A Preview of Frederick, Maryland’s Restaurant Week

This past weekend, I drove to Frederick, Maryland for a blogger preview of it’s upcoming 2014 Restaurant Week (March 3-9, 2014).

Frederick is my hometown, and I was particularly excited to participate in the event to see what’s changed with the culinary scene in the years since I’ve left. I’ve named Frederick one of my 10 Places to Visit in 2014, so expect more Frederick fun here on Packed Suitcase in the coming months. But for now, we’re going to talk about Frederick’s food scene.

Over the course of the afternoon’s event, I sampled beer from Monocacy Brewing Company and sampled dishes from JoJo’s Restaurant & Tap House, Ayşe Meze (one of the Washingtonian’s top 100 restaurants!) and the Wine Kitchen. Loved it all!

Here’s my tasty journey in photos:

Monacacy Brewing tasting 2

Starting the afternoon off with some samples from Monocacy Brewing Company

 

Monocacy Brewing tasting

Monocacy Brewing brought 3 beers for us to try: their Riot Rye Pale Ale (a hoppy IPA that wasn’t bitter at all), their Raspberry Brown (a crowd favorite) and one variety from their more mainstream Brewer’s Alley varieties.

 

Monacacy Brewing Raspberry Brown 2

Growler

 

Monacacy Brewing Raspberry Brown

A sample of the Raspberry Brown… I loved this beer. It had tons of raspberry flavor, but an underlying depth as well. I wanted more! (And check out the logo: very simple with hints of Frederick’s Carroll Creek Promenade bridges.)

 

Carroll Creek Promenade 3

After some beer sampling, it was on to the first location. I couldn’t resist stopping to take a quick photo of Frederick’s Carroll Creek Promenade– frozen over in a winter wonderland scene.

 

JoJos- interior

First stop: JoJo’s Restaurant and Tap House. The decor was very inviting, with exposed brick walls and oversized light fixtures… and a full crowd even at 3 pm!

 

JoJos- shrimp appetizer

Shrimp stuffed with smoked gouda, wrapped in bacon and served with a jalepeno aioli. (YUM!)

 

Jojos- Zucchini steak

JoJo’s also had a really delicious vegan dish. This is a bite of a larger portion of Zucchini “steak” served atop braised cabbage, with soy sauce and wasabi foams and a fun sesame powder.

 

Ayse- Opa!

Next stop: AYSE! Our tasting here started out hot. OPA!

 

Ayse- spreads!

The Istanbul Sampler had a variety of spreads to go with warm toasty pita. The roasted red pepper dip in the back corner was a table favorite.

 

Ayse- Dolmades

Dolmades filled with rice and currants. Gorgeous!

 

Ayse- shrimp

Ayse’s Garides Saganaki shrimp dish was so delicious… and the sauce was just made for sopping up pieces of toasty pita bread.

 

Ayse- desserts

Ending the tasting at Ayse on a sweet note… with the best baklava I’ve ever had.

 

Wine Kitchen sign

Final stop: the Wine Kitchen, known for locally sourced and seasonal dishes… and super creative wine flights.

 

Wine Kitchen- group of bloggers

This is our whole group, filled with bloggers, journalists and Frederick foodies!

 

Me and Michelle

I got to meet an Instagram friend!

 

Wine Kitchen- scallop and beet risotto

The final bite: A perfectly seared scallop atop a beet risotto. Yum!

 

I left Frederick full,  happy, and excited to come back soon. Stay tuned…

 

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One Response to A Preview of Frederick, Maryland’s Restaurant Week

  1. Pam - Housewives of Frederick County February 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    Great post! Really nice to meet you at the ‘Sneak Peek’! Hope to see you again in Frederick.
    Pam – Housewives of Frederick County recently posted..2014 Frederick Restaurant Week March 3 to March 9My Profile

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