Review: Mussel Bar and Grille Harbor East

 I decided to try out Mussel Bar and Grille Harbor East  back in September after I saw the Living Social deal which is still available now. It includes two full mussel pots, two orders of frites (fries), and two glasses of beer or wine.

 They also have locations in Arlington, VA and Bethesda, MD. There were other deals featuring mussels but I chose this one because the kitchen was open the latest on the weekend, till 12:00a.m. Wed-Sat.  Also if you’re not familiar with Harbor East, it’s a nice hip part of Baltimore within walking distance of Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor and million dollar waterfront condos. For those of you who may be spooked due the recent riots and The Wire- fret not, it’s one of the safer parts of the city.

We ended up getting there at 11:40 and I was slightly confused because the restaurant is housed in what used to be Townhouse Kitchen.

I had several outfits pre-planned (to try to cut down on getting ready) a while back and the booskie picked this one. Since it was cool at night, I also grabbed my jacket. My hair was styled in medium sized twists.

 The restaraunt, which opened two winters ago, was virtually empty but the bartender assured me that it was only because it was a holiday weekend (Labor Day). Because we’re greedy we decided to order crab dip, we thought that the mussels wouldn’t fill us up (we thought wrong).  The dip was ok, not bad but not the best.

  My boyfriend decided to order the Mediterranean mussels which features sausage, goat cheese, harissa aioli, and smoky tomato broth.

   I ordered the White Wine mussels cooked with roasted garlic, parsley, cream, and lemon.

 Both were quite delicious. The frites were ok because they were not very warm and could have been cooked longer. The dipping sauces were nice- taking your regular fries up a notch.

  I think that the waiter forgot to bring it out to us when it was ready but it was ok because we were already full sopping up the juices from the mussel pots with bread.

I’d consider going there again in the future, but there are many other places I want to try before returning.

33rd Birthday at Cazbar

The National holiday close to my heart otherwise known as my birthday was on December 16th. My BFFs and I celebrated the weekend before and I was treated to dinner at the Turkish restaurant Cazbar located in downtown Baltimore. The reason my my BFF chose the restaurant is because she knew they specialized in lamb, my favorite.

I just had my hair blow dried and  trimmed so I decided to wear it in a twist out.

 I didn’t know where I was going but I had an Eloquii dresses (I already sold it) that I got from eBay hanging in my closet for months. I paired it with my red coach clutch for a pop of color complemented with black and silver acccesories.

 The restaurant was nice and I decided to have Lamb 3 ways, lamb kabob, lambchop, and Adana kabob. It was soooo good!!!

 One of my bff’s had the same dish and the other had chicken and salmon.

They also had belly dancers who were quite entertaining. My only complaint is that the stairs are very steep so if you have knee problems, are clumsy, or just don’t like to climb mountains, request to be seated on the first floor.

  
  

There were belly dancers there for entertainment and one dancer had swords as props.

 My only complaint is that the stairs are very steep so if you have bad knees, are clumsy, or just don’t like mountain climbing request to be seated on the first floor.

If you’re interested in trying the restaurant out and will be in the Baltimore area by October 1st then check out their groupon that’s available for a limited time!!!

Birthdays, Hotels, and Brunches Oh My!!! Part III

Here’s the last post from my bff’s b-day weekend in DC. Part II ended when my bff and I were almost ready to check out of The Embassy Row Hotel.                                                                      I decided to wear a red dress from Fashion to Figure, with red and grey studs, necklace from JCPenney, sandals from K&G, and a clutch from Coach. I moisturized my hair overnight and twisted it in order to rock a twist out that day. My makeup was topped off with my Laura Mercier lipstick that came in my goody-bag from the Project Runway event I attended a while back.  

 Once the bill was fixed, checkout went smoothly and we didn’t have a long wait to get our car from valet. There were several things that I wanted to do that day so I was very eager to get on our way.

This would be our first time experiencing the #kitchencray brunch in DC and I had high expectations. The event was held at Cities Restaurant and Lounge in mid-town. One of the things that made the brunch different is that you had to make reservations. I liked this idea because it ensured that you had adequate seating whereas in Baltimore- you had to get in where you fit in unless you knew the right person to make reservations with (still don’t know where to get that info….). The Cities brunch was also more expensive but you also got unlimited bellinis in addition to mimosas. We lucked out with free parking and had time to spare so we decided to go to Nordstrom Rack around the corner. We made our reservations early and were one of the first folks to get there. We were seated at the bar which had a huge top separating you from the bartender. While it looked nice, you definitely had to stretch in order to reach your drinks.  

    

 The menu was pretty much the same as Baltimore’s and while it was good, I realized that I was growing tired of the menu.   

 Nevertheless I shamelessly stuffed my face and didn’t have room for an omlette although I wanted one so bad. Had I overindulged, I would have had to have been wheeled out- besides there isn’t enough spanx and sucking in that would save me from the inevitable result and I wasn’t willing to ‘let it all hang out’. The consequence of arriving so early was that we had no patience to wait for the day party to start at 4:00. Besides, we had adventures to go on!!! 

 One of the really cool things about The Embassy Row Hotel is that they share really exciting things going on around the city. Cool thing #1 was ‘The Beach’ exhibit at the National Building Museum. This cool exhibit is made out of balls and even has beach chairs for you to lounge in. I found groupon tickets for general admission and called to find out we only had to pay an additional $8.00/ticket in person for The Beach. We left our car by Cities Restaurant and hopped on the metro.  

 As soon as we entered the exhibit I saw a big fat sign that said THE BEACH IS SOLD OUT!!!!! Can you say pissed.com!!!! I was really looking forward to it and didn’t realize that it was limited access. The exhibit ends on Labor Day so hurry up if you want to check it out!!!   

    
   
We turned right around and got back on the metro (after we just wasted money to get off) and headed to Cool thing #2. DC based artists created one of the coolest visual teasers I’ve ever seen on IG called The Synth Series. The series could be found in a vacant building and you had to DM the artists for directions. After getting lost for almost 30 min (blame my GPS), we found the place only to find others standing outside talking- I overhear a guy getting ready to leave say that the exhibit was just taken down the day before!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! At that point, I was pissed, sweaty, hungry (yes- again shamefully), and tired. I wasso disappointed to have missed this but I guess that’s the added part of the excitement of exhibits like this. This is RAW ART!!!!! If you live in the area- def keep an eye on these artists because I’m sure they will create another masterpiece soon.

My final thoughts from the day is that the brunch was decent but in retrospect, we should have made a reservation later in the day. With The Beach- I def would have done more research on if it was something that could sell out. The Synth fiasco also could have been avoided had I checked the latest hashtags on IG. You live and you learn and I still regret not being able to take all the amazing pictures that I know I would have gotten that day!!!! Check out some of the ones I came across on IG.  Just search #synthseries for more!

    
    
 

Inner Harbor Brunches and Things

The big rage right now are brunches featuring bottomless drinks. Growing up, brunch just meant eating after church let out lol. Well the #brunchkingz and @Kitchencrayemire put on brunch/day party events in the DMV  

 This past Sunday I attended my second brunch with this group and I had just a good a time as I did the first time. My only complaint is that they need more seating. Most of the tables are reservations only (they don’t state that in their flyers) so get there early to grab a spot at the bar!  

    
 The good is buffet style and it’s really good. We realized the last time that you can request a whole pitcher of mimosa so you don’t have to go back every time (don’t a big deal if you sit at the bar).  

 I wore a top, necklace and earrings from target, maxi skirt (that’s actually long enough) from Marshall’s, and Miu Miu bag (that I’m about to sell on eBay). 

 The party starts at 4 but the bottomless drinks stop at 3 so if you want to keep that feeling going, you’ll have to spend more $$$.                     The nice thing about Anastasia’s location is that it’s by the water. Parking can be a pain and ladies- you can hurt yourself on the cobble stone so leave the stilettos at home! I left the party around 6 and enjoyed the views of the water, went into a cute hat shop and stopped at a bar (don’t judge me) and had some yummy peach flavored beer.                                                                 Next weekend I’ll be brunchin’ it in DC!!!! See ya!!!!

    
    
    
   

Baltimore Restauraunt Week Ends Today!

You can get $15 for lunch and $30 for dinner. Most restaurants don’t do dinner on the weekends though, Rusty Scupper (a seafood place with an AMAZING view of the harbor) only participated on week days. There were many restaurants to choose from but I think that the variety has gone down. I have not seen Fogo de Chao on the list for several years. It’s very convenient that you can make reservations on open table but I think it’s silly not to have the restaurant week menu offerings posted there. Some places I checked out didn’t even have the restauraunt week menu on their website!!!                                                         Typically for lunch you’ll get an appetizer, entree, and dessert like we had at The Oceanaire back in February  

    
    
    
   
 My girlfriend and I decided to go to La Tasca, a spanish tapas restauraunt. Their special lunch offering was two tapas and a dessert for $15 and 3 and a dessert for $30. The restauraunt was right on the inner harbor with views of the water.  

    
    
 Yes I ate it all, don’t judge me! The steak w/ potato and mushroom purée (and that white sauce- mmmmmm) was my favorite fillowed by the shrimp and scallops wrapped in bacon, but the paella wasn’t bad at all! I also had white peach sangria with a booster shot. It served it’s purpose haha. For dessert I had the Crema Catalana but I forgot to take a picture. It was ok but I realized I’m not a fan of custard. The carmelized top layer with the raspberries tasted really good though. The clock is a belated birthday gift and it actually works lol. Until next time!!!!

 

My Weekend Recap: Sorority Fish Fry and Lunch with a CEO

Fish Fry

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I had the pleasure of spending an evening with the lovely ladies of Delta Sigma Theta’s Baltimore Alumnae Chapter at their annual Fish Fry which was held at The Forum in Baltimore. It was open bar and included a buffet, DJ, and vendors. I always cherish the moments that I get to spend with my best friends (see picture above). We have all known each other since elementary school (I came in the 3rd grade and they have known each other since kindergarten). One of my besties is a Delta herself and is a member of the chapter (as is her mother).

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I decided to wear a highlighter yellow colored cami from Forever 21 in plus size (they are dirt cheap) with a cropped navy blue flyaway blazer that has a crochet back and blue stretch skinny jeans, also from Forever 21. My shoes were navy blue bow front flats originally from Marshalls. My handbag was a bag I purchase some years ago from Filene’s Basement. It was love at first sight when I saw the intricate detailing cut throughout the leather. I love to wear art.

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I was happy to be able to slick my hair back into a sizable puff using ecostyler. My hair really is growing quickly and it is my hope to exceed my post deva-cut length with proper maintenance (i.e. less heat and covering it at night).

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All in all this was a great way to kick off my weekend…. especially after a long week of training at work!!!!

 

Lunch with a CEO

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I told you before about my dear friend Purchased who founded lovekulture in my post Spotlight: lovekulture. I must have spoken her up because she just so happened to be in town for a conference called hosted by Media Rise. The purpose of Media Rise is encourage people to utilize media to strengthen ideas that bring about social change through their feel, inspire, and connect philosophy. One of the highlighted activities from the week long conference was a pitch night where budding entrepreneurs and forward thinkers had to pitch their idea with the winner receiving $1000 to invest in the presented idea. I thought it was a great concept and I plan to attend next year.

We decided to meet up within walking distance of where her conference activities were being held and decided on Busboys and Poets at the 14th street location. I wore my $10 top from Forever 21 plus along with their stretch skinny jeans, cutout boots from Burlington, and beaded headband with my handy dandy cross body bag. I decided to do a flat twist and curl the night before which didn’t come out too badly. See my picture below for my comparison from my February braid and curl to now. I did a flat twist and curl the next day but I combed through my sections and lightly spritzed it with leave in conditioner and this gave me a smoother look. It wasn’t bad overall considering this was heat free unlike February’s picture.

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This was my first time there and her first time and this particular location and I was pleased overall. The restaurant is actually much more than just a restaurant. You will find that this is a creative space that encourages forward thinking, community ___  and cultural awareness and was actually so on target for the Media Rise Festival. The place was crowded but it didn’t take too long for the food to come out. I decided to be daring and try something new. I had the Mekhleme which is Iraqi corned beef hash. The dish came with two poached eggs on top, toast, and I also ordered a side of  turkey sausage. There are plenty of options on the menu for my vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free friends.

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The décor was fabulous as the restaurant featured multiple seating options, from traditional tables, to couches, to nail studded chairs and sheer curtains that extended from the high ceilings to divide the more casual area from the traditional eating space. There was also artwork and thought provoking messages everywhere you could turn. One thing I also loved were the quotes strewn throughout the menu.

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Busboys and Poets wasn’t the only thing in the area that’s worth taking a look at and experiencing. Within walking distance of the U Street metro station, I also encountered the African American Civil War Memorial, Ben’s Chili Bowl (a DC staple), Alero which is where I had my 29th birthday celebration, and & pizza which has some of the best pizza in town!!!

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I’ll leave you with this last picture which is now one of my all time favs!! You have to love street art!!!

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