Monday, September 29, 2014

As The Chef of The Day

There's still 10-15 minutes left of September 29, 2014 so I think I can still say - Happy International Coffee Day and I hope if you are a coffee fan that you got your coffee. I know I did.

So as you may or may not know, I am currently taking Culinary 2 class in my school. It's from 8:30AM-2:30PM on Saturdays, but it's really not that long because class is done by 1:30-2PM and there's no dining room to serve and we are a small class. Each day, each student is assigned as a  different position and has different duties that they are responsible for.

For the class on September 27, 2014 - I was chef. I was slightly nervous, but also gained confidence as the class progressed. I was supposed to have a Sous Chef and Steward who are assistants to the chef, but they were absent. Luckily, I didn't panic and one of my classmates/friends said if I need anything, they are there for me. This boosted up my confidence.

I was rather calm throughout the class and helped where help was needed. I got to try different components of our menu as my classmates were cooking and it was a pleasant experience. Although, I was missing my Sous Chef and Steward, everything actually turned out to be fine and we as a class finished cooking earlier and faster than we all had anticipated. We beat the clock.

New England Clam Chowder
The soup we made was the New England Clam Chowder. I must admit it wasn't the best looking soup
because you can see a lot of oil sitting on top of the soup and I don't think I did too well with the garnishes (chives and bacon). It was a little too salty and not that creamy, but it was good enough.

I really liked that we just a combination of real clams and canned clams and that we had bits of crispy and crunchy bacon in the chowder too.

Deviled Eggs
Next, we also made the deviled eggs. I had this in my dining room class before. It was nicely prepared, but my classmate used the wrong tip to pipe the egg yolks so it didn't come out as pretty. Besides that, I really did like the deviled eggs, but could have used a bit more salt and paprika. 

Cold Broccoli, Sunflower Seed, and Raisin Salad
This salad didn't sound appealing the first time I tried it in my dining room class, but this time I tried it and I liked it. The portion size was a little bigger and although, this wasn't the best salad I've ever had, I did like the fact that it was light, refreshing, and just booming with vibrant colors. 

There was a mustard vinaigrette that was used too. I'm not a fan of mustard at all, but this vinaigrette complemented very well with the salad and it wasn't disgusting at all.

Basque Chicken with Creamy Polenta and Fresh Garden Vegetables
I tried this dish in my dining room class as well. Our basque chicken was excellent! It was cooked just perfectly and was rich and tender. The fresh garden vegetables were tender and delicious! The creamy polenta was smooth, moist, and super filling.

This dish is part of my final practical so I will learn how to build this dish by the middle of October  or November. 

Overall, I had a great experience even though we were two down. We were able to pull together and help where help was needed and that's a good thing! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dining on the Ocean City Boardwalk at Flavors of Italy

Flavors of Italy
513 Atlantic Avenue Ocean City, MD 21842

*This review is not based solely on the food, but on the service as well*

On our 3rd day in Ocean City, Will and I had a late lunch at Flavors of Italy on the boardwalk. We sat outdoors where we enjoyed a nice breeze.

Ice Water & Fresh Lemonade
Our waitress came by and took our beverage orders. I ordered a seltzer with a slice of lemon and Will ordered fresh lemonade. She gave me just ice water with a slice of lemon, claimed the machine was broken and couldn't get me seltzer so I decided to order a root beer instead.

So after we ordered our entrees, two customers went up to our waitress to discuss about the quality of the food and unfortunately, Will and I were there to witness the whole scene and it was not beautiful either, It made us uncomfortable, but the waitress noticed what we had seen and came over to apologize and explained the situation.

Garlic Bread
Our waitress finally brought my drink and I really just wanted one drink, but she brought out a seltzer and root beer. Next our food came out as well as garlic bread.

Crab cakes with Broccoli
Will ordered the crab cakes with a side of broccoli tossed in garlic oil. His crab cakes were very moist ans tasty. I wasn't thrilled about biting on a piece of crab shell though. I liked the broccoli a lot because it was cooked al dente and it had a nice garlic and herb-like aroma.

Oak Grilled Salmon with Garlic Mashed Potatoes
I ordered the oak grilled salmon with a side of garlic mashed potatoes. The oak grilled salmon had a nice crust to it, but it was a little spicy - way too much black pepper. The salmon was soft and moist, but as I worked my way towards the middle of the salmon. I noticed a small section of it was still semi-raw and inedible. I wanted to tell our waitress about it, but decided not to. The garlic mashed potatoes was too oily and there was no hint of garlic at all.

After we finished our meal, we asked for the check and the waitress said to us up front - "Hopefully you'll pay" and in my opinion, that's unprofessional! Our waitress didn't charge me for the drinks which is good and bad. It's good that she recognized her mistakes, but bad for her and the restaurant on losing money by giving away free stuff.

I don't know if I would return to Flavors of Italy again. The service just didn't feel quite right and atmosphere didn't feel pleasant either. The food was decent, but if the service isn't fair or good, than I wouldn't return.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dining along the Harbor in Ocean City, MD

Harborside Bar and Grill
12841 Harbor Road Ocean City, MD 21842

During our first full day in Ocean City, we decided to eat out and enjoy some seafood for dinner. 

We arrived at Harborside Bar and Grill around 8PM and ended up waiting about an hour and a half since it was so crowded at the restaurant. It was truly a long wait, but in the end it was worth it because the food was amazing!

Seafood Bisque
A friend ordered the Seafood Bisque which is a variety of seafood in a traditional, creamy tomato bisque. This was probably one of the heartiest and delicious soups I've had so far.

It's rich. It's creamy and to die for. There was real seafood in the soup. I tasted scallops, shrimp, calamari, and crab meat.

Garlic Mussels
I ordered the garlic mussels. They were steamed with chopped garlic, white wine, and served with butter. The garlic mussels were tasty and full of white wine and garlic goodness! The only disappointment was that these mussels weren't big or meaty. They were tiny like clams, maybe even tinier than clams. 

Crab Cakes with Sweet Potato Fries & Cole Slaw
The trip would not have been complete if I didn't have crab cakes and I did! The crab cakes were fried to golden brown and moist inside. They were absolutely delicious! The sweet potato fries were yum and the cole slaw was different. It tasted a lot more fresh, crunchy, and not soggy like the cole slaw I have had before.

We had a lot more food than this, but I didn't quite get a chance to take a picture of them and the lighting wasn't good at the restaurant. Despite the long wait, we actually enjoyed the food here and it was extremely hearty and yum! I would definitely come back here if we come back to Ocean City again, but hopefully next time we won't have to wait 1.5 hour.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sweet Treats from Julia's Original Cannoli

Julia's Original Cannoli
11th street & Boardwalk Ocean City, MD 21842

During our stay in Ocean City, my friends, Will, and I would walk on the boardwalk at least once or twice a day. There was one shop that Will and I passed by called Julia's Original Cannoli.

Julia's has all foods and snacks from funnel cake to fried oreos to ice cream and a lot more. During our visits to Julia's, I've tried the following -

Root Beer Italian Ice
The first visit to Julia's Original Cannoli, I had the Root Beer Italian ice. The Root Beer Italian ice was actually interesting! I've never had a root beer flavored dessert before, so this was definitely different.

Strawberries and Creme Ice Cream
On our next visit to Julia's, I got the strawberries and creme ice cream. It was the perfect snack/food for the hot weekend we were experiencing. I really enjoyed the strawberries and creme because it was soft, not too sweet, and just yum!

Peanut Butter Ripple
On our last night in Ocean City, my friends, Will, and I walked the boardwalk at night and also to grab a little dessert. I tried the Peanut Butter Ripple ice cream and oh my goodness, literally it was one of the best ice creams I've had in a while.

I am a sucker for peanut-butter flavored desserts. This was one truly delicious ice cream, but it would have been neat if there like peanut butter chips in the ice cream.

There weren't many dessert places on the boardwalk, so I am glad there was Julia's Original Cannoli. It was so convenient and the food was great!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

On the Bay Seafood in Ocean City

On the Bay Seafood
4204 Coastal Highway Ocean City, MD 21842

So it's been a while since I last updated on the food blog. The reason is because I've just been busy and it will be busy until mid-December and you can read about why I've been so busy by reading my blog  post on Big City Little Blogger.

During Labor Day Weekend - Will, our friends, and I went down to Ocean City, Maryland for a getaway and to enjoy a relaxing time at the beach and etc. It was a great trip and we sure had a lot of seafood as you will see in future posts. The first food spot we stopped by was On the Bay Seafood.

There's an entrance to where we can place our orders and see the kitchen too. It sure smelled a lot like seafood. I placed orders for me and Will. The cashier lady gave a table number to our group and we sat and waited for the food. I love the outdoor, sand, beach-like scene and ambiance at On the Bay Seafood. It was really relaxing. 

Pina Colada
Yeah, I started early and had a Pina Colada which contained a little alcohol. The Pina Colada was refreshing. I was sort of hoping for a more prettier version, but guess not.

Soft Shell Crab Sandwich
Will ordered the soft shell crab sandwich which was accompanied with boardwalk fries and Silver Queen Corn (seasonal). I didn't try Will's meal, but according to him it was delectable!

Crispy Clam Strips
I ordered the Crispy Clam Strips served with "house" cocktail sauce, Homemade cole slaw, and Silver Queen corn. The cole slaw was mediocre, I've had better. The corn was delicious and had a slight buttery taste to it. 

I was excited to try the clam strips cause I love clam, but I was a little disappointed because the breading of the clam strips lacked seasoning. I probably wouldn't order this again since it wasn't too special.

Hot, Heavy Crabs
So this was On the Bay Seafood's hot heavy crabs. I actually didn't take part in this because didn't quite want to get involved in a seafood mess, but they sure looked fresh and smelled good too!

I was pretty pleased with the ambiance at On the Bay Seafood. Although, I wasn't too happy with my order I would want to return and try their other foods.