I will be posting it on my Facebook page and will post the link here.)

Luckily they have pretty good food thats not as hot as Hades as well.  I, for example, had a tasty tortilla pizza. A crispy flat tortilla topped with red sauce, cheese, ground beef, black beans, and a sour cream sauce. A nice mild yet flavorful Mexican treat! So if you're feeling saucy and tired of the snow, go check out a Salsarita's near you!

P.S. Extra Bonus: if you make a video of yourself completing the Burr-Heato Challenge, post it to Facebook and tag Salsarita's with #WorldsHottestBurrito, you get a free t-shirt for your troubles!