Silver Spring’s Farmfresh Market

There’s nothing like wholesome, local produce! During the July 4th weekend, I decided to visit the weekly market in downtown Silver Spring and boy was it a treat!

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Not only were there food purveyors there, some vendors were more of the crafty type, like Banner Bee – an all natural, sustainable honey harvesting company which sells infused honey and bee wax candles. Such infusions include lavender, chili pepper, and a lemon & thyme mix.

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As if being surrounded by the colorful bounty of fruit and veggies wasn’t satisfying enough, there was even a live jazz band for a relaxed browsing experience.

Hosted by FRESHFARM Markets (the largest farmers market organization in the DMV with 13 locations overall) this outdoor experience not only makes sense for your wallet, it makes sense for your health too. Supporting local never tasted and looked so good!

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Mexican Foodie Fiesta

Just got back from an enchanting trip to Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. This suburb outside of Puerto Vallarta boasts the deeply rooted traditions of Mayan Indian traditions which are beautifully shown through its vibrant culture, food and people. Since a picture says a thousand words here is a feast from my foodie experience while abroad. Enjoy!!

Juicy Cuban Sandwich (turkey ham, roasted pork, gouda cheese, and crispy potato wedges) Restaurant: Havana Moon
Juicy Cuban Sandwich (turkey ham, roasted pork, gouda cheese, and crispy potato wedges) Restaurant: Havana Moon in Nuevo Vallarta
Mexican Platter: Chili Relleno (tortilla wrapped green chili stuffed with cheese) , succulent skirt steak, roasted veggies and a chicken taquito.
Mexican Platter: Chili Relleno (tortilla wrapped green chili stuffed with cheese), succulent skirt steak, roasted veggies and a chicken taquito. Restaurant: Rumba! in Nuevo Vallarta
Doña Chanita Tequila Distillery: 5 varieties: Silver, Reposado, Anejo, Amaretto, & chocolate/Coffee
Doña Chanita Tequila Distillery: 5 varieties: Silver, Reposado, Anejo, Amaretto, & chocolate/Coffee. Distillery located on the island of Baja off the coast of Nuevo Vallarta
Classic Nachos... I couldn't resist!
Classic Nachos… I couldn’t resist
One of my favorite displays, La Plaza
One of my favorite displays, La Plaza
Macaroon Pyramid in the gourmet bakery, La Plaza
Macaroon Pyramid in the gourmet bakery, La Plaza
Hazelnut Molten Cake in the gourmet bakery, La Plaza
Hazelnut Molten Cake in the gourmet bakery, La Plaza
Queso Fondue with chorizo Restauant: Calle Encinco in Puerto Vallarta
Queso Fondue with Chorizo
Restaurant: Calle Encinco in Puerto Vallarta

My May 5th!

So, Cino de Mayo has come and gone. Hope you seized the day for all it was worth! My NYC Mexican/Spanish food crawl was fantastic! First stop was Las Ramblas in the West Village. This quaint, rustic, cantina was the perfect spot to start the evening. Touted for serving traditional Spanish tapas, here are the highlights: ensalada costa brava (tomatoes, onions, roasted peppers, orange segments, & basil w/ raspberry vinegar – a great choice to prepare the palate for further fare), empanadas de pollo (chicken turnovers), savory chorizo con alubias (Spanish sausage w/ cannellini beans & onions) and brochetas de res (Grilled skewers of beef in a tempranillo wine reduction). All of this plus refreshing white peach sangria, brought tears to my eyes. I could have called it a night, but what sense did that make? I hadn’t had the expected margarita, and it was too early in the evening. So, after the first round of noshing, a friend and I did some sightseeing and walked 30 blocks to Penn Station (si, you read it right, THIRTY blocks). Meeting up with another friend, we all journeyed to the Murray Hill area for ‘ritas!

Second stop on the crawl was at Tavern on Third for a classic margarita. Although, the restaurant was not a typical fiesta hang-out, it served up a mean margarita. Strong and ice cold with a wedge of lime – just what we needed to kick off the fun. Afterward, we stumbled, (literally) upon a hole-in-the-wall, La Palapa (3rd Ave. bwn 26 st& 27th st), next to the tavern. There, housed absolutely authentic tacos and burritos bursting at the seams with a choice of juicy grilled chicken, pork, or beef, rice, beans and cheese. Knowing we were only snacking, instead of devouring, we each ordered a $2 soft taco. The best of our choices was the chorizo: finely ground and full of flavor with a pleasant balance between salty and the spicy peppers.

ImageThe last stop was Rodeo Bar and Grill I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was an actual rodeo going on there. With live music in the main bar area and celebrations all around we picked a great party spot. Being the nacho aficionado that I am, I dove head-first into the Nacho Grande Platter (pictured right). Each tortilla was beautifully decorated with chicken and black beans, covered by a blanket of magnificently melted cheese. And it got better with pico de gallo scattered on top. Somehow, I have developed a dangerous taste for empanadas (and so have my friends) so it was obvious that we’d have a side of those. Golden brown, fried to perfection, filled with diced red peppers and pollo mixed with Mexican spices, these bite size treats stood no chance. Both dishes were excellent. For this last leg of the trip, we washed everything down with agave’s favorite cocktail – frozen margaritas! (Naturally.) Our flavors of choice were Pomegranate and Mango…

Happiness.