Posts Tagged ‘organic’

Giving thanks and food was the #1 topic in the U.S this past week. It coincides nicely with this post in my Wonderful Humans series. This wonderful human is someone I’m thankful to have in my life as a friend and fellow lover of good food and drink, Mara L. I measure friends in many ways, some of which include being fun, caring, thoughtful and generous and of these traits, she is all, and then some. She made the list not only because she’s a friend, but because she is a person with one of the biggest hearts that I’ve met in awhile, but not in a bad medical way or anything, and because she loves to feed strays like me!

This woman’s home kitchen skills is like going to a fancy, organic (soup?) kitchen for working folks with discernible palettes. I joke about the soup kitchen aspect because she feeds us for free and expects nothing in return. The meals she prepares are always nutritious and tasty with farm to table ingredients that are prepared in a variety of yummy ways. Let’s see, there’s been numerous ethnic styles of dishes and to top it off, or rather, whet our appetites for the middle eastern styled meal at a recent dinner, she hired a belly dancer to perform. Let’s just pause here for a second and take a poll. How many people have been to someone’s  home where they were treated to a surprise belly dancer performance? I didn’t think so…oh, and just ‘cause I know y’all, no, strippers don’t count.

While the free food and filling of my belly should be enough to fill this post, this is just one of the reasons I consider her a wonderful human. When so many were worried about the economy and the troubles that would befall them, she still opened her home up on numerous Saturday evenings to friends and their friends and significant others for dinner, without asking for anything in return. She wanted to continue perfecting her already amazing cooking skills and to find a way to connect with friends outside of social media.

Oh, and while we’re on the topic of living out loud and having fun, let’s just say that if fire-hooping and fun dance parties sound appealing, you and she have similar spirits. For those wondering, because I really do know some of my blog readers, she is a real person and not just an imaginary friend or firehooping fantasy in my head. Pfft.

What else…? Ah yes, how could I forget?! Kidding! I can’t forget to share that her husband is just as kind, cool and a friend as well. If not, how else would we still be eating free of charge at her house? 🙂 Goes to show that good people do attract other good people.

Oh, and just to show that not only do we eat and drink, which, let’s face it, is about 80% of what we do, they supported me at not just one of my mild and mellow, burn some sage and other incense at a poetry reading. No, these two were almost in the middle of the melee when a poetry partner and I hosted a poetry show at the Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles restaurant, where obnoxious bar patrons heckled the poets all through the night. Granted, the show was sponsored by the alcohol, Patron. Needless to say, I never want to host a supposed mellow poetry show sponsored by alcohol again…I will just continue to take it in boxes to their house for the dinner parties!

Yes, some may say that this is just a post about a friend and yes, while it is, it’s a post that will hopefully remind us to enjoy some of the (dare I say, more?) important things in life such as having enough, and at times, too much, food in this country, and to hopefully, pay the kindness forward, and above all, cherish the wonderful humans in your life. Don’t wait for the holidays to show appreciation for what you have, do it every day.

Oregon Grille
1201 Shawan Rd
Cockeysville, MD 21030

The Good
The free food that I’ve had at this bar, which accompanies the happy hour drinks are exceptional! As much as I love good, well prepared meals, I have to say that while lunch and dinner at this restaurant have been very tasty, you can’t beat the happy hour specials in the bar.

Bar: I’ve had delicious oysters as well as some wonderfully prepared salmon and tuna sashimi. All of the seafood has been fresh, well prepared, and the tables at the bar with the food have been kept very clean, even when there are hordes of patrons surrounding it.

Full Dining: I’ve had several dishes during restaurant week, including pastas with red sauce, gazpacho and tasty salads, all of which I would recommend during restaurant week.  Outside of restaurant week, I’ve had several fish entrees, all of which were tasty and well-seasoned, but not overly done, with fresh veggies which were just the right amount of crunchiness and crispiness.

The Bad

In addition to the fine dining side, I’ve been at the bar for two full happy hours. I don’t like to judge a place only on one visit unless they’re absolutely horrible, but will say that the food is the only thing that will keep me going back. I had a good experience with the bartenders the first time around, and one in particular is always friendly, knowledgeable and fun. The other, not as much.

While this other bartender was good at making a drink that you ask him to prepare as you give all of the details needed, don’t ask for a whiskey, scotch or any similar recommendation. I asked for a whiskey or bourbon recommendation based on the types I expressed as my favorites and when he suggested one, I asked if I could taste it since I’d never tried it. His response was, “I can only let you taste a small drop or two of it”. Wow, what an immediate turn off. A bartender recommending a supposedly high end drink, after I’d already had a glass of wine as did my friends, all of whom have been to this restaurant several times, who did not want to share a taste or considered my request unimportant. I don’t know if he thought I’d go round tasting whiskey all night and not purchase any, but that’s why judgment should always be checked at the saddle bearing wall of the Oregon Grille.

The Ugly

The bartender’s response. Plain and simple. The ratings for this restaurant’s food and seventy percent of the employees are good. However, I will remove a star or two as this bartender’s response ruined my mood for a few minutes and was less than friendly on two occasions in small spurts.

http://www.theoregongrille.com/

http://www.opentable.com/baltimore-restaurants