Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I ordered the gumbo (which the menu warned had no okra) and received a bowl of soft rice in a thin broth with bits of shredded chicken and tiny wedges of sausage. I thought there was onions but not sure if there were peppers or celery, which is troubling in a gumbo. I had never seen gumbo served all stirred together like that. Normally it is a mixture of seafood, meat and some vegetables served over rice, not a thin soup.
After just a few mushy bites I bit into something hard. Really hard, it felt like a rock and clanked against my teeth. When I told the waitress, a second waitress (because I couldn't find our waitress at first) and then the manager, they all seemed completely unconcerned. The second waitress said she thought it must be a part of the sausage, but I have to say, I have never once found a rock in sausage before. The manager, when finally summonded, didn't even bother to apologize, just asking if I had saved the rock (I had daintily spit it out into a spoon and returned the whole mess to the "gumbo") and took it away. Our waitress finally did take it off the bill but still...rocks in mediocre soup? No concern from the staff? Not what I would expect from a new local business trying to stay afloat.
Matt didn't fare much better-his "Tuscan chicken" open-faced sandwich could be charitably described as a homemade french bread pizza (think chicken and peppers with lots of red sauce and covered in cheese served on thick, tasteless bread) and was served with an "antipasto" salad which contained what appeared to be long, flat Asian noodles and a creamy sauce. The sauce on the sandwich tasted like it came from the jar and the the 3 mushrooms we were told about were missing. Matt said the sandwich reminded him of something he would have made as a hungry teenager with leftovers from the fridge.
The food was amateurish at best, the staff apathetic and the menu is rather overpriced for what you get. I just didn't get the impression that the chef or the staff was very interested in or familiar with food which, for a restaurant, is pretty shocking. Perhaps the Parkside should refocus what they want to be a kiddy destination? a bar? a sandwich shop? a bakery? a market? a full service restaurant? because it is pretty clear they can't handle doing it all. I love to support local businesses and I love our neighborhood but it is just not good. If you go there, I would recommend just sticking to drinks or the risotto cake which was bland, but not bad. The fact that the food was awful was bad enough but the fact that they didn't seem to care at all was worse.
We are going to be taking all of our business to the delightful Hamilton Tavern further down Harford Rd where the food, staff and drink have all been top notch no matter when we've been there.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Anyway, here in Maryland we actually have some other pretty important stuff on the ballot, as well. And you don't want to get caught trying to read the ballot initiatives for the first time -- on the ballot. Two biggies include an initiative to allow early voting in the state of Maryland, as well as to allow slots here.
The Maryland League of Women Voters has an awesome web site with explanations of the pros and cons of these initiatives, as well as information on all the candidates running for all the offices. Click here and then click on "Election 2008 Voters Guides. "
It's important that you get out and vote on these important changes being proposed for our State. No matter how you vote, just vote.
(But seriously, you should vote "no" on the slots thing.)
Friday, October 10, 2008
Chef and restaurant owner, Jeffrey Smith, always serves a seasonal menu and he has created a special our-course meal for the Challenge based on local, seasonal fall foods.
Available: October 11 - 18
The $35 prix fixe seasonal offering features:
George's silver queen corn and peppers; Martins Farm garlic;
Briedenbaugh Farm potatoes and onions; Krakos smoked polish sausage
Fried Green Tomatoes
George's green tomatoes and Truck Patch Farms smoked
Grilled Pork Loin with Succotash
Truck Patch Farms pork loin; farmers'
market lima beans, crowder peas and butter beans; George's corn and
Seasonal Fruit Tart
Reid's Orchard fruit
The Chameleon Café
4341 Harford Rd Baltimore, MD 21214
I think the menu sounds great although I am a little skeptical of the "in season" corn being offered. It is late in the season for local corn but I am sure it will be tasty!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I guess you can see that this blog is in serious need of some new blood -- fresh energy. I know there's a lot going on in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, due to family commitments out of state, I haven't been able to stroll through our streets. Hopefully I'll get back to that soon.
In the meantime, I'm looking for contributors. Doesn't have to be great prose -- jeez, look at some of the lame stuff I post here!
So if you're at all interested in being a contributor to Harford Road Hon, please send me an email to:
and I'll get you set up. Imagine how impressed your friends and family will be when you tell them you're a blogger!
On second thought, you're right. Better keep that to ourselves ....
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
They don't have a website up yet, but the reviews from ChowHound sound positive:
"Food was outstanding - some unique items on menu - fried dill pickles - wonderful -So far, their hours are:
The burger was outstanding cooked perfectly - spend the extra money and add a fried egg and or bacon to it - you will not be disappointed. We had the veggie pita which was so tasty - Though we did not have- we heard great comments about the steamed shrimp and mussels. Be sure and ask about specials - I had the gazpacho and it was truly the finest I have ever had anywhere ! - Also had a peach cobbler special - it was to die for ---- We will be back soon and often!! --"
Friday and Saturday 4:30 pm to 2 am
Sunday 4:30 till... Brunch coming in September!
Monday 4:30 till
Peach cobbler -- to die for? Has anyone else eaten there yet?
Weds and Thurs 4:30 til
If you're interested, click here for more information.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Seems like a great idea to me, even though it costs more to produce paper bags than plastic. But the long-term effects cannot be denied. Those bags in the trees never go away -- they just blow over to your neighbor's tree.
The proposal was approved by a vote on 3-1, with our Councilman Robert Curran as the sole "no" vote. Curran, whom the Baltimore Sun notes "took a job bagging groceries after high school," (see -- he's just common folk like us!) said that he is standing with grocery worker unions who oppose the bill.
I am a fervent supporter of unions, so I understand Curran wanting to do the right thing here. However, I would have much preferred he be more forward-looking and take the approach of Councilwoman Agnes Welch. From the Sun:
City Councilwoman Agnes Welch, meanwhile, voted for the bill in committee so it could be vetted by the full council, she said. But she said she may not support the measure when it comes before the full council.Your thoughts?
Image from "It's our L.A.!"
Friday, June 27, 2008
Can you feel the Heart of Hamilton. This is the town I use to go get my vaccum cleaner fixed or go to church at St. Dominic’s.
Or get confused as to where the old Hacienda Restaurant was…was it on Harford Road or Bel Air Road. The answer is at the bottom. If you haven’t visited this part of town in a while, it’s starting to grow up like Canton.
Believe me when I say that. It doesn’t take buildings, it takes people to build a community. Right there on Harford Road you now have Chameleon Café, Alabama B-BQ, Brewers Art and Big Bad Wolf’s House of Barbeque, and here’s a new restaurant that won’t blow your house down or destroy your budget.
It is the two week old Clementine’s. Winston Blick and his wife Cristin opened this place, three blocks from their home. Winston, or Winnie use to run the Sobo Café and before that McCaferty’s in Mt. Washington.
This is his first time owning his own place. The place is packed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is all locals…all your neighbors. You will go inside and within 3 minutes you will know someone you haven’t seen in 15 years.
The prices are very reasonable and you will see many families coming in to dine. Any place that sells Stewarts Root Beer is a place you want to visit. Hacienda was on Bel Air Road.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
For the month of June, I Believe in Dog will donate 40 percent of the profit from every purchase to the Prince George's County (MD) SPCA. Yes, 40 percent! Each month, the proceeds are donated to a different dog rescue group around the country. Other recipients have included FOR Greyhounds, Fort Collins, CO; Mid Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League; Husky Haven, Inc., Houston TX; Collie Rescue, Inc., Chantilly, VA; Westie rescue, Inc., Bluemont, VA; Duchess County SPCA, Hyde Park, NY. Here's the complete list of recipients.
So, check out I Believe in Dog, and get your 4-footed canine best-friend/co-worker/ companion/ protector/hoovering beast of burden something special today -- and help other dogs in need. Fritz (a former SPCA dog himself) highly endorses this good cause!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
According to the Sun article, there's also a major transformation going on at the Hamilton Tavern, which is owned by one of the partners at Brewer's Art. Elizabeth Large has done me wrong before with her less-than-accurate reviews. Please don't toy with me Lizzie ....
illustration by Steve Felmore
Friday, May 2, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I have written a longer tribute to Scepter66/ John Steber at my own blog, Nailing Jello to the Wall. John was a loyal reader there and enjoyed discussing politics and current world events. An excerpt from my post follows:
John was an excellent writer, and always left great comments here. The thoughtful kind that I personally always have a hard time leaving at blogs myself. He also dabbled with keeping his own blog to express his feelings about the battle he was going through, although I think felt a little self-conscious about being too revealing of his emotions in front of the strangers of the blogosphere. The quote in the title ["coping with life. facing death. seeking wisdom."] is from his blogger profile. You can get an idea of what kind of man he was by reading from the last post on his blog, Colonial Vulcan, where he quotes Ben Franklin:Donations may be made to the Gilchrist Center Hospice of Baltimore in memory of John Steber."How many observe Christ's birthday! How few, His precepts! O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments."And I would be remiss if I didn't also mention that John was a regular writer at a local blog that we started in our neighborhood, Harford Road, Hon. In fact, he was our regular roving reporter, with posts such as his photo journey down Harford Road on New Year's Eve. He also was a great advocate for the local restaurants in the neighborhood, and kept a keen eye on openings and closings. "Harford Road Hon" has not been the same without John, and again, I always felt he was my reader whenever I posted there. I will miss writing something funny and imagining his laugh when he read it.
It often seems cliche to say someone fought a "brave battle" with cancer -- that is, until you see someone wage that battle. When you see the terrible toll that this disease takes on the body, you wonder at how anyone could be strong enough to cope. But John fought hard and strong, keeping his dignity and compassion for others throughout his ordeal. Even when it became obvious that the experimental treatment he was undergoing was not helping, he insisted on continuing, because it might help someone else down the road. I can only hope that if faced with this type of personal challenge, I would be half as strong as John was in facing it head-on.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The Hamilton Arts Collective is coming back. The art and performance space was shut down in December for fire code violations, but managing director Stephen Thomas has a plan. The collective needs to raise $25,000 to put the performance space on the second floor and the art space on the first floor, and make other repairs. They are looking for a lot of help, with donations, planning fund raisers and grant writing.In addition to these volunteer efforts the HAC has announced a benefit show on April 6:
The super-awesome folks at The 2640 Space have graciously offered to host a benefit show on behalf of the HAC!
St. Johns United Methodist Church Hall
2640 St. Paul St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
Friday, March 21, 2008
A cool blog I just discovered is Baltimore Spokes, which -- as the name implies -- is focused on bicycling in Baltimore. I must admit, I don't do much riding up and down Harford Road, but I have seen some brave souls attempting to maneuver the traffic. And really, there's no reason why our neighborhood shouldn't be more bike-friendly.
As gas prices continue to rise, it might be time to get the 'ol Hello Kitty bike out of the basement and take her for a spin again.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
While not technically Westfield, just to our south an exciting little community of shops are springing up. Just next to the Safeway you can now find everything from fine dining to knitting supplies.
And if you're still feeling shy, please email me your ideas for posting or photos that you'd like me to post. I'm happy to keep this blog going, but I need your ideas!
Meanwhile, I've added some new links to the right under "Blogs with a Taste of Baltimore," and I encourage you to check them out and let me know what you think. I highly recommend a visit to the Open Society Institutes's Baltimore blog at OSI-Baltimore. There are a lot of good people doing good things in Baltimore, and this is inspiring reading.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Chelsea Clinton tours Baltimore's Belvedere Square market as she tries to build support for her mother's presidential campaign.But what we want to know is, why does that man in the varsity jacket who's leering at Chelsea look so darn familiar?
Monday, February 11, 2008
“Meet the Farmer” Community-Supported Agriculture Meeting at the Episcopal Church of the Messiah on Monday, February 11th
So what is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)? A quick description is that it creates a direct partnership between farmers and local consumers, eliminating supermarket middlemen and restoring the connection between a community and the source of its food. It also protects our “foodshed” by ensuring farmers an income throughout the growing season, keeping your food fresh and local.
How CSA works: people buy “shares” of a farmer’s harvest ahead of time and pick them up every week. A share is 8 units of produce and is designed to feed a family of four the vegetables they would need in a week. Many families split a share and still have enough produce to serve their weekly needs, so the price of a share, divided over 25 weeks, is very reasonable, especially in light of sharply rising supermarket food costs. Since the price of a share hasn’t gone up this year and the season is an extra week long, the savings are especially good. There’s plenty of information on Church of the Messiah’s website, http://www.messiahbaltimore.org/CSA
Want to know more? There will be “Meet the Farmer” Meeting at the Church of the Messiah on Monday, February 11th at 7:00 p.m., when Joan Norman of One Straw Farm will give a presentation about her farm and how the CSA program works. She’ll be available to answer any questions you may have, and refreshments will be served. Come see how eating local helps you stay healthy, saves money, and strengthens your community, all the same time!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Great news for Hamilton, and hopefully the start of a renaissance for Harford Road -- all the way to Westfield! What had been a blight on the neighborhood is now brimming with positive energy. In the space of the old Cameo, several local entrepreneurs are opening the Great Soul Wellness Studio.
From their Mission statement:
The services offered promote healthy living through natural healing, stress reduction, and exercise. The environment will be welcoming and provide a safe and comfortable get-away that will encourage community-building for individuals and families.Activities will include classes in yoga, tai chi/qi gong, meditation, and dance. Wellness options will include acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine, and shamanic healing.
Great Soul will be having an open house this Saturday, February 9 from 3 - 6 pm. They are located at 4711 Harford Rd, 2nd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21214 (410-254-2786).
Let's support this venture, and hope that's it's just the beginning of many more good things to come!
Monday, February 4, 2008
The next WNIA meeting (Tuesday, February 5) will be the "Election of Officers." Time to quit yer complainin' and start your votin'.
The Holiday House
6427 Harford Road
Be there or ... well, just be there!
Thursday, January 31, 2008
What do think?
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I know, I know, it's the Towson Arts Collective, but my colleague Edwin has a show there. And until we ever get our own art gallery here in Westfield (and to think, we were that close!) we'll have to travel elsewhere. (Click on the flyer above to enlarge it slightly)
Larry the llama (not his real name) says, "Don't miss it!"
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Anyone want to put a wager on when they will come back and finish the job?